I haven’t done too much blogging here recently as the COVID-19 pandemic has actually made my marketing day job accelerate tremendously and I’m usually spending my free time hanging out with my kids1 rather than writing about them. On the rare evenings when my wife chooses to go to bed a little early,2 I get a chance to stay up until 1 a.m. and blog.3 Unfortunately, I have still not tackled the one blog post that I should be writing, which is the birth story of our son Sammy, who is now a few days shy of turning six months old. It’s coming soon, I swear!4
That said, I have created some fatherhood-related content recently. In June, I had my first column published in U.S. Catholic Magazine and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I loved seeing something I had written printed in real ink in a magazine that I could actually hold in my hands. You probably don’t have that option right now, so you’ll just have to click the link to read my Lessons in Love from a Growing Family.
I was also recently asked by Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University (my alma mater) to provide a Gospel reflection as part of their pandemic-era daily email series. I recorded this reflection for the Gospel on Tuesday, August 11. It’s the famous passage about needing to be like a child in order to enter Heaven, so obviously I had a lot of material to work with. Not because I’m going to Heaven, just because I spend a lot of time with children.
Pumping out this Catholic dad content got me curious about the Catholic Dad Blogger Scene. After a little Google searching, I realized that what’s out there probably doesn’t meet the criteria to even be considered a scene. It’s more like a highly polished site by a father of 10 who is also selling Catholic catechesis material for dads and random dads like this British podcaster dad and this sci-fi geek dad.5
So for any Catholic dads or Catholic dad bloggers who might be trolling the interwebs for similar solidarity, let me shout it to the search engines:
I am a Catholic dad blogger. This is a Catholic dad blog.
I have not specifically called myself out in this way before, though I think my faith would be pretty evident to anyone who reads this blog closely and definitely anyone who knows me in real life. So now it’s out there. Come at me, dads.
Perhaps this is the Coronavirus talking, but it kind of disappoints me that the Catholic dad blogging field is so barren. The Internet is beyond teeming with Catholic mom blogs, including my friend Rosie, who has been doing this for a long time and has developed an awesome and enviable community of online friends.6 They share and seek out parenting advice, blog about their experiences, comment on each other’s posts, and seem to genuinely care about each other. Some of them also make a small income off of all those affiliate links. Calling all Catholic children’s products: Hit me up!7
There is also a lively community of secular dad blogs and a growing group of “how to be a strong Catholic man” manliness blogs. There is probably a place for me in each of those communities, but it still seems like it’s not the fit I’m looking for.
I think it’s important for Catholic dads to have examples of other Catholic dads to learn from and commiserate with. This has been a blessing to me in real life, and would surely be fruitful if I could fill my inbox, Facebook feed, etc. with that shared experience online as well. Through our posts, we can encourage each other to grow in manliness and holiness, but also not be ashamed of our Dad Jokes and our Dad Bods.
Anyway, I also know that I have to be realistic and that I’m not even really contributing to this potential community myself. I post on this blog once a month in my most prolific periods, and developing a real community means showing up with regularity and showing interest in others, too. Perhaps it’s telling that until just now I never even searched to see if there were any other Catholic dad blogs, or if I did, I didn’t bother following them. I’m not sure what this says about me or about Catholic dads in general. Maybe we’re just too dang busy to make time for the type of self-reflection that a dedicated blog requires. Or maybe there just aren’t as many men who are willing to open up about this kind of stuff.
But if you’re out there, and you find this blog and you relate to it, leave a comment or send me an email so I can check out your stuff, too. Meanwhile, I will continue to at least share the perspective of this Catholic dad and hopefully do so with more regularity. It’s after 1 a.m. now though, so my meter has run out.
Theresa, I’m sorry this isn’t a birth story.
- read: tending to their every need
- Usually after beating me in Settlers of Catan or watching an episode of 30 Rock, our current rewatch series
- Clearly a healthy choice.
- My wife recently threatened to force me to write that post just so she would have some text to run in the Shutterfly photo book she is putting together from his first few months of life. Maybe if she lets me win at Settlers…
- I wonder how someone would pithily sum up my blog. That random dad blog with the sardonic footnotes?
- Many of whom have probably turned into actual friends as well
- Just kidding. Sort of. I’ll review your new line of baby food!