The rise of “the mommy blog” coincided with the pregnancy of my first child.
There I was, back in the summer of 2011: Hot, swollen, and semi-terrified of impending motherhood. But there was another part of me that was equally ecstatic for what was to come.
So, I did what came naturally: I chronicalled it all by launching a blog.
Unbeknownst to me, there was a burgeoning online community of women who had been doing the exact same thing.
There were moms writing about how motherhood was glorious. There were moms writing about how motherhood sucked. There were moms writing about the challenges of raising a child with special needs. There were moms writing about balancing motherhood with fitness, DIY projects, and homeschooling.
You name the topic, and there was a “mommy blog” to cover it.
But I’ll tell you what you would have been hard-pressed to find: Anything from a father’s perspective.
It was all moms this! and moms that! But look for a father’s perspective and…crickets.
But that’s not surprising, right? Isn’t that typical?
When one thinks of the rigors of parenthood, especially those early years—cleaning the sippy cups, making sure the pantry is stocked with Goldfish crackers, the regulation of naptimes, and all the emotional heavy lifting that is part and parcel with raising little humans—let’s face it: Dads usually aren’t the first to come to mind. And, for the most part, people don’t bat an eye if dads are conspicuously absent from the landscape of playdates, school drop-offs and pick-ups, and anywhere else deemed a Mom Zone.
For generations the conventional wisdom has been that a dad’s terrain was in the boardroom. Or on the assembly line. Or, somewhere where the kids weren’t.
After all, the 2003 hit Daddy Daycare, starring Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, and Steve Zahn, spawned two sequels for a reason. The plot, though formulaic, was pure comedic gold: Two fathers who started a child day care out of their home after they were laid off from their corporate jobs.
Yes, that’s it! Let’s all have a good laugh about how the kiddies are running circles around the inept dads!
But not anymore.
The times, they are a-changin’. Fatherhood isn’t what it used to be.
The dads have arrived and are making quite the splash in the online parenting advice arena—and even us moms have taken notice. Frankly, it’s been hard not to.
Social media has been a tremendous asset to parents by allowing us to share every step of our child’s journey. But perhaps the greatest boon of interacting with others online is the opportunity to exchange tricks and tips that make parenting more enjoyable for parent and kid alike.
And a young dad named Tom Piccirilli is standing out from the pack.
Piccirilli, who has been has been pegged as one of the top parenting influencers to follow in 2022 by Net Influencer, created his Instagram account in May 2020 as a saving grace for all parents who were struggling during lockdown.
Go ahead and google him. He goes by the.dad.vibes on Instagram and you can find him online at https://www.thedadvibes.com/blog.
His fresh, unfiltered, and gentle approach to parenting has kind of made him a big deal.
You see, Piccirilli has gone where few dads—and even some moms—just won’t: He talks about the importance of understanding how emotions—both a child’s and a parent’s—impact parenting.
He’s even designed a complete course called The Calm Parent. The video series was specifically designed for parents of toddlers ages 1-4 (also known as those especially tough years) and helps tired parents rationalize their child’s behaviour, reduce power struggles, and move from compliance to cooperation.
Piccirilli’s blog serves as a much-needed salve to the veritable “Worst Hits List of Parenting.” He offers proven methods of maneuvering the following condundrums: Crying, Feelings, Frustration, Hitting, Meltdowns, Punishment, Tantrums, and more.
“As amazing as parenting is, it can be damn hard,” says Piccirilli. “So give yourself the freedom to feel all the feelings and emotions. Its important parents can feel comfortable vocalising their feelings guilt-free, if we don’t, then we may begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities as a parent.”
Many find Piccirilli’s tutorials and teachings to be uncomfortable at times, but also extremely necessary.
I suspect that’s why his legion of followers is growing.
In the game of parenting, there are times when all parents—moms and dads—are fumbling around in the dark looking for the lightswitch, times when losing our cool feels scarily inevitable, and times when we know this role we all signed up for calls for us to step up in ways we’ve never had to before.
Help will always be welcomed.
In this day and age, we parents need all hands on deck.
And, yes, even dads need apply.
Courtney Conover is wife and mom of two who has called Wayne home since 1995. She also writes for courtneyconover.com. But, alas, diapers and sippy cups are no longer subject matter.