Friday, March 16, 2007

The Ballad of Mr. Mom

I'm going to do my best not to start ranting here, but there's something that just kind of bugs me when I see it, and it happens at least once a month.

It started with a bunch of airline mile points I needed to spend. Jetting off to the Strip wasn't really an option, so I decided to score some magazine subscriptions instead.

Being a parent, I decided to make Parenting and Parents two of my choices. I got my first issue of Parenting, and that's when the trouble began.

I never really noticed it before, but it seems that no one really expects dads to be participants in the whole parenting gig.

It's a worn-out sitcom gag that dad is clueless about things around the house, how to deal with kids, which brand of vodka is suitable for toddlers, stuff like that.

Page after page of Parenting (and Parents to a similar extent) is full of mom-centric ads and features.

I know you have to play to your audience, and I'm going to assume they've done enough research that shows that moms are their primary core readers.

However, despite the comments from various classmates, I am not a female.

There are mom polls, beauty-on-the-go tips and, as I just noticed on this month's cover, "What matters to moms." Sure, more often than not there's a token "Dad column," but it's usually in the back of the issue.

Well, I'm a dad, and with the schedule I work, I am with my son all day long, which is great. Well, you know what I mean. Sometimes the little barnacle drives me up a wall, but he's still awesome. But I'm the one with him most of the day.

I doubt I'm the only Mr. Mom out there, and seeing reference after reference to mom-oriented stuff with the implications (and sometimes not very subtle ones at that) that dads don't care is disheartening. I'm probably a little oversensitive, having already had to deal with being a guy who couldn't possibly give less of a crap about sport without the aid of an electron microscope.

I actually wrote a letter to Parenting and mentioned my concerns. I got a reply that asked to confirm my information so they could print the letter in a future issue. That was months ago, and unless I missed it (I am just a dad after all), they haven't used it yet.

I like looking for parenting tips, but they all seem so couched in the female frame of mind that it's really uninviting to me. There are a lot of dad blogs out there, and I've been checking those fairly regularly, but maybe they should change the magazine title to Momming or my personal favorite, Mother.

I can't help but picture the press crew getting ready to roll the presses, saying "All right, let's turn this Mother out."

Both magazines are full of good reading, but I feel like I'm sneaking a peek at Glamour or Ladies' Home Journal.

Although I have to admit, the Fresh Bloom Allover Colour compact looks pretty sweet, and it's only $29.50.


  1. You seem to be more of an Autumn that a Spring, though. Not sure you'd be happy with the Fresh Bloom.

  2. ^haha, Mel!

    You know, I think that Parenting actually has a subtitle about Moms. Well, here's my suggestion, Jeff. You are a writer. Develop a parenting magazine that's either gender neutral or Dad-centric. I think that it would be awesome!