I Have A Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the best orators in the history of the world and was one of the Top 10 Americans ever. Believe me, I’m not comparing myself to a legend like Dr. King, but I’m going to share my version of the “I Have A Dream” speech with all of you.

Before I start, let me give you some background.

Most of you know this, but I’m taking the month of October off from my corporate job for baby bonding with my 3-month old daughter. It’s a lot of work being a stay at home parent, but it’s so damn rewarding. My baby girl smiles at me nonstop these days and I know it’s attributed to the one-on-one time I’m spending with her. It’s a blast.

One morning last week, MDW was running late for work and was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get DDW1′s hair done before I had to take her to school. I told her that she could leave and I’d handle it. She countered by saying that doing her hair requires attention and the baby would get upset if I left her alone while I played the role of stylist. Again, I told her that I’d handle it. On the way out she said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

That’s when I put DDW2 in the Ergo, stood DDW1 on a stool and worked my hair magic. During the process, I thought, “There’s no way my wife will believe me if I don’t take a picture of this.” That’s when I set my camera up, put it on a 10-second timer, and took the photo you’re looking at right now. After 15 minutes of multitasking, the final result was a nice, tight ponytail for big sister and a happily sleeping baby in the carrier. Mission accomplished. I emailed the photo to her with the caption “Boom.” and we both got a good laugh out of it.

 

The calm before the Internet storm...

The calm before the Internet storm…

Little did I know how interesting things were about to become.

After eating some breakfast, I figured I’d post the picture on the DDW Facebook and Twitter feeds. Within hours, the picture went viral (well, at least “viral” for me). At last check, the photo was shared over 4,800 times, received over 3,000 comments, and was liked over 190,000 times. The photo was also “borrowed” by at least 13,164 Facebook pages before I could watermark it (OK, maybe not 13,164 Facebook pages…it was probably closer to 23,164 Facebook pages) That was a head-scratcher for me, because I never experienced something like this since I started blogging.

The reactions, comments, and emails I received ranged from the overwhelmingly positive to the downright nasty. But as I went through everything, I had a chance to reflect on what I hope for the future. Let’s do this.

 

I have a dream that insecure dads will spend less time hating on good dads and more time on getting their own shit together. I’d say 95% of the dads who follow me are actively involved in their kids’ lives and view parenting as a 50/50 endeavor with their wives/girlfriends. They send me “Thank You” emails, they’ll say it’s refreshing to see a guy (me) who embraces fatherhood as much as they do, and they’ll refer other good dads to my blog because they know I’ll celebrate them. Words cannot express how much I appreciate those men because they will play a huge role in making fatherhood “cool” again (granted, I always thought fatherhood was cool, but that’s another story).

On the flip side, there’s a small pocket of men out there that can’t stand me. Here’s a sampling of some of the private messages and comments I received from them after I posted this picture:

- “He probably rented those kids. They don’t even look like him.”

- “I would bet anything that you’re a deadbeat.”

- “OK buddy, cute picture. Now why don’t you hand the children back to their mom so you can go back to selling drugs or your bootleg rap CDs?”

- “So do you do this for all of your illegitimate kids?”

You get the idea.

As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I’m not immune to hate mail – and some messages are racist in nature and some aren’t. It comes with the territory of doing what I do and I completely understand that. However, do you know what’s funny? Oftentimes when a dude posts a public hateful comment on my FB page or Twitter feed, it’s followed up by his wife or girlfriend emailing me privately to apologize for his behavior. These women will tell me that their men are angry that I’m making them “look bad” because they aren’t holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to parenting. Here’s the thing: I don’t make anyone look bad. These guys are doing a fine job on their own according to the women in their lives.

Memo to the small pocket of male haters I have: Why don’t you put big boy shorts on and get in on the revolution of good fathers? It’s not a good look to tear down dads for doing the work your wives wished you were man enough to do on your own. If you don’t believe me, just ask your spouses. They’ll tell you.

But don’t worry. I’ll still be here whenever you’re ready to step your game up and join #TeamGrownAssMan.

Again, to the amazing fathers out there reading this (which happens to be the overwhelming majority) – much love to you guys. I appreciate you. Your spouses appreciate you. And most importantly – your kids appreciate you.

 

I have a dream that people will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. OK, so I had to paraphrase the great MLK on this one. Surprisingly (well, not surprisingly to me) in this instance, the majority of racist emails I received came from other black people. Again, here’s a sampling:

- “This would be so much better if those kids were BLACK!”

- “Look at this Uncle Tom. No chance he would be doing this if his kids were black.”

- “I’m sorry, but I can’t support a brotha who didn’t marry a black woman.”

- “Your MOM is black and you dishonored her by marrying outside of your race? You probably can’t handle a strong black woman.”

 

***DDW steps away from his computer to check his calendar to ensure it’s 2013 and not 1913***

Allow me a moment to address the small pocket of racists who share the same race as me.

Dr. King dedicated his life to ensuring people could live a life free of judgments based on skin color. He dedicated his life to ensuring future generations could marry anyone without dealing with persecution. But there are people “on his team” (yes, I know we’re ALL on the same team, just roll with me on this, please) who are sabotaging his work. If the first thing you want to do is to criticize the skin color of my kids for not being as dark as mine, you have some serious issues.

Yes, I married a woman who is half-white and half-Japanese. Yes, the skin of my babies happens to be a few shades lighter than mine. Yes, my mom (a black woman born and raised in the deep south of Mississippi) loves my wife and kids because she’s smart enough to know that love is colorblind. All of my black friends and family members feel the same way.

You mad?

Grow up and stop being so fucking ignorant. You’re a damn embarrassment to Dr. King and his legacy.

To be clear, I’m not addressing all black folks here – because the overwhelming majority of my black followers are kind, clear-thinking, and intelligent individuals.

It’s just that the dumbest ones are usually the loudest ones.

 

I have a dream that people will view a man’s love for fatherhood for what it is instead of thinking there’s something “fishy” going on.  A lot of people really dig the fact that I dig daddying (yes, I made it a verb) as much as I do. However, since I started my blog 17 months ago, I’ve come across some people who will look at me and think, “There’s no way this guy can be as passionate about fatherhood as he is. I bet he’s using his kids in an attempt to become rich and famous.” It’s sad.

Think of the Mommy blogs you like to follow (some of which have a larger following than I have). If they share their love for motherhood, you probably wouldn’t think twice about it because that’s what moms are “supposed to do,” right? But if a human being with a penis shares the same passion for being a parent, it somehow becomes strange and fishy? And that makes sense…how, exactly?

I love being a dad and I love sharing my love of fatherhood with others. Shit, being a dad is one of the few things in life I’m actually good at. Of course I’m going to be passionate about this gig. My dream is that ALL people will embrace men who embrace fatherhood instead of wondering if they have ulterior motives. Remember, we’re the good guys in this fight.

 

I have a dream that people will view a picture like this and not think it’s such a big deal. Don’t get me wrong here – it’s a very cute picture, and it’s cool when people say so. However, I start to get a little uncomfortable when people want to start planning parade routes for me because of it. Somewhere there’s a dad doing the exact same thing for his daughters. Somewhere there’s a dad who put his foot down with his boss and refused to attend an “urgent staff meeting” so he could leave work early to attend his daughter’s dance recital. Somewhere there’s a single dad successfully getting his three sons ready for school. Somewhere there’s a stay at home dad crushing all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry for his family. Somewhere there’s a dad who would rather play catch in the backyard with his son instead of killing pixelated terrorists on his XBox.

In other words, there are plenty of good, involved dads out there. Many of them are reading this post right now.

I’ve posted hundreds of pictures of my family since I started blogging and I had no idea that this one would cause such a seismic shift on the WWW. But what if I posted a picture of MDW doing what I did in that picture? Many would probably think it’s cute, but after ten seconds of looking at it, they would probably move on to the next shiny object on their newsfeed. Why? Because it just wouldn’t be a big deal to many people if a woman did it.

Until we can get to the point where men and women can complete the same parenting tasks and the reactions are the same, we will have problems. If you want to create a statue for me for taking care of my daughters, create one for the moms who are doing the same damn thing everyday for their kids without receiving a “Thank you” or an “Ooooh” or “Ahhhh.”

These behaviors should be expected of moms and dads. No exceptions.

 

That ends my rant.

For many of you, this is the first blog post you’ve ever read from me. Just so you know, I’m usually the lighthearted guy online and I’m rarely this angry – but today I had to regulate a bit.

In time you’ll determine if you love me or hate me. If you love me, that’s good news because I’m going to continue doing the stuff you love. If you hate me, that’s bad news because I’m going to continue doing the stuff you hate. If you fall into the “hate” category, just send my blog to all of your enemies (that’ll show ‘em). For the rest of you, I’m so humbled and happy to be a guy you follow and enjoy as we embark on this crazy road of parenthood together.

On a side note, I wrote this entire post while my baby girl was sleeping on me in the Ergo.

It’s not a big deal. That’s just what a Daddy Doin’ Work is supposed to do.

Boom.

If so, then share it on your favorite social networks by using the buttons above! C'mon, don't be shy.  You can also subscribe to Daddy Doin' Work via RSS or email to be notified of new rants, revelations, and random thoughts.     

Comments

  1. Laura says

    All of the negative comments truly make my heart hurt. Our bi-racial children are happy, healthy and loved beyond measure. My husband is an amazing example to his 3 boys. I pray that some day people can look beyond color. I thought we were progressing towards this, but after reading these comment perhaps I am naive.

  2. Sun says

    I showed my 12 year old son this picture. I told him if he decides to have children, I want him to be this kind of Dad. He said, “Oh yeah, that’s exactly the kind of Dad I will be.” This is coming from a boy who feels abandoned by his own father and has never seen him. Thank you for being a postive example for boys who don’t have one.

  3. Theresa Flath says

    Saw your photo before. Just read your blog. What is sad to me is the men who respond w/anger have no idea what they’re missing. I’m glad you and your followers are blessed with many special, everyday moments with your children.

  4. says

    I followed the Yahoo link here because I could not for the life of me think up a single negative comment. I spent some time looking at the picture and trying to guess what people could have said…blank. So I had to come and see. I’m totally shocked. I would never have figured. How can people be so awfully ignorant and hateful? Please keep being an awesome dad. Lord knows we need more. Happy Father’s Day.

  5. Sandy says

    What the haters say about you is how they feel about themselves. It’s easier to project one’s insecurities on others than to face them and work them out.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Trent says

    I’m conflicted here. On the one hand, you get my respect for being a caring parent. On the other, I find this to be nonsense that you got to take a month off work to be with your kids. I wish I could take a month off. We should all live such privileged lives. Also, your comment about most people you know are are kind, clear-thinking, and intelligent individuals is either naïve or a farce. I would say that regardless of race, about 85% of the population are idiots. Only one out of every six people you meet is any smart and responsible. Five out of every six people are absent-minded fools. Now, obviously certain areas produce more idiots than others, but in central IL I’d say most people do dumb things here repeatedly. And as someone who lived in Chicago, I can tell you it’s the Mecca of stupidity. Basic math eludes Chicago. Common decency eludes Chicago. Planning? Foresight? Impossibility for most people who live in Chicago. I would say you’re lucky if you went to Chicago and one in ten people you met wasn’t an imbecile.

    Props to being a good dad, but not everyone has the opportunities afforded to you.

  7. says

    Boom!
    I looove your post, DDW, but moreover loooove your writing style. Honest, plain spoken, direct.
    I have a dream…that I will be able to write like that when I grow up.

    -From one who is growing this skillset
    Kennedy recently posted..PurposeMy Profile

  8. says

    Belated Happy Father’s Day from the other side of the world! My husband is a stay-at-home dad and I appreciate all the hard work he puts into our only child. Your wife and kids are so blessed to have you. I, too, am blessed for having such a wonderful spouse. God bless good dads.

  9. Elise says

    WHAT A LUCKY WOMAN YOUR WIFE IS AND HOW BLESSED YOUR CHILDREN ARE TO HAVE YOU!! Happy Father’s Day to you and to all the Dad’s out there that love being Dads. We need more people like you!!

  10. says

    WHAT? You get criticized for being a GOOD father? For being involved with your kids? What has this world come to? So, are lousy fathers getting a gold metal now?

    I’ve been hoping and praying for a man like DDW for over a decade now. I wish science could clone this guy.

    And so what if he’s married to a woman of another race. Stupid, beast-acting, fighting-in-public-places, weave wearing black women (and I’m a black woman saying this proudly) probably PUSHED him into the arms of a woman from another race. It’s sad and it’s a shame that white, Asian, and Latino women treat black men better than black women do. That’s probably another reason why I can’t find a guy like this, because they take one look at me and assume I’m ratchet, too.

    DDW…go to YouTube and watch the videos of a man named “Tommy Sotomayor”. (He’s also on FaceBook.) I think you and he will get along great. Tell him a fan of his sent you there. As a matter of fact, here’s a link to one of his videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k4lG439mfM). Tommy starts commenting at around time stamp 5:32.

  11. Jerome McDonald says

    The platform from which you speak is too deep for surface minded,arrogant individuals to understand,I’m a father of three girls my self,they are grown ,in their early twenties now,and your expressions reminds me of the times when I so enjoyed devoting all that I am in my girls,more Power to you my friend,your rewards will be great.

  12. says

    Found your blog today and just want to tell you that your attitude and actions give me greater hope for humanity in general. The World needs more men who are willing to step up and be real DADDIES/PARENTS to their children, and you seem to be doing a good job of leading the charge on that . I would applaud, but I’m busy typing. I’m also happy to see the recognition that racism can come from any direction,. I once had a black person tell me “I can’t be racist, I’m black!” and I replied with “isn’t that the definition of racism — that there’s ANYTHING you ‘can’t’ be simply because of your skin color?”… she never spoke to me again…. somehow I was okay with that.
    PlacidAir recently posted..Me…… MIA / back in action?My Profile

  13. Jeff says

    What you doing s absolutely what every dad should be doing out there.Kudos!But i didn’t like the curse words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge