Why I Started DadCAMP

I want DadCAMP to be an answer to Mommy Blogging trend that seems to have swept the web. Guys write blogs too, sure ours are usually focussed on games or gear, but there are men out there who are just as passionate about their kids as Dooce or the sisters in BlogHer.

Around Father’s Day I was profiled, along with other dads, in the Vancouver Sun. This is a little bit about me and my family.

“By the time I was 35, I had resigned myself to not having children of my own,” said Bishop.

“I am pretty selfish. When I saw how other people were with their children, it was pretty intimidating.”

Before becoming a dad, Bishop was plugged in all the time. It wasn’t just his job. It was what he loved to do — and it gave his life meaning.

Now there is something else that gives his life meaning — a two-year-old named Zacharie, his son with fiance Jen Cybak.

“I’m number 2 now,” he says with a laugh.

The turnaround for Bishop came the instant Zacharie was born. “It’s like a switch that just flicks on inside you.”

He’s pretty much given up golf. He squeezes culture and information binges into Zacharie’s nap times when he’s on a “daddy day,” and on Friday nights he’s more likely to be “parked in the kiddie pool in the backyard” than out on the town.

He appreciates the societal changes that have made hands-on parenting part of the deal for dads. “Everybody has to be the mother and the father in these dual working households.”

Fatherhood, for Bishop, has been a journey of rediscovering and reliving childhood.

“So many things you take for granted; a water fountain, a dog running, a bursting yellow flower. To experience the world with someone discovering it for the first time — it’s a chance to reset the odometer,” he said.

As for Zacharie, he’s also discovering the world through his dad’s eyes — and that makes him a pretty plugged-in kid. He Twitters, loves YouTube and has his own Facebook page.

He also loves to grocery shop with his dad on Saturday mornings while his mom sleeps in.

“It’s been awesome,” said Bishop. “I was thrilled to have my life change.”
[Vancouver Sun]

That’s why I’m here, why are you here?

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  1. Mommy Reporter September 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    It’s great to read about a dad who is really involved with his kids. Kudos to you and your family!! I’m a radio/media chick too and I used to be selfishly obsessed with me, myself, and I. When I had my son, it was just like you said, something clicked. Now I identify myself as being a mother before anything else. Great blog, keep up the fantastic work!!

  2. Jago October 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    GOOD! We did the same, but in italian! We are a group of modern dads blogging on fatherhood, kids, and everything else around being daddy!

  3. the wahdad August 6, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Well you did ask….
    1. I am married 16 years now and we have 4 children ranged from 1st grade to 8th grade, now moving 2nd to 9th. I would describe myself as happily married. When I met my wife something wonderful happened for me. I became imbued with a certainty that life is more than a series of arbitrary experiences, that if you have faith in the process of life it will bring to where you need to be, that there is someone in the world that is your life’s partner.
    It was a gift I got that flooded meaning and significance back into my life.
    I have tried to be grateful for it ever since although I make no claims as to the success of that. It fired me up for the next 20 or so years. In that time we have done wonderful things, had amazing experiences, and seen the miraculous (like all our children being born problem-free).
    However, times have come when many things in my life seem to be at a crossroads. I am full of questions again. The second half of my life lies before me. I feel like I have seen everything the world has to offer or enough of it for the rest to be different but not new. The thrill of the new does not drive me anything like as much as it used to. My hair is beginning to gray, I need glasses to read, the pounds don’t come off as easily, successes in my career are not as significant as they once seemed.
    I need a new myth of living. I am not religious so that side of things is not for me. But meaning is critical. Life has to have meaning, at least for me, or else it is meaningless and everything is equal. I don’t mind being in the dark as long as I feel that life is on the way to some kind of illumination.
    One of the goals of this blog is to ask questions out loud so I don’t forget or avoid them; to live the questions. If an answer comes, well and good. If not, at least I am not avoiding the questions that drive my inner life and outer responses; I am facing the real things of my life. And if answers never come… then that is an answer.
    2. I want to leave a trace for my children to get some insight into what it was like trying to be a father to them, when they are of an age to read this. If I get it right they will have a laugh more times than not, going “Yeah, remember that”, or “That was something I really liked”, or not feel so alone some time when they are in the middle of a problem.
    Right now is a pretty tough time for me and I am letting it impact my relationship with them. I am grumpier and more volatile than usual. I don’t think this is excusable but a record of my experience may help them when their time comes to go through bouts like this.
    I had no insight into my father’s thinking or feeling. I have come up with many rationalizations for his behavior ranging from the noble – stoical, quietist; to the compassionate – no time, training, example, or education; to the selfish – unfeeling, immature. But they are only my guesses. He is dead now and I can never know.
    If my children read this at any point it will give them a window into their Dad and, hopefully, some records worth keeping of our time together.
    3. There is a certain time of life where nothing is new anymore. What is to come appears like a copy of what has been. Responsibilities feel like a ball and chain rather than something to accomplish. And other than fulfilling those responsibilities it is difficult to imagine what else there will be.
    I know there are people for whom this is not an issue at all. They are moving through their lives with an unquestionable direction and certainty. So my blog will not mean anything to them. There will be others for whom this type of scrutiny will seem self-indulgent, and more that will get angry about examining life in this way. And my blog is not for them either.
    I know I am in this time of life. This is not a matter of philosophy. You see that guy looking a bit lost as he drops his kids off at school because work has dried up for him? You see the guy sometimes looking distraught as he contemplates his grocery bill? You see the guy sitting quietly with an air of depression and disappointment about him? You see the guy having a furtive smoke because he has taken it up again? All of these guys are me, that is what I mean.
    I think the economic depression has revealed this quandary, not created it. I can’t bury myself in work to forget the nagging questions. I can’t make more money to buy things that will help me forget these questions. I can’t jog or cycle the questions away either.
    And I know that I am not alone, at least not completely. Just recently an acquaintance of ours despaired and checked out, overwhelmed by the details of his life. I believe it was him losing hope in finding an answer that would get him through this stage and on to the next. This blog is also a reaction to that catastrophic event.
    4. I want to shout out for fathers, for Dads. I want to celebrate what it is to be the father of some of the next generation. Not lists of advice on how to…, things to…, what Dads should…, etc., just good things that happen being a Dad.
    5. I have a long way to go to become the husband and father I think I can be. I want to see if paying some dedicated attention every day to the process will result in improvement.

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