Last year, a quick email planted the seed for The Father Hood.
Andrew McUtchen and I had been working on a project together. We’d met through work, but quickly connected as humans and talked about dad and life stuff more than work stuff. Our calls would always start with chats about how things were going at home, fatigue levels, hurdles with our kids (and relationships), and management of our increasing list of physical ailments.
One day last year, I wrote a normal, work-related email to Andrew. But there was something on my mind. Something personal. Something I’d been thinking about a lot, which brought up really strong feelings in me. So, I decided to share it. Here’s what I wrote…
Also, a related but separate thought…Men are lonely. I feel like being a 40-something-year-old primary income earning dad is a really lonely place to be. Mums have it really tough, but they generally have better social connections – they’re naturally better at connecting, they have greater opportunities in person, and also heaps of online options (mummy blogs, social media etc).
My wife has recently taken to sharing articles like this. Every time I need to hold back my immediate feelings of frustration (do you think I don’t get it?!), to lean in and be open for her to express how she’s feeling and how the article has helped to get it across.
But I’ve noticed articles like this make me feel more lonely and isolated, like there’s a jury of the sisterhood sitting behind her shoulder, saying “I get it”, telling me how it is and how I need to understand better. Where’s the male version of this? The media outlet that speaks to men, and is also the voice of men. Showing that what they’re feeling and experiencing is normal stuff that lots of blokes experience. The place that writes articles that you and I could send to (my wife’s name) and (his wife’s name) that says how we’re feeling, better than we can.
Writing this down pinned the idea down. The emotion was still weaved throughout the words, but I could see the need in black and white.
Andrew quickly responded…
Wow mate, we really are on the same page. I felt like punching a fist in the air reading this. Yes! Brilliant stuff and 100% on point, so very true.
We were on.
Andrew had known Luke Benedictus for a long time, again workmates who’d connected personally, and they’d been having chats around this very same topic. The energy and enthusiasm between the three of us was simply unstoppable.
So, with a super quick gestation period, The Father Hood was born! Designed to help dads survive and thrive in the only job that really counts. A lifestyle resource that delivers information, inspiration and light relief to dads, disarming them with humour and then arming them with life-changing strategies.
For dads. By dads.