The Urban Daddy: Bringing The Modern Dad To the Blogosphere


#TBT Tuesday to being featured in the Canada Writes series on “great Canadian Blogs” by the CBC.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/2014/08/bringing-the-modern-dad-to-the-blogosphere.html

By day, Warren Orlans is a mild-mannered tax consultant, shoehorning in time to be a hands-on dad to his three young children and to helm an impressive backyard vegetable garden. But by night (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., to be exact) he morphs into The Urban Daddy, blogging on everything from why a child whose age is less than your shoe size feels the constant need to correct you to the parenting situation that leads you to eat a nibbled, warm banana.
As part of our Canada Blogs series on great Canadian blogs, we chatted with Warren about handling your private blog going public, falling asleep mid-post and why daddy bloggers may be coming out of the woodwork.

When and why did you start The Urban Daddy?
I started The Urban Daddy in 2004, just before my first son was born. I wanted to keep a diary of my wife’s pregnancy, what it was like being a father for the first time, and other related, or non-related, events that caught my attention at that time. The blog was kept private for four years until a colleague caught wind of it and it became very public.
I also started writing The Urban Daddy to work on my grammar and punctuation, which were not strong points for me in school. I have come a LONG way from my earlier posts, and the few who followed me from post #1 through post #1,000 have commented on the huge difference in my writing.
You’re a very hands-on dad. What kinds of reactions do you get from people about this? Do you find there’s still some bias towards dads being so involved in parenting?
I am as hands on as I can be because I love being a dad, and I want to spend more time with my kids than my father was able to. I know life can be very short—my dad passed away at the age of 62, so he was at our wedding but did not get to see any of my children. I do not want my children to not have had the opportunity to know me, to learn from me and to be taught some of the wonderful traits that were passed on to my from my mother: respect, consequences of actions, and that others are entitled to their own opinions and sometimes it’s best to listen, smile and not say anything.
I also see many other dads hanging around their kids’ classes, at least in my community. I see it more and more. I don’t judge those who can or cannot be there—we all have choices to make—and I do not feel that there are people judging me for being there as often as I am. Or maybe I just convince myself that anyone judging me must be thinking how successful I am that I have the free time to participate in my kids’ lives so much.
There are a lot of “mommy” blogs out there, but not so many “daddy” blogs. Why do you think this is?
I usually do not mention my blogging because I long felt that I was a “fraud” by blogging standards, being a “daddy blogger.” Early on I was at a gathering with a bunch of friends (all new dads as well) and one father said, “I think people who blog are narcissistic and do so only to brag about themselves.” From that point on, I kept it to myself.
Nowadays, especially after being featured in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Living, I don’t hide anything. It’s what I like to do no matter what anyone thinks.
I do have mothers coming up to me and asking me if I blog, and the reaction from them is usually one of surprise and support. I get a lot of positive feedback from mothers and from involved dads, who by choice or necessity are more involved than dads who leave for work before their kids wake up and who return home after the kids are in bed.
You tell a lot of personal stories about your wife and family. Where do you draw the line in what you do and don’t write about?
When my blog was hidden, I had no boundaries, until one day a colleague at the government asked a very personal question that they would have only known to ask through my blog. From that point on, I treat each and every post as if it were very public and I think about how my kids would feel as adults reading it. Would they want me talking about embarrassing things, or just telling stories and highlighting milestones?
How does your family feel about your blog?
My family likes the blogging—some more than others—because I relay stories about my children that I’ve sometimes forgotten to tell them. I also do not air dirty laundry on my blog, so there are very few posts where I am venting about my family.
I think they are amazed at the attention The Urban Daddy has been getting over the past few years more than anything. I have never seen myself as a writer, and I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read and comment on posts because there are so many other things they could be doing, but they are reading my ramblings, and I appreciate it.
You have another blog, inTAXicating. What’s the story of this blog?
InTAXicating came to me while I was working in the government and learning about how the Internet would help the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) collect money and educate taxpayers. As I progressed through collections, I was a Resource Officer for five years and that role was very technical, requiring me to understand and interpret the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act.  In order to get the level of understanding of legislation, I started re-writing the text into “English” and posting that on my blog.
So you have a day job, two blogs, and three kids. How exactly do you find time for all of this?
I don’t. Having my own business has made blogging as The Urban Daddy very difficult, and I have almost 200 posts sitting in my draft folder, in need of a good review. Prior to that I would generally blog from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and I would schedule my posts to come out during the course of the week. When my first son was born, I was doing my MBA online and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. was my time to work once everyone went to sleep, so I maintained that time as my time to get posts written.
Now I find I have so much work to do for my business that I spend time working on that instead of the blogging. But it changes, and sometimes I get extra time to bang out a post or two.
I’ve started going back to edit old posts, and I’ve found some where I clearly fell asleep in the middle of typing but posted them anyway. It’s a great reminder of my exhaustion back then.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Do not get discouraged and do not write for others. Write for yourself first and try not to fret when only one or two readers come by your blog in a day, week or month. It takes time to build up a following. Reply to comments, follow other blogs, read them if you have the time and figure out what you want from your blog.
If you want to win awards, get hundreds of thousands of followers and use it to step up to a more prolific role, then stick to a topic or theme and write about it, and it only.
If you want your blog to be a journal to look at as your kids get older or to record things you might need, then write for the love of writing. If more comes of it, just say thank you and continue doing what you love doing.

 

The Urban Daddy in the News! Globe and Mail.


I had been meaning to share this link for a while now, but it is an article written by Dave McGinn of the Globe and Mail for father’s day.  globe and mail.png

It was a fun article to prepare for based on the questions asked of me, and getting answers from my family was even more fun.

I can say, however, that being in an article with the who’s who of the Canadian Daddy blogging scene is always an absolute honour; Buzz Bishop, Casey Palmer, Chris Read.

While I may be the longest-running Canadian Dad blogger, I am certainly far from the best, which is why I strongly recommend that each and every one of you read this article, then go check out these Daddy bloggers.  You will NOT be disappointed!!

Link to the original article can be found here; and below.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/fathers-day/dads-who-write-on-fatherhood-share-their-lessons-learned-and-happiest-moments/article30486620/

 

 

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Blogs I enjoy that you should check out!


For my Thursday Thirteen this month, I decided to highlight 13 blogs that I have in my blog roll, who I will go to, provided I have any time to blog at all.

Some you will know about, some you may not, but I highly suggest you hit them up and see what’s on their minds…

13. http://www.almightydad.com – The Almighty Dad
12. http://www.jugglingeric.blogspot.com – Juggling Eric
11. http://www.liayf.blogspot.com – Luke, I am your father
10. http://www.talesfromthedadside.com – Sci Fi Dad.
9. http://www.shmutzie.com – Canada’s own! and co-funder of the Canadian Weblog Awards.
8. http://www.jackandcokewithalime.blogspot.com – Fantastic Right-wing view of Toronto.
7. http://www.supernova.com – Check out Elliott Hurst’s blog.
6. http://www.coffeehouseobserver.com – Short and Sweet. I feel like I’m there with him.
5. http://www.rabbisteinman.wordpress.com – Rabbi Steinman
4. http://www.mapsgirl.blogspot.com – Canadian MapsGirl in tune with current events.
3. http://www.creativetypes.com – The Creative Type Dad.
2. http://www.yummymummyclub.ca – Former Much Music VJ, Erica Ehm. A must read.
1. http://www.blog.grmedia.ca/moderndadfare

‘ve got a lot of Canadian content and a lot of Daddy blogs, because quite frankly, they make me laugh and they don’t cringe at the use of the words vasectomy or circumcision… OR do they?!?

🙂

Honourable mention to The Rumour Mill – http://www.the-rumour-mill.com

Are Bloggers Really Narcissistic?


I know you are looking at this title and trying to decide if you want to read this post, and I’m sure you are thinking about the title and you have already formed a decision, and I’m going to challenge you – especially all you lurkers – to comment as to whether or not you think it is true that “bloggers are narcissistic”.

This came up a few months ago at the bar with my friends, when one of the guys at the table commented that he loved reading my blog, and he reads the posts every day and he finds in entertaining. The guy to his right then said that he reads this blog only when there is nothing else on TV, or on the net. “I’m sorry” he said, “but it’s true”. I have no problem with that, when the third guy at the table said to me, “I didn’t know you blog. Why do you blog?” Before I had a chance to comment, the 4th guy there, on my right, said, “people blog because the are narcissistic. The are into themselves and want others to comment so they look important.”

So I thought about it for a few seconds, and all that came out of my mouth was, “oh yeah? you think so?”

“I do” he said.

So I’ve been chewing on this for a couple of months trying to find the best was to post this conversation without offending the guy who made the statement, but also to really think about why it is that we do this…

I think with the growth in bloggers, it does water down the quality of “news” we receive but it also gives up a view of the news from a non-partisan angle in some cases. Like with Tiger Woods, the traditional news media were very cautious when presenting the news to not piss off any of his sponsors, or Woods himself, whereas a non-traditional media outlet such as http://www.tmz.com went there and from what I remember, even paid some of Woods mistresses for their stories. TMZ didn’t care about pissing off Woods, or Nike, they only wanted the story… First.

But be clear, I am not comparing this blog in any way to traditional media, or even non-traditional media, as in my case, I use this as a forum to vent my viewpoint in a forum which does not involve my best friend, my wife, or anyone else that I know. Most of my friends or acquaintances don’t care about the Toronto Maple Leafs not having a 1st round pick this year, or Rob Ford’s ascension to mayor, or that I stood in line at Tim Horton’s behind a guy who would take one step forward, then one back and I would forget resulting in him stepping on my toes 5 or 6 times. He probably thought I was a knob!

My point here is that out of all the reasons I have chosen to blog, and to continue blogging over 6 years and 600 posts later, none of them are for narcissistic reasons… I think.

Instead, I post with no-one in mind. I post to remember things my kids did, or to bitch and moan about random crap that matters to me and me only. Turns out some people like that. They probably use my postings to look at their lives and realize we’re all in the same boat… Some shit bugs us, and some makes us happy.  As a result, I cannot remember pressing “publish” on a post and thinking how great I was, but that’s me.  What about you?  What about others?    Do you know someone totally in this for the “fame and fortune?”  Someone who blogs because they love themselves so much that their blog encompasses them and takes over their life?  If so, let me know so I can read it and see it my friend was referring to me by his comment or if he was making a sweeping general comment about bloggers in general.

There is nothing wrong with a little narcissism but like everything else in life, too much of it can be dangerous, or obnoxious.

There is loving yourself, then there is LOVING yourself.