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  • RulesofDadding

Are you sitting comfortably?

Facebook knows that I’ve become a dad.

I don’t know how it knows, but it does.

I did read somewhere that it could listen and tailor it’s advertising to what it had heard you talking about. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I did once have a conversation with someone about canal cruises and next day there was suggested posts from barge salesmen popping up on my feed.

Now all it keeps suggesting is parenting websites and family blogs.

This may be because it has heard the incessant and constant repeat of the word ‘dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad,’ from our unceasing toddlersaurus and thought ‘Ey up (because Facebook is clearly a Northerner) these folks need some parenting tips’ and as if by magic the posts appeared.

Alternatively, the more likely scenario is that the algorithms and cookies in our computers (that I know little to nothing about), have picked up on our increased web browsing of all things parental and adoption based over the last 4 years and Facebook has jumped on the band wagon to help us out. (hence why it’s Northern : because it’s helpful)

Some of these websites are really useful. Some aren’t.

Here’s a question for you though: Do you know how many blogs out there cater for the gay adoptive parent market? Nope, neither do I, but it’s not many. I know. I looked.

Granted, it’s quite a niche market to cater for, and there are a few out there if you look for them. Weirdly though, for being gay, they’re not that diverse.

When you look at other parenting blogs there’s serious ones, there’s funny ones, there’s dad ones, there’s mum ones, there’s travel ones, there’s activity ones, there’s ones for working parents, there’s one for single parents and there’s ones for parents who like to pretend they are useless at child rearing and are just barely coping and drinking gin. The list could go on.

On a list I found of top ten gay parenting sites there was a blog by a lesbian feminist activist whose gay son had recently adopted a two year old girl that was having gender fluidity issues. This was their story of their battle for acceptance… it was not fun. Or relevant. To me. Or parenting. Of any one. Unless you are a lesbian feminist activist with a gay son who has adopted a two year old girl with gender fluidity issues. (She’s two! It’s not gender fluidity issues! It’s being two!!!)

If I’m being honest, I’d imagine there are reasons why there isn’t a lot of blogs for folks like us. It’s probably because the adoption process is pretty difficult and can be quite harrowing. The stories you hear from the children who are in care are heart-breaking and can be really disturbing. Then, once your child is with you there’s the safe guarding to consider and potential issues that you may have to deal with that are a result of the lives they led before. Then of course there’s the views that certain elements of society hold about us gays. It can be quite a daunting prospect putting yourself out there in the blogosphere (That’s a word. My document just autocorrected it because I spelt it wrong. So if Microsoft Spell Check recognises it, it means it is an actual word). It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone a gay adoptive parent without allowing people to judge you for it.

So why did I decide to do it? I’ll tell you. Gay parenting and adoptive parenting are 90% the same as any other type of parenting. It’s fun, it’s frustrating, it’s rewarding, it’s terrifying and it’s wonderful. I wish that someone had been there to tell me that when we were gearing up for the arrival of the toddlernado. There’s a lot of talk about the need to normalise gay parenting. Maybe from the outside. But on the inside, whilst you’re living it. It seems pretty normal to me. We’re having the same experiences as all the other parents that are blogging out there. I’m just not hearing it from my point of view.

So that’s why I’m here. Sharing my rules of parenthood. They’re for parents. They’re for adopters. They’re for gays. Or they’re for anyone who is a combination of any of the above. You may agree with them or you may disagree with them. Just remember, really there are no rules of parenting, just the ones we make up ourselves. And if you get nothing else from this blog then drop me a message. At least I can tell you where to buy a barge.


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