Welcome to The New Fatherhood

A small step into a big ol' can of worms.

TL;DR: The New Fatherhood is a newsletter from Kevin Maguire exploring the evolving nature of being a father today, with tools, tips and hacks to help you be better dad, and a community of modern dads who are looking for something more. There'll be one email a week. Happy to have you along for the journey. If you've been forwarded this by someone else, consider signing up for your own copy here.

What is The New Fatherhood?

Being a dad has been set in stone for thousands of years: get someone pregnant, make sure your family is warm and sheltered, go out and find your children and wife something to eat, and then make sure nothing bad happens to everyone (dad included).

But today, things are very different.

It was thought Hemingway’s greatest contribution to parenting was “For sale: baby shoes, never worn." But he might have accidentally predicted how fatherhood would change in the 21st century: “Slowly at first, and then all at once”.

Fatherhood is evolving at a breakneck speed, and has changed more in our generation than in the 100 years before it — accelerated at hyperspeed due to the always-online lives we lead. I’ve spent more time thinking about the meaning of fatherhood in the last few years than my own father, and his father before him, probably spent thinking about it their entire lives.

This newsletter will set out to discuss The New Fatherhood at a pivotal time. Dads are expected to be more and do more, under a barrage of social and emotional pressures that echo the changes in motherhood that happened over the last 100 years.

For those of you that are signed up, you'll get an email once a week, and maybe a bit more often when I get into the swing of things.

Here are a few reasons to stick around:

Real talk. This isn't a cherry picked list of perfect moments for the Instagram feed. I promise an open, honest, vulnerable, occasionally-rambling, regularly-insightful and always-interesting look into the changing nature of fatherhood.

Deeper, more meaningful conversations. Those of you I've been talking to about this lately will know this firsthand — I'm determined to move beyond the surface level conversations that dads have about “doing OK” and "you know how it is", to more deeper connections: sharing things we might feel uncomfortable to talk about, but are comfortable doing so in a safe space.

A community of like-minded people. A place where dads can share the highs and lows of being a father — warts and all — as we intentionally work towards being the best parents we can be.

Not all white dudes. Yes, I am aware that I am one. But as a father to two beautiful mixed-race children, I want this to be an inclusive, diverse place, where we can promote voices that explore the multi-dimensionality of modern parenting, and that welcomes all, no matter your sex, race, religion or socio-economic background.

An ad-free space. I'm not doing this for money, and have a job that's paying the bills just fine. I want this to be a place free of ads, product placement, sponsored posts, and all that noise.

A little fun along the way. Of course, parenting isn't all introspection and personal development. I'll share some of the most interesting and funny things I find along the way. I promise at least one thing a week that will put a smile on your face.

The New Fatherhood is written by me, Kevin Maguire, and will feature a chorus line of contributors representing diverse and under-heard voices across the spectrum of fatherhood.

Join me on this wonderful journey and please share it with other dads who you think might be interested.

OK, now on to what will be the regularly weekly programming.

3 things to read this week

Each week I share three articles on fatherhood you should read.

  • The New York Times and Vox both dig into how the pandemic has changed fatherhood. Full of interesting stories and insights. (Thanks Jacob!)

  • If this ode to a father from Humans of New York doesn't make you feel something ... I'm just not sure we can be friends.

  • A funny look at what goes on inside the brain of an empathetic parent when your kid is having a meltdown. A good reminder that everything is a teachable moment, for you and for them.

Good dadvice

The one thing you need to watch with the kids this week

Boston Dynamics make their robots way less scary by teaching them how to dance.

Say hello

Follow The New Fatherhood on Twitter and Instagram. Send me links, comments, questions, and feedback. Or just reply to this email.