Why do we feel that feelings are bad?
Maybe it's just guys called Michael.
Hey. Sorry I’m filling up your already overflowing inbox this week. But I’m asking people who have found this newsletter useful to consider subscribing. You’ll also join a private community of like-minded dads, which it’s already feeling like a real vibe. It’s the cost of a beer a month. And I’m giving one week free, this week only. I’d love you to come join us.
I made a podcast! I mean, I didn’t make a podcast, I got invited onto one. Julia Goodall runs Grounded Families, and I was honoured to be the first dad that she had on there.
You can listen to the whole thing here. Here’s a bit of the nonsense that I spouted:
“You know, men are expected to be more than just breadwinners. They're expected to be equal partners in parenting, and rightly so. But we don't have the tools or the language to kind of discuss these things. We are terrible about talking about our feelings. Like we really, really, really suck at it. We grow up feeling that feelings aren't good. When a man talks about how he feels other men say: Don't be a pussy, man up, grow a pair. The language around it is so testosterone fuelled and diminishing. It’s coded as feminine, to express how you feel, and that’s all wrong.”
“I saw this opportunity to create a safe space where men could come and talk about how they feel about being fathers and start to unpack these layers of stress and excitement, of worry and fear, of baggage from past relationships with partners and their own parents. All these things I had never seen anyone talk about anywhere. People talking about fatherhood in an open, vulnerable and honest way. I thought, I'm gonna I'm just gonna give this a go, I'm gonna see where it goes. And you know, I just been blown away by the response.”
“One thing about The New Fatherhood, or modern masculinity or whatever it you might call it, is it really echoes a lot of the struggles that mums have been going through for the last 50 years: How do I balance being a great parent while being successful at work? How do I know that I'm spending the right amount of time on the things that are important? There are great male writers who have written about fatherhood in a really interesting way: Michael Lewis is one, Michael Chabon is another, maybe it's just guys called Michael. But what I've actually found myself doing recently is going back to the “mommy bloggers” of the early 2000s and reading a lot of what they wrote. They say “history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes” and it’s interesting to see these thing coming up again and again.”
Anyway. It feels very odd quoting myself. But Julia was a fantastic interviewer. If you’d like to hear more, consider listening and maybe subscribing to her podcast.
Tomorrow I’m going to answer any questions you might have about The New Fatherhood, about me, about balancing work and family, or anything else. Hit me up with any questions (anonymous is fine!) here.
Also, thank you to the random person who said “Did you check out Geneva for your community?” I don’t know who you are but you asked that question at the perfect time. It’s AMAZING. We’re having a ball over there.
If you enjoy The New Fatherhood, and want to support what I’m doing here, please consider signing up for a subscription. If you’re pissed off about me polluting your inbox this week, hit reply and let me know. I’m off to drink a big glass of Cava and listen to Big Thief’s U.F.O.F. for the hundredth time. Good night!