I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans, for the second year in a row. If you're not familiar with it, Dad 2.0 is a collection of Daddy Bloggers who create influential content about modern day fatherhood. Hence the "2.0." They are an amazing bunch of guys...inspiring to say the least.
While I blog about fatherhood as well, I was also there to teach a class in Personal Branding in order to help these Daddy Bloggers formulate their own unique positioning in the blogger sphere. We had an intense session where I jammed in a semester's worth of lessons from my NYU class into a packed forty-five minutes. Whoa!
What struck me most, however, for the second year in a row, are the stories of vulnerability, individuality, struggle, and perseverance that come from these Dads. Which is exactly why they are so perfectly suited to be Daddy Bloggers. Each of us has a story, one more poignant than the next, but each with something to learn.
The guys talked about key turning points in their lives, when they've had to admit mistakes, feelings of low self-worth, and triumphs over adversity. Each and every one was an inspiring tale of being a Dad today.
And what struck me most of all is how this kind of fatherhood is now the norm. We are the norm. Whether we are gay or straight, coupled or single, biological or otherwise, we are all modern day fathers. And yes we each have our own story, but we all collectively share a love for our children, a desire to be there for them, and a commitment to their physical and emotional well-being. As the kids get older like mine, it's more and more about their emotional well-being.
Gone are the days of images of the absent father, left only to babysit once and awhile. The norm is now the active father, sometimes the stay at home father, who is continually engaged with his children raising them to be proper adults. And there are no labels that should come with this kind of fatherhood, because just being a Dad is enough to get the job done and to tie us all together.
Being a Dad 2.0 is now the norm. And I am so inspired by it all.