Sad: no dads in the MADs

Regular readers of Diary of the Dad may remember that I was lucky enough to win one of the categories at the MAD Blog Awards last year. I remain delighted and stunned in equal measure that people not only read my bewildered musings about parenthood but also that they were kind enough to vote for me.

Winning the Best Baby Blog category has opened up all kinds of wonderful opportunities for me and, as a member of the minority gender in the fantastic and friendly entity that is the parent blogging community, it was a massive boost to my confidence and, I’m sure, to that of other dad bloggers out there.

Which is why I was so disappointed to learn this morning that there isn’t as much as one dad in this year’s final.

This isn’t a ‘woe is me, it should have been me’ post. I’ve had my moment of glory and genuinely didn’t expect to get anywhere near the final this time. I did expect there to be a few blokes in it, however. There are some absolutely brilliant blogs written by dads which I was fully expecting to see taking their deserved places at the awards ceremony but, sadly, this is not the case.

I can also say, hand on heart, that there are a great many of them that are better than this one and I will remain eternally envious of their wit, honesty and turn of phrase. By that logic, if I won one, then these chaps are more than deserving of an award too.

This isn’t an anti-mums post either. I’m absolutely delighted for everyone who has made it to the final. Attending the awards ceremony alone makes you feel a part of something special and every last one of them deserves to be there. It’s just that I don’t feel that the community is being represented as well as it could be.

So I guess the point I am coming to is that, despite being made welcome in the parent blogging community and beyond, dads still seem to be overlooked. The ‘D’ in MAD stands for ‘Dads’ and I know that the organisers – who, by the way, do an amazing job and deserve nothing other than praise – have been reluctant to have a dads-only category.

I wholeheartedly agree with them. If it existed then people wouldn’t vote for those of a male persuasion in the others. I’m not pointing the finger at anyone; the awards are well structured and people vote for the blogs they enjoy and you can’t argue with that. I’m just asking people to just consider voting for dads next time.

Society often relegates fathers to second-class parents status and this is something that continues to annoy me. In most families, there is a caring, loving, hands-on dad. Those of us who write about our pride at being parents are in a prime position to fly the flag for other parents who happen to have a Y chromosome.

So being overlooked by voters in something that is designed to celebrate the spirit of family-minded people is a kick in the teeth.

At last year’s ceremony, there was a board with a picture of each finalist on it. People could write and attach notes to one another on it. There was one note stuck to my picture; it simply said: “More dads next year please.” How sad that this won’t be the case…


  1. Sally

    Hi Tom

    Thanks for blogging about the awards. We were surprised not to see more Dads participating in the awards this year, and it’s the first time we’ve not had any Dads in the finals.

    Without wishing to take anything away from the wonderful blogs that ARE finalists, I agree it would be nice to see more Dad blogs being recognised.

    As organisers, we do all we can to communicate that our awards are for Mums and Dads, we’re careful not to refer to parents and not just Mums, for example, and we avoid using logos and design that men might feel uncomfortable using.

    What I would say is – overall, men have tended to do well in the MAD Blog Awards. Our MAD Blog of The Year in 2010 was a Dad, and we’ve had Dad winners in Best Baby Blog and Best Writer, as well as having Dad finalists in lots of categories.

    I don’t think there’s any reason as such why there aren’t Dads in the finals this year – but I do hope in 2013 we will see more Dads being actively involved in the awards, and taking their place at the awards ceremony once again!

    The MADs

    1. Tom Briggs

      Thanks for commenting, Sally. I’ve got no issue with the way the awards are promoted and felt very much part of something amazing last year. They’re a great celebration of blogging and, like you, I hope to see the dads making a comeback next time.


    Hello! Interesting point. It’s got me thinking, I’ve been blogging for around 6 months and I can’t remember the last time I visited a blog written by a dad. But then thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever had more than a couple of comments (out of the millions obvs!) left on my blog.

    I certainly don’t go out of my way to avoid dad blogs, in fact in life I am much more comfortable in mixed company than a big group of females (don’t tell anyone going to Cybher that I said that…) so I can’t fathom what the sticking point is.

    It’s funny, cos in many ways it is like a reversal of the gender imbalance in many other aspects of life – which doesn’t make it acceptable, just curious!

    I think I’ll go on a bit of a mission to seek out some dad blogs, then I’ll be all set for next year’s voting!

    1. Tom Briggs

      Nice to ‘meet’ you! There are plenty of dad blogs out there and you should find a few mentioned on the left-hand side of this very one! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 🙂

  3. Elaine (Littlesheep)

    I think it’s a shame too – but have to be honest I don’t read as many ‘dad’ blogs as I do ‘mum’ ones…

    A little bit of me agrees with Michelle Twin Mum that having more individuals represented would be nice – but I guess it’s hard for people who have blogs that fit into more than one category…

    That all said – I am absolutely thrilled to be a finalist 🙂

  4. @SAHDandproud

    I was both disappointed and suprised to not see any male or dad blogs in the finalists. From so many being nominated, to have none in the shortlist maybe shows that we need to plug ourselves a bit more.
    Or not. Dunno.
    But one thing is that I’m glad you’ve blogged about it. So I don’t have to! 😉
    Whether the timing was also a thing. At one point there were lots of people sending out Tweets saying ‘nominate me for the BiBs and MADs’ and as such I kinda switched off. Either way I was thrilled to make the long list and wish all those who made the short list bonne chance.

  5. Adventures of a Middle-aged Matron

    My favourite three blogs are Dad ones – humorous, intelligent, unsentimental – so I share your bafflement. I suppose people vote for those they know best and as most parent bloggers are women and, therefore, I guess most voters are women it can easily happen. Perhaps, like the BiBs, they should have a Dad category. It may smack of ghettoising, but at least it would give them the prominence so many deserve. Congratulations on last year!

    1. Tom Briggs

      Thank you! As I mentioned in the post, I wouldn’t be in favour of a dads-only category as I fear it would inadvertently result in dads being overlooked in others. That said, I concede that it’s difficult to think of another way of getting dads the recognition they deserve.

  6. Alex

    What immediately struck me reading this was how much it sounds like the flipside of oodles of ‘women in tech’ posts I’ve read. First, sadness that they’re not included. Then a reluctance to be the ‘special case’ (we just want to be included like everyone else, not equal-but-different!). Finally a desire to make that point without anyone thinking they’re being antagonistic or ungrateful!

    Both are sad to read, because both are so unnecessary.

    I think it’s a terrible shame for everyone when dads get ignored, so I’m glad that the organisers are sticking to a policy of mixing everyone in together, and I hope dad blogger profiles do rise and there’s a good dad presence next year!

    1. Tom Briggs

      Thanks Alex! Yes, I often think about how us dads feeling ignored in some spheres is the flipside of women being overlooked in male-dominated areas. Any form of exclusion, however unintentional it may be, is a great shame for all concerned. Here’s to maintaining a mix and a greater cross section being a part of it!

  7. liveotherwise

    That’s a really good point. The blogs I visit regularly are those where I’ve built up a relationship with the blogger. Perhaps dads aren’t putting it about as much? 😉

  8. Michelle Twin Mum

    Yes a real shame and the lack of variety in the categories seems to me to be a real shame too. Nothing personal to the bloggers who have made it as finalists in more than one category.

    Interesting to read what others have said about Dad bloggers perhaps commenting/ interacting less. I wonder if that is true.

    I probably visit 4 or 5 Dad bloggers regulalry and comment and it is not that often they comment back, but that could just be me!

    Mich x

    1. Tom Briggs

      Thanks Michelle. Hmm, maybe we don’t interact as much. I wonder what other dad bloggers think of this? Anyone?

  9. @babberblog

    I was a little surprised to see no dads on there, though there are so many more mums blogging that perhaps I shouldn’t have been!

    I sort of lost interest in the two sets of awards once I’d done some nominating. I like people getting recognition for their efforts, but don’t want it to be all I get to read about for a month in the run up! I wonder whether one or the other may choose to have their awards at a different time of year in 2013.

    There are some amazing dad blogs out there, but they’re a lot thinner on the ground than the amazing mum blogs. Let’s up our games for next year chaps!

    I am truly pleased for all the people nominated in both sets of awards, no sour grapes from me 🙂

    *whispers* I wasn’t eligible anyway… 😉

  10. Tania @ Larger Family Life

    I’m going to rock the boat and be unpopular in the process so I shall say my piece then duck!

    I disagree entirely with the way these awards are conducted. Making them a “vote of the people” rather than judged independently on quality makes the whole thing more of am X-Factor type popularity contest than anything which awards real, true talent.

    I would love to see awards where the whole thing is independently judged from beginning to end by an independent panel.

    The problem with voicing such opinions on these things means that you are then accused of being jealous/insecure/put out etc etc.

    I assure you I am none of these things and certainly do not wish to rain on the parade of any of the finalists but the truth is these things are about successful canvassing and vote generating. Only then will it be a fair and proper reflection of the talent out there from both mums and dads.

    Off to duck and hide now!

  11. Sarah Miles

    As a new blogger (first year) I have little clue about all the awards. Although, I agree with SAHD that some people did seem to be on a campaign to promote themselves. Fair play, but not my bag. Am I gathering that the Mads are based on how many votes you get? Or are the votes an indication of popularity and the judges then decide? How does it work? It does seem that if it is down to votes and not content then that is a indeed a bit more of a popularity contest – again in NO way taking away from the spectacular acheivement of the finalists, all very deserving.

    As for the missing dads….I am not sure why they are AWOL? They were all on the original list, so were clearly in the contest – again was this just lack of votes?

    I think all blogs should make the final through blogging merit and avoid positive (or negative) discrimination and popularity contests.

    I do hope I haven’t offended anyone with my comments – like the others who have commented there is no sour grapes here and I hope this ‘issue’ does not detract from the commendable achievements of those in the final. I am a newbie blogger and so may well have misunderstood much of this….*covers back*

  12. slightlysuburbandad

    I started blogging in January so was also not eligible this time round. However when I started I didn’t know about blog awards and it’s certainly not why I write or why I think many others do.

    There are some great Dad blogs (and tweeters) out there though. I can think of 3 who fully deserve to follow in your footsteps though one of them recently stopped blogging and another was also ineligible. The third was on the long list and in my humble opinion deserved to make the shortlist in the writer category.

    No matter. The last 5 months or so of my life have been amongst the most interesting and much of that is down to some fabulous Dad (and Mum) writers.

  13. Tom Briggs

    Good to see some comments from fellow dad bloggers. Thank you all. So the general consensus seems to be that we blog for the right reasons, but that it would be good to see some of our peers getting recognition. It’s heartening that new dad blogs are continuing to come into existence and I very much hope to see some of those whose posts I read making future finals.

  14. First Time Daddy

    Hey dude. Great post and I agree with most of what you said. Personally, I dont think it would stop dads being considerd for other categories but I can appreciate why the guys at MADblogs choose to try and avoid that.

    I also agree with other comments regarding having two organisations with nominations so close together, it’s not ideal but I myself decided to focus on 1 set of awards and not try and annoy people more than I was already doing so! I focused on the ‘BiBs’ and it was worth it as I made the final (If you didnt know lol).

    I also agree with the fact that us dads are sometimes still shy to throw ourselves into the limelight, but the bloggerverse is a big place so it’s hard to be noticed.

    All in all I am delighted for the guys in the finals and I am lucky enough to follow some of the blogs myself. Now I have the dificult task of choosing which ones to vote for. Suppose with no dad blogs, it makes that job a little easier!

    Keep on blogging

  15. Tom Briggs

    Interesting points on the voting behind the awards, Tania and Sarah. On the one hand they can seem like a popularity contest, but on the other, I won one of the categories last year when I was pretty much an unknown newbie. Tricky one. It would be interesting to see how things would work out if the structure were different, though I imagine that given the size of the parent blogging community this could be one massive logistical nightmare!

  16. Sally

    Hello – me again!

    I feel awful for not realising but there is a blog written jointly by a Mum and Dad in the finals this year. The AR Blog. So it’s not an exclusively female list – phew!

    For those commenters who had questions about the awards, the info is all on our site but briefly:

    The MADs received 52,000 nominations for 3,000 blogs. I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to ask our judges to look at all of those blogs and make a judgement on whether they deserve to be finalists. We think it makes more sense to ask the people who read blogs every day!

    There is always some crossover between categories and this year one or two blogs have done spectacularly well. We have around 75 finalists for 100 finalists’ places. Those blogs represent a wonderful cross-section of our community, and congratulations to them all 🙂

    As I always say, the Internet is a big place and the great thing about it is you can pick and choose. Not everyone wants to be judged, just as not everyone wants to vote, or compete. It’s all about personal choice.

    That said, I’m personally very proud to be a part of these awards, and I’m massively grateful to all the bloggers who have supported us in our third year. Thanks to you all!

  17. notjustanotherblog

    Great post and very sad that more dads are not recognised in these awards. Like others I have only been blogging since January but in doing so have come across some great blogs from Dads, and some met some great people ( virtually) as well. I Guess us blokes will just have to try a bit harder next year if we really want recognition in such awards!

  18. Sarah Miles

    Thanks to Sally for answering my questions – it must be a monumentous job!! And a great thing to do.

    It seems that the dads are more determined than ever to make thir mark next year, so I for one, am looking forward to some great blogging!


  19. Reluctant Housedad

    Excellent and illuminating post, Tom (and Sally). It’s clearly the case that us dads are hot being discriminated against – we’re just not good enough 🙂 We all need to raise our games next year. MichelleTwinMum makes a good point, too – I am certainly guilty of receiving but not reciprocating comments. My excuse is that it takes me long enough to write a blog in the first place between ironing and cooking etc without back-clicking on the comments to comment back (though I do comment regularly on the blogs I subscribe to). So perhaps some of us dads need to raise our interaction game, too. Hands up anyone who fancies being the Dad Bloggers’ Social Networking Campaign Manager next year? It could be run like the U.S. primaries 🙂

  20. Random Pearls Of Wisdom

    It is quite difficult to get round and leave comments on many other blogs when you are working too. Sometimes struggle to find time, so the networking side isn’t so good so more likely to be off the radar. I did have a Bib nomination and was grateful to whoever voted for me. I put the voting link on my blog, but don’t really get that much traffic so unlikely to attract many votes. I jokingly plugged for a few tweets but didn’t bother begging for further votes as I cant say I ever set out to gain popularity. Its nice though when people recognise you have written something good. Then I occasionally get delusions of grandeur and wonder why everyone isn’t reading my stuff lol !

  21. Him Up North

    I think for an award which calls itself The Mum(my) and Dad(dy) Awards it’s a bit embarrassing to have not one blog among the loads of finalists written solely by a father. I don’t think a specific Dad blogs category would detract from other categories (it hasn’t had that effect in the BiB awards). I actually think these final MAD shortlists show dad blogging to be perhaps more niche than we give credit for and, as such, deserves to have its profile raised by a separate award. This from someone who has no intention of blogging ever again… 🙂

  22. Sally

    I just wanted to say thanks for the post and comments, Tom – it’s been great to read all the comments and feedback.

    Like all companies, we can always do better, and we’ll certainly take these comments on board when planning our 2013 awards.

  23. Tim Atkinson

    Golly! Having read the post, then the comments, I’m rather stuck for what to say. I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t already been said and yet I can’t just leave without commenting, can I?


  24. Sarah

    My only addition to this topic would be to say that in a contest where two blogs are of similar quality, I will vote for the one that I have more interaction on.

    Basically, if I’m commenting in a vacuum – no response or no comments on my blog and not even being reciprocally followed you won’t get my vote if it’s a toss up with one where I’m not commenting in a vacuum.

    I may or may not be alone in this.

  25. JallieDaddy

    That was 1 of the reasons behind my last lull in blogging. I didn’t expect to win anything, that’s fine, but I got a little discouraged at not even receiving a nomination. Great post, as ever. Let’s hope for better in 2013 eh? “Nominate a Dad!”

  26. Pingback: Stand up and be counted, dad bloggers! - Blogging - Diary of the Dad

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