It’s been just over a year since I first stepped into the shoes of this digital persona called PapiBlogger. Truth be told, PapiBlogger really does reflect who I am as a father and husband.
So in commemoration of Father’s Day Week (yes, folks, daddy bloggers get a whole week) I thought I would give all of you an inside look at what it’s been like to be a Latino father blogging in a Mami-dominated world.
Sometimes I Think I’m Wearing a Skirt: The first thing I learned about blogging as a father is that you have to be pretty confident around women because the world of blogs – Hispanic and otherwise - is dominated by moms. I got a quick taste of this when, just after I launched PapiBlogger, I was invited to attend a promotional event in Miami for a major food company and I was the ONLY Latino father blogger among a group of 30 Latina mom bloggers. The woman-themed event itself was great and the Latina bloggers were super welcoming, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I felt like the guy who was wearing the pink 1950’s poodle skirt.
Wanted, Latino Fathers: A lot of people give me more credit than I deserve for being the “first” PapiBlogger but that really wasn’t my plan when I started. And a year later I didn’t think it would still be true. Perhaps my own skirt incident explains why daddy blogging is not super cool. Maybe it’s just that for most Latino men it’s much sexier to blog about topics like culture, politics, tech, food, sports or marketing.
Whatever the case may be, I want to say that we NEED more Latino fathers to blog regularly about parenting. If this describes you, and all you need is a platform to at least test your “Papi” writing skills, consider this your personal invitation. I will help you get started.
No, I’ve Never Been that Kind of “Papi”: Whenever I meet other Latino men and they learn that I’m PapiBlogger, they almost always chuckle because the word “Papi” in Spanish can be interchangeably used to mean "daddy" or "player." For the record, I have never been THAT kind of Papi. (If I had ever been a "player," you could be sure that I wouldn’t deny it because my blog is all about keeping it real)
I’m an Imperfect and Flawed Dad: Some people who know me as PapiBlogger also have certain expectations about me. It’s never stated but those expectations are there and sometimes they show up in the strangest ways. For example, a couple months ago I was in a heated parenting-related debate with a family member when, out of the blue, she verbally struck me “below the blogger belt.” My relative was so upset at what I said to her that she dragged poor PapiBlogger into the fight.
“And you call yourself PapiBlogger?!" she said to me. Well, yeah but excuuuse me for disagreeing with you. I’ve never said PapiBlogger was perfect.
PapiBlogger Has Helped Me be a Better Dad and Husband: Everything I do and write about as a dad and parent in general has helped me be a more complete man than I would have been without it. That’s a big statement but it’s true because I feel a special, good pressure from being PapiBlogger. Being in the “business” of parenting keeps me on my toes and makes me more aware of the broader, collective wisdom that many other dads and great moms are also sharing on the web.
You Get Cool, Free Stuff in the Mail: Like most parenting bloggers, PapiBlogger regularly features product reviews. Hey, it’s one of the coolest perks for all the work we do as bloggers. In the past year I’ve been offered many nice things that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
So is blogging easy? No, it’s not. It can be a pain and, frankly, sometimes you feel like you have nothing unique to say.
Is it worthwhile? Absolutely. It’s been a terrific experience that has helped my family and I in so many ways and has even resulted in us doing truly unbelievable, life-changing things. Last year we took a 12,000-mile family road trip and this year we’re planning to take one all the way from Miami to Alaska!
So there you have it, folks: PapiBlogger telling you everything like it is. Blogging as a dad has been one of the bravest, wackiest things I’ve ever done in my life. In the year to come, God willing, I promise to take PapiBlogger to a whole new level. Happy Father’s Day!
Manny Ruiz is the blogger behind PapiBlogger and co-founder of Hispanicize. Ruiz is a proud husband, father of three and Latino media entrepreneur living in Miami, FL. Learn more about him here, http://www.PapiBlogger.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.com/papiblogger and Facebook.com/papiblogger.