Saturday, 7 February 2009

book promotions

first off, a book called "Call Me Dad: A manual for new fathers" is being officially launched at dymocks in wellington on wednesday 18 february at 6pm. here's part of the blurb:

"Call Me Dad!" is packed with information on everything from pregnancy andpreparing for the baby, to the end of that first year. The book is based onour own experiences of fatherhood and includes lots of tips and real lifestories from the global DIYFather community of fathers.

Call Me Dad! is essential reading for new fathers and every guy who is aboutto enter fatherhood! It was specifically written by fathers for fathers and provides a unique take on parenthood from a male perspective.


hope it goes well. (hat tip: dave moskovitz to AEN)

in a similar vein, i heard part of
this interview on radio nz this morning, about haggis hague (yup, that's the name he goes by) who:

recently self-published a book about becoming a father, fitness and food: It's Not the End: Encouragement and Practical Ideas for Men. It is available as a free PDF download from his website
haggismagic.com [although he does ask for donations, if you can afford it].

it's great to see this kind of work being put in to positive fatherhood messaging and support.


while i'm at it, i'd also like to mention a book that i've played a small role in, called "the crescent moon: the asian face of islam in nz". the book is an initiative of the asia nz foundation & is being supported by a display at the pataka museum, porirua. it's a lovely book filled with black & white pictures by ans westra.

24 comments:

Deborah said...

That looks like a fantastic book, anjum. I will look for a copy next time I'm back in the old country.

Anna said...

I'm actually a huge fan of books for new dads that support men to play a positive, pro-mum role in their parenting. It's so refreshing after the anti-woman bullshit that some father's rights advocates spout.

One of the worst parenting experiences my partner had (and which I'll blog about one day) was just after I'd given birth to our first. A. was giving our daughter her first bath, a lovely experience for them both, when a curmudgeonly nurse came in and loudly berated him for doing it all wrong. It was a really belittling experience for someone who has been as pro-mum and pro-feminist as is humanly possible, and given the whole parenting deal his best - it shook his confidence, in fact.

So I reckon that anything that supports dads to be involved, confident, and empathetic to mums and babies is bloody fabulous!

Giovanni said...

On the subject of Pataka, I urge THMers to visit before the end of the month so you don't miss the Ey! Iran photographic exhibition. Catching both at the same time would be the thing to do.

I confess I have to suppress a smile whenever I leaf through the literature for expectant fathers. Because surely "do your part, don't be a dick" ought to be the beginning and end of any book on the subject? Unless you need advice on how to bask in the disproportionate glory which is still bestowed upon you whenever you are caught in public doing any of the myriad kid-related things that mothers do all the time without getting so much as a second look.

Anna said...

Depends on the particular work involved, I think. There's no excuse for the new dad who won't do the dishes or put on a load of washing - and anyone who needs self-help literature to know that needs more than self-help literature.

But the myth that mums immediately know everything about babies by virtue of having given birth is destructive for mums and dads alike. It can make mums feel quite inadequate for not knowing what they think they 'naturally' should, and dads can feel unqualified to do tasks specifically to do with baby care. Which isn't that uncommon - men and women alike are often nervous about handling babies, particularly very new ones.

When we had our first, I had a couple of weeks struggling to breastfeed and generally feeling useless. My partner assumed he had nothing useful to offer, so dutifully waited to be given instructions from the half of the relationship which was supposed to be knowledgeable. Good intentions abounded, but communication was very difficult as a result of sleep deprivation and post-natal depression.

Of course, when we realised we were equally useless, it really broke down the gender barriers.

Giovanni said...

Okay, I'll amend my supershort book for new fathers to read: "do your part, don't be a dick and don't assume that mum knows more about baby than you do". Now, where's my $29.99?

Today's leading story in The Onion is topical. Loved the last line.

Hugh said...

Giovanni, not being a dick isn't as easy as you make it out to be.

Giovanni said...

Never said it was easy. I'd go as far as to say that it's the chief reason why I read this blog. But I don't trust another guy to tell me how to go about it.

Hugh said...

But you do trust a woman to tell you how to go about it?

Giovanni said...

That's it in a nutshell, yes.

Hugh said...

So you would disagree with Anna when she says women have no special insight into what it takes to be a good parent, then?

Anna said...

I wouldn't say that women have any innately special insight, but we do have a greater likelihood of previous experience with kids, I think. That was my advantage over partner when we had our first - I knew how to fold nappies and stuff - but it did me no good at all with breastfeeding.

I think there's something to be said for peer support for both men and women when we become parents. Having someone who understands how stressed out or inadequate or dickish you feel can be comforting, and can encourage you to keep going.

Giovanni said...

So you would disagree with Anna when she says women have no special insight into what it takes to be a good parent, then?

No, but I think a woman has a special insight into what constitutes non-dickish guy behaviour.

Hugh said...

Are we talking about being dickish in the context of raising children? Or just being dickish in general?

Giovanni said...

Are we talking about being dickish in the context of raising children? Or just being dickish in general?

Dickish in the context of the relationship with said woman. And in the specific context of having very young children, until you develop a working uterus or the ability to lactate, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest your role is going to be a supporting one in the very early weeks. So even less of a licence to be a dick then.

stargazer said...

i read several books when i was pregnant, both on pregnancy and childbirth, and also on what to expect in the first year or so. i found them really helpful because, as anna says, most of us actually know very little when it comes to these things. i didn't know babies become clingy at 8 months, or that it doesn't matter if they only poo once in 3 days when they're really little, or lots of other little tips.

another thing i really didn't expect or find out about was the total change in lifestyle and sudden decrease in mobility. going out meant packing a bag, and arranging outings around feed & nap times. there are so many other experiences and information that it's useful to share, hence i think books by dads for new dads are likely to be quite helpful.

stefan said...

Hi everyone - loving the discussion here! I would agree with Giovanni about "not having another guy TELL you how to go about it" - every dad has to figure out the journey to being a great dad for himself. The book is about how other dads have done it and practical tips - there's a lot of stuff that can make your life easier as a dad. Also parenting is a lot about trial and error ... so it's great to find out what others are doing.

Don't understand why you'd trust a woman to tell you though? My personal experience was that my wife was just as clueless at the beginning as I was. I think mums & dads alike learn by doing and spending time on finding out what they don't know.

Stefan - DIYFather.com

Giovanni said...

No offence, Stefan, I still find the idea of a book for expectant fathers a little bemusing, and wonder what kind of assumptions it might be resting on. I pick this paragraph at random from your homepage (from the piece entitled "Dad the Pizza Hero"):

"Often it seems mum’s seem to dominate the kitchen space in most homes and dad rules the garage. This of course is a broad generalisation and of course if you are a single dad you soon have to pick the slack in the kitchen otherwise you will be surviving on takeaway food or TV dinners."

Yes, they are in fact broad generalisations, and plenty condescending if you don't mind me saying so.

Which is not to say that I don't find books about pregnancy and birth and babies useful, of course. In this household we found the oeuvre of Sheila Kitzinger pretty reliable, and Kaz Cooke's Up the Duff was very good for light relief (as well as informative about the things that can happen during pregnancy without being unduly anxiogenic).

Deborah said...

One of the things I have taken to saying to new parents is taht if hey think that becoming a parent and looking after a tiny baby is difficult, that's because actually, it is difficult. You end up renegotiating your entire understanding of yourself and your partner and your relationship, all while looking after a helpless wee baby, and while sleep deprived. It's very, very hard work.

I think new dads need to hear this as much as new mums. Sometimes, just hearing that actually, your own experience is not unusual, and that really, you are doing something that is very difficult, can be enough to help you through.

Hugh said...

Which is not to say that I don't find books about pregnancy and birth and babies useful, of course.

Just not when they're written by men?

hungrymama said...

I think for us I started to see myself as a "mother" sometime during the pregnancy whereas my partner didn't see himself as a "father" until he actually had a baby to take care of. That meant that when our first was born I was about six months up on the researching and reflecting about parenting. Not that I was anything other than clueless mind you and he stepped up to the plate mighty quickly when he needed to.

Giovanni said...

Just not when they're written by men?

No, when they're written for everyone involved. I really struggle to see a 'role of the father' outside of the very obvious capsule I offered above.

Reminds me of the discussion on PAS initiated recently by Emma Hart about the 'job of the wife'.

Hugh said...

So you have a problem with guidebooks specifically aimed at mothers, as well?

Giovanni said...

So you have a problem with guidebooks specifically aimed at mothers, as well?

I guess that if they were aimed at the ineffable 'role of the mother', then yes, I'd have the same problem. Obviously though whole books and a good chunk of the literature are devoted to things such as giving birth and breastfeeding and issues such as recovering and post natal depression that are mother-specific. Not that it means father shouldn't read them, on the contrary.

Anna said...

I can appreciate that for a dad who is very engaged with his kids and gives a lot of thought to these sorts of issues, advice on how to be a dad would be a bit like being told to suck eggs. That tends to be my reaction to quite a lot of public health promotion stuff - but I remind myself that I've been fortunate to have a lot more education than most people, so I'm not the target audience. There could well be lots of dads who just haven't reflected on these issues - I'm thinking particularly of young, first time dads who may not have buddies in a similar position to offer moral support. And people's cultural backgrounds also influence what they feel are the rights and wrongs of parenting.