A Dad Looking After His Kids Isn’t Being a Mother. He’s a Parent.

Dads, here’s formula for how to make a post go on viral on social media…

Write a lengthy exposition on how difficult it is being a parent, but then add a bit of dad magic – write about how you didn’t realise how hard ‘mothering’ your kids is; apologise to all the mums for how tough their life is; apologise to all the mums again for how easy dads have it; plus try and look handsome yet tired in accompanying photo of you and your kid/kids.

Seriously, try it. Get it in front of the right eyes, and boom – a viral post that will get picked up by the Daily Mail, etc. in no time.

The most recent one of these has labelled himself DadMum, and his post falls back on a parenting myth/cliche that really needs to be consigned to the wastebasket of outdated ideas: The notion that a dad taking care of his kids makes him a mum.

There’s nothing wrong with being a mum. I’m married to one. She’s awesome. But as things stand at the moment, I’m at home with the kid while she’s working. I’m not ‘being the mum’ and she’s not ‘the dad’ for working. We’re parents – she’s a working one, I’m at home.

I’m going to venture that the majority of people who share these Dad-Apologist posts & memes are not fellow dads, but mothers. A scan of the thousands of comments on them tends to confirm this.

It’s tough being a mother. There is a whole genre of parenting posts by mothers about how tough it is being a mother. I’ve always seen it as an extension of the networks of fellow mothers they may have IRL. In tough times, it’s always good to know you’re not alone.

As a stay-at-home dad, you may think that these dad posts are the types I would share. Except, they’re not aimed at me – they’re for mothers too. These are dads playing ‘mother’, because they don’t see the term fatherhood as related to the sustained barely organised chaos of being a parent. They’re not alone – the term ‘mothering’ is still interchangeable with ‘parenting’ for much of society.

Sharing content on social media is a curious, post-millennial phenomena. Facebook, Twitter, et al are micro blogs – similar to what you’re reading this on now. But by sharing, an individual is publishing. Sometime people share things that have wound them up (the Mail Online business model). More often than not however, it’s a sign of approval.

With these parenting role reversal posts, it’s also a way of saying ‘look how cool this dad is – he gets it’. It helps if the guy is good looking too – a DILF if you will. But he’s a fantasy. He is not a Dad turned mother. He’s still a father. And this father really doesn’t get it at all.

Dad-Apologist posts reconfirm the view that the dirty, messy, grumpy, sleep deprived, stressful aspects of parenting are women’s work. Yet the ability to support your family financially by having a career, and the enjoying fun times with your kids, is ‘being a dad’. That ‘the struggle’ is a woman’s burden alone.

By all means, lets celebrate and support fellow parents who are battling through tough times, but let’s stop labelling dads who care for their kids as mothers. We’re not. We’re still dads, whatever we may post online to the contrary.

Review – Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

How did The First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire? How did Princess Leia become a General? Why did her accent waver from English to American in Star Wars (1977). All these questions and more are answered in Star Wars: Bloodline, the terrific new Princess Leia novel by Claudia Gray. Continue reading Review – Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Mighty Micros review

The LEGO Super Heroes Mighty Micros series are small sets that feature two characters with their own vehicles and accessories.

These ones are Marvel characters, and come in three sets: Captain America and Red Skull; Spider-Man and Green Goblin; Hulk and Ultron.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Mighty Micros packshot

They skew younger than most of the other Super Heroes sets, with recommended age of 5-12, but my 4-year-old daughter put them together herself – with a little encouragement from me to stay focused!

While the choice of characters is likely influenced by their movie appearances, the mini figures are more cartoony that previous incarnations. They are  also smaller, with the normal articulated legs here replaced with shorter mobile ones – presumably so the figures don’t loom out of their diminutive vehicles too much.

Might Micro minifigures compared with their standard minifigure counterparts.
Might Micro minifigures compared with their standard minifigure counterparts.

The combos mostly make sense, with an established hero/villain combo from the movies. The only exception is the Hulk/Ultron matchup, but neither character really has a direct nemesis to face off against.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Mighty Micros setsThere’s no real scenario to each set, other than each character has a vehicle and an accessory. Some of these make sense – Cap has his shield and a tank vs. Red Skull in another military vehicle plus the cosmic cube. However, Hulk is driving a Hulk car and eating a drumstick. It’s not a problem – I really like the Hulk one (as does the kid) with its ‘Hulk hands’ and green & purple colours – it’s just clear that some characters suited the format more than others.

These are fun and reasonably priced LEGO superhero sets. It’s a shame that no female characters are included in this Marvel series, but Catwoman does feature in one of the DC Super Hero sets.

Age wise, I would say these skew towards the younger end of the recommended 5-12 – but then again I had fun with them, and am somewhat outside of the recommended age.

The LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Mighty Micros sets have an RRP of £8.99


These LEGO sets were provided free of charge for the purposes of this review.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Crossbones’ Hazard Heist Set Review

This set ties in with the (frankly magnificent) Captain America: Civil War movie. The scenario occurs near the start of the film when the Avengers are trying to foil a heist.

Toy manufacturers rightly got a lot of stick for essentially rewriting Black Widow out of one of her big action scenes in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a crucial chase scene, and they replaced her with Captain America in certain sets. Thankfully, nothing similar here – in fact Cap is missing (because he’s in two other related sets), while Widow is back on her bike.

In this portion of the chase Black Widow, plus The Falcon with his drone Redwing, are after former Hydra agent Crossbones, who is in possession of a some kind of bio weapon he’s stolen (I forget exactly what…).

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Crossbones' Hazard Heist Set Review packshot 76050

The biggest draw for us was the inclusion of Black Widow, one of the few onscreen female superheroes – yet one we had yet to acquire a minifigure for. It was also great to get the Falcon, who is out first non-white superhero LEGO figure.

The suggested age is 6-12, and my 4-year-old daughter made it in a single session with minimal assistance. Despite not having seen the movie, she was keen to find out from me what the scenario was and re-enact it – subsequently involving other characters from her LEGO Avenjet set.

However, my daughter is also adamant the jeep is in fact a tractor that Crossbones has stolen from a farmer.

At the lower end of the price scale (be on the lookout for the right price), this offers decent value for money for a licensed LEGO set – with 3 figures, 2 vehicles, plus accessories.

And adding another female minifigure to our Superhero collection is always welcome.


The LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Crossbones’ Hazard Heist set (76050) has an RRP of £19.99.


Disclosure: We were provided with the LEGO set free of charge for the purposes of this review.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Avenjet Space Mission Review

There was one simple reason I wanted us to have this LEGO Avenjet Space Mission set.

Yes, we love superheroes and I have a particular fondness for Marvel. We are of course big LEGO fans too. And it was a pretty cool looking spaceship version of the Avengers Quintet.

But there was one very small but important inclusion in the set – a Captain Marvel LEGO minifigure.

Captain Marvel LEGO minifigure, Carol Danvers LEGO minifigure, Captain Marvel LEGO
The wonderful Captain Marvel LEGO minifigure – happy, unhappy, and ready for action!

Why is a Captain Marvel LEGO figure so important?

Formerly Ms. Marvel (who in the 70’s & 80’s was probably my first introduction to feminism) as well as a few other incarnations, she is a hugely important character in the world of female comic book fandom.

There’s too much to go into here, but basically writer Kelly Sue Deconnick took a tier 2 Marvel character and propelled her to the A-List. So much so that Marvel Studios will release a Captain Marvel movie in 2018, with the character making her big screen debut a year earlier in the next Avengers movie.

So as soon as I saw this this set, I knew I had to get it for my daughter as I really wanted her to learn about and engage with the character.

But it’s not just about Captain Marvel…

The set also features 4 other figures. On the heroes side, we have Captain America with his mighty shield plus space accessories. He is teamed with Iron Man wearing what is presumably a white space armour.

Iron Man Captain America LEGO minifigures Avenjet Space Mission
Shell head & Cap in space gear

There is also Hyperion, a character who is literally Marvel’s version of Superman, from their riff on the Justice League, the Squadron Supreme. They’ve faced off against – and then with – the Avengers a few times.

Hyperion and Superman LEGO minifigures
Hyperion is Marvel’s deliberate homage to Superman (Supes is not included in this set in case you were wondering)

Plus there is a large sized figure of Thanos – the intergalactic villain already seen in a few Marvel movies. He’s shaping up to be the big bad guy of the next two Avengers movies.

He’s also been copied – in this case shamelessly ripped off – from another DC character called Darkseid. My daughter noticed the similarity – proud geek dad moment.

Thanos LEGO figure Avenjet Space Mission
Thanos – who my daughter correctly pointed out looked like DC’s Darkseid (he was a Marvel ripoff)

The actual Avenjet model is in fact 2 spaceships in 1 – the smaller ship slots into and sits atop the larger one. It has been keenly noted by my daughter that the Captain Marvel LEGO ship is much bigger than Captain America’s. Both come with the ubiquitous stud guns and missile launchers.

The set has over 500 pieces in 3 numbered bags, and the completed model is less than 1sq ft. The stated age range is 7-14, but my 4-year-old daughter and I happily built it over a couple of sessions, with her doing the majority of the construction (I think she mostly wanted the company rather than assistance).

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avenjet Space Mission Review packshot, Captain Marvel  LEGO

The only disappointment was the Thanos figure. While he looks great, he has very little articulation – the legs do not move at all and his arms only move in the shoulder and the wrists.

But it’s a minor quibble. My daughter is now enjoying playing out space adventures with familiar and new heroes – and with the Captain Marvel bug firmly planted in her mind she has yet another great female superhero to engage with.

The LEGO Avenjet Space Mission (76049) has an RRP of £49.99.


We were provided with the LEGO set free of charge for the purposes of this review.

Family Fever