Dad Bloggers Unite in Important Effort to Get Amazon to Recognize All Families

Oren Miller couldn't have known that his death would inspire so many people across the United States to embrace his cause. The dad blogger died this past Saturday after nine months of battling lung cancer, but thousands want his memory honored by asking Amazon.com to change their "Mom" program to Amazon Family.

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Miller was an outspoken advocate for dads, and members of his 1,000-strong Facebook group have come together to challenge Amazon to be more inclusive by changing the name of their Amazon Mom program. It's a special service that allows members discounts on shipping and baby products like diapers, delivered right to their door.

The program exists in other countries, but only in the U.S. is it known as Amazon Mom instead of Amazon Family. Miller once wrote on his blog, "It's not about a name and it's not about me personally being offended ... It's about a company that looks at the U.S., then looks at England, and then decides that over there, parent equals mom or dad, while here, well, we're not ready for that yet."

Seriously, what the heck, Amazon? What are dads -- chopped liver?

We got in touch with Chris Routly, an Oregon stay-at-home dad who was a friend to Oren Miller, and who is using his blogging platform to spread the message to Amazon that caregivers other than moms matter too. He writes over at Daddy Doctrines, and he created the graphic at the top of this post, which has been shared thousands of times this week on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

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We got into his brain a little bit, and asked him not only why this movement is important to him, but also the naked truth behind how it really feels to be a primary caregiver of young children without being a mom.

Routly was happy to share why he created the graphic in the first place. He said:

I knew we needed something catchy and shareable, what would succinctly tell what we want, and why. I thought that the fact that the program is Amazon Family in so many other countries was probably going to be the bit of info that would resonate for the most people. I also decided I wanted to show different families, so people got the message that this isn't so much about dads wanting more acknowledgement or being angry, but about encouraging Amazon to fully get behind their own statements and policies that recognize families that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

And he definitely has an opinion on why he thinks Amazon hasn't officially responded yet. We hope he's right!

I am certain they've noticed, likely at the highest levels. I don't know why they haven't responded. My guess is that, at least initially, there was some hope on their part that if they ignored us we would just go away. But at this point I think they must realize that is not going to happen, so my hope is that they are remaining silent because the people who need to are meeting behind the scenes and deciding on what their official response will be. Let's just hope it’s a positive response. I'd love to talk to them about our concerns. We've reached out, but so far no one has been willing to talk.

This is one dad who knows what it's like to be a stay-at-home parent. So many of us moms know the isolation that comes with being a primary caregiver to babies and toddlers, but it's got to be even rougher being a man in a primarily female world. Chris shared what it's like to be a dad in a mom-centered world:

The most difficult part for me was definitely the isolation. All stay-at-home parents experience it, but it can be far worse for dads, because most communities have very little in the way of support for caregiver dads, whereas moms will likely have a plethora of resources. Sadly, most at-home dads also experience a lot of rejection from the local moms (I was once denied membership in a "mom's club" because they felt it was too risky that I might be a "predator." Seriously.) so it can be hard to find friends, never mind embrace the role and thrive in it. This is one of the reasons why I am part of the National At-Home Dad Network, which helps connect and advocate for at-home dads. Now that I am part of both a national and local group, I don’t feel any isolation at all.

We also asked the Devil's advocate question -- don't moms deserve special recognition in a male-dominated world?

Nothing made me more aware of my privilege as a white, straight, middle-class male, like becoming a stay-at-home dad. A big part of that is because I entered into the only sphere where I don't have privilege, the moms do. I am a HUGE fan of moms and mothering, and of course advocating for being a mom to be a viable choice for a woman to make. But I don't like the "cult of mom" that elevates moms like they have super powers, because it almost always comes with the unspoken message that these Super Mom Powers are what make mom better parents than good ol' dad, who tries his best maybe, but just isn't up to it. I feel like it diminishes dads, setting a ridiculously low bar for being a good dad (like simply being present) while also laying a too-heavy parenting burden on moms and setting an equally ridiculous high bar for what makes a good mom.

He's hopeful that Amazon will take note, and do what they have to do to rectify this.

I hope that this will resolve with positive change and a good ongoing relationship between the dad community and Amazon. I honestly believe that this should work out well, as all we're really asking of Amazon is to do the online version of changing the logo on their letterhead. This change would be good PR. It makes their reticence to even address the issue all the more confusing.

Routly makes some very good points, and we hope that Amazon is listening. Oren Miller's death is absolutely heartbreaking, but it's so encouraging to see so many people come together in order to change the mindset that daddies are a sub-par category of at-home parents. It's the least we can do in his memory.

Do you think Amazon Mom should change its name to Amazon Family?

 

Image via Chris Routly

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