Helping dads stay. Launch IfIPosted.com with us!
Fund an online community for dads who are at high risk of abandoning their children or who want to come back into their lives.
19 million kids (25% of people under 18 in the U.S.) live in single-parent households. Most of those families are single-mother homes (Chamie, 2021). But the reasons fathers leave are usually misinterpreted, often missing the root causes of abandonment, causing a ripple of misguided efforts to reverse the trends.
As an up-and-coming teacher and volunteer Scouter, I’ve had at least one child from a single-parent household in every group of kids I’ve taught or led. Many children get the time and support they need under those circumstances, but some still don't. Ultimately, however, they are all missing a crucial element in their upbringing that will have lasting effects for their entire lives (York, 2020).
Sometimes kids hold in their feelings, but many times they are outwardly depressed, angry, tired, and frustrated in school because of the disruptive nature of stressors such as loneliness, financial strain, lack of sufficient emotional support, insuffient social interactions outside of school, and feelings of abandonment (Ratini, 2021).
There are layers of reasons why a dad might not be present in their children’s lives. In some cases, it might be for the better. But often, a father’s decision to leave is motivated by the fear of not being good enough.
“... when you ask absent fathers themselves, you get a different picture. You meet guys who desperately did not want to leave their children, who swear they have tried to be with them, who may feel unworthy of fatherhood but who don’t want to be the missing dad their own father was.” (Brooks, 2017)
We can’t ignore the ugliness in the realities of how these fears manifest in many cases, but if we are to get to the bottom of this societal issue, we will have to address it closer to its roots.
IfIPosted.com is a website that will empower men with advice and inspiration in the form of helpful articles, directories, stories, and resources. The site will include a forum and a social platform where dads can interact and offer each other moral support and advice. Together these features will help men in their journey to becoming more confident and conscientious fathers for their children. A father who feels confident about what they have to offer (no matter how little it might be), is a father who is more willing to stay and give the best of themselves to their babies.
This site serves...
- Dads who are absent and want to come back
- Those already in the process of reemerging from an extended absence
- Those who are at high risk of leaving
- Dads who are absent for reasons they are not in control of
- Present fathers who feel clueless of what to do with their kids when they’re left alone with them
- Teenage fathers
- Dads who travel a lot for work
- And others
At the heart of this project are the articles, which are available publicly to read without a membership. Articles cover a wide range of parenting basics intended to rebuild the father within beginning with solid parenting foundations.
Generally, the articles will follow these formats:
- How-to articles
- Ideas for activities and getting organized
- Reviews and recommendations for games, toys, and other relevant products
- Bullet point summaries and links to articles by other bloggers and experts
- “Top Ten” lists
- Inspirational true stories of dads doing what’s right even when it’s hard
- And more
Accessibility is what makes IfIPosted.com special compared to other websites. This resource will be available to all dads who have decided they WANT to be present and at their best despite their resources of time, money, disabilities, and/or cognitive limitations. That’s the edge. IfIPosted.com will follow a template for each type of article and keep it all under 450 words so that they’re easy to read and digest for almost anyone.
An audio reading of each article will be provided via podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon (Check out the first one here: https://anchor.fm/ifiposted).
In addition to the articles, IfIPosted.com will provide access to:
- The Dad Forum (Ask questions and get answers from the community) (all member dads)
- On-demand, self-paced programs/courses (publicly accessible for a fee)
- Large group, social platform (all member dads)
- Small group, social platform (5-15 dads)
- Directory listings for local social services agencies
- Directory of non-profit organizations that can help with things like food, furniture, school supplies, and employment
- Listings of online counselors and therapists
- Listings of online parenting coaches
- Links to amazing content, tools, and resources throughout the web
These are screenshots of our progress:
In the next 6-18 months, IfIPosted.com will roll out webinars and self-paced courses. I look forward to affording discounts or partial reimbursements for fathers to some parenting coaching resources online. Finally, we will mobilize community organizers to coordinate local routine gatherings where dads can bring their kids and share some time together.
I’m able to keep costs low compared to other dad resources online because I work independently. As far as sustainability, these are the ongoing sources of revenue for this project:
- Membership Dues ($12/year. Won't be implemented until the forum is up and running.)
- Donations (NOT tax-deductible)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Self-Paced Programs/Classes ($10/class)
To launch, I'm asking for donations to help meet the needs for most of the first 6-12 months of operation. This money will allow me to do more with my time, making the project financially self-sustainable while allowing me to focus on its development. Here are the needs:
- Site Build & Launch (paid to self) - $4,000
- Website Hosting/Domain/Site Applications (for 1 year) - $400
- Audio Recording Equipment (microphone and homemade sound insulation) - $200
- Audio Editing Program (for 1 year) - $380
- Social Media Management Application (1 year) - $1,200
- Email Marketing Application (1 year) - $150
- Graphic Design Application and Services (1 year) - $500
- Paid Digital Advertising Budget (6-month campaign) - $1,000
TOTAL NEEDED: $7,900
Donations exceeding $7,900 will be applied in the following manner:
- 50% to Digital Advertising
- 30% for Graphic Design services
- 10% for Accessibility upgrades to the site
- 10% for event displays and collateral marketing material
Leading up to becoming a beginner teacher two years ago (I still am), I worked independently as a digital marketing consultant, substituted for schools, and volunteered to lead Cub Scouts. I’ve been the primary caretaker for both my kids for most of the last ten years, and for the last year, I’ve had primary custody (80%). I’ve been fortunate that my ex-spouse does the best she can for our kids despite the distance, but not everyone’s blessed with that support. Nonetheless, at times I’ve expressed that I feel like, “Half the dad I used to be,” and it’s hard because I’d rather be helping with homework or taking more trips to the park and museums. The whole situation is difficult for parents, but it’s hardest on the kids because they’re still trying to make sense of everything in the world.
This project is a gesture of love and empathy for everyone facing these challenges. Some men might not gravitate to parenting (which I see as a process), but I believe that most men welcome the act of loving their children and their children loving in return.
I love being a dad and I hope that I can help inspire others to feel the same way by doing what’s right whenever it is possible.
BMWK Staff. (2018, October 10). 5 reasons why some men abandon their children. BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/5-reasons-why-some-men-abandon-their-children/
Brooks, D. (2017, June 16). Why fathers leave their children. The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/opinion/why-fathers-leave-their-children.html
Bureau, U. S. C. B. (2022, March 7). National Single Parent Day: March 21, 2022. Census.gov. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/single-parent-day.html
Chamie, J. (2021, March 19). America's single-parent families. The Hill. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/543941-americas-single-parent-families/#:~:text=In%202020%20nearly%2019%20million,in%201960%20of%209%20percent.
Ratini, M. (2021, September 8). What are the disadvantages of a single-parent family? MedicineNet. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.medicinenet.com/disadvantages_of_a_single-parent_family/article.htm
TEDx University of Nevada. (2020). What Representing Men in Divorce Taught Me About Fatherhood | Marilyn York | TEDxUniversityofNevada. YouTube / What Representing Men in Divorce Taught Me About Fatherhood | Marilyn York. Retrieved December 30, 2022, from https://youtu.be/RlSwsE22nX0.
The rise of single parent households. AU Online. (2019, October 21). Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://online.aurora.edu/single-parent-households/#:~:text=Children%20in%20single%20parent%20households,those%20in%20two%20parent%20families.