Why I’ve Got No Time For #DadGoals

I know this might sound bitter & someone is bound to take it the wrong way and bash me for being a horrible feminist (the irony) But. I have no time for #DadGoals.

Men do not deserve or need praise for performing basic caregiving duties. Dads are parents, not babysitters. They don’t ‘help out’ or ‘give you a break’ they raise their children. Or at least they should, but that’s a whole other post.


You don’t have to spend a lot of time on the internet to come across some article or status hero-worshipping a man just for being a Dad. It’s not just celebrities who are a part of this new(ish) trend. The #DadGoals tag on Instagram has 12,964 posts and rising, at least 90% of those photos have been submitted by ‘normal’ people.


#DadGoals on instagram


I’m sure you remember when Chris Hemsworth made a pretty basic dinosaur birthday cake. That was a sweet moment, of course, it did make me smile. I’m sure he is a fantastic father and his children love him dearly. But, I can’t help but wonder, if it was his wife who’d produced that would she have been afforded the same accolades? No way. In fact she would probably have been accused of being disorganised for not getting a professional cake ordered in time.


A common example of the kind of thing that gets under my skin happens when a Dad is going about his daily life. Maybe he’s in the supermarket pushing or carrying his kid(s) and minding his own business.

You can guarantee at least 1 person will give him ‘that look’, you know the one I mean. They’ll go all misty eyed and smile at him thinking; ‘What a guy’, ‘Role model’, ‘Father of the year’, ‘#DadGoals’. I say bullshit.

He’s not doing anything special. He’s parenting at a normal, everyday level. He’s not a dog or a child who needs your praise or approval and (listen up fellas) if he does crave that attention he should grow up.


Before you lynch me…

I understand that having positive male role models in the media is good for young men. I appreciate and enjoy the fact that celebrities aren’t afraid to let their guards down & speak out about their love for their children. It is a good thing that men feel they can express themselves and not be afraid to be real and sensitive.

Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with posting a gushy status about how much you love your own Dad or what a great job your partner does with you kids. I’m not saying we can’t appreciate and value each other of that it isn’t nice to give an receive encouragement or praise.


Treating normal parenting as something that deserves an olympic medal does not just discredit mothers it devalues fathers. In my opinion, rather than building up ‘the father’ hero-worship creates a culture where they are patronised.


If you still think I’m a man hater – this part’s for you.


When you celebrate basic caregiving you are not normalising the role a man plays in his children life. You’re saying that the bare minimum is something children and women should bow down to.

A great Dad doesn’t need your approval or your #DadGoals hashtags, it’s embarrassing that you praise him like he’s a halfwit. A truly wonderful Dad does great things when no-one is looking, as well as when the cameras are on. Just like a great Mum does.

He also does normal, everyday, gross things. He cleans sick, makes dinner, washes laundry. He’s not a child he’s a grown up. He’s a parent. Nothing more, nothing less.





  1. Nat Halfpenny
    5th July 2016 / 10:17 am

    I agree!

    Who was it who suggested men change nappies after the baby is born? Some celeb, I saw nothing but post after post about it on social media. Like, is this how low the bar is? Change a few nappies and you’re hero Dad. That’s basic Dad-ing, to me that a man would change nappies goes without saying. Just like it does a woman would change nappies. I could go on all day about this though, drives me batty. Don’t get me started on when someone see’s me out without the kids and asks ‘who’s looking after the children’..I bet OH doesn’t get into work everyday and someone says ‘who’s minding the kids for you today then?’..

    Great read Love it xx

    • 5th July 2016 / 10:40 am

      Oh my god yes I forgot that one! Bloody big round of applause for cleaning a helpless infants bum. Maybe we should start reversing the whole conversation and see how that goes down.xx

  2. 5th July 2016 / 10:38 am

    Nothing irritates me more than a dad saying he is going to babysit his kids. It annoyed me before I had kids and now it drives me batty!!!

    It’s also on par with people who make you feel bad for the child when you leave them with their father like he isn’t going to look after them!

    • 5th July 2016 / 10:44 am

      Totally agree with you. The whole culture of it is really frustrating.

  3. 5th July 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Yup, as a dad to 3 little ones I totally agree. Happy to be given a virtual high 5 on Instagram for getting through a tough day of solo parenting while my wife works, but it’s because solo parenting is tough not because I’m a dad doing it.
    We do need to keep having those positive male role models shown though so that all dads realise the normal expectation of them is to be a parent with all that entails. Sadly don’t think those ‘traditional’ roles have evolved enough yet.

    • 5th July 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Absolutely. A High 5 is well deserved, parenting isn’t easy! It’s so unfair to everyone to think a Dad deserves more praise than a Mum.

  4. 5th July 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Oh I totally get what you are saying and for that matter same goes for mum goals (which i noticed momgoals has 43,865 posts and mumgoals has 3,702 posts). I think there is too much “trying to be seens as being super mum or dads” out here when infact we are all looking to achieve the same goal – children who are happy and brought up well regardless of gender, status, or big headedness.

    • 5th July 2016 / 11:31 pm

      Ah I should have looked that up too! You’re a smart cookie. Totally agree with you. Fighting with ourselves xx

  5. 5th July 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Woop! High 5! My husband is a bloody brilliant father, but I’m a bloody brilliant mother too (if I may say so) and neither of us is being so because of a tag that’s trending, we’re simply being parents. So stupid, I’d never patronise my husband by hero worshipping him for cleaning a nappy xx

  6. 6th July 2016 / 7:25 am

    Perfect post!!! The whole Chris Hemsworth thing annoyed me so much and even my hubby thought it was silly! Yes it’s amazing he made a cake but so do many other parents!! We are very much a team at home and James is expected to do his share of the childcare and housework just as much as I am.


  7. 9th July 2016 / 9:28 am

    High 5! Ruddy love this post Hannah, and agree 100%. I definitely think that there is way too much competition to be supermum and superdad. We are all parenting, end of. I don’t get praised for it, so why should my husband?! It really frustrates me when his parents or grandparents say to him ‘Oh, you’re so good with him’ ‘Isn’t it wonderful how patient you are’ – grrr! The whole thing is mind-boggling.

  8. 27th July 2016 / 6:56 pm

    I had an experience of this recently, my partner took two of our kids away for a weekend to his parents caravan and the neighbours commented “Oh he’s a good dad, doing the girls washing” when he hung their wet swimming things out to dry. This infuriated me! Yes he is a good dad, but simply doing the washing does not make him one!

  9. 29th March 2017 / 8:35 pm

    #Mumgoals has 10,468 posts on Instagram and doesn’t warrant a mention?
    And as for momboss (975,371), mumboss (121,636)
    My husband is a stay-at-home dad, I’m a working mum. More than happy that we both have things we aspire to achieve as parents.
    But yes, as parents, without any gender bias would be a great thing to advocate.

  10. 29th March 2017 / 9:13 pm

    YES! Well said, Hannah! I can’t stand it when people gush over men’s parenting as if they’re praising a puppy. If you can make a baby with someone, you can parent equally, and are capable of achieving the same things as each other. I personally love the celeb dads that are coming fourth and celebrating their children and family lives, rather than it just being about them being hot/successful or whatever their “job” is. It shows so much more depth to people, especially when social media is full of nothing but superficial bullcrap. I can see how father’s like this have “inspired” other father’s to embrace their role more, but the hashtag does annoy the hell out of me. x

  11. 9th October 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Haha yup! Totally agree. And yet at the same time, I feel bad about it when my husband “gives me a break” from the kids – he’s the one who wants to do it and I’m the one that makes a big deal out of it. I hope that, as shared parenting becomes more everyday, we can all accept it for what it is – a dad being a dad. Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

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