Dads are putting themselves on the line with funny, intimate Instagram accounts, and we’re loving it, writes Marchelle Abrahams.
It's the face they make the first time they bite into a lemon. Or the excitement of running their feet through the sand.
The power of social media has given parents a chance to share memories of “firsts” with the world. And it’s given rise to a new crop of dads who are not afraid to show their vulnerable sides, choosing to post intimate snapshots into their world.
Instead, they’re foregoing the tradition of the requisite family photograph and opting for photographic souvenirs made in the moment.
Dermot Latimer is one such father.
The Durban dad is a successful businessman and entrepreneur, but one look at his Instagram account (@daddidiaries) will have you in instant “aaaahhhh” mode.
It’s an ode to the sunshine of his life, son Alexander James, now 18 months.
There’s a tenderness that comes across as pure unconditional love, and it translates lovingly in his photographs.
“I started this Instagram account to show Alex that no matter what was going on in our world, that he was, and always will be, the centre of his parents’ world,” says the Sydney-born native.
There are precious moments, all caught with the press of a button, and some that make you feel like you’ve entered into a secret world between father and son.
When joining Instagram, Latimer was never really trying to portray any idea. “There is a quote from Mark Twain that I love: ‘When I was 17 my father was so stupid, that I didn’t want to be seen in public with him. When I was 24, I was amazed at how much the old man had learned in just seven years.’
“I had an exceptional relationship with my late father and one that I wouldn’t change for the world. But he was from that older generation that never really shared emotional stories with their children,” he admits.
His Instagram homage isn’t his only public declaration of love for little Alex: “Every week I write a diary entry, starting with ‘Dear Alex,’ and I write down what has happened that week and any little lessons I may have learned that could help him at some point in the future.”
Social media accounts like Latimer offers little snippets of what it means for a parent to love unconditionally.
New York-based Mike Julianell (@dadandburied) has over 33000 followers, and it’s not hard to see why. His often misunderstood humour has found a sweet spot with parents around the world.
The 41-year-old Brooklyn dad shares his experiences as a father on his blog (dadandburied.com) and various social media accounts. It’s his raw, honest portrayal as a parent to his two sons, who he lovingly refers to as Detective Munch and The Hammer, that makes him such a hit.
Julianell’s other equally famous Instagram account is @gottoddlered.
The bio reads: “Submit your photos to [email protected]! Don’t worry, they don’t have to actually be toddlers. They destroy, regardless of age.”
During an interview with Bored Panda, he said the main message he wanted to portray with the account was to show that it’s okay to be honest about how hard parenting really is.
“There’s no shame in admitting that for all the peaks, there are plenty of pits. Kids are the worst best thing that’s ever happened to us, and if we don’t laugh about the havoc they wreak we’d have to cry instead and I’m not a crier,” he said.
Accounts like Latimer and Julianell’s shows different sides of the spectrum when it comes to being a father, but one thing they have in common is their honesty.