Research suggests children’s health and well-being are positively influenced by stronger father engagement. Numerous social and policy contexts impact upon fathers’ engagement. We critique popular discourses around fathering, including predominant models of fathers’ engagement that focus on direct and indirect care. Using data from two discrete research studies—the first conducted with fathers predominantly resident in the United Kingdom who have taken on a primary caregiving role for their children, and the second with fathers of young children living in Australia—we explore how particular discourses of fathering influence ways of engaging with children. We suggest that some dominant discourses of fathering position men as incompetent or as objects of fear and reproduce gendered expectations that parenting is women’s work. Given the changing policy landscape on fathering engagement and the suggested impact on family health and well-being, a more critical reading of key discourses is needed.