I started this blog with some pretty grand ideas. I would entertain the masses with cute, heartwarming stories of my children. Commiserate with my hundreds (thousands! Hundreds of thousands!) of readers about the frustrations and sorrows of parenthood.
Well, it has been a little over three years now and this is my twentieth post. Not exactly the outpouring of creativity I was hoping for; and most of those few posts were quick, off the cuff posts I knocked out in 15-20 minutes with little editing or rewriting. It’s not that I’m not proud of the things I have written. When inspiration hits me I feel like I can write fairly well; but I wanted this to be more. I was hoping I could find some consistency here, find my “voice” I suppose, and give people a glimpse into my life as a father, a husband; a place where I can make sense of a mind that is often messy and a bit confusing. As much as I wanted this to be something for other people; I need it even more for myself.
Writing has always been therapy for me. I’ve never been that great with journaling; but I could hold my own against the best angsty, emo poetry writers. I had shelves of composition notebooks full of teenage heartbreak, confusion, and young adult listlessness. Nothing I’m all that proud of now. I still have a few of those notebooks and the last time I looked through them it was a good laugh! Somewhere in my journey through life I traded introspection for distraction. I was writing less and finding other ways to work through things; some healthy, most not. I would still occasionally write; but it was often left as a last resort. Late nights fueled by caffeine, alcohol, and/or nicotine; when I felt like there was nothing left to keep my sanity but putting pen to paper, then hiding the pain in the back of my closet.
Writing has always stayed with me though. An itch in the back of my head that only the scratch of pen on paper or the click of a keyboard could reach. Story ideas, deep thoughts, or just an outlet for whatever I’m feeling, knocking around in my brain while I try to focus on other things. When I can’t handle the noise in my head anymore it comes out. I have always wanted it to be more than that though. I want my writing to be a release of creativity; not just negative emotion. So I started a blog to, hopefully, jumpstart any creative process I might have.
Three years and only twenty posts. What am I doing wrong?
I had the idea earlier this year that I would use this blog as a sort of “day in the life” look into me and my family. I’ve been a stay at home dad for a little while now; and thought it would be fun to document my adjustment to domesticated life. Anyone who has known me for even a short time will understand why this could be entertaining.
When you want to write about your day to day life; first you have to honestly look at what you do day to day. That was fun. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what my daily life was really like; but as I began to write it down I realized this wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Slightly distorting the truth; occasionally for humor, but mostly to hide what was really going on. I’ve never had much trouble with being honest with myself; I always know what I’ll say and I have the appropriate excuse so I don’t have to be accountable for my shortcomings. Being honest with other people? People who know the truth, have heard all the excuses or don’t have the whole story, who will hold you accountable for all your crap? That’s the real challenge for me; but that’s what I want. I’m not super dad, super husband, super domestic engineer. I wish I was; but I’m not. The house isn’t always spotless; dinner isn’t always a made from scratch event on the table at six; our family bonding time is usually sitting in the living room binge watching Netflix while we all look at our phones, if the kids can even be bothered to come out of their rooms; Wesley is babysat by the TV or tablet way more often than I would like to admit. I have excuses for all of it too.
I know it’s never going to be perfect. We’re a blended family with teenagers with busy schedules and different personalities, I have a wife who works long hours that leave her tired and sore, we have a temperamental toddler who thinks he owns everything in the house and it’s all his playground. The house will be messy, tempers will often be short, scheduled activities that the whole family will enjoy will be rare; but it can be better and it starts with me.
I won’t change overnight unfortunately; but I can start. I can be honest about how I spend my time throughout the day; make changes that will make things easier for everyone. It’s not going to be easy; to be honest I’m a little worried I’ll get discouraged by my slow pace and fall back into old habits and give the same excuses.
That’s why I’m writing this; I won’t be able to do it on my own. I know all my shortcomings and have the excuses to match. Maybe if I open up my world to the people around me, have an outlet where I can vent, confess, and be held accountable; maybe it will be a little easier. A kick in the butt, or word of encouragement; maybe that is what I’ll need to move a little quicker.
So here we go I guess. I’ll promise to do my best and be honest with you; if you can promise to be understanding and encouraging, and still a little judgemental when I need it. It won’t be boring; I guarantee that. This family of my mine is pretty entertaining and I love it; I hope you will grow to love it too.