I’m almost there! I must be! I’ve had enough restarts, non-responses, bad efforts, missteps, double-clutches, disappointments, slip-ups to fulfill any requirement for success. If failures lead to success, I'm on the brink. I’m ready for it so let it come forth!
I made a decision when I retired that I was going to do two things.
1) ‘Be there’ for my extended family, and
2) Be an advocate for ‘dadhood’.
To be clear, I’m not as much an advocate for dads as I am an advocate for ‘fathers being better dads’. Being there for my family has been easy. Or should I say an easy choice because they are awesome! The babysitting, handling of issues, hauling stuff in my truck, has often been taxing, but totally rewarding.
The advocacy of fatherhood has been much tougher! I started with no platform from which to speak and after 10 years of research/writing and 14 months of two or more ‘Helping Fathers to be Dads’ blog posts a week, my platform is now the size of a shoebox, thanks to the eyes looking at this page!
I’ve never expected quick success on anything. When it happened in the past, I was suspicious. Too easy—must not be good. Too easy—must not be what I thought it to be. Real success comes after much failure--that’s always been my way of thinking--because there is rarely a straight path to earned success. Is this a pessimistic thought process, or is it an optimistic thought process? On one hand, it’s pretty pessimistic to think nothing comes easy. But, on the other hand, to think of failures as necessary steps to success is an optimistic viewpoint. This kind of thinking encourages you to never give up.
Certainly, Edison had my philosophy. He failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. But he knew there was answer and would not give up. I’m not giving up either. Edison’s one success has shown a light on the world. My dream would be to shine a light on one father at a time with each being a success. Of course, I would like one BIG success--like Edison’ light bulb, but I’ll take multiple small successes.
So far my efforts have seemed like chopping down a Sequoia tree, yet only having enough wood for a nightlong campfire. But I know that campfire would not have existed without chopping down that Sequoia. I’ll attack that next Sequoia a little more smartly and perhaps I’ll have enough wood for a week’s worth of campfires. To push the analogy even further, I consider each of you who are reading this a log in my campfire—keeping me warm, giving me the fuel to keep writing because writing does not come easily to me. I would rather be flying airplanes, taking pictures, or bouncing my one year old granddaughter on my knee. I write because that’s how to communicate with a large amount of people, without repeating myself, on a very important topic.
It is so hard to get the attention of your audience. My audience is parents, especially fathers. There is so much information bombarding us all. Just in the blogging world there are 3,900,000 mommy bloggers. Only about 500 get much attention. There are far less dad bloggers. I couldn’t even find a discussion on the numbers of dads who blog. But I personally know of over 800 of them. For someone to find, or have time to read my blog, is like….difficult! But you did! Most likely because you’re family, a friend, or a friend of a friend. That’s okay though! We all have to start somewhere and word-of-mouth is the best way--if you have something worthwhile to say.
I blog because I wrote a book on fatherhood. I was told that I must blog to get a platform (basically an audience) to sell the book. It turns out that blogging is another way to reach my ultimate goal (and it’s not making money—that ship is leaking badly). My ultimate goal is better families and healthier kids through loving and nurturing dads! It’s my way of giving back for the wonderful life I have been blessed with, after a shaky start.
How this relates to being a dad
Parenting is not for wimps! To be good at it, you will experience “restarts, non-responses, bad efforts, missteps, double-clutches, disappointments, slip-ups” just like I have with my book and blog. And just like me, you will wonder if anyone is listening. Just like me, you’ll often chop down the proverbial parenting Sequoia tree and still not have two sticks to rub together. Just like me, you will want to give up at times. But unlike my competitive situation, you are the only father your children will ever have.
You can’t give up on your kids! Sometimes that means no longer helping them when doing so allows them to get deeper into trouble. That takes guts and knowing your children very well. Your decisions must always consider what is best for them, even though they will often disagree.
Good parents do make a difference. IMHO, fathers lag mothers in this area and need to catch up. Many are catching up!
Writing about dadhood/fatherhood has been a little like raising a kid. With the awesome leadership of my wife, our kids turned out to be very responsible people. I can only hope my book “The Power of Dadhood” turns out half as well!
Thanks to my readers for helping me help families!