“You’re such a great Dad,” my friend texted me the other night after reading my story about taking my boys on a road trip to “Hoth” for lightsaber battles in the snow.
If she only knew.
When I tell stories about my parenting adventures, I’m showing you the good stuff. My entire blog is one big humblebrag.
Underneath it all I am a guy who too often has his face in his phone, whose temper is too short, and while I spend a lot of time coming up with fun activities to do with my kids outside of the house, I have a hard time staying engaged with them indoors.
I’m sure we’re all like this – to some degree. We all have our ups and downs when it comes to life. We have our good days, we have our bad days. But how many of us like to have a highlight reel of the bad days?
My blog is, really, a highlight reel of my life. It’s a list of all the awesome things I do, and while I may post a question or a struggle I’m dealing with every now and again, those posts don’t have the frequency with which I struggle in my life.
So while my friend 700 miles away may think I’m the best dad ever, I’m far from it.
I wonder, how many of you are like this too, and do you think you’re lying when you blog about your parenting adventures?
Do you show the warts and bruises, or just the beautiful baked goods? Do you write how you struggle to get through every day, or do you sit back in your experienced perch as a parent and offer advice to achieve perfection?
I think we’re honest in Twitter and Facebook and other social media. That’s stream of consciousness. That’s in the moment. That’s OMG my kid won’t listen and I’m about to lose it! Social media is your true and authentic self, it’s hard to lie there.
But later that night, after the kids have gone to bed, and you flip open your laptop to click out a couple hundred words on your keys, do you write about how you swore under your breath at your son and swatted at his hand, or do you complete a collage of beautiful pictures of the outfits you tried on, food you made, and playgrounds you visited?
Parent blogs are like motivational speakers up on a stage proclaiming all the things you can do to have a good life. That highlight reel in my blog’s archives are rays of sunshine. Tony Robbins, Dr Phil, and Oprah sure aren’t perfect, but they will stand up there and share what works for them when things get broken.
You can’t literally compare yourselves to what you read other parents write, you’d never be able to keep up. But when you look at those rays of sunshine that they poke through and share from their lives, they help you realize that they will come to your life again too.
I’m writing this post because I had a bad day today and I had nothing good to write about. I yelled at my kids for laughing and playing in the back seat because I was tired. I stared at my phone while my son played LEGOs next to me. I was impatient and selfish.
And, for a moment, I felt bad about constantly showing the sunshine on my blog. My friend thinks I’m a “great dad.” I’m not. I’m just a regular dad with a few ups, a lot of downs, and a highlight reel.
So, sometimes I lie when I blog about parenting. I’m okay with that. Are you?