When I started blogging, I was so completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of mommies out there who could take pen to paper, so to speak, and so accurately and eloquently write about motherhood. What I didn’t realize right away? That there are a ton of daddies out there doing some amazing writing, too. And one of the first dad’s that I connected with was RJ.
I first found RJ through his Facebook page 100 Things to Teach My Son when I saw all of these amazingly heartwarming lessons for his son popping up in my news feed . . . #11 – Have your cake, eat it, and don’t apologize for your happiness; #16 – Think things through before acting, and you’ll have less to apologize for; #34 – Freedom is a right not to be taken lightly. Execute, but don’t abuse; #75 – Your laugh warms my heart and it refreshes your soul. Do it again. And again . . . I couldn’t wait to see what the new lesson was each day.
Since I discovered RJ (wow, that makes me sound like some big wig music producer or talent agent) he has launched his blog Lessons and Love. There you can see his “100 Things” list and read about his take on parenthood and his life with his wife and two kids.
But why wait? You can read something right here and now! And I think we can all relate . . .
There’s a club out there for everyone. And now, with the expansiveness of the internet, if you’ve got an interest (no matter how strange or quirky it is), you can find others like you. That’s great for people who like to play chess underwater. It’s also great for us parents. Because, once we have kids, we belong to a club too.
It’s called the Bad Parenting Club. It’s an unavoidable fact that if you have a child (biological or otherwise), and you are responsible for raising them, you are a full-fledged member of the Bad Parenting Club. I’m a member twice over. In fact, I probably spend a good amount of time attending Bad Parenting Club “meetings.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be have considered making me chair.
I’ve been known to send our children on wild goose chases from time to time. I’m in a silent competition with myself to see how many pages of my book I can get through while they’re out on my dad-made distractions. I thought I’d finally outdone myself when I took them into the yard and challenged them…
Then, a couple of weeks later we went to the beach…
So, yes. I am a member of the Bad Parenting Club. Even if I wanted to, I’d be hard-pressed to deny it. My biggest problem is that I find my kids hysterical. This isn’t usually a bad thing, but the problem arises when I catch them doing something like this…
…and I just can’t help but take a photo before I put an end to it.
The thing about this Bad Parenting Club is while I wouldn’t say I’m proud to be a member, I’m certainly not ashamed. You (I’m talking to YOU, overweight-beer-drinking-softball-league-playing dad) have a better chance of pitching a perfect game in the World Series than you ever do of being a perfect parent. That’s not to say I’m not aiming for it. But I’m also realistic.
My children are three and two years old. I’ve just started this “journey”–the quotes are because it feels more like a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl than a journey, but that’s what all the fancy writers always call it, so that’s what I’ll use – and I’m proud to be a dad. I’m even proud to be a member of the Bad Parenting Club because that means I’m trying. You can’t be bad at something you don’t at least try.
I’m also proud because I’m part of another club. It’s the Excellent Parenting Club. I’m far from a nominee for chair in this club, and I definitely don’t spend as much time attending these “meetings,” but I’ve seen the room they’re held in. I know what their coffee smells like. I know that I’d like to be a regular there. And that’s really the first step to becoming a member.
One day, I expect to be going to the Excellent Parenting Club meetings more, and the Bad Parenting Club meetings less, but I’m not there yet. I’ve still got some more things to learn and some more work to put in. But I’ll get there. In the meantime, I’ll continue riding on the Tilt-a-Whirl, hoping to slow it down once in a while.
Thank you so very much RJ for writing this piece to share here! And now, folks, please head over to Lessons and Love to read more (you know you want to)! While you’re at it, please also check out RJ’s Facebook and Twitter pages. I promise you won’t be sorry. And you’ll learn a good lesson or two (or 100)!