Writing about being a father is not the easiest thing. For one thing, there’s a lot of self-analysis that goes into the process, and most guys are not into that. For another, it involves having lots of experience at being a father, and sadly, many guys are not. In many respects the work that I do at this site is the most difficult I’ve done. But it’s also some of the most important.
For those who read my blog – thanks, Mom! – you hopefully gain some insights into how a father thinks. I don’t know if I am a typical father, or a stereotypical one, but I suspect my very presence at this site suggests otherwise. I hope that my ideas and perspectives might also help other dads, or inspire them to reflect about what matters to them as fathers – even encourage them to write about their children, who they are, how they make them feel as dads.
For me, I gain an important discipline in writing as well as in parenting. I have an obligation to contribute to this site and in meeting that obligation I am getting into the habit of writing daily (even if my blog does not get updated that frequently). This allows me to really get to what I want to say, after cutting out the “bad stuff.” More importantly, in sharing ideas and experiences I am learning to trust myself a little more as a parent.
One of the activities we try to do at the dinner table is to ask each family member what their favorite part of the day was. I sometimes write that down and keep a file. Sometimes it leads to a post, but even if it does not I am getting into the habit of dwelling on that which is positive. Too often dads dwell on the negatives, or dads themselves are characterized in negative terms. It helps me to think about what good things have happened in my life. As someone with depressive tendencies, seeing more positives out there elevates my mood.
Writing, to me, also feels like a safe place to put down ideas before blurting them out. Dads who have trouble communicating should really take the time to put their feelings into words on a page. It can really help lead to interesting insights you have not thought about. It’s a good starting place for better communication with everyone in the family.
While you might not want to write a blog about your family life, I do encourage all you dads out there to take some time every day and write about it, even if it’s only for yourself. Men generally are not socialized into looking at their feelings, or how best to express them. If we can take the time to do this, it will make for a healthier family life.