I was hit with a dose of reality earlier this week. I am not the only dad blogger in Utah. This should not come as shock since we live in a valley of a million people. I may be the only stay-at-home dad blogger but now I am just splitting hairs. To compound the bursting my little bubble, this other blog, Single Dad Laughing (SDL), is immensely popular and has only been around for a few months.
I stumbled across this blog because another dad blogger had written a post questioning its validity and basically bashing it. Right away I started forming assumptions and becoming judgmental based on someone else’s opinion. There was a feeling of jealousy a feeling I tried to deny. I sent the author an e-mail, in hopes of connecting with him, but at this time I have gotten no response. This has further inflated my assumptions. In an effort to put a stop to these feelings I poked around some more on the website. I came back with an opinion of what I thought of the writing and the content , but my other feelings persisted. It was Erin who made me admit to these feelings. It was a bit hard to swallow, but it could not be ignored. I was jealous, being judgmental and making assumptions about someone I knew nothing about. Then the gravity of the situation and a feeling of terror crept over me. Soon Noah would be able to pick up on these sorts of feelings; he would begin to start forming his own thoughts, opinions and judgments about people. I would soon have a direct effect on whether he approached things with an open mind or a closed one. Our society as a whole is quick to jump to conclusions and make judgments based on limited information. I do not need to be fueling that mentality by inadvertently teaching Noah to do the same.
When I take a step back and really look at what I was jealous of, it all seems foolish. I really have no desire to be on Ellen, though a mention would be really cool. I do not aspire to get 10,000 people to share one of my posts on Facebook. I am not out to change the world. I am here to document my experience as a stay-at-home dad and to entertain and every now and again help someone who may be struggling. I never set out to make money on this, I am happy to know that my readership is steady, I exceed my goal for visits to my blog each day and I think I am gaining a fairly loyal flowing and I am staying true to my mission statement.
I still do not have all the facts about the author of the SDL and I probably never will. I have my opinions and have drawn some conclusions, some of which I am sure are wrong. What I do have is a son that I need to raise to the best of my ability. A son who looks to me to learn about the world, and whether I like it or not, a son who is watching my every move and forming the foundation of his thoughts and opinions based on what he sees. This is what I need to be mindful of, not who has been published, not who has the most readers, Twitter followers or Facebook fans. At the end of the day these things do not matter, they will not matter on his first day of school or when he graduates. What will matter is that we have done our best to raise an open-minded individual who can make a positive contribution to society.