Can You Be TOO Good at Parenting?
I nailed the fatherhood thing today.
Not only did I play an exceptional amount of cricket with my oldest, but I pushed out an Oscar winning performance in "Space Adventure" - the imaginative play I did with my youngest `after I suggested that his bunk bed was, in fact, a space craft.
Fortunately, we managed to get back to earth (after escaping the aliens on Venus) just in time for me to make supper, fix a bike, become a Ninja Daddy and distribute a lip-chapping amount of kisses and hugs.
Yup. I did a pretty good job...today.
Should I be showing off like this on my blog? Maybe not...
Being a dad blogger, vlogger and podcaster (you've subscribed to my website, Youtube channel and Podcast, right? Of course you have), I have always struggled with how to balance the good stuff with the bad on my channels. On the one hand, I want to be real and relatable - I hate the idea that people think I'm being fake, or, even worse, I create a fake character that makes other dads and parents feel bad when they compare themselves.
But on the other hand I want to be supportive and positive - I want to talk about what we could be as fathers, and why parenting is great and how to be great at it.
Then again...I really don't want to be hypocrite.
But also...no one wants to engage with someone who is too real. That just doesn't work on social media.
It's a complicated problem, so I've only come up with imperfect solutions. For instance, we start most episodes of the Ask AfroDaddy Podcast by finishing the sentence, "I'm a good parent, but..." to show where we've fallen short as a parent recently. Another method is regularly pointing out that I'm not a perfect parent, without being too specific about what makes me so imperfect.
The reality is that we all have those moms, dads and families that we think have it all together, and, if you are anything like me looking at them makes me feel super crappy and probably a little bit annoyed. I really wish I could keep in mind two these:
1) I don't see everything in their lives - if I had a real honest conversation with them I'd probably find issues...unless they're not human.
2) If they are doing some things (or all the things) better than me, the best response isn't to feel bad about myself. It's better to take it as a teachable moment - which is a gift.
Maybe you are the kind of parent that other people have think is just so perfect. Maybe that's not your fault - you just kinda do the outward things right. Or maybe you are the kind of person that is very worried what other people think of them, and therefore spends a LOT of energy making the outward appearances juuuuuuust right.
(I'm not judging - we all have that urge to some extent)
Honestly, if you are that kind of parent, I don't think you need to change (at least, not for the rest of us). It's all of us looking in from the outside that need to do better with comparing ourselves to you in such a toxic way.
But if you did show a crack somewhere...that would be really helpful.