Wil’s Dad Behavior

Why is Wil’s Dad Behavior still a thing?

If you happen to stumble across this site or have somehow figured out how to be notified when posts are made, you are viewing rare content. Anyone that knows me well at all has already realized that this site is mainly going unused.

Each year, I pay GoDaddy a little bit to keep this site and domain name alive, despite extremely limited use. So why would I throw away this (tax deductable) money? Thanks for asking. Moreover, thanks for even being here.

This site is special to me. It has never been much more than a place for me to practice my craft throughout its existence. That was its peak. Other than that, it has been a place for me to stick some nerdy musings and interesting life happenings. If nothing else, a place to practice putting thoughts into text in sporadic intervals.

As a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer, I do not have the most substantial resume. My last post (earlier this year) highlights what I have been working on and provides hyperlinks to all of my work, acting as a living resume of sorts. Having such a place to post my job seems important for the nature of my work.

So, the site lives on. I apologize for anyone seeking dad tips or stories about interesting career experiences, but at this point, for lack of better writer-produced words, it is what it is.

I am fortunate to say that fatherhood is going well, and my work is consistent and sufficient for the time being. However, as the latter situation can fluctuate, I may post again here someday with an update.

Until that time, just know that no news is good news. Thank you for checking in!

Writing experience

A few of the ways my writing has gotten betterer.

This is not to toot my own horn, though I am always looking for reasons to write out the word “toot.” This piece is just to highlight, if not only just for myself, some of the ways my writing has improved along my journey and some of the people who have helped along the way.

When I look back at some of the earliest pieces I have written online, I cringe a bit. To me, this is a great thing, as it shows that I have improved in just a few short years.

IN THE BEGINNING, I started this blog and decided I needed to read more. Those two things allowed me to set up the starting blocks needed to begin the road to writing. I have wound up reading mostly sci-fi, which I do not write at all, but it still allows me to see what good writing should look like.

As for this blog, it has allowed for practice and repetition, though it clearly does not see heavy use at this stage.

It is difficult to get paid for writing online at the start. All the freelance books and sites say so and I can confirm this. I submitted five pieces to a site called Grown Gaming that John Santina was kind enough to allow on his page. This was my first experience having correspondence with someone who was actually willing to host my work.

My interest in writing about NBA hoops led me to another for-free writing gig for the Fansided page, Thunderous Intentions. At TI, I worked closely with Site Editor, Tamberlyn Richardson. She and the Fansided brand taught me a ton about SEO and keywords. I wrote for the site for a year before finally being able to dedicate my writing time to paying gigs.

My basketball writing and connections paid off when Robert Yanders of The Basketball Movement approached me to write for him and control his site’s blog. The relationship quickly grew, as I took the reigns of Twitter and Facebook and began writing for and controlling the social media of his other business – Yanders Law Basketball as well.

Working with Rob has helped me hone my skills writing to suit a brand. He does not want cheesy (something I sometimes use as a crutch), but intense and concise. I also gained email marketing experience working with Rob on top of everything else.

Once that partnership grew, I was able to stop working full-time at the bank by cutting out daycare costs and becoming a stay-at-home dad and professional freelance writer and social media manager. Since then, I have been able to stop supplementing with things like Uber by writing for other companies as well.

Michelle Cramer reached out to me on LinkedIn with an offer to be a freelancer for PoolPro and SpaRetailer Magazines. Michelle is an editor for both publications. Through her guidance, I have learned a great deal about writing in AP style, which is a valuable skill for a freelance writer.

In 2019 I was contacted by Shanda Trautman of Old Missouri Bank to provide copy for a special project they had going for a few months. More recently, I ran all of the bank’s social media pages from September 2020 through February 2021 as they did some rearranging and strengthening of their marketing department.

Shanda has been another great teacher, as she emphasizes the importance of consistency, brand, and tone as it relates to each individual social platform. I am excited for more collaborations with OMB in the future.

Being a S.A.H.D. with two boys is certainly my main gig. About 16 hours each day actually (with more than a little help in the evenings). I do my best to write way too early in the morning or in the glorious moments of coinciding naps.

As a freelance writer, big projects come and go while my steady work currently stays at a manageable level. I am still so pleased with all the decisions that led me down this path and I am excited to continue to grow as a writer and as a parent through it all. Thanks for reading!

Stay-at-home life with two kids

This may be more difficult than I thought. Great, but difficult.

I am sure it would surprise no one that raising two boys would have challenges. But really for me, just one is a boy and the other one is still just a needy squish that has little to do with gender. We have not even gotten to the jumping off of high things stage for either of them.

Regardless of what kind of kids they are, one is two and the other is just over three months old. My wife has been back to work for a couple of weeks now, so I have been adjusting to solo parenting for the bulk of the workweek.

It is going well, but I have to admit that it is harder than I had envisioned. I anticipated our two-year-old, Luke to be the easy one and wee baby Carter to be the handful. It is much more balanced than I had originally guessed.

Emily had nearly three months of maternity leave, so both boys had become very used to Mama being around. The first week of her return to work led to some teary mornings for our big fella. She has to leave the house early, so he has been setting his internal alarm for around 5:30 am, kickstarting my day with both boys a bit earlier than I would prefer. At least let me get my cup of half-caf first, man.

Despite the early starts, a good breakfast is enough to distract anyone, so we have already begun adjusting. Fortunately, Luke has remained a solid napper, so I have maintained some afternoon time to get some writing or social media management work done.

Disobeying and generally poorer behavior have crept in since bringing a baby home, but hey, he is a two-year-old boyo; it was bound to happen sometime. He is still polite, tender-hearted, and the best little friend anyone could hope for.

Carter is shaping up to be a stellar companion as well. He does have stretches of crying immediately when I try to set him down, which can make the day tough to navigate. Again, probably due in part to Emily’s lengthy maternity leave, in which they were rarely separated. Other than those tough moments, he has truly been great. He sleeps well (daytime only tho) and adjusted to breastmilk in a bottle well also.

Honestly, I will admit that one of the biggest game-changers in this transition has been TV.

For his first two years of life, we tried to avoid television. Luke had seen maybe 10 episodes of Paw Patrol prior to Carter being born. Other than that, he mostly thought the TV was for basketball, God bless him.

Now, he still does not watch in excessive amounts, but he does usually catch an episode of something a day, either when I am trying to get some work done or when he needs to slow down near bedtime. Not only has it helped me, but I have watched his imagination grow during playtime, usually due to situations he’s seen in these shows. Shoutout Mickey Mouse.

We still spend most of our mornings reading and doing tummy time and most of our afternoons outside. I am confident that we will continue to strike balance and create routines just in time for them to be shattered in new, but exciting ways.

I am tired but thankful that I have the chance to spend so much time with my sons and continue to raise them the way we want, the best I can. Just don’t ask when we will be ready for another. Too soon.

Making babies in the kitchen

Since announcing the arrival of our newest son, we have been fielding some questions concerning his dramatic entrance.

Quite a few people have inquired about the details of the delivery of our new baby and I would like to spell it out here for those that are curious!

As scary as this experience was, we got lucky three times for every one bad thing that happened. I am not trying to one-up anyone else’s experience or complain about ours. Almost every pregnancy and delivery borders on impossibly difficult. Our baby and his Mama were and are perfectly healthy and it is not lost on us that so many people are not so fortunate.

Our Saturday morning began at Table Rock Lake, sipping coffee and eating breakfast outside my in-law’s camper where we stayed the night before. Our son Luke did not sleep well, but we eventually found out that his lack of sleep would mean he’d later become tired at the perfect time.

Emily text me and said that she did not feel perfect and was ready to leave whenever to drive back home. She made it known that she was having contractions, but the timing and duration were not in a range that meant we needed to hustle.

She began to feel better and we picked up lunch and went home. After lunch, I put our tired boyo down for a nap and mowed the yard while Emily took a shower. After I was finished, I came in and did the same, so we could both be ready for our planned date night.

Luke was still sleeping and my parents were getting ready to come up from Miller to watch him. Emily had begun to feel contractions more strongly, but they were still a bit less than a minute long and just over five minutes apart, so we knew the hospital may turn us away.

Still, we would probably need a hospital visit to check and see, so I began loading our pre-made bags (Emily is a big planner – we were only at 37 weeks) while she put on a dress and got ready.

Her contractions quickly turned near-constant, and she was struggling to get her hair curled. I asked my parents to hurry so that we could see Luke before we left to explain to him where we would be going.

It was quickly becoming apparent that it was hospital time. Emily text my parents to tell them that she was doing okay and that they did not need to hurry (2:49 pm). I simultaneously text them in a separate chain to tell them to please continue speeding.

Suddenly, things changed for Emily. She started feeling pain and began heading downstairs to the car. She almost made it, stopping at the kitchen sink, screaming in pain as her water broke (3:09 pm). Apparently, that was the last line of defense holding this naughty baby back.

I snipped away her undergarments and called 911. My parents had just pulled in and were getting out of the car and I told them to run. Emily, now quite exposed, told my Mom to not look at her. That ship had sorta sailed. I told Mom to check on Luke, who it turns out, was miraculously sleeping through the screams. That was about the biggest win of the whole fiasco.

The man on the phone said that we had to get her lying down. I had Mom grab some towels and a pillow, but Emily wasn’t feeling it. We convinced her that the baby probably shouldn’t drop to the hardwood, so my Mom and I were able to get her down.

I won’t go into detail about how close this rascally baby was to coming right then. Instead, I’ll tell you a sad side-story:

I was instructed to remove the bright white shoelace from my immaculately kept LeBron 15s – the operator said I would have to use it to tie off the umbilical cord. Devastating, right? Anyway…

We had heard the sirens outside once, but apparently, they missed our house the first time. Unbelievable. Luckily my Dad was flailing like a mad man in the middle of the road when they circled back around.

The Cox EMTs, Greene County deputies, and Battlefield firemen all barged in, and just in time. I (happily) relinquished my spot of honor to an EMT to scoot up by Emily’s head. Emily asked how many babies he had delivered and he gave just the answer you would expect at this point, “None in the field, ma’am.” I then stepped in and lied, telling her somebody else in the room said eight. #HusbandLife

Having replaced me maybe 15 seconds prior, the inexperienced EMT told her to push, and by the time I looked back down, our son was out in one incredible jolt, face down and successfully caught (3:22 pm).

The little guy cried a couple of times before going pretty quiet, looking a little purple. He was fine though, despite my fatherly fears. Another EMT ripped Emily’s shirt open for some quick skin-to-skin time with the baby. In retrospect, I’m quite jealous of the steamy maneuver, but I have decided to let it slide.

There were maybe a dozen people in our kitchen by that time and once we determined the baby was fine, Emily was feeling a tad exposed as you can imagine. I took the baby in a beach towel, and they helped Emily stand and walk (this lady is wild) to a gurney.

Emily then went through an awkward receiving line of “congratulations” through our living room from all of our new best friends. I will add that the firefighters cleaned our kitchen and threw everything in the washing machine. We are planning to spot them some donuts for that.

I couldn’t ride in the ambulance, so I got my keys and tailgated them all the way to Cox. I tried to inconspicuously park in the ambulance area, but was told I’d have to move. I told them (maybe demanded) to open the door so I could see my wife and son. They did, and I told them I was there and would see them in a minute.

Everything on the Cox campus is jacked up thanks to covid, so I wound up doing a lot of running. I parked, went in one door, was directed to the ER, told she wasn’t in the system, directed to a locked door, and finally to the correct door to get to labor and delivery.

I was sweating, swearing, missing a shoelace, and may have been lucky to have not been escorted out. Also lucky to have had an appropriate forehead temperature to get in the building.

We were reunited in labor and delivery and had a pretty normal hospital stay from there. Emily was great and had a nice recovery since she did not get any medication. Carter Daniel Harrington was 7lbs 1oz and 19 inches of good-looking baby.

Luke slept through the entire thing somehow and was unfazed. My parents stayed with him and he got to stay with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins the next day. He is the best big brother.

Like I said, every pregnancy and delivery has its own ups and downs, but this was our experience. For being traumatic and untimely, it also could have gone so much differently. We were very lucky.

The luckiest part of all? My Mom found my shoelace perched, untouched on top of the other garbage in the trashcan, completely salvageable. You have to love a happy ending.

PoolPro and SpaRetailer

PoolPro and SpaRetailer magazines have been using the services of yours truly!

PoolPro and SpaRetailer are print and online magazines marketed towards pool professionals and spa retailers, respectively. I have been fortunate enough to be commissioned as a freelancer to write several pieces for each.

At the time of this post, three of my articles have been published with a few more waiting in the wing. Check the below link to see the published articles:



As you can imagine, I do not necessarily know that much about pools or spas. That said, the articles lean heavily on interviews that I conduct with business owners and professionals, so most of the work happens through those interviews by phone or email and making sure I am asking the right questions.

The writing is strictly AP style, which has been excellent for me in terms of gaining experience with professional, reporting-type work. I have also made some good contacts through these assignments.

The content linked above is not necessarily for everyone, but I just wanted to show off some interesting new experience in my portfolio that shows I can do more than sports writing or lighthearted blogging.

My personal blog continues to be a bit stagnant, but thank you for checking in! Also, if you or anyone you know needs some professional writing done, you know who to contact. Thank you!

Star Wars movies ranked

Wil Harrington ranks the Star Wars movies. Wow.

Greatest blog post ever written? To be determined I guess. Feeling good about it though. I love Star Wars and can therefore find things to love about even the weakest movies, shows, books, games, etc. I have decided to undertake the tough task of ranking the theatrical films.

Everyone that has seen the movies is going to like some more than others. They are tough for me to rank because I genuinely like them all. This could vary a bit for me from time to time because it is so close. Let’s start at the bottom:

#11: The Last Jedi (Episode 8)

The amount of online hate for this one is real. It certainly is not detestable, but though I enjoyed it the first time, I do appreciate it less with each viewing. There was a different director for this one, who poo-pooed all over the trajectory of the prior film, making for a disjointed feel to the whole sequel trilogy. Some nice action and a cool Luke/Yoda interaction, but overall a bit of a letdown.

#10: Attack of the Clones (Episode 2)

Crazy part first: I love this movie. Here we are at the bottom of the list and I’m throwing out the “L” word – that should tell you what you need to know about how I feel about this galaxy far, far away. This one hosted a cringy and forced romance between Anakin and Padme. That was a major theme, but we also got the start on the Clone War that spawned a fantastic animated series, tons of Jedi, cool new bounty hunters, and the first Yoda-in-battle scene. Epic.

#9: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I had reservations about the casting of a young Han Solo. I’d seen it go wrong before with the young Indiana Jones movies. Harrison Ford is tough to duplicate. I went in with tempered expectations and came out with a big grin. This one works excellently as a standalone film and gives me hope for future Star Wars Stories such as Kenobi or Boba Fett films. Fast-paced action, humor, and distinct Star Wars feel.

#8: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The first theatrical Star Wars film that wasn’t technically part of the Skywalker Saga, Rogue One delivered on all promises. Some say this is the best thing Disney has done with Star Wars. I don’t know about that. I loved it, but it was a little long and many characters were blander than Star Wars usually has. That said, the droid K2SO made up for everyone else and this movie has my favorite scene in cinema history.

#7: The Force Awakens (Episode 7)

This was the first Disney-made Star Wars movie and the beginning of the sequel trilogy that concludes the nine-movie Skywalker Saga. In order to introduce Star Wars to a new generation of fans, it mirrored the first Star Wars movie (Episode 4 in 1977) in numerous ways. Almost too many. It was weird. That said, the characters were likable, Star Wars was back, and the First Order is cool. Stinks that they killed one of my childhood heroes though.

#6: Rise of Skywalker (Episode 9)

RoS receives about as much hate as The Last Jedi, which is unfair. As I mentioned earlier, a new director took things in a strange direction in the eighth movie. JJ Abrams, who directed episode seven took the reigns once more for episode nine. The trilogy was going to be disjointed no matter what, so I believe he wrapped things up as well as possible. RIP Sith.

#5: The Phantom Menace (Episode 1)

People are funny. They did not like the prequel trilogy until the sequels came along. Most Star Wars fans are apparently difficult to please. This movie was and is very good. It sets the stage for the Skywalker Saga nicely, expanded on the existing universe in a big way, and introduced Darth Maul and podracing. Jar Jar wasn’t that bad, yo.

#4: Return of the Jedi (Episode 6)

I am guilty of over-hyping this one in my mind, but I am not alone. The complaints people have with the new movies should really be put into perspective because those people hold this movie in reverence. Spending like 40 minutes at Jabba’s palace was unnecessary and teddy bears saved the galaxy. The Luke and Vader dynamic is what keeps this one on the pedestal.

#3: Empire Strikes Back (Episode 5)

Accepted by many as the greatest of the Star Wars films, Empire has a bit of everything. The Hoth arc was fantastic, we got to meet Yoda, Boba Fett, and Lando, and we really saw Luke take leaps and bounds as a Jedi on his journey to confronting Darth Vader. This is the one with the epic “I am your Father” plot twist also. Other movies stink. Star Wars is great.

#2: Revenge of the Sith (Episode 3)

Revenge of the Sith completed the prequel trio, bringing the highly anticipated conclusion of Anakin Skywalker’s fall the to dark side. This one was a visual feast and introduced General Grievous to the universe. After the lackluster romantic development of Episode 2, this one fully delivered on Anakin’s (and ultimately Vader’s) character. The dual between Vader and Obi-Wan was an all-time great Star Wars moment.

#1: A New Hope (Episode 4)

Growing up, Empire Strikes Back was my favorite. Having seen all the movies numerous times and having given nostalgia time to develop, the original Star Wars story takes the title. The introduction to the universe – the force, lightsabers, light vs. dark side, Darth Vader (my favorite movie character ever), the Death Star, lightspeed, the Millennium Falcon, Han and Chewie, a plethora of droids… This is where it all began. In my opinion, this one works well as a standalone as well as the catalyst that begins the series. If I just got to watch one Star Wars ever again, it would be this one.

Dirty secret: Men have been able to change diapers this whole time

Men have had a good run but the secret is out; they can change diapers too.

I hate to be the narc here, but it only seems fair that everyone knows the dirty secret about dads and men in general; men can change diapers. This is obvious to many of you, but somehow a completely foreign concept to others.

When we first had our son, I was spooked because I had never changed a diaper in my life. The first few times I saw my wife change my son, I was prepared to study very closely and take mental notes on this intimidating process. Then, I remember asking, “That’s it?”

Changing diapers is easy. Remove diaper, wipe up any waste, apply new diaper, crack a cold one (optional).

Sure, there is the occasional stray urine stream, a bad smell, or intense squirming sometimes when they get older, but overall, the most daunting aspect is frequency. The frequency becomes a non-issue if the duty is split instead of being unnecessarily forced on just one person/gender.

I understand generally how society arrived here, but not so much why it would continue in 2020. Fellas, you’re not so worn out from hunting and gathering that you can’t take the time to be a 50/50 partner in parenting. That especially goes if you and your partner both work.

As a stay-at-home writer and dad, I am aware that my circumstance may be unique (less so all the time though). During the week, I probably change five diapers to every one my wife changes. On the weekends, however, those figures swap. Not because she is home and it defaults to her womanly duty, but because she wants to give me a break.

Our household dynamic may be a bit unconventional, but it isn’t because we full-on deny gender roles. I open doors, kill spiders, and investigate noises at night. I don’t mind those things. She does most of the cooking – I don’t like to cook and she doesn’t mind.

I will even grant you that there is a bond between a mother and child that is intangible and unique. It is a subtle difference between a man and a woman that I cannot deny. However, I went into this parenthood thing as a willing participant and as an equal partner with my wife regardless.

Changing a diaper is simple, but being a parent isn’t always easy. Even if you stick with a designated diaper changer in your house, make sure that everyone wants it that way and that you are balancing parent duties as much as possible.

Sorry to rat you out guys, but I’m just saying, men can change diapers too.

Ranking fandoms

As a nerdy fellow, I am a part of multiple fandoms. So naturally, I must rank them.

Wait, “nerdy fellow,” what is a fandom? Well, un-hip person, Merriam Webster defines a fandom first as a “state or condition of being a fan of something.” Boring. Secondly, they describe it as “the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture.” Better.

For the individual, fandom is important. It is something that almost never matters in the grand scheme of life, but it brings you happiness and involvement. It can be a shared experience or something that you indulge in alone.

Below is a ranked sampling of my top-5 personal fandoms:

  1. Star Wars
  2. NBA
  3. Kansas City Chiefs
  4. Halo
  5. The Bachelor/Bachelorette

I have already discussed why I love Star Wars on this site. What helps it take top billing is how deeply you can dive in once you love it. There are of course movies, but the TV shows, books, video games, and lore make it easy to maintain as an obsession.

My love for the NBA is also spelled out on here. Though I claim the OKC Thunder if I must pick a favorite, I really just enjoy the league as a whole, which means I get to enjoy so much content. Every team plays 82 games, then there is the postseason, All-Star events, trades, drama… it is easy to get sucked in.

I haven’t been waiting 50 years for the Kansas City Chiefs to win a Superbowl. My Dad always liked them, but we didn’t watch as a family growing up. I got sucked into football around probably 2007 or so since my wife’s (girlfriend at the time) family liked it. Fantasy hooked me as much as anything, but the Chiefs have easily been my favorite sports team. How ’bout them?

The next two highlight how varied fandoms can be for a person. Video games in general is too vague, but Halo easily works here. Aside from pre-ordering every game that comes out, I’ve read about half a dozen Halo books and own all video snippets that have ever happened on Blu-Ray. I suppose Xbox in general could work somewhere in here as well.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette is definitely a unique fandom for me. I am part of #BachelorNation because it is a guilty pleasure that my wife and I share. Some people dread Mondays, but snuggling your wife while you drink a Sam’s Club-sized bottle of wine and watch people humiliate themselves on TV? Don’t miss out on this, people.

The above five are certainly not the only fandoms I am a part of. Pokemon, Blake Griffin, Lord of the Rings, Nintendo, Missouri State University, Postseason STL Cardinals (yes, I’m a fair-weather fan), Dragon Ball Z, video game series I will pre-order no matter what (Elder Scrolls, Borderlands, Soul Caliber, Fable, Red Dead, and more), Marvel… and that is just off the top of my head.

It is a bit of a blessing and a curse to be into so many things. There is always something to watch, play, or read about, which is awesome. On the other hand, there is always something to watch, play, or read about, so I have to be careful how I spend my time.

For example, I played a phone game called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes for a couple of years. It was a fun way to always have some Star Wars in my pocket. I realized though that it became more of an addiction than an occasional distraction and I did not want to be on my phone too much with my son watching my every action and learning accordingly.

I am on a hiatus from the game and it feels good. There are always ways to get my Star Wars fix through books, TV shows, and more. The game was a bit excessive. Balance is important and I hope to teach my son that lesson too!

So that is a quick rundown of my fandoms. If I am silly for any of them, I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE. Everyone is different, everyone deserves to pursue what makes them happy, and everyone whose list doesn’t exactly match mine is wrong.

Not enough time to do all the nothing

A favorite quote that hits close: “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”

Bill Watterson is the genius behind the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. Growing up, these comics had an inordinate amount of influence on me. I liked most comic strips out of the paper, but Calvin and Hobbes stood out as being relatable, hilarious, and deep. Also, I constantly had to ask my parents what many of the words meant, and I now have a decent enough vocabulary to beat most children at Scrabble.

“Deep” is a word that would not often be associated with a three or four-block comic strip. Through the eyes of Calvin and his imaginary friend/stuffed tiger Hobbes, Watterson turned simple situations into philosophical conundrums, quips, and reflective moments.

One of my favorite quotes came from a strip in which Calvin and his pal were reflecting on the end of summer. “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do” could be my daily Twitter update.

I don’t own this image. Don’t sue me plz.

I’m not looking to get philosophical here myself, or even complain about the lack of time in the day. I just relate to this line; it is a small window into who I am. I like to do nothing. Not sit on the couch and glaze over watching the wall – I mean watch a movie, play video games, window shop with my family, drive around, walk in the woods, read, and so on.

Accomplishing things is great, I do it quite a bit. Most of the time even. Luckily, the stay-at-home parent thing lends itself well to this. Playing with toys, telling made-up stories, and chasing my son around the house feels like goofing off, but it is definitely accomplishing something.

That’s why I feel like this transition has been easy on me. Little kids “work” by playing, exploring, and experiencing. These are a few of my favorite things! To have a tiny partner to do nothing with brings out the kid in me. Even though we have our tough moments like every parent and child, every day still feels like summer vacation, which is definitely good for my soul.

There is never enough time to do all the nothing because I am writing during naps instead of watching a movie. I’m doing dishes and laundry instead of playing video games. I’m trying to feed my kid broccoli for an hour instead of reading. So yeah, you could say there isn’t enough time, but who actually has that much time that isn’t also headed for the Dr. Phil show because they won’t leave their parent’s basement?

The moral of this story: I have it made. Anyone can put a positive spin on their daily life if they really try, but I believe I am genuinely in a great fit for how I am built as a person.

Every day we go to the park to swing, stroll, and climb (or bonk our head on) the jungle gym. It doesn’t get better than that. I look around the park and see moms frustrated with kids over little things, which helps me put in perspective what my day looks like. Your kid tried to eat a worm because you’re at the park at 2:00 pm on a Tuesday, Sharon, soak it up.

There will never be quite enough time, but we make SO much time to do nothing and I couldn’t be more pleased. Life is good.

You can’t just be a “fun dad”

When envisioning fatherhood, it isn’t a stretch to say that guys like to imagine being a fun dad.

In public, you come across many different kinds of parents. Some of the seemingly happiest are the ones that are carefree, playful, and forgiving. Everyone is different, but I would imagine that when many young men imagine fatherhood for themselves, they do so by envisioning tossing their baby in the air, playing catch out back, and razzing their kids about girls/boys.

As it often is, the reality is a bit different than what you may see out and about or imagine in your mind. Renowned philosopher and boxer, Mike Tyson once said something along the lines of “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In parenting, the punch in the face is more like: getting vomited on, being up all night, and foregoing fun activities.

You can’t just be a “fun dad” 24/7 – that just isn’t realistic. You will need to get your hands dirty, dive in on chores and blown-out diapers, console worn-out kids and/or their mom, and (in my experience) sweat at all hours of the day. So much sweat. All the sweat.

Photo of a sick boyo, moments before aforementioned vomiting. RIP, loveseat.

So being just the fun dad at all times is probably just not going to happen. Every literal second won’t always be fun.

What a downer right? Don’t worry, I’ve found that as a dad, there is so much silver lining lying around that you could probably use it all to make a good 25 to 30 swords. Those may not be useful in this day and age, but would still be pretty dope.

The good (great, actually) news is that though there are so many ways to remain a fun dad in all situations, even if every single moment is a stretch. The biggest key is to smile. Happiness and humor are applicable in almost all situations. Humor less-so, as sometimes s*** can get pretty real/devastating, but you know what I’m getting at.

Discipline is admittedly something with which I have little experience, as my son only just turned one. Those times aren’t “fun dad” times, but teaching opportunities, which are much more important. Being an ally for your child is a better goal than being their friend. I mean, you can still be their friend too. I’m just saying. Priorities.

Positivity is important because your kids are always looking at you and learning. Even when things aren’t fun, be positive, encouraging, and understanding.

Those parents that always seem upbeat, laid-back, and fun are having tough times too that you don’t always see. Kids are hard, but also rewarding, and yes, a ton of fun. A fun dad that is also a good dad is being positive and energetic with his kids, but also helpful, constructive, and serious when need be.

If you are a good dad, then you are already interacting in positive ways with your kids daily, so you will be a fun dad too. So, don’t focus on being carefree and fun; focus on being the involved, well-rounded good dad that your kids need.

Good luck with that, the vomit, and the sweating. So much sweating.