Hi. My name is HypeDad and it’s been two months since my last post.
Yes, this is the introduction to the erratic blogger’s therapy group. It’s been two months since my last post, which officially makes me the spasmodic blogger I said I’d never become. Then again, I said a lot things before becoming a father. Funny how parenthood changes all of that.
It’s no coincidence my blogging absence aligns with the birth of our first child. I’ve been busy parenting, which I’ve learned is not dissimilar to Fight Club.
The first rule of Parenthood is: You do not talk about Parenthood.
The second rule of Parenthood is: You DO NOT talk about Parenthood.
Because before you have a child, parents young and old tell you to have kids, that you’ll be great parents, and raising a child is best thing they’ve ever done. Talk to those same people after you have a child and suddenly they pull back the curtain on this chaotic world of exhaustion and dishevelment. You’re a part of the club now. You’ll bond over diaper blowouts and cleaning vomit at 2am. You’ll talk at length about how going out for coffee requires a detailed itinerary and a car full of stuff. And now when you see two parents in sweatpants pushing a stroller, black beneath their drooping eyes, you nod to each other as if to say, “You are not alone. We’re in this together.”
But while my lawn is overgrown with weeds and our bedroom looks like the aftermath of Hiroshima, I also don’t want to be that whining blogger who uses their platform to exude all the misery in their life. Because it’s really not that bad. You go into parenthood expecting things to change. The hard part is knowing what that change is and how it occurs.
This unknowable change is the truth behind my blogging absence. I always feel the need to write conclusively, wanting to avoid misguided meanderings that offer little value. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to define the changes that occur when becoming a new parent. Thing is, it changes every day. Every day there is something new or different to figure out. The change is gradual and covert. It builds and builds until suddenly you realize you’re now in bed every night before the sun goes down and you can’t remember the last time you had an uninterrupted hour to yourself.
Maybe that’s the reason parents only talk about parenthood to other parents. Because the change is so hard to define. You can say how tired you are or how your whole day was planned around a trip to the grocery store, but that just sounds like whining. And it would still never prepare non-parents for the change that occurs. So why bother?
While “the struggle is real” moments are endless in parenting (just ask any parent anywhere at any time), parenting also provides unparalleled joys. But these joys are just as un-relatable as those struggles. Can you truly express the feeling you get when holding your child? Or the love you feel when you hear them coo? Or the overwhelming euphoria that comes from seeing them smile for the first time? It’s cosmic and profound. It’s also wholly impossible to express in words. I imagine it to be like walking on the moon. You could never know the feeling unless you’ve been there.
So, my conclusive statement about parenting so far? My conclusion is there is no conclusion. I could easily image-craft my way to have you believe parenting is perfect and beautiful and full of flowers. There’s an internet filled with blogs that sell you this dream. I could just as easily have you thinking parenting is nothing but screaming, poop-wiping, and unbearable exhaustion. The internet isn’t short on these blogs either.
Truth is, it’s both. And I expect this duality will continue, well, forever. Maybe this is obvious to many of you. But I’m realizing now that I used to believe parenting was something solvable, that there’s a secret code you cracked or riddle you solved and Voilà! — you’re an expert. It’s taken just two short months to realize this is absolutely, positively, conclusively false.
I mean, unless you’ve got the code, in which case, can I have it? Please?