I hate being a dad. Sometimes.
You know this; you’ve read my blog.
Hopefully, you’ve also understood my blog. And you know what “sometimes” means. And you understand that even when I hate being a dad, I still love it.
Not everyone understands my blog.
One of the side effects of having a blog on which I complain about fatherhood and bitch about my son and whine about how my life has been ruined by becoming a dad is that lots of people who are far more miserable than me, or far more sensitive than me, or have limited senses of humor, get the wrong idea.
I’ve been lucky to get some of my posts republished on the Huffington Post and I’ve gotten some interesting feedback from the HuffPo community, not all of whom aced the reading comprehension portion of the SATs. Despite the fact that one piece was posted under the “Kidding Around” subheading, many of the commenters still seemed to miss the fact that I was mostly – ahem – kidding around.
More understandably, but perhaps even more problematically, search engines miss the point too. Some of the most frequent terms that lead people to this blog are things like “having kids ruined my life” and “I hate my son” and “hate being a father” and “life is ruined after having a baby” and “correlation small penis crossdress”. Robots don’t get context; computers can’t process humor. So when someone enters those terms into a search bar, they often land here. And if they are from the same flock as the aforementioned HuffPo readers, or are robots themselves (!!), they might come away with the wrong impression.
For example, after reading even just a little of my most popular post, Top 10 Reasons Why I Hate My Son*, the joke should be pretty obvious. But judging by some of the comments I’ve received, not everyone gets it. Not even some of my fellow dad bloggers. Oh well. I don’t like having to explain myself, and on the few occasions that I do, you can probably feel my shame radiating out of your computer. For example, the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written: Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Son.
I’m used to it. My sense of humor has long lent itself to misinterpretation, especially among strangers. But I’m okay with that; I yam what I yam. I don’t however, love that the “Dad and Buried” name is linked to the idea that having kids ruins your life. Not because that’s not true – having kids totally DOES ruin your life – but because that’s not all there is to it.
Parenting isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, and it’s not all stress and frustration either. Like everything else in life, it’s not black and white; it’s mostly gray. No matter how happy your kids make you, they also frustrate the hell out of you, and pretending they don’t is just plain false. Pretending you don’t occasionally wish you didn’t have them – usually when you wish you could go to Bonnaroo, or could get one solid night’s sleep – is, for many of us, also false. Emphasis on occasionally.
Describing my blog as being about hating fatherhood without mentioning that it’s meant to be funny is as incorrect as describing my blog as being hilarious without mentioning the parenting angle. People who seriously hate having kids would probably be disappointed to find out that I’m only joking about hating it, and child-free people looking for a laugh would probably be angry to land on a parenting website.
Yesterday, a few visitors – or one lunatic, searching over and over – found Dad and Buried by googling “I hate being a dad.” That’s too bad. Because the purpose of this blog is not to validate the feelings of parents who hate parenting or hate their kids, but to let frustrated parents – or prospective parents, or perfectly happy parents – know that having such feelings is okay. It’s normal to “hate” your kids sometimes; kids are a fucking pain in the ass. This blog is for people who, while they may occasionally wish they didn’t have kids, mostly, and overwhelmingly, couldn’t imagine living without them.
I hope any parents who sincerely struggle with their situation use Google to find a better resource than a humor blog. Because being a parent isn’t for everyone, and those people need a way to fix things, or to extricate themselves from what could be an increasingly toxic situation. If a little humor, a little we’re-all-in-the-same-boat perspective, can help, then I’m glad to help. But don’t get the wrong idea.
I am not someone who hates being a father or who hates his kid.
Most of the time that I say I hate being a dad, I really just “hate” being a dad, in that I get annoyed or inconvenienced or irritated by my son and by my responsibilities as a father. In comparison to the life I had before I had a kid, my day-to-day is a lot harder, in a lot of ways. But it’s also a lot better in a lot of ways. Important ways. So when I say that having a kid ruined my life, I mean that it ruined my life the same way becoming a butterfly ruins a caterpillar’s life.
And now I stand corrected. That’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written.