On Being A Social Media Dad (And Other Things)
I’m 31. I have been the friend and family member that doesn’t have kids for a long time. For years I’ve logged into my Facebook account and seen my friends’ profiles taken over by their children. No longer do I get to see updates about a cool new play they saw, a great sporting event they attended, a book read or night out my friends have had. My newsfeed is now overrun with photos and news of my friends’ kids. Not news about my friends.
Here I stand at the end of my non-parenting days. I am about to enter that sacred accountability of fatherhood. I want to be a great dad. I want to do my best (and even better) at being the dad my kid needs. BUT, I stand before you to set forth some rules I want to follow on social media as I enter this next phase of my life.
While I plan to post photos of my kid online and celebrate the great events in his life there are some personal rules I plan on following:
I will NOT replace my personal profile photo with one of only my kid.
This drives me nuts. You are NOT your kid! You are an adult and you look it. There is NO WAY you could pass as under 10. Some people seem to lose their sense of self when they have kids. I will not allow that to happen. My kid is my kid and I am me. We will work together. We will play together. We might even appear in a profile photo together. I will spend a lot of time taking care of my kid’s needs, but we are two separate individuals who will lead two separate, yet intertwined lives.
I will NOT post a shit ton of photos of my kid online that ALL LOOK ALIKE.
If I am looking at your profile I want to find out about you. A few photos of your kid at a birthday party or baseball outing is cool. It should be the best of an event. And when I say best of, I don’t mean the best 40 out of the 1,000 pictures you took that day. That is for grandparents and photo albums. Not friends looking to see how you’ve been.
I will NOT talk ad nauseam about my kid on my personal profiles.
My personal profiles are for news about me. Not my kid. Yes, I’ll share a family trip to Europe or my kid’s first words, but in a concise update. My parenting and children’s updates will be on my daddy blog. That is why I created it. That is what it’s for. If my friends what to hear parenting stuff, they can follow Daddy’s Grounded. If they want to find out about me… It’ll be on my personal profiles.
My kid will take over my life for a while, but NOT for forever.
On New Year’s Eve Abigail and I saw a Five Iron Frenzy concert with several friends in Denver, CO. After the show Stephen (from A Small Print Shop & A Mouthful of Thunder) was talking with us about parenthood. He says its “magical.” He has two kids of his own. Stephen told us stories about friends of his who used to play music then stopped. They gave the excuse “I had a kid.” Stephen was like, “So?” He then told us about how it is possible to have kids but also stay involved with your passions. Just what we want to do. He owns a business and is in a band. His wife is a pastor, a writer and is in a couple of bands. They make parenting, travel and life work together, not against each other. Why can’t we?
Perhaps I am naive in thinking all of the above. I am not a parent yet. I’ve not been in the delivery room when Wesley was born. I’ve not changed diapers, dealt with late nights of crying and spit-up on my new outfits. I’ve not been the one on a plane with a screaming toddler or had my teenager say “I hate you.” Yet, I feel like I can keep these rules. I wish other parents would follow these as well.
I want my newsfeed back, parents! Don’t you?