Spoiler alert: I think the answer is no. If I actually believed that blogging made me a worse father, there is no way I’d be writing this. However, I do sometimes wonder whether I should spend less time writing about being a father and more time y’know, being a father.
Time is one of my main concerns when I worry about whether I should be blogging. I tend to write during the evenings, or on my lunch breaks at work, or during my commute (I am on the bus, not driving, I should hasten to add). So it’s not as if I am spending time writing when I could be spending quality time with my daughter, but there is a nagging feeling that I could be doing something productive with that time, something that would benefit my family in some way. The reality though is that the time I spend blogging would otherwise most likely be spent watching TV or reading about sports, rather than anything remotely useful.
Another worry is the impact blogging has on how I experience events in my life. Once you start writing about your life, you start viewing everything that happens to you through the prism of how you might write about it. “Can I get a blog post out of this?” and “What am I going to write about this?” are questions that are always at the back of my mind. I worry that these thoughts prevent me from living in the moment, from just enjoying my time with my family (in the same way that the person taking photos or videos at a gig is not actually experiencing the gig itself). Ultimately though, I find that a one year child has a way of forcing you to live in the moment, I have little choice in the matter.
There’s also the matter of how my daughter will feel about the blog. It’s probably going to be quite a while before she is even aware of it, so this is a problem I can worry about later, but the possibility she will not like being written about in a public forum has got to be considered. If, further down the line, she wanted me to stop writing about her, would I do so? And if I didn’t, would that make me a bad father?
Despite my worries, I don’t think blogging does make me a worse father. I don’t think it makes me a better father either, at least not directly. I think it can give the impression that I’m a good father, but that’s because I’m the one writing this, and I’m hardly going to write something that makes me look like a dick. Not intentionally at least. The only way I think it may help make me a better father is indirect. It make me happy and allows me to express myself creatively, and I think that a man who is happy and fulfilled in the other areas of his life will be a better father than the man who is not. I certainly hope that is true of me.