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Just do the best you can, dads

Ah, the Pinterest-ing of our society.

pinterest-definitionYou know what I mean by Pinterest-ing, right?

You find something ridiculously creative then pin it to your wall to remind yourself of all the stuff that you would do if you had the time, money, skills, or know how.

I watched this video and had three thoughts.

  1. That’s crazy cool. I mean… a pneumatic tube system in a house controlled by used iPhones on a custom built app and powered by a Shop Vac. Wow!
  2. That’s crazy cool… until. Until some 5 year old tells his kid at preschool that the tooth fairy isn’t real. Or until dude goes to sell his house. Or until the kid stuffs his dirty underwear in there. Or until that stupid thing turns on at 3 AM and wakes everyone up.
  3. Father of the Year nominations are officially closed. I mean, I can’t compete with that. If that’s the standard of what it means to be a good dad today I’m screwed. I might as well hang it up and start selling crack.

Just do the best you can, dad

The danger in the Pinterest-ing of everything is that it sets up stupid expectations. Your cooking sucks compared to the pictures you saw on Pinterest. Your wedding was tacky. Your birthday cake was gross. Your pregnancy was pathetic. Your toddler dresses like a slob.

There’s nothing wrong with having fantasies. But real life just isn’t that fantastic.

And no one is going to create a Pinterest board or post a Make video of all the boring old, regular days. Those images are editorialized. They are Photoshoped. They are posed. They were created as an ideal-self and not an every day reality.

They are idols of our best selves.

Don’t allow them to make you feel inferior. They aren’t real.

When I think about what kids really need from their dad, they just need a dad.

A dad who has time for them, who listens to them, who loves them no matter what, that encourages them, that provides for them, that keeps them safe, and that helps them become brave.

Sure, it’s great to do more. Sure, there’s more to it.

But every kid needs a dad who cares. That’s keeping the main thing the main thing.

At the end of the day the best dad you can be is the dad you are supposed to be.

Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Don’t pressure yourself to be someone projected as a better dad than you.

Just be the best dad you can be. Do the best you can and stop worrying about the stuff you can’t do.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

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