Welcome to 2017! As we pull the old calendars off the wall, it’s hard not to look back on 2016 and wonder how the hell another year is already here. It happens every year, but the years seem to be zipping past a little faster than they used to. I tell myself every year that I’m not going to play into the whole New Year’s resolution thing. I try to live my life in such a way that I incorporate little changes on a daily basis so as not to need to make drastic changes once a year. At the same time I can’t be so stubborn as to avoid making changes during the beginning of the year just so I can hold my head high and tell the world I don’t need no stinkin’ resolution. January 1 is, after all, just another day.

So holding true to my tenet of “little changes for big results,” I’ll probably be making some small changes to this here blog throughout the year. Maybe I’ll focus a little less on parenting and a little more on being a dad. (There’s a difference in my mind.) Maybe I’ll throw in a few more off-topic posts, ranting about whatever is on my mind on a given day. Maybe I’ll throw in some creative writing. My goals aren’t clearly defined yet, but I can guarantee it won’t be exactly the same as it was in 2016. For better or worse.

My decision to make these changes has nothing to do with being less passionate about or less engaged in parenting; I still love being a dad. But over the seven months I’ve been blogging I’ve realized that a parenting blog isn’t about giving parenting advice like I foolishly assumed when I got started. Sure, there’s a fair amount of wisdom and shared knowledge to be gleaned from this community at large. But the vast majority of the posts I find myself really loving are about personal experiences, shared stories, and, yes, about our failures. Here’s the bottom line: We parenting bloggers aren’t experts or Dads of the Year or June effing Cleaver. We’re just regular parents who write as an outlet for parental stress.

Let’s face it, parenting downright sucks sometimes. That doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids more than anything in the world—or more than $50,000, as Bubby regularly tells me. It just means that we bloggers, with our laptops and photo-editing tools and pontificating and astounding story structure, have to admit to our readers that we don’t have all the answers. That sometimes your kids are just going to be little shits, no matter what you say or do. That we hope you find some solace in our words, but there are some problems we just can’t fix. That there are some days when all the posts in the world can’t replace putting the kids to bed early and just staring at the wall with a nice cold beer in your hand. Trust me, I’m a parenting blogger.

Any writer worth his salt has heard the old adage about writing what you know. So it’s a pretty logical step for parents to write about parenting. But that’s not all we know. We have other interests. And the beauty of authoring one’s own blog is you can write about those other interests. That’s what I hope to do in 2017. I’m a dad and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So if I decide to write about DIY projects or tools or writing or superheroes, that story will probably link back to fatherhood in the end anyway. But I started this blog because I want to write, not because I want to write exclusively about parenting. I’m sure a few of you can relate, so I hope to see a few more posts from other parenting bloggers about your hobbies.

It’s been a great blogging run so far. I hope these small changes I make won’t scare too many of you away. I’m still me, and Bubby, Boo, and Wife will still be along for the ride most weeks. But I also can’t wait to see who else jumps on the bandwagon, who else’s interest I might pique when I talk about the farmhouse table I build or about how my Cardinals fight to catch the Cubs this year. Most of all I can’t wait to continue writing. As I grow as a writer, I can’t help but think I’ll grow as a person. And that’s what the new year should really be about.

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