Hi, I’m Casey Palmer, and I created my first website in 1998 and published my first blog post back in 2001. All these years later, I’m using everything I’ve learned to reach higher heights, and these are the posts that tell that story!
As parents, what we’ve learned about parenting in a pandemic is that you’re constantly looking for activities to make the days interesting and put the cries of boredom at bay. But with the pandemic bringing so much of our children’s programming to a halt for sixteen months and running, we’re all hungry for options that let us explore life beyond our homes and our neighbourhoods.
And so, enter the Pickering Museum Village and its creative methods of delivering its programming in a world whose rules are so different.
See—what you don’t fully understand about parenthood before you have kids yourself is that while everything changes once you have a kid in tow, it doesn’t just stop. You just find new ways of doing the things that you would’ve before if they still prove important to you.
Once upon a time, I tried to write a post on why more of my fellow thirty-somethings should want to have kids and join the ever-bustling ranks of parenthood just like me. Recently becoming a father myself, it changed my world entirely, giving me someone demanding more of my attention than anything else in my life, yet also insisting that I love him while he did it. But I’ve said it a thousand times before and I’ll say it a thousand more—I’m a much better man for having my kids in my life, and I want the people around me to experience that, too.
And so I wrote. I wrote the intro several times over. And after two lines and multiple attempts, I ultimately decided to scrap it.
What I realised was this—you can’t fully explain parenthood to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, and at a few years in to parenting—heck, even right now if I’m honest—it’s still too early for me to fully understand why I became a parent.
Who Wants to be a Dad? Figuring Out What Makes Fatherhood Appealing, If ANYTHING.
I mean, sure, there’s humanity’s biological imperative to produce the best possible offspring for the next generation. The societal expectation that having kids is just what you’re supposed to do. Fatherhood’s so often characterized by all the negative associations surrounding it—a loss of freedom; financial burdens; and in some cases, building a permanent connection to someone you only planned to see for a night—that you’d wonder why anyone would want to do this in the first place.
But what I can tell you is this—there’s a reason why we don’t remember much of the lives we led before we had our kids.
The difference is that while moms are great communicators, establishing communities for advice, support and safe spaces to share their stories, it’s taken us much longer to do that for ourselves. And even when we do, it’s only in private groups of our peers, so the world can’t see every side of ourselves instead of just the positive aspects we want the world to see. It’s a bit better than what we were taught—to bottle our thoughts and feelings up inside—but we still have a long way to go before we represent ourselves with any justice.
When people ask “what is a father”, that’s something I’ve struggled to adequately answer for years.
Through my many years spent as a dad blogger, I’ve tried repeatedly to create work that explains how I see myself as a dad. I’ve floundered over and over again in the process, never seeming to find the right words to fit, but it’d eventually be my newfound love for search engine optimization that’d give me some guidance on the kinds of things that people want to know about being a dad. Not all the questions go super deep, with many just at the beginning of the journey, but those questions gave me the building blocks I needed to tell my story in a way that others would understand.
And I think it’s important that I do—we have this oversimplified idea of what a father’s supposed to be, force-fed to us by a society who saw the dad as one thing. The father as the silent, grumpy disciplinarian, meant to be respected and feared. The one-dimensional dad who can throw a ball or barbecue a steak, but has little to offer by the way of household or emotional support.
But in 2021, I think we want to strive for a new standard, finding ways to show the world what the #DadLife’s really about instead of the stereotype we keep clinging to.
I’m Casey Palmer, and I’m a dad. Let me tell you a little of what that’s all about.