Introduction to the Village Idiot

Blog written by a Dad (gasp!) about fatherhood, shortcomings, pursuits, and hacking happiness.

I had no idea how much I was going to care about my kids and how my life’s purpose and priorities would instantly change. As a man I was totally unprepared for having children, my clock wasn’t ticking. I thought, “Yeah, maybe someday, but I am in no rush.” and then my wife got pregnant, and I still had no idea what was going on or how it would change my life. At the very most I thought we would keep doing the same things, we would just bring the baby along, kind of like bringing a puppy along. My wife had been emotionally preparing for having a child since her clock started ticking and then through nine months of pregnancy (it was all very real for her during all of that time).  Then it happened. My son was born and it all hit me the instant I saw him. My jaw locked, my face contorted, and my whole body cramped. I felt paralyzed by the flood of emotion and years of revelation that I experienced in minutes after he was born.

Fatherhood has gifted me with humility, and the newfound (and more accurate) self awareness or willingness to live irreverently and with less inhibition. All the gifts of fatherhood contribute to a sense of pride and self assurance in embracing my new role as the “Village Idiot”.   

My wife wrote a joke about men being 85%ers.

A lot of women seemed to really “get” the joke and they had an infinite number of stories to tell that seem to validate the hypothesis.

Men on the other hand were a mixed bag with some of them recognizing, accepting, and embracing the title of an 85%er, and some taking offense and reacting defensively. This group was either in denial or they just consider themselves 100%ers.

I fall into a third group who felt like the 85%er title was generous, when I really look at the situation objectively and make the comparison between my own and my wife’s “positive contributions” to the world I feel like 62%er might be more accurate.

Although I can’t speak for all men or all dads I would bet that the vast majority of men would be lucky to be considered 85% ers. In my case I blame my wife just a little for being an 138% er. I wonder if she might feel like she wasn’t pulling her weight if I actually did my fair share. Now this statement might make some people mad and it might not be true but I have to say that our culture and society has probably shaped my wife’s expectations of herself to be much higher than what I perceive is expected of me as an educated white male.

The thought process above leads me to an assumption based on my own experience about what role men or dads often play in the family. If your family was a small village who would play the part of the idiot? In my family it’s me, just as it was my dad, and I suspect this is the case in many if not most families. This is why my blog is titled the Village Idiot and it will be about me trying to move from being a 62% er to an 85% er.

1 reply
  1. Natasha Bright-Wight
    Natasha Bright-Wight says:

    Ethan you and Nikki are so awesome all sound and so talente and I bet you are both amazing parents! My husband leaves a drop of milk left in the bottom of the carton! He will so laundry and pls it in appropriates piles and then not put it away! Lol! I am sure I can go on and on but I think there are things that all of us can improve on! I am also a 138% and I will be up from 7 am to 11pm because I can’t get to sleep unless certain things are done and of course my husband is in bed by 9! I get upset because I teach zumba classes and home school reading classes and others also and I home school four kids plus keep the house clean! Yes makes me upset sometimes, but when he is home and not working I worry about his rest also! He works so many hours so we can home school our kids, I look back and say there no possible way he is only doing 62% and then I can only be thankful! Thank you for your blogs and I look forward to reading more inspiring ones!

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