Fatherhood

On July 12, my son Owen came into the world, somewhat urgently and with more medical questions than we had hoped, but beautifully and perfectly in his own way. Five weeks later, baby and mother are all happy and healthy. We are all settling into this new life of ours.

He is beautiful. I love watching him as he comes to understand himself and the world around him – just a little bit more every day. I love being a father. Immediately, I feel more purposeful and carry a sense of pride about this incredible new being I’ve helped create.

As the weeks go by, slowly but surely, my new normal is coming into focus. I am beginning to step back into my routines, creating new ones, letting go of others. I am back at work. I am still trying to spread the good news. I am beginning to get back into running.

But I’ve noticed it has taken me a long-time to get back into my writing routine. I think this is probably mostly due to sheer exhaustion and a (hopefully) temporary inability to string multiple coherent thoughts together. Letting myself not go there has felt like a much-needed gift to myself at a time when I’ve been drained and stretched thin.



But I’ve noticed too, I feel a nagging pressure to write something profound about this new phase of my life, to have come to some grand new discovery about myself, to somehow demonstrate how changed I am and to capture the wonder of parenthood in writing.

The truth is this process has been disorienting. I don’t know what to write about it or how. Most of what I think and feel about parenthood so far would feel more fitting for a Hallmark card than this blog. Any profound changes in me, if they exist, have not yet coalesced into anything that I could articulate.

But more importantly, I’ve found that, beyond all these pressures I put on myself to change or to appear to have changed (why does my ego always insist on this?), the question I’m honestly more interested in is: What am I unwilling to leave behind? What must I keep in my life? Which of my routines feel essential to me being truly me?

How can I use my experience as a father not to lose my sense of self – as I’ve always feared would happen – but to become more myself than ever?


You can support Kindling by becoming a patron. 100% of your donation will get invested right back into finding and spreading good news from around the world.

All patrons get access to a live draft of my upcoming book Genius!: A Story of Humanity's Ever-Evolving Beauty, which I update every week.

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA with his partner Sara, child Owen, and cat Winnie.

    2 Comments

  1. Rick Molcan
    August 21, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Peter! Love this post on fatherhood. You’re so right about the ego, always nattering in my ear as well. Trying to keep me from the present moment by questioning the past or worrying about my future.
    One thing I noticed after reading this blog was in your bio. It needs an update to include Owen 🙂
    I Love what you’re doing. Thx for sharing your insights!

  2. Peter Schulte
    August 22, 2018
    Reply

    Great point Rick! Thanks! Doing that now. 🙂

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *