Starting a blog is like having a baby.

That’s easy for me to say, since I’ve been a spectator to my wife’s four pregnancies. But anyone who has launched their own site will recognize the similarities.

When the thought of starting a blog first strikes, you experience conflicting emotions. This is going to be great! It will contribute to the evolution of my life. It will provide new clarity and purpose. It will make me feel more fulfilled. But it also means more responsibility. It means diverting time from purely personal pursuits to nurture this new venture. It means risking investing yourself into something that will turn out to be either rewarding beyond description or painfully heartbreaking.

Next, you spend months grappling with those conflicting emotions. You plan and plan and then plan some more. In your mind, you’ll be the perfect blogger. Your blog will be the most popular, the prettiest, and the smartest blog in the blogosphere. And while dealing with the planning phase can be nauseating, you’re happy to let it last as long as possible. You know that the longer you plan, the better the better the blog will be. More importantly, you recognize that the longer you can wait to launch the site, the more you can delay the most painful part of the experience.

Then something changes. You realize that it’s finally time to breathe life into your project. You hunker down and spend one or two grueling days getting the blog ready to face the world. You face an internal struggle when half of you says that you’re not good enough for this challenge while the other half says you no longer have a choice. You struggle to get the aesthetic just right. You fight to find your voice. But you keep pushing. And just when you think that you’ll never make it and you have nothing left to give, you make one final push. And the blog sees the light of day.

Your heart swells with pride and a touch of love for your creation as you review this first iteration. It’s uglier than you anticipated, but to you it’s beautiful. And you know that in the coming days and weeks it will grow into something more worthy of adoration.

And finally it hits you. Amid all of the uncertainty, the pain, and the pride is a feeling that resolves all of the conflict. It’s hope. You’re reminded why the original spark was so exciting. With proper care, this blog could contribute to your legacy. It will listen as you share your frustrations and successes. It will bring new friends into your life. It has the potential to grow bigger than you and make a difference in the world. And despite the risk, that feeling of hope strengthens your resolve.

I’m a blogger now. I may not know how to blog. I’ve read about blogging. I’ve watched and helped others blog. And now I’m joining everyone else who is making up as they go.

So, I’d like to introduce you to our new baby. Meet Playful Parenthood.

Author Dustin Smith

Dustin is the father of four awesome kids and works as a consultant and entrepreneur in location-based family entertainment.

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