When I first started my journey into blogging and sharing so much of our life on social media, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do, but I had no idea what shape this whole thing was going to take. Would I talk more about parenting or pro-life issues? Would I try to be funny and light-hearted or would I use a more serious tone? How much time would I spend sharing my faith and how much time would I dedicate to beer and movies? I was nervous that nobody would care or people might constantly fight with me like they do on my wife’s page. As it turned out almost all of these things happened. I threw in all the ingredients of my choosing and things are cooking up pretty good in my opinion. After all, it is my page. Once I stopped stressing about having the perfect post and figured out that I can do whatever I want, that’s when this whole process became a ton of fun. This is my creative outlet, my public diary, and my opportunity to make being a stay at home dad seem like the greatest job EVER!!!
So here I am, three years into it, and I have actually managed to stick with something for once. Three seems like a fun number, so looking back on my three years posting, I figured why not reflect on three things I have learned on this journey. THREE!!!!
I don’t need spend so much time expressing my disapproval for all the things I see as “wrong” with the pro-life movement.
Right off the bat, when Abby left Planned Parenthood, she was FLOODED with questions from pro-lifers that wanted to know what they did right to convince her to leave the abortion industry. How can we get more people to leave like you did? Abby happily answered their questions with 100% honesty. We were not expecting the amount people that would be red eyed, veins popping out of their neck, irate with Abby’s answers. When she told them that it was NOT the graphic signs, people getting arrested, yelling Bible verses, death threats, harassing emails, or any of the other extreme methods that were used, some folks right then decided that Abby was a complete fraud. How dare Abby say our 40 year old tried and true methods are not that effective!!! They didn’t want to know how to be more effective. It’s as if they wanted credit or a thank you more than anything.
I took personal exception to some of these people. I mean, why ask the question if you can’t handle an honest answer? I watched people say some ridiculous stuff to and about my wife for years. I did not enjoy having to sit quietly while said thing that were so hateful and untrue about Abby. So when I started this blog, along with having some fun, sharing my perspective, and telling some stories… I was going to get a few things off my chest that had been bothering me about the pro-life movement.
Well, as it turned out, I got worn out fast. Fighting and arguing with people is not my thing. I don’t apologize for anything I said, and you better believe I still have some pretty strong feelings about some of the things I have seen and experienced from both sides of the fence. I just got to a point where I decided that I would minimize my negative comments. All that turmoil can really take over your life. Arguments on social media were affecting my real life environment, and I am trying to raise a family here. I was being a Dougie Downer (PUN INTENDED), and that’s just not the real me. The best thing for me is to do what I think is right, be an example through my actions, stay positive, and encourage others to speak the truth about abortion. That doesn’t mean I am going to stop separating myself from folks who are doing things I don’t like. I believe it is 100% ok to say, “I don’t like that. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think that is effective, and I do not associate with people that act or speak that way. Here’s why I am separating my self form this person or group. I’m going to say this once and move on.”
So, with all that being said, I am going to try to stick to having fun. There are plenty of other things to talk about. I’ll leave most of the pro-life stuff to my wife.
I love the sense of community that seems to exist on my Facebook page.
I have always hated the word “followers” when comes to social media. “Followers” just sounds weird and cultish to me. I think “audience” is a much better word. But “community” would probably be the best word to describe how I genuinely feel about my Facebook page. The number one topic on my page is probably parenting. If you ask me, having a good sense of humor is extremely important when it comes to juggling a family. So whenever I post a funny story about my kids or a witty meme I have found, it makes me very happy to read comments like “That’s so true” or “I am so glad I’m not the only one” light up the comment section. My favorite is when others feel free to share their funny stories too.
Then there are times when I post something about Postpartum Depression and I see women sharing their stories and supporting one another in the comments section. I can’t tell you how many people have messaged me about their problems. Not because they want advice. Not because they think I can fix their issues. Nine times out of ten, people just want to know that they are not the only one going through depression or marital issues or maybe having a hard time fitting in. Most people just want to be heard and told they are not alone or crazy. It is very easy to feel isolated in this world. Especially when you feel overwhelmed by your surroundings. Things like this make me feel good about what Doug On Tap has become.
Here is what I appreciate most about you guys. It’s the prayers and encouragement that you all send my family. And from complete strangers?!? How awesome is that? Abby does not have an easy job. Being one of the many voices in the pro-life movement and running a ministry like And Then There Were None comes with plenty of challenges. Our family as a whole has to make sacrifices, but not to the extent that my wife does. Sometimes your words of encouragement are what keep us going. I will never stop saying thank you.
They say it takes a village to raise a family. Whelp, one of the wonderful things that technology has given us, is that we now have little virtual villages on social media that we can reach out to. Nobody ever has to feel isolated. It’s like having an online support group. I am proud that it is my name at the top of the page, but I have all of you to thank for making it so much fun and so special.
Limitations Are A Good Thing
What do I have an abundance of? IDEAS!!! What am I limited on? TIME!!!!
I talk about this ad nauseam, but there is so much I would love to do. I would love to post on my blog at least once a week if not more. I would love to start a podcast with my buddies that nobody would listen to. I miss writing for other sites like The Guiding Star Project and Epic Pew. But with seven kids, 6 of which are under five years old, and a wife who travels…there is just not enough time.
So why do I say having limitations is a good thing? If I had more time during the day to work on my blog site and whatever else, that is all I would do. I would most likely put the bare minimum effort with my wife and kids and all the rest of my energy into personal projects. I have to remind myself that this is not my primary calling. Yes, I look at my time on social media as fun and sometimes a ministry, but I don’t need the spotlight. I am not ashamed to say that Abby is the star of the show. My vocation as husband and father comes first. Yes, Abby puts being a wife and mother first as well, but it’s my job to make sure she is taken care of so she can spread the truth about abortion.
As of right now, I feel like God is telling me to be patient. Finish the job at hand. God will open the right doors when the time is right, but right now, things are exactly as they should be.
Topics I can’t wait to write about:
- We were receiving death threats for several months when Abby was working for Planned Parenthood. One of these days I am going to share what that was like.
- I would love to talk about my likes and dislikes when it comes to newborns.
Food calendars? They make me nervous. What do I sing to my kids? Tune in to find out.
- More movies
- More beer reviews
- It’s time to talk about music
- Abby’s boldest moments. I am going to get with some of Abby’s closest friends to write this one. It’s going to be FUN!!!!