If you’re a parent, a father, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a teacher, someone who is around children often, or just a person who knows children exist, FATHER-ISH by Clint Edwards is a book you should pick up from the book store, order on Amazon, or download to your Kindle. This book is a real-life and honest look at parenting, the parenting fails that inevitably come with raising children, and the tender moments in between.
Want To Feel Good About All Your Parenting-Fails, Read ‘FATHER-ISH’ By Clint Edward
Edwards is also the author of I’m Sorry, Love Your Husband, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, and Silence Is a Scary Sound. And while all four of his books are a deep dive into his screw-ups as a father and a husband, and the craziness his three children bring to their lives, in the end, you will close this book knowing how much he loves being a father. And surprisingly, despite laughing out loud at his expense and at times, maybe feeling grateful if you don’t have kids just yet, by the end of FATHER-ISH, you will either look at your kids with even more adoration or get that itch to start a family.
Ultimately, FATHER-ISH is a refreshingly honest look at parenting, instead of the rose-colored photos, many of us see on social media. So if you’re hoping to relate to another father or just laugh at how relatable Edwards and his family are, then this book is a must-have.
Following the release of his fourth book, Mamas Uncut got to chat with Edwards about FATHER-ISH and beyond. To learn what he had to say about his book and more, keep reading.
Q: Based on the reactions of those who read the book so far, what’s been the overall reaction to Father-ish? And is there a story from the book that people seem to have gravitated towards the most?
A: “I don’t know if I’ve had one single essay get a huge reaction, but what I can say is that I keep getting messages from mothers who bought the book for their husband. The husband read it, and ended up having some sort of a revelation: I should pitch in more at Christmas time. Or I should not spend so much time on my phone. Or I can talk with my kids about body image… And then they thank me for helping their husband to finally get it. I’ll admit, this wasn’t what I set out to do with Father-ish but I’m really enjoying that this is happening.”
Q: I have to ask, now that you have been there done that, would you ever recommend a father of young children to play Santa?
A: “So you must be referring to the chapter where I played Santa at a church party, it didn’t go according to plan, and it was how my son finally realized that Santa wasn’t real. Yes, you should totally do it. I loved it. Sure, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. But it’s one of those very special memories as a father that I wouldn’t ever trade for anything.”
Q: Another story I found super relatable was your attempt at using popular slang words with your kids and their knee-jerk reaction to it. At 28, I feel myself slowly becoming less and less in touch with the younger generation. So do you think it’s best for parents to just own their nerdy, out of touch ways? Or do you think they should always keep trying to relate?
A: “Oh wow. That’s a tough one. I would say you have to keep up with the slang and all the other cool kids’ stuff so you can connect with your kids on their level. But you also have to accept that you will always, without a doubt, do it wrong. So study up, and let your nerd flag fly.”
Q: As I said before, I found your laugh-out-loud story about the interrogation to find out who peed all over your children’s bathroom to probably be my favorite story from the book. So, again, I have to ask, how many more times since then did you and Tristan have father-son bathroom clean-up dates?
A: “So funny side story about this chapter. When I recorded the audiobook, there was a director and an audio engineer listening in. Once I finished the chapter, we went on break for lunch. When I came back, the director said that he cleaned his bathroom during the lunch break because he felt guilty for peeing a little on the floor. The sound engineer said, “Yeah… I should probably do the same after work.” It was pretty hilarious. And back to your questions, my son and I have for sure had other bathroom clean-up dates.”
Q: Perhaps my most emotional reaction was to the story of how you and your wife handled talking to your daughter about body image issues. What do you want a father/parent to take away most from that story?
A: “You know, with that chapter, I just want parents to know that it’s important to address body image with your kids. Don’t avoid it. Handle it with care and reverence, because it’s so very important, and make sure that your child knows that they are so valuable to you, and your family. Like my wife said in the chapter, we can’t control how the world views our children. But we can control how our children are viewed in our home.”
Q: What’s your best (additional) advice to parents when they just keep experiencing parenting-fail after parenting-fail and they are starting to feel like all hope is lost? By the way, I loved this part of your introduction, “Failing but not giving up, day after day until your children begin to resemble functioning adults, really is the purest form of love.”
A: “So this is an entire book of my fails. And if I learned anything from writing it, it’s that most of my biggest fails really weren’t that big of a fail. A lot of the time, I thought I was screwing up, but wasn’t. In fact, my kids saw it as a huge success. So moral of the story, chances are, you aren’t doing as bad at this parenting gig as you think.”
Q: Obviously, your wife is very proud of the success you have had as an author, but what does she really think about your books and how honest you are with strangers?
A: “I get asked this a lot, actually, and here’s how it works at the Edwards home. I write what I want, and Mel has full editing rights. She has the red pen, and before I publish anything, we do the Mel edit. And trust me, not everything makes it past the Mel edit.”
Q: And to that end, have you thought about what you might say to your kids when they are older and find your books at a book store? Do they have any idea now?
A: “My older two kids have figured it out, for sure. Tristan, my now 13-year-old, likes to say, ‘Are you going to blog about this?’ He says that a lot. But on the whole, they don’t think about it all that much. It’s just kind of a thing that they’ve always had in their lives. I’ve been writing about them for 7 or so years now. But yes, at some point, I am sure my blogging/books will become a source of embarrassment. And at that point, I’m probably going to need to write about something else.”
Q: What do writing these types of books do for you personally? I think people hate to admit how good it feels to be honest, even if it is hard.
A: “Well… I’ve always been a little too honest. This is a good and bad thing. But the best thing I ever did was to start writing and really reflecting, on what it means to be a husband and father. It caused me to really think about what I was doing and why. There are times that I will start writing something, and be like, ‘Why can’t I finish this?’ Then I will realize it’s because I was being a jerk. Then I will apologize to my wife or child, and I can finish the essay. If I hadn’t tried to write about it, I don’t think I would have ever seen my error.”
Q: And lastly, what is the most rewarding part for you when writing down/admitting the parenting woes you’ve experienced so far and ultimately sharing them with the world?
A: “Like I said with the first question, I don’t think I set out to be helping fathers have lightbulb moments, but I’m really loving it. The other day I got a message from a dad who said he read my book and then told his wife that he was sorry for not being more involved with Christmas planning. He committed to doing more, and she cried. Then he said, ‘I think you just saved my marriage.’ I’ll just say it, that’s pretty awesome.”
What are you waiting for? Buy FATHER-ISH, on Amazon now.
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