I spent the day at Evans World Headquarters, letting my two-year-old nap and hang loose with the Evans kids, while my five and seven-year-olds whooped it up at Disneyland with Dad. It was the first time in a year that we'd been behind the Orange Curtain, and it was great to spend time with our awesome friends, despite the challenges of vacationing with three young children. (I'll have several posts about that coming up, I promise.) I peeked over Danny's shoulder as he put the finishing touches on his latest post, and when I saw a link to BabyShrink, I freaked. You see, I'm still (still!) in the process of getting the glitches worked out of my new site redesign. I've gotten tons of compliments, particularly about my fantastic logo, created by my old friend and super-talented graphics and brand designer, Glenn Sakamoto. Yet I've been furiously (trying to!) communicate with my web guy about what appear to me to be glaring mistakes and problems with the operations of the site. It's nowhere near perfect yet. Good Enough, but not perfect. And the readership at DadGoneMad is massive, compared to mine. A link from Danny can singlehandedly shoot my readership into the stratosphere. So when he links to me (usually without warning me in advance, like today), I feel the pressure. I'd better have something good posted! And, yikes! What about those broken graphics and disorganized sections?! After a mini-meltdown, I asked Danny for advice. What do I write about, now that my site is acting up and you're sending hoards of DGM fans over to check me out? Write about that, he said, in his minimalist editorial way. Show your readers that their struggles are your struggles, Grasshoppah.
So I'm here at 1 am, scratching out a post in longhand, because the wireless in this hotel sucks. And I'm thinking about the main message here at BabyShrink, the message of Good Enough parenting. Not perfect parenting, just Good Enough. So, just like my imperfect website does a Good Enough job of answering your questions (I hope), it's all a work in progress; like our kids are, and as we are, as parents.
BabyShrink is about developing confidence as parents, to understand our own unique children, despite what the "experts" (including me) tell you is best. It's about trusting the powerful, driving force of development in our kids that amazingly results in a Good Enough outcome, most of the time. It's about being realistic in this spectacularly miraculous, yet incredibly demanding journey of raising children. It's about letting go of the need for perfection, and letting go of the need to control how our kids ultimately turn out. And it's about taking a chill pill when our kids (or our websites) don't perform up to our (unrealistic) expectations.
I've been nurturing BabyShrink along through it's own developmental stages, and the transition to this latest stage has been a little rocky. And instead of focusing on the successes of the site - a loyal, interested and supportive readership, the ability to reach thousands of parents, not to mention my own deep sense of fulfillment and excitement about the project - sometimes I get lost in the details of what should be happening; what's not going well. But like a baby learning to walk, it's a beautiful thing, despite the wobbles. And sometimes I need to be reminded of that.
So I have the privilege of sharing BabyShrink with you, growing pains and all. I hope you find it to be Good Enough.
As always, I welcome your questions. My turnaround time is usually one to two weeks, but I'm still answering every question that's submitted. I have a couple of posts coming up about summertime challenges and traveling with kids (I'm doing a little bit of "research" on that now!), as well as my first podcast, which will be a series on coping with being a new mom.
And now, I'm going to Disneyland!