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A Different Kind of Anniversary: Looking Back on the Past Year

A Different Kind of Anniversary: Looking Back on the Past Year

The Start of Something Special

Parent’s Log: Stardate 44012.3

One year ago today sparked the first day in my life in so many ways. I left my office job to work from home. I should clarify for those new to this Winey Parent thing and me. Hi, I’m Travis, and I’m a writer. So, one year ago, a very important decision was made for our family. Meghan and I agreed that I should quit my job and work from home. This was not taken lightly. We crunched numbers to see if we could make it work financially, because let’s be honest, writing from home isn’t a guaranteed paycheck. Do you know what else happened? Meghan believed in me. She loves me, saw how unhappy I was and the toll it was taking on our family, and told me I needed to do this.

Meghan is braver than I could ever hope to be. I wanted this, but I was so afraid of failing our family by not bringing in a steady income. I didn’t want to be that burden. And I still don’t. She believes in my ability to craft a sentence and we’ve been able to make it work. It’s not easy, because my own internal stresses build and I have days where failure seems like my unwanted best friend. Those days aren’t easy, but what helps me is knowing that this has turned into something else entirely.

Starting Fresh Doesn't Erase Everything

I wish I could say I would’ve done this sooner, but I’m so grateful to have it happen at all. The ability to wake up each and every day knowing you’re taking care of your family is a huge thing. It’s also incredibly important to realize that scars take time to heal. Sometimes, when you work somewhere, you’re not the same person you were when you first started. In some instances, that’s a good thing. In others, the metaphorical wounds are deep. Still to this day, I can’t think about that place. I don’t want to think about that place. Maybe, one day, I’ll be strong enough to do so. But, in the meantime, I need to be able to admit that I’m not strong enough, right now. One thing I do know. Meghan is my angel. She made me realize how important I am to this family.

I’ve found my value this past year. There are plenty of times I doubt this, but her belief in me doesn’t waver. We immediately created this Winey Parent adventure and it’s been online for almost a year. Both of us have worked incredibly hard to build something that other parents can turn to. And we don’t want to be perfect. We want to show that we’re the complete opposite. Hopefully, others will see that we love our kids, we try to make good choices, and maybe you’ll get a laugh at our expense from time to time. Laughter is the best medicine, right? So, you can imagine the feeling that comes with sweeping every day for a week and still finding Nerds candy on the fifth day. Oh, and we haven’t had Nerds in the house for a couple of weeks. [insert appropriate laughing with tears and then crying GIFs].

Parenting and Adulting Adventures

Our adventures have made us realize something important. Live life and make memories. We want our kids to be able to look back and know they had some pretty special memories. Despite lacking a dedicated second income, we’ve saved money and learned to find deals and spend money on fun trips. Can we do this all the time? No. But we want our kids to be happy and having adventures seems like the best way to do that. We tried to have our summer resemble a fun adventure. Our experiences included trips to the pool, visiting various playgrounds, letting them cook, experiencing their first roller coasters at Hershey Park, and taking them on a surprise beach trip. So, you’ll understand when I talk about my experiences over this past year and describe them as awesome.

No, it hasn’t been perfect. I’ve struggled to find my place in the writing world, whether finding paid gigs to write for an online entertainment company or getting my fiction into the hands of the public. So, what do I do when I’m feeling down? Honestly, I don’t always have an answer to that question. Meghan is a constant force in my life who inspires me by believing in me. When you think you’re down, having that person in your life to help get over your fears is so freaking valuable. Oh, my parent G-rated talk around the kids has started to soften to PG-rated talk. Okay, I’ve slipped from time to time and let’s be honest, I can’t believe it hasn’t happened more often.

Oh, the Restraint

I think for the most part, I’m pretty solid when it comes to avoiding “F” bombs and other satisfying curse words, but sometimes, my imperfections (ability to hold my tongue) leads to wide-eyed, “Oh, s***” moments after realizing I just said one of those words in front of the kids. I think for the most part, I have to be fortunate my kids never drove home with me during my 9 to 5 days. I probably would’ve terrified them with the expletives that would come out of my mouth. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have to install the bleep technology you hear on talk shows. I can already imagine future trips to the beach when we almost get sideswiped because someone is searching Facebook on their phone and crosses lanes because they’re not paying attention. Oh, how the holy s*** will fly.

This whole Winey Parent adventure started because my wife took a chance on me. She told me to quit, which by the way, when the decision was made, I started to feel a sense of relief knowing that misery would be over. So, we took a chance and then started this parenting blog. And I’m here, one year later, talking about how life has improved. The sky is bluer. The grass is greener. Our family spends more time together. I get more time with the kids. And, I think along the way, we’ve made some pretty decent articles about our parenting lives. Meghan and I have one-on-one dates with the kids. We also dedicate time to each other for Winey Parent Wednesday and other date nights.

Laughing and Loving: The Winding Road

We also make each other laugh. I really try to make fun of myself to make her laugh, but hey, it’s a team effort when it comes to making fun of me. [insert appropriate laughing with tears and then crying GIFs]. Seriously, we hope that parents are able to find humor in our parenting adventures, because the struggle is real. Parenting isn’t easy. It never will be. We try our best, we ask our kids to try their best, and we roll the dice to see how it works in the end. But, more important than anything else, parenting is the most satisfying thing. Knowing that your kids adore you more than anything else in the world is the greatest gift a person can ask for.

I’m sure that adoration won’t always be as visible as the kids get older, but isn’t that the point. Live life and make memories. That’s what the Winey Parent has turned into. It’s the belief that we’re going to do something, try and make it work, and see how it goes. So, essentially, our business model is that of a parent. It’s like someone asking you to juggle five items, you tell them you don’t know how to juggle, and then they say, “Oh, then juggle seven things instead.” That’s what parenting is – and that’s what our first year has been like to a certain degree. We’re trying to see what makes Winey Parent uniquely entertaining. The best way for us to know that is from feedback, whether it be comments on Facebook or how many times an article is shared or liked. And, we definitely appreciate your support.

Come Along for the Ride

This adventure has been an amazing train ride and we hope you’ll continue to stick around. So, where should we go next? What foods should we try baking with the kids? Please let us know what you’d like to see us talk about or places you’d love to see us go to. Go ahead, we’re listening.

Our First Winey Parent Post

Take a trip in your time machine and check out our very first article for the Winey Parent.

The Wedding Weekend That Started It All

We had an amazing several days with friends at a spectacular wedding. This is where we shared our first Instagram post for the WP.

We've Learned a Thing or Two

On this anniversary, it's good to reflect on things we've buckled down on, especially the budget.

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