How Parenthood Saved Me

by Bill Brenner on November 18, 2010

When I first became a parent, I’m pretty sure I sucked at it. I had no patience for the things babies do because, back then, it was all about me. That’s how it is when you have OCD and out-of-control addictions. You’re too self absorbed to see the blessings around you. But my wife and kids helped me break the cycle.

Mood music:


That’s the thing about children. When God puts them in your care, the only way to succeed is to surrender the “it’s all about me” attitude. Many fail. Some succeed. In the beginning, I worried that I’d fail. Nearly a decade later, I guess the jury is still out.

This much I know: Sean and Duncan have taught me a lot about life.

This collection of posts is about my kids. Hopefully, the writing adequately expresses what they mean to me.

To Sean on his birthday

To Duncan on his birthday

Things my kids say, Part 1

When life gets you down and you feel like shutting out the world, a child’s perspective will always give you a mental boost. That’s what Sean and Duncanhave taught me.

Things my kids say, Part 2

Sean and Duncan continue to give me a fresh perspective on a world that can be full of trouble. Life getting you down? Feel like shutting out the world? Read this instead.

Duncan likes Pink. So What?

My 7-year-old son is raising a few eyebrows in church and school because his favorite color is pink. Apparently, it’s only OK for girls to like this color. Right off the bat I’m annoyed, because girls don’t get the same crap for wearing a so-called boy’s color like blue.

Too Young for the Truth?

Sean learns more about the man he’s named for than the author intended at this young age. All things considered, he took it well.

Fear of Loss

The author remembers a time when fear of loss would cripple his mental capacities, and explains how he got over it — mostly. Also, how Sean and Duncan helped.

Like Father, Like Son

The author finds that OCD behavior runs strong among the men in his family.

The Brenners Invade The White House

The author on returning from a journey that would have been impossible a few years ago.

Parental overload is no big deal

Nothing like a week of screaming kids to realize OCD aint what it used to be.

Happy and Productive in the Debris Field

A work-at-home morning with Duncan goes better than it used to.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Josh July 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi Bill,

It seems that you are implying that those suffering with OCD can simply decide to get over themselves? I agree that OCD involves self absorption in a similar way depression does, however, to what degree is an individual responsible for this? As you are aware OCD can be very debilitating, so I am curious as to why you would write that a person must surrender the “it’s all about me attitude”? It seems more fitting to surrender OCD along with the difficulty to be selfless this illness entails.


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