Lebanon dad’s blog is a hit, leading to books and more

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

At 5 a.m., while many are still asleep, Clint Edwards will sit shoe-horned into his closet somewhere in Lebanon. A few hours later, he’ll become aware of his wife and three kids as they awake, and his body will probably tense up a little.
He knows for the rest of the day his kids will find ways to argue, or one of them might have a meltdown or need help making a sandwich. It’s always a question of which one will interrupt his work.
Edwards’ goals for the day are to write and post on his blog, then begin Zoom meetings for his job in the Academics for Student Athletes department at Oregon State University, with little to no interruption.
It’s an unrealistic expectation.
“My kids come in and they tell me stories and they ask for my attention and they interrupt every one of my meetings,” he said.
During the past five months that Edwards has been working from home since COVID hit, he said both his work and home life have been “put in a blender.”
His life is on display for the world to see on his blog, byclintedwards.com, where he

THE EDWARDS FAMILY: From left, Tristan, Clint, Aspen, Melodie and Norah.
Photo courtesy of Clint Edwards

describes interactions with his children and wife that many can relate to. His writing reflects the humorous way he translates his “boring, mundane life” into something other parents understand.
Edwards moved to Lebanon about the same time his blog gained the attention of Good Morning America in 2014. He has since published three books, with a fourth one on the way, and has had numerous articles published in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, and Fast Company.
Edwards likes Lebanon. He said it reminds him of the small, rural farming kind of town he grew up in, in Utah. He describes himself as a road cycler, the kind of “dude” who wears spandex while cycling on skinny tires through town.
“I love riding up around Foster Lake, I love riding over by Sweet Home and Berlin Road,” he said. “It’s really, really beautiful, and probably one of the things I love the most. I just leap from my front door and there’s just wonderful, wonderful cycling.”
A recent talk with his wife, Melodie, leads him to believe he’ll be here the rest of his life.
“I told her when I signed the last book deal, ‘What if this is like a big deal and this thing explodes, and we have gobs of money and we can live wherever we want?’”
He expected a response along the lines of “a little villa on a Mexican beach or something,” but what he got instead was “There’s a beautiful home just outside of Lebanon with a lot of land and trees.”
“It was then that I realized that we’re probably gonna die here,” he said.

Melodie and Clint take a break from the kids for a COVID date-in-the-car. In his post, he hints that things got steamy, and it wasn’t the chicken soup.
Photo courtesy of Clint Edwards

Edwards self-published his first book, “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” through Kickstarter, followed by two more books published by Page Street Publishing.
“I’m Sorry…Love, Your Husband,” and “Silence is a Scary Sound” include humorous essays on parenting and being a spouse, and surviving the toddler years.
His most recent book, “Father-ish,” also published by Page Street and to be released in October, shares his stories about trying his best as a parent.
“It’s just kind of a book of my fatherly fails, like every way I’ve failed up to this point,” Edwards said. “It’s funny, but at the same time it’s kind of this anti-self-help book, the idea that everybody’s screwing up and everybody’s been struggling and everybody’s just trying to raise these kids as best they can.”
Edwards earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Minnesota State University, was published in literary magazines, and completed a memoir about his father. But for someone who’d studied writing his entire life, he hadn’t gained the traction he wanted.
So, on a whim in 2013 while being a stay-at-home dad, Edwards committed to posting a blog five days a week.
“I did that for a full year, and by the end of that year, I had written for The Huffington Post, and that led me to getting the attention of The Washington Post,” he said.
In one of his articles in the Post, “I blamed my wife for our messy house; I was wrong for many reasons,” led to a discussion on Good Morning America.
“That thing went really viral. We actually had Good Morning America come to Lebanon. They came to our house and it was super awkward and I hope to never do it again,” Edwards said.
Another post, about taking his daughter out of a restaurant when she was throwing a fit,

Edwards takes a selfie to accompany his blog about his daughter making a scene in a restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Clint Edwards

went viral and led to discussions on two talk shows, he said.
Most of Edwards’ blogs are about his children, he said.
His oldest, Tristan, 13, always asks, “Are you gonna blog about this?” because, “it’s about me and I’m the only thing you blog about, right?”
Edwards describes Tristan as precocious and bright, as is his second child, Norah, 11, who’s also funny. It’s his youngest, Aspen, 6, who gives him his best writing material, though, he said.
“It feels like I’m living with a reverse Alexa, only instead of answering questions, it asks them, and if I don’t answer, it cries and cries, and then calls me a penguin,” he wrote recently.
But as his kids get older and more aware, Edwards realizes he’ll eventually have to stop writing about them.
When he was young, Edwards was a “typical ’90s kid,” with a Kurt Cobain haircut, baggy jeans, and wallet chains, and he was funny, he said.
“I was talkative. I had a lot of jokes. I was the class clown. I was the kid that couldn’t stop making jokes,” he said.
His posts and articles reveal his sense of humor, turning the honest madness of life into something to chuckle about.
When the quarantine mandate was issued earlier this year, Edwards gave an honest – albeit joking – review of his thoughts early on.
“There have been moments in the past week where I couldn’t help but wonder if me suddenly working from home with my kids out of school, all of us confined to the house, has made me a bigger threat to my children’s lives than the coronavirus,” he wrote in April.
Or, “Homeschooling has got to be why liqueur stores are COVID essential.”
Although a change of lifestyle due to COVID creates new frustrations for the family, Edwards has found the silver lining in it all.
“We don’t have to rush to soccer practice anymore. We’re not hammering through homework late into the evening. We’re not trying to scramble out the door to get the kids to school.
“It’s really given us this time to sit down and watch a movie as a family, or go in the backyard and finally put that fireplace in.”

Clint and his wife Melodie take advantage of more time spent at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo courtesy of Clint Edwards

In his blog, he writes about working with his wife in the backyard while flirting and stealing the occasional kiss, and doing more things together with her.
“In so many ways it’s rekindled something between us, and I must say, it has been the highlight of a very difficult time,” Edwards wrote.
The blogger-slash-parent-slash-spouse said people always ask him for advice on parenting and marriage.
“The best thing you could do is just really love your spouse. I think that’s the best thing you can do for children,” he said. “The best thing you can do is respect them and your marriage. Just love them, listen to them, respect them, and admire the person that they are.”
Others glean lessons from his posts and books, and that is his contribution to the world.
“I get messages from people telling me it’s helped them understand their kids, helped them understand their marriage, and that’s pretty cool, you know?”
And, at this point in time, all that help is coming out of a closet somewhere in Lebanon while chaos ensues just outside its door.