The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

March 11, 2009

Open Letter To J. And Other Guys Struggling With The Idea Of Fatherhood

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 1:20 am

Dude.

Normally when a guy brings up the idea that he’s really struggling with the whole idea of whether or not he should have a baby, if he’s ready, does he really want it, can he deal, etc, couples who have young little rug rats all say the same thing: “Oh you should. You really should. Just do it, it’ll all work out.”

I am not one of those people. I do not think you just should. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. It is NOT something you perhaps should “just do”. If you’re not doing it because although know you really want a kid, you’re just too nervous about the whole thing, then yes, stop being a little pussy and have a baby. If you know you want it, then do it. You’ll survive and you’ll find more love than you ever thought imaginable.

However this is not always the case. If you’re not sure, in case you haven’t read a SINGLE blog entry, it’s TOUGH. Maybe you SHOULD wait until you feel ready. Personally it was the choice i made. I waited a long time and when i was ready, i had a kid. I had waited for a variety of reasons, including financial and stability. Ironically, i am no more financially stable, or stably stable then i was when i was stressing. I just don’t care. I found myself staring down the ass end of 40, knowing i wanted a baby and thinking if i wait much longer he’s going to have to change MY diapers as soon as i finish changing his. So screw it. And i had a baby and i’m REALLY happy about it.

However i’ve seen the whole “it’ll all work out” work out. I’ve seen a couple have a baby (unplanned admittedly and they were not anywhere near married) and the entire first year of his life was populated by middle of the night screaming fights, objects thrown… another friend of theirs had to come over quite often at 2am to cool things down. This was followed by years of resentment and now they’re great. They never did end up together (to his sadness) and the kid is great. But “it all worked itself out” was pretty ugly.

It’s a lot to deal with, and the fact that i really wanted it has made dealing with it okay. Also, now that he’s about 15 weeks, it’s definitely gotten easier. The routine is down pat.

So let me lay it out for you. The pros and cons.

Cons:

1. You will never get an uninterrupted night’s sleep again. It’s been 4 months since i’ve had even one uninterrupted night’s sleep at a decent hour, and there is no end ANYwhere on the horizon. Now i’m used to it. The first 2 months are a living hell. Now i get up, feed him, put him back to sleep. Sometimes i have to change a diaper and really WORK to put him to sleep. Usually it’s okay.

2. You know how sometimes you just think “hey, i think i’ll go out tonight!” and then you just do? Yeah, those days are SO over.

Which reminds me, you DO live close to someone who can stop by to watch the kid or whom you can drop the kid off at? Family is usually by far the best choice. But TRUST ME, you will NEED a third party to come take over. The 2 of you will NEVER be able to do it by yourselves. Can i get an amen from other parents out  there?

3. The pot’s gotta go for a long while. For her, really. For you, hell as long as she’s cool with it you can smoke up until the delivery, although personally, i quite drinking a few weeks before the due date because i didn’t want to be all loose at 3AM only to have Maja go into labor and have to deal with the whole thing fucked up. That would really suck, so i recommend playing it cool in the 9th month.

But for her, that pot has got to GO. And not just for the 9 months of pregnancy. If she breastfeeds (i feel it’s important if you can but this is totally an issue for the 2 of you to decide for yourselves) it’s gonna have to be aWHILE.  Although like i said, for you, not so big a deal as long as your wife is comfortable with it. I’ve known hippy parents who do bong hits and then play with their kids and have a really great time. I ain’t gonna preach, but it should be mentioned that in general partying and dealing with babies don’t mix. We all have a few beers, and a joint on your back porch isn’t gonna render you comatose, but you know what i mean. If you have a… lust for partying and getting loopy, you know as well as i that that lust is going to bring nothing but trouble.

4. I hope the two of you really like each other because you will have to interact under some seriously stressful conditions. No sleep, screaming baby; hell, a buddy of mine warned me before hand. He said: “Paul, in that first month or 2, you will find yourself at 4:30 in the morning standing in your bedroom, with the baby screaming it’s head off and your wife sobbing hysterically and you completely sleep deprived, standing there just biting your hand to keep from screaming too.”

Okay, this was a little over dramatic. I didn’t actually bite my hand. But otherwise he called it perfectly. This will not be a one time event.

You know you’ll be dealing with each other when you have NO nerves left, so i recommend having a good solid relationship going in.

So let’s recap: You’ll never sleep. You’ll never go out. You’ll be unable when you do to talk about anything other than the baby. (actually, not true When i go out with friends here… like the…. 3 times. No, wait, 2. Anyway, i have rule. No baby talk. Answer any questions asked, then move the discussion  along.) Partying: over. Freedom: never again. He is dependent on you and will be for the next 18 years. And right now, s/he is TOTALLY dependent on you. He can’t even clean his own poop.

(note i didn’t mention poop as one of the negatives. You’ll clean a lot of it, but honestly, at this point, i change his diaper so much it doesn’t even register anymore. It’s actually one of the easiest tasks. Screaming gas fits in the middle of the night, THAT’S the hard stuff.)

The pros:

1.

img_0195

This pic is old i know. It’s from back near the beginning.

2. The simple act of uploading this pic from the folder on my desktop made my eyes start watering, and even now as i glance at it i have to stop myself from crying.

You have NEVER in your ENTIRE life, felt love like this. EVER for ANYTHING. I would take a bullet in the balls for him without hesitation.

3. Your entire self identity will change. I NEVER saw myself as a father or as father material. Now, i will never see myself NOT as father. I am no longer simply who i was, i am a father too. It may not sound like much, but it’s profound. And i love it. I love being his Daddy.

4. Eventually they talk. And they will LOVE to hang out with you. They will love nothing more then to be with you and hear you talk and talk to you back and go places with you. (up until 14. Then you have to drop them off a block away so their friends don’t see you). Even now, he loves nothing more than hanging out with me and maja. When one of us walks into the room after having been away for let’s say an hour or more, his face LIGHTS up. HUGE smile. HE loves us. This wasn’t visible a few weeks ago, but it sure is now.

5. What are you giving to the world? Is music, for instance,  it? Music is great. It is a good gift. Are you okay with that being all? Is it just going to be some music? That’s cool if it is. You could also give the gift of life, of being a good father (this is more rare than you think), and even by proxy giving the gift of life to a great great great grandchild you’ll never know, who will be around long after your music has been forgotten, and who will live because you did. Or more specifically because you did the nasty with your girl.

6. You are going to die and each and every year it comes closer. You do not have forever to make this decision. You may decide to wait until a certain age, which is cool. I’m just reminding you the reaper takes a step closer every day. However you don’t smoke cigarettes, so add a couple years. Ooops, wait, cholesterol, never mind, he’s coming again.

Whee! And on that note, there you have it. The pros and cons of baby having. Good luck with your struggle and maybe you should not worry. Deciding to put off a serious discussion about it until next year this time may be the solution for now.

Have an awesome vacation, don’t worry about being pathetically poor, most of the planet is pathetically poor and the number is basically shooting up every day. Come to sunny Serbia. It’s not that it’s really that cheap, it’s just everyone is so used to being somewhat poor it doesn’t even register on the radar.

I love you and i’ll write you a REAL letter, you know, a personal one, soon. (i’m lying. after writing all this i’ll NEVER write another long e-mail. i WILL call eventually, though…)

Love,

-Paulsy.

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3 Comments »

  1. Good advice, pretty much my standard spiel. One clarification, though: You will sleep again. It seems far off now, but it does eventually happen. In fact, it gets to the point where you have to wake HIM up. Yeah, I know, that just totally blew your mind, didn’t it? But it’s true.

    As many hits as I’m taking now (potty training, authority resistance, spills all over the carpet), the newborn stage still gives me the acid flashbacks. It is not remotely for the uncommitted. In fact, it’s a good way to GET committed. To an asylum.

    To reiterate: If you’re not sure, DON’T DO IT. Get a dog or cat instead.

    Comment by matthew — March 11, 2009 @ 4:19 am | Reply

    • Thank you matthew for backing me up here. I get so annoyed with the constant “oh do it, do it!” A friend i wrote this for, that’s all he’s ever told, i all i can think is “hang on there, you might actually want to make sure you’re ready and get prepared if you’re so on the fence.”

      “In fact, it gets to the point where you have to wake HIM up.” Reading these words makes me weep. I know it’s not really true and you’re only saying this to be nice, but it works. It makes me dream feel so very warm inside. Thank you for that wonderful fantasy.

      Comment by bunitingi — March 11, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  2. This morning:

    “Wake up, Nathan, time to go to school.”

    “Leave my lone!”

    “Come on, Nathan, let’s get some breakfast.”

    “No, want blanket!”

    “It’s morning, come on, kiddo.”

    “I tired! I not go school today! Leave my lone!!”

    It’ll happen. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, I’m not quite sure yet.

    Comment by matthew — March 11, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply


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