So when I've talked to people about my decision to leave my school (read, "unemployment in nice packaging"), I inevitably get one of a few positive statements:
"I think that's awesome that you're putting your family first."
"I'm sure you'll find a job up there, you're a great teacher."
"Well whatever happens, I know you'll be a great dad."
Those things are good, and I appreciate people saying them. But we're ignoring a really big elephant in the room: I AM UNEMPLOYED, AND ABOUT TO HAVE A CHILD THAT COSTS A LOT. And that's just the practical elephant - there are others, including me potentially finishing a Master's degree, with nowhere to use it, me feeling useless in my culturally-conditioned masculine role of providing for my family, etc. And all of THAT is just the stuff about me, it doesn't even scratch the surface of the baby-rearing stuff.
There will be time for concern and reflection on my career path - I thought that here, for your entertainment, I'd list a few things that worry or bother me about actually having a baby. For the veterans among you, this will be pretty amusing.
There are two things I find universally foul in life - feet, and bathrooms. Diapers are like bathrooms that got rubbed all over your baby, and then you have to mess with it. A bunch of times every day. The first time I changed the poopy undergarments of another human being, I almost threw up on an adorable little four-year-old girl. It's not gonna be pretty. And even worse, my wife wants to use cloth diapers/ I get it - it will save us lots of money over the course of my child's upbringing. But man, I have to clean that stuff OUT? And then put it in the washing machine, where I put my own, poop-free clothes? That's really disgusting, and it's hands-down the thing I'm dreading most about my baby.
STUPID KID WORDS
If you ever hear me using baby words, ESPECIALLY if I'm not talking to a baby, I give you permission to punch me in the face. I hate adults talking like babies. And even worse, I hate baby products with unnecessarily stupid names, as if they're named so that babies can say it easier, regardless of the fact that BABIES DON'T TALK WHEN THEY'RE THAT SMALL. A few examples:
Pacifiers. People have the dumbest names for pacifiers - the most frequent one I can think of is "binky." You made that up, your child didn't. You probably referred to it as a "binky" months before your child said anything at all. Why????
There are these pillows that are horseshoe-shaped, made for really little babies who don't sit up on their own well yet. I own one, and I'm sure I'll find it very useful. But I refuse to call it a "Boppy." That's what it's called on the package, and people use that name just like they call the copy machine a Xerox. Hell no. And the same goes for the butt-shaped squishy chair that keeps kids from falling over while eating, the "Bumbo." How about "chair?" Yeah, I like that. We all know which chair the baby uses.
SHOWERING, SLEEPING, AND OTHER HYGIENIC/LIFE MATTERS
I guess I'll learn this soon enough, but I keep wondering, do you just have to have a visual on the baby all the time? What do I do with her when I shower? What about when I am out in public and have to go to the bathroom? I'm not gonna put her on the bathroom floor...do I hold her? I know people drop their phones in the toilet on a semi-regular basis - dropping the baby in the toilet would be worse. I just don't know what happens here. And what about when she's asleep? Can I go do other stuff? Can I get the mail, or do I have to bring her out to the mailbox?
Honestly, those are about the only things worrying me about being a father right now. If you have kids, you're probably laughing at the things I don't even know I should worry about yet. If you don't, you're probably as disgusted by cloth diapers and baby words as I am.