My life has changed immeasurably since I had my first (only?) child in September. I’ve spent a fair amount of time detailing how I’ve had to make sacrifices, how my free time has dwindled, where my money goes, etc. But I knew all that was coming.
What I didn’t expect was to have the way I view the world altered as much as it’s been. I just don’t see things the same way as a father as I did when I was childless. For better and worse.
Click below and together we can take a look at how my outlook on things has (or hasn’t) changed!
Without further ado, here is a quick list of ways my view of the world has changed.
I like parents more.
Maybe “like” is the wrong word. I don’t go around liking every Tom, Dick and Harry I meet, Facebook be damned. But I definitely find myself empathizing more with fellow parents. Whereas I used to think it was pathetic the way they let their lives be railroaded and diminished by their kid(s), now…actually, I still feel the same away. Not about all parents but about a lot of them. Yes, having a kid has a profound effect on your day-to-day, but there are ways to strike a balance so that you don’t have to surrender your old life and your old personality and become a different person. And if you do choose to break free from the past and live as a slave to your kid’s schedule and demands, then just accept the fact that it’s ultimately your choice and stop bitching about it. My wife and I decided long before our son was born that we were going to do whatever it took to maintain some semblance of our former lifestyles, and so far so good. If that means I occasionally throw up on my son after a night of drinking, so be it. It’s not like he hasn’t puked on me.
I still hate other people’s babies.
Seriously. I love my fucking baby so much it hurts, but I still hate yours. In fact, I think I hate him even more now than I did before I had my own. In the past I merely hated him because he existed and was loud and annoying and I was expected to worship at the altar of other people’s ability to procreate. But now, not only do I still hate him for those reasons, I also hate him because his pathetic existence is an affront to my child’s role as King Paragon of All Babies. My child is so far superior to yours and everyone else’s that it makes me sick to see you parading that useless blob of whine around town. He should be shielding his eyes and bowing to my son, and I swear to God, one day he will be. YOU WILL ALL BE BOWING.
I no longer laugh at my collection of baby torture videos.
To be honest, I never really did. That shit’s messed up. But now that I have a son, a son whose face appears every time I read something about a parent shaking a baby to death or neglecting a baby to play Farmville or whatever, I react a lot more strongly than I used to. All the terrible stories about child abuse and neglectful parents hit a lot closer to home now that I have a child that can potentially be abused or neglected. Crying It Out notwithstanding, Parenting Nazis!
I still love pornography.
But I came of age during an era where it was harder to come by, and thus my world-view wasn’t shaped irrevocably by ubiquitous imagery wherein women are completely subservient and all encounters with a member of the opposite sex lead to bukkake. Needless to say while I still enjoy the occasional gonzo reel, the consequences of my son growing up in a world blanketed with unrealistic paradigms for sexual interaction make me very nervous. It makes me almost as nervous as the potential for a generation of kids having had their expectations skewed by porn eventually reaching a tipping point that alters the way real-life interactions occur. In 100 years we may very well be living a porn movie. Even more than we already are (have you seen “Skins”? Remember when that piece of shit Kids was a big deal? Kids is like a sitcom compared to “Skins”.). The best thing to do as a parent is to kill your child before he or she hits puberty. Or at least to commit suicide and spare yourself the trauma.
I don’t feel as strongly about sports.
I feel MORE strongly. I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine – a new parent like me – who admitted that a favorite team’s wins and losses didn’t hurt or help as much as they used to. This confession came, conveniently enough, directly after one such team’s bitterly disappointing playoff defeat. So I called bullshit and was quickly rewarded by losing said friend. Them’s the breaks I guess. But it got me thinking. Was this friend right? Yes. Because sports don’t carry the same weight post-child as they did pre-child. They carry MORE weight. Watching my favorite teams play is a fucking respite from dealing with a shitting baby all the time. Please God invent MORE sports for me to use as an excuse to watch three hours of TV while chugging a sixpack. I’m begging you. I don’t care if the Dolphins go 0 and 48 over the next three years (a real possibility). Just let me get out of the goddamn house once a week!
On that note, Go Pack, Go Steelers and I hope all the Jets’ players heads explode!