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Transitioning to family life

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pringle, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    So I'm a relatively new parent - within the last two years. As all of you who are parents know, life changes. It changes suddenly, of course, but it also starts to change over the long-term as your lifestyle segways.

    Anyway, I'm just curious to hear some thoughts on how the transition went for others, particularly with friends who aren't married or, in particular, don't have children.


    This coming Sunday, I'm going to an NFL game with my younger brother. He texted and asked if I'd be interested, the day before, in going to another sporting event, as well. I texted back, "Can't do it. I'm already doing something the weekend before with friends. Can't spend that much time away."

    His response: "Man up."

    He was joking, so I can't get mad at him for being insensitive, but the implication was clear: I'm turning into a henpecked husband who doesn't drink it up with the fellas any more.

    On another recent weekend, I left a friend's place on a Saturday morning after an overnight visit and told him I had to get home. His response: "She's the boss." And this is a guy who always says stuff like this, not in a mocking tone, but in a way that is supposed to convey empathy. Which is weird to respond to. When you're in a family, you put your family first. Bottom line.

    I'm reminded of that scene in the first season of "Louie," where he has a classmate of his daughters over for the playdate. The mom says, "You're a great dad. You're in the same room with them. That puts you ahead of 99 percent of men. Dads mostly suck."

    Anyway, just curious if others have experienced the peer pressure to, well, suck at being a husband and dad. I kind of like settling into this stage of my life. But the late 20s and early 30s are a time when not everyone has yet, and it can be awkward with friendships. How do you guys respond? Even besides peer pressure, did you find the transition difficult? Rewarding?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's a lot easier when the people you hang out with also have kids. Everybody has the single friend or relative that will tease you about doing everything from changing diapers to not being able to go to the bar to watch a game.

    If we make plans with friends, we all know that plans can be canceled in a heartbeat if one of the kids are sneezing, coughing, vomiting, irritable, etc...

    "Hey, can't make the movie, the baby's sick..."
    "That's fine... We know the drill..."

    Single guys can't relate to that and they can get pissy about it. Then, as soon as they have kids of their own, they instantly understand.
  3. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I take it as a simple reminder that there's a healthy balance to be struck.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If you just had kids and you don't have a nanny or an in-law staying with you, there is no balance early on. Your world revolves around the kid, as it should... If you do venture out with the boys or to a sporting event, make sure your wife is on board. This has nothing to do with being henpecked or p-whipped or whatever, it's just being courteous and showing your wife that you're not going to bail and go party while she's at home being overwhelmed with a newborn. Obviously, if you're traveling for work, that's a different story...
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Talking about your feelings because someone told you to "man up"? Sounds like you really do need to man up.
  6. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member

    I never understood peer pressure. If I don't want to go to a game, I don't. "Manning up" doesn't mean shit to me. My wife allows me to do pretty much anything but as Mizzou says, it is about respect and being courteous. I would rather spend time with my boys and wife. Going to a game can still be fun but I look forward to the day when my boys are old enough to go with me. That is fun and "manning up".
  7. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    I'm not so much upset about it as I thought it was an American male phenomenon that I thought was worth discussing and swapping stories about.

    I particularly find it just ... odd that someone - and this is the kid's uncle - would say, "Man up," as a response to someone opting out of a sporting event to be a father to his child. More than anything, I guess it shows the unbridgeable psychological gulf between dads and non-dads.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Or it shows that you have a friend who thinks it is funny to tell you to man up.

    Occam's Razor, imo.
  9. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    It is definitely not above my brother to push buttons. :)
  10. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about the comments, be secure in yourself. How could your single friends possibly understand something they have not experienced? There is no substitute for seeing your own kid delivered, ever (IMHO). "Manning up?" That's just a catchy phrase for "my life's great, come vindicate me." (I admit though, when my sister(and brother in law) had my nephew and I was single, I did not understand their cancellations due to a "cold, etc.")

    Life's about choices, you've made a very significant one. Take heart in that. Congrats to you.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The second that kid is born, it's not about you anymore.

    It's not a hard transition to that because most of us would go without anything to make sure our kids have everything they need...

    I've had to decline invitations to some of the bachelor parties of some of my closest friends. I feel a little guilty because some of these people came to mine, but I really don't feel that guilty about it and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Sorry, but I'm not going to my wife and say, "We're not putting money into the college fund this month, so I can go to Vegas and get drunk with the boys..."

    It would never cross my mind to do that.

    It's all about the kids and I wouldn't have it any other way...
  12. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, your wife and the kid will make it through a night just fine without you. In fact, it's good for them to learn to manage without you for a few hours. You can instill confidence and independence ... and man-up at the same time.
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