Societal Requirements on Daddies

Life is already difficult. But when you become a dad, there’s things you have to do, and things society expects you to do. And the unfortunate thing is, when society expects something from you, there are consequences for not living up to those expectations. Luckily I have a good wife, and that makes things easier.

As a dad, there are things I want to do. I want to spend time with my family. I also want to make sure I provide for them. When times are tough, this means I need to work extra hard make sure my family has what they need. Unfortunately, this also means I spend less time with them while I try to make sure they can eat. I feel like my kid has only 1 parent sometimes: his mom. In any case, here is what I hear, as a dad from others, on a regular basis on how I should run my life. These people (many without children), know exactly what I should be doing. It’s great to be surrounded by know-it-alls:

  • Get a job lazy! I have a job. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this.
  • Get a second job! I have a second job you dolt.
  • Get a better job! Do you think I sit on my hands all day?
  • Put your kid in daycare and let your wife get a job! Great, BOTH our paychecks can go towards daycare, and instead of having just 1 defacto parent, my kid can have a whopping 0.
  • Use government assistance to pay for daycare! In case you haven’t noticed, I have a strong moral objection to using violent monopolies. Sure, I’ve paid into it, but I’d rather minimize my involvement with such entities for moral and non-of-your-business type reasons.
  • You need to be there for your kid! Work less hours and spend more time with him! My idea of spending time with my kid isn’t holding him while he starves. Longer workdays until I find something better. drinks coffee
  • You should pray about it! Every morning. Any more suggestions to do things I’m already doing?
  • I’ll pray for you That’s great. You wouldn’t happen to know anyone hiring, would you?
  • You should ditch your cell phone/stop buying computer stuff/get a cheaper cell phone plan/something else here. Seriously? My cellphone plan with unlimited data is cheaper than most voice-only plans. Most of my equipment was cheap/free, and to top it off, it’s all necessary for the work I do, and am getting into. It pays for itself and then some.

Some people just don’t understand how difficult it is to do everything I need to do with multiple jobs that don’t pay well, a kid in need of frequent surgeries, out of state, all out of pocket (to be fair, the doctor would have been doing it for free and I would need to pay for everything else. This would be fine except the hospital staff is full of people who can’t keep anything straight, and insisted on us paying for everything upfront with the possibility of a refund). I fill my schedule with work to pay for this, medical bills, food, rent, etc.

Put very simply, it feels like drowning. It feels like I’ve been shoved off a boat with concrete boots, and I can’t get a decent job locally (True, I should have moved somewhere with an actual city.) And it’s great that people like to give us money; the fundraiser for the previous trip to Maryland was an incredible success. But it’d be even better if I just had a job.

Or more clients. The positive side to all of this is that “expensive phone” and “expensive computer (that I didn’t buy)” have really helped in getting jobs outside of the 9-5 world. And the work from just two days usually equals my weekly take-home pay. The downside is that I just can’t find enough of these… yet. I also probably should start charging for my iPhone apps at some point.

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