The summer before my redshirt-senior year of college (I actually did redshirt, setting up at the time what would’ve been a classic raging 5th year) I found out I was going to be a father. Naturally, this drastically changed my final year of college, as well as my life trajectory, as I had now been thrown into the life of young parenthood. Being a younger parent, planned or unplanned, leads to a lot more different interactions with people than does your normal, older, more put together parent. And frankly, you hear a lot of shit that drives you crazy.
“Did you plan it?”
Yeah, doesn’t everyone spend their last year of college trading Fireball for shitty diapers while you don’t have a full-time job? Nope, didn’t plan it, just like most young parents. Sometimes you have to roll with it, and honestly, not a damn bit of your business either. You don’t see me asking if you planned that shitty haircut, or if you planned on getting the clap from that back-alley hooker, so return the favor.
“Is it hard?”
Listen, I get that you don’t know many other people with kids, besides your parents. But let’s set the record straight: obviously it’s pretty fucking hard, but that’s not just because we are young. Parenting is probably the best/most difficult job on the planet. It’s gonna be hard for anyone, doesn’t matter who you are. It’ll be hard for a 22-year-old college student, and it’ll be hard for Beyonce and Hov (can you imagine what a teenage girl with Jay Z’s DNA is going to behave like?) The question regarding parenting difficulty is more of your curiosity than anything, but just think about it before you say it, because that’s one of those questions that you know the answer to before you ask. I’ll answer anything about parenting, but I won’t answer that.
“Did you think about any other options when you found out?”
That silence was the sound of me staring after you asked one of the more awkward questions a human can ask another human — right after “Have you ever let someone shit on you?” You’re essentially asking if I considered snuffing out the bundle of joy that I currently spend my days with. If you don’t already know the answer to that question, we aren’t good enough friends to where I’m going to talk about it with you in the first place. There are plenty of things you can ask a young parent, because again, we don’t mind discussing parenting and people love talking about their kids, but why don’t you leave that question on the bench, champ.
“Do you regret it?”
Ask any parent, ask any real parent. It doesn’t matter if you become a parent at 20 or at 40. Parenting is the greatest thing you’ll ever do regardless. If re-working a Vin Diesel quote doesn’t answer that question and get it off your list once and for all, then I don’t know what to tell you. Obviously most young parents, and parents in general, have had to sacrifice some things. A lot of free time, money, and just generally missing out on some things that people their age in different situations get to do. I’ve had to skip out on nights out, trips with the boys, and really just the ability to be still somewhat irresponsible.
Do I think about that stuff sometimes and that it’d be pretty fun? Damn right I do. But if you told me I could go back and change things, you better believe I’m turning you down and taking my life with my kid every time.
At least he doesn’t ask me all these stupid fucking questions like you people do..
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