Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Don't Always Get Sick of People

1.  Burt's Bees Chapstick.  Just gotta love products that work.
2.  The Fisher Price swing.  It may not always keep my baby quiet, but it sure helps.
3.  When my wife recognizes something I've done and compliments me on it.

Most of the time, when I'm really sick of being around people, it's because of closed mindedness and prejudice.  Lately though, I've been amazed.  Not at how closed minded people are, but how accepting they've been.  I really have two big examples.

The first is how my wife and I have decided to care for our daughter.  Because we need my wife's employment, we'll be going the non-traditional route of me being the primary care giver.  We've even talked about this being the case in the future.  My wife is a school teacher who loves her students and loves teaching, and with me being a writer, I'll be able to care for our daughter while my wife goes to work.  I may be Mr. Mom forever.  When we first decided to do it, I was ready for arguments from every older person we came in contact with.  I imagined it going something like:

"So, will ____ be quitting her job?"
"Oh, no.  She'll keep working and I'll be taking care of ______"
"Hmmm.  You know, God made women to be care takers and men to be bread winners right?"
"Well, it's true that women are often better at being care givers, but that doesn't mean men can't be.  I'm a very loving person who isn't afraid of diapers or messes.  I think I'll do just fine."
"Is 'just fine' really what you want for your daughter.  Your wife was MADE to do what you are going to try to learn to do."
"Look.  As things are we need her income and we need insurance.  Do you really think that our daughter would have things better if we didn't have those things?"
"Maybe you should try being a man and getting a job."
"Maybe you should mind your business!"

I'm not sure why I thought it would go this way.  It could be because I try to think of the worst possible scenario to cope with anxiety, but that makes me think of worst possible scenario always.  What we've really received from everyone we've told goes something like this:

"So, will _____ be quitting her job?"
"Nope, I'll be the primary care giver."
"Oh, well that'll be good.  Then she won't have to quit teaching."
"Yeah, we have it figured out so that she can keep working and I'll keep going to school.  My mom is going to help while I'm at school."
"It's so great that couples can do that now."
"It really is isn't it?"

To say the least, it's been refreshing.

The second is me deciding to be a writer for a living.  I was expecing:

"So, if you're not going to be a therapist, what will you be?"
"My wife and I talked about it, and I'm going to try writing."
"What kind of stuff will you write?"
"Mostly novels."
"You know how much competition there is right?"
"Yep."
"Don't you care about your family?  There's no security there."
"That's not totally true.  I'll be my own boss, which means that I'll never get laid off.  I just sell my product to someone else."
"Think about it however you want.  I think you should be responsible and get a real job."

What I've really received:

"So, if you're not going to be a therapist, what do you want to be?"
"_____ and I talked about it, and I'm going to try to be a writer."
"Really?  That's great.  What kind of stuff do you want to write?"
"Novels mostly."
"That's awesome.  I didn't know that about you.  Let me know what you've published one and I'll go buy it."
"Thanks, I will."

Again, refreshing.  I just love the people around me.  They're so supportive, even when what I want to do isn't the convention.

Have a nice day.

7 comments:

  1. Glad you are feeling so good.

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  2. isn't it lovely when people do the opposite of what you expect & it turns out that they're nice?
    have fun being at home with your girlie! being a stay-at-home parent, whether you're male or female, can be exhausting. allow people to help you even though sometimes you might feel like you haven't earned it since all you did was stay home & take care of the baby all day. that's a HUGE and often draining job. but the most fabulous thing ever, too.
    good luck with the writing! i wish i could write fiction, but i've got no skills.

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  3. People can be surprising sometimes. Right now, with me being the unemployed student, I imagine similar scenarios in my head too. Who knows? Maybe they'll surprise me too.

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  4. @Katie
    I do my best. :)

    @dbs
    Me too.

    @Sheri
    Thanks for the encouragement and advice. My mom is already on call for if things go south. And I think you'd be surprised at how well you could write fiction if you gave it a shot. It's like anything else, it takes practice.

    @Vinny
    I really can't say how it'll work out for you, but it sure is nice when it works out well.

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  5. You will come across both types, and they all have an opinion. It's nice to talk to people who are positive about your decisions and give support.

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  6. For sure. I think (at least in the states) that it's almost uncouth to say anything negative about stay at home dads, so if some people don't like it, I haven't heard it.

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