If you’ve been keeping track of me on here or on my other social media you know by now that this summer my first child will be arriving and that I am excited beyond belief. Since I announced the great news I’ve had such a great outpour of support from both my close live friends and my interweb compatriots. Lots of good wishes, great advice, and useful discussion.
Unfortunately, imminent parenthood seems to attract an insidious breed of moral reptile that loves dwelling in constant negativity. My wife seems to be getting the brunt of the annoyance, mostly thirty-something childless woo girls who dwell in mid-twenties infantilism, spouting annoying negativities about childbirth, pregnancy, motherhood, and the whole experience in general. These are the same time of women who despise marriage and anything wholesome in general and will end up lonely cat-parasite infested alcoholics.
What bothers me personally is the constant reminder that “man enjoy your sleep now because you will be tired… har har har,” a million times a week. I understand that the sentiment is meant as a light-hearted joke, but honestly, it bugs the shit out of me. It bothers me because I personally look forward to being tired because of my soon to be born child.
In my early twenties, I used to spend nights partying in alcohol-fueled rages. I used to hop from party to party for what seemed like weeks at a time. My buddies and I used to quote Hellraiser, “the suffering will be legendary,” to describe the horrendous hangovers. Sleep was an afterthought.
In my mid to late twenties, I continued my partying but now in a more sophisticated fashion with the USMC. I used to go drinking with my buddies, close off bars, only to be in formation a few hours later ready for a twelve mile, fully geared, hike up and down the trails on Camp Pendleton. The suffering was legendary.
When I was in Afghanistan I would go on eight-plus hours long patrols, return to the PB, only to be sent out again before I even had a chance to take off my gear. Not to mention that when I wasn’t out I had other duties like running sick-call or standing radio watch in the command tent. Sleep was a luxury that was never guaranteed and never taken for granted.
So basically, the way I look at it is that if I could give up sleep to party, give up sleep for war, I will willingly and gladly give up sleep to take care of my child. I know parenthood will be difficult and tough, but I’ve learned from experience that anything worth doing should be challenging.
After all, for all the hardships, I miss the adrenaline filled patrols and camaraderie from my time in Afghanistan. In the scope of life, it was just a short six months, but I remember every day in vivid detail. I have a feeling that having an infant will have a similar imprint in my life. In the big picture, it will be a short time, but one that I will always look back on.
So yeah.. I get it, it will be hard, but I’m looking forward to it, so shut the fuck up.