How is a childless man supposed to compete against all those dads? Well, one man reportedly tried to create a fake family.
Here is your open thread.
Meaghan:: Um, can I buy baby booties for $60 with tax and shipping? No, right?
Mike: Hah I mean if you need them. If they are just cute, um, maybe close the tab
Meaghan: JUST VERY CUTE.
Mike: You know that baby clothes last for like, 5 days and then they grow out of it
Meaghan: Definitely. Also we just bought him functional winter booties that were a third of this price. Also they are 0-6 months and he’s 5 months and generally follows the size guidelines. But I mean, look at them.
Mike: Omg. Hah, they are very cute
Meaghan: I put in my card info then saw the shipping and tax and was like WAIT WHAT AM I DOING?
Mike: The Cost of Being Cute For One Month
You need 10-12 cloth diapers ($180) just to get through a regular Monday — and that assumes you are then going to wash and dry the whole load to get it ready for Tuesday, and you will never do that, that’s insane. So really you need more like 25 ($250) at least, plus the liners, which are still necessary to keep the diapers from turning into a swamp.
In 2012, Consumer Reports estimated that new parents will spend $2,500+ dealing with the aftereffects of one baby’s digestion. Because everything made by Proctor and Gamble is an environmental scourge, you can instead, if you like, spend $3,500+ on eco-friendly alternatives. (It’s not easy being green.)
Following on Meaghan’s meditation on childrearing and work and the putting-together of grown-up puzzle pieces, commenter Vanderlyn asked the following not-crazy question: “Why do people still yearn to have biological children? Especially when doing so will render one’s life (more) financially tenuous, when there are so many unwanted children already out there, and when the world is already straining under the load of 7 billion of us?”
Fantasies and gratitude for reality aren’t mutually exclusive! Or maybe fantasies distract from gratitude. I don’t know! It’s not greedy! Or is it?
As I passed by him he shouted something else that I didn’t quite hear. I turned around, said, “What?” “Who’s watching your BABY?!” he repeated, laughing a little.
I spun around to make eye contact with him. “My HUSBAND!” I said and spun back around and crossed the street.
At last, at last, the US Department of Labor (and Delivery? ba-dum-ching) has started a push on the subject of paid leave:
The most important family value of all is time together. With the changing nature of our 21st-century workforce, it’s getting harder and harder to balance the demands of the family you love and the job you need. Change has yet to come to Washington, but momentum is growing in the states: So far, California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have passed paid leave laws. It’s time to update workplace policies that are stuck in the past and give more Americans paid family leave – to take care of sick loved ones and newborn children. It’s time for us to #LeadOnLeave.
You have to chuckle at the idea of us “leading on leave” at this point, when we have lagged so far behind for so long. But I understand the hashtag as a framing device: Americans don’t want to do anything unless we can be bravely at the vanguard, waving the sword way out front as others fall in line behind, so, okay, sure, let’s “#LeadOnLeave.” Anything to help us stop pouting on the ground with our arms crossed.
What are these new state laws? Here’s some info about the situation in Rhode Island for example (“an employee can have up to four weeks of paid time off from work without fear of losing their job to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child through birth, adoption or foster care”). Gee, that sounds idyllic. Maybe we’ll move to Provincetown Providence after all.