I've decided to attempt being bearded. I figured that now that I'm not working with kids, it's okay to look unkempt for a little while as I go through that transitional period of merely looking unshaven. Plus, I feel better about the idea now that I have a job. During my stints as a stay-at-home son, I felt obliged to be presentable in lieu of being productive, so I wouldn't feel like a total slob. Now I'm going out every day and working (in an industry whose workers tend to look... alternative, so I don't think I'll stick out too badly), and so I feel okay about trying this out. I grew my hair past my shoulders in college just to give it a go, and I think my face should get a turn now. This experiment shouldn't take years like my hair did, and when I'm done with it, I can take care of it myself.
I think I still look gross after about five days (can't remember when I last shaved... Thursday or Friday?), but it'll take longer to find out how it will really look.
I'm still shaving my neck, though. I'd be happy if I never grew hair there again.