A little background: I belong to a “social networking” site, which is my covert way of saying an online dating site. I do not currently have an active dating profile, but participate in the forums pretty regularly. I’ve also made some acquaintances that I correspond with and have directed many of them to this blog. I am posting a recent email that I received, not because I am angry, but because this is a common sentiment when I inform anyone of my decision to use this babymaking route.
“hmmm !!! i just meant , that your making something happen that's suppose to happen naturally ....there is a reason why you are not with child ...what it is , i don't know ......i just feel that you should make things happen ...sort of like your playing god !! have you thought about the babies feelings ...growing up without a dad , and all the other things ......does this make you selfish ? to only think of what you want ? ...ok, ok ,,,i quit ....this too deep for me ...... i would just rather float down the river in a kayak ,and see where it takes me”
I have thought about all of these things, agonizing over many of them. Here is what I came up with…Does anything really happen naturally? Aren’t we active participants, guiding our own paths? I do realize this isn’t the “traditional” path for having a baby, but many things in life have evolved beyond the traditional. The reason I don’t have a child isn’t part of some grand plan. It’s a product of choices I’ve made and choices I’ve not made. I refuse to get into a relationship with the sole purpose of parenting. I’ve been a wife. It isn’t the same job as being a mother. They have very different responsibilities involved in them. Why is it a necessity to take on the role of wife before or at the same time as mother? Many women do this (become mothers) unintentionally. I am amazed at how so many people are accepting of that, but somehow think that actively making this decision is somehow less worthy. I have put hours upon hours of consideration into this decision. I would venture to guess the majority of parents, even the ones in loving, stable relationships, haven’t done the sole searching I have done prior to having a child.
The other argument I hear is the “growing up without a dad” sentiment. Will my child be the only one without a dad? It’s such an absurd argument. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce and countless numbers of children being raised in single parent households, I doubt that my decision is as scandalous as some would make it seem. My child will not have been “abandoned” by anyone. There will be no dad who chose to have limited or no contact. There will be no split household which requires shuffling back and forth between worlds. As for the “other things” that my child will be without, I cannot fathom what they could be. My income is higher than a significant number of 2 parent households, and I have an unbelievably supportive family and group of friends. That’s so much more than many children have. Does that make me selfish? Possibly. But tell me, does anyone have a child for purely unselfish reasons?!
I have never been the “float down the river” kind of person. I have always had direction and drive. I work hard for what I want and am not afraid to face any challenge. My child will be completely and fully desired. He or she will not just be something that happened in my life!