One of the great and unique things about my choice to be a single mom is that my baby’s father is my best friend. We met over 20 years ago and we’ve been a part of each other’s families, celebrated holidays together, mourned each other’s loss of a parent, traveled together, laughed together and been the closest, most trusted confidants for each other. Dan is smart, loving, generous and so funny. I couldn’t hope for more, for the father of my child.
Over the years, as I struggled with bad dates, dead-end boyfriends and a growing desire to be a mommy, Dan would say, “If you want to be a single mom, I’ll be happy to give you my seed.” I knew that Dan would love to be a father and he probably wouldn’t be one unless I took him up on his offer. And, all though I had always imagined myself with a conventional family, this senario had great appeal.
Dan is gay. And though his sexuality has no relevance to his being a father, it is an important part of who he is.
Dan fathering my baby was always a real option, but I thought it wouldn’t happen because surely I would fall in love and end up having a traditional family. Interestingly enough, when I would start to date someone new, I would compare the guy to Dan and then feel sadness at the idea of NOT having a baby with Dan. I’d feel a huge distance with the date compared to a friendship of 20 years and think why am I working so hard to get married and have kids? I like being single. Dan is already my family and I want my baby now. I’d think back to my encounter with Mark23 and think, Yep.
I loved the idea of bringing a child into the world who was a result of our strong friendship and I knew I would be a wonderful mother on my own. But, I still wasn’t completely ready to give up on finding love.
As I got closer to 40, and still not finding my match, I’d date guys and feel exhausted by them. It took so much work. Nothing just flowed. There weren’t any of those we talked all night encounters. There wasn’t that click where we fell in love and both wanted the same things. I was dating more and more guys with major ISSUES and I had no patience for it.
I remember after I had been dating Charlie for a few months, I was miserable; I liked him, but he had so much baggage about women and intimacy. He’d tell me he really liked me, then wouldn’t call for days. He’d invite me to go away with him for the weekend, then not follow through with plans. He’d avoid certain restaurants because he used to go to them with his ex. I had no desire to try to make it work. I felt done with dating. I just wanted a baby and I was going to do it. Having the option to do it on my own gave me the confidence to stay away from DESPERATION that hits so many at this age.
I remember once seeing on Facebook that a high school friend of mine had just gotten married. I wrote her a note of congratulations and her response back to me was, “I know! Getting married after 40 is less likely then being struck by lightning.”
I sat staring at her response for a few minutes. First of all, I’m sure she knew I wasn’t married (rude?) Second, I’m not sure that’s an accurate statement. Third, I was thinking she’d say something like, thanks he’s a great guy.
It just hit me as odd, but it also rang true… this is how women think! This is what women worry about. Women obsess about getting married, because society said we have to (and maybe they want to) and they give all their power away and end up feeling unhappy and victimized. This was not the way I wanted to live. I wanted more control over my life.
Yes, I had to mourn the idea of not falling in love and having a baby with that love, as in my fantasy of a perfect life, but I also had to trust that having my baby would bring me the greatest joy. And I was right.
I don’t think about falling in love anymore, because I am in love… I know, I know, it’s different, but I’ve never been happier; not even when I was in love with boyfriends.
I don’t feel ready to have a relationship. I don’t want to spend time away from Spenser to date. My life feels right. It feels like the only life I’ve ever wanted.
I chose this life for myself, consciously and unconsciously.
It is a beautiful life I have.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinker-tailor/3886539120/”>Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>