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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Bumps ahead

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Author Topic: Bumps ahead
Dzuunmod
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My partner and I have known for sometime now that a rather large bump in the road is coming in our relationship.

Basically, she wants children (or maybe only a single child) and I want none.

If I do go ahead and father a child, I don't want to play that large a role in his/her life. A lesbian couple that are friends of my partners' had two children, one each, both fathered by a gay man who was a tenant of theirs. Last I knew, I was still playing a small role in the childrens' lives, and everything was going pretty swimmingly. I envy that arrangement.

So, I'm looking for advice. Do you all think that this could work in situation like mine (which only involves two people, rather than the three-person one mentioned above)? Plenty of single parents are able to make things work, with no regular help from anyone in particular.

My partner says she is willing to play the main role in the child's life. Could this work?

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When you get off work tonight, meet me at the construction site, and we'll write some notes to tape to the heavy machines, like "We hope they treat you well. Hope you don't work too hard. We hope you get to be happy sometimes."
-the Weakerthans


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
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I've been mulling over Dzuunmod's post for about ten hours and it is a difficult question. As a parent, I know that it is hard with two willing and loving parents to raise children. I guess we have to ask the single parents on ST.

Given your druthers, would you have preferred a loving partner to have assisted you in child rearing? Would you have willingly and conciously entered a single parent situation? And to this last question, I do know a single woman who, through adoption, willingly chose this course.

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The most exciting phrase in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" ("I found it!") but rather "Hmmm... that's funny...."

- Isaac Asimov


Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lin
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Okay, I am not single parent nor am I a parent, fullstop but one thing I know is that you can only make it work if you want to.

And the reason our single parents here are doing so well with their kids is because they genuinely want to. And I don't know about this, but if you don't want to play such a huge rold in your child's life, do you think he/she will feel short-changed?

It's different when the child grows up with only a mum or a dad knowing that either his other parent didn't want to be with the child or passed away but you are there and will be there physically but yet your child might feel detached from you.

So I don't really have any fabulius advice for you but I believe that things can only work if you want them to.


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Eclipse
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I think it sounds like a really bad idea, and since you asked, I'll tell you why. Please remember that the following consists of my personal opinions.

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There are so many families that start off at a disadvantage because one or both of the parents are unable to give 'enough' commitment to the children. I think it's one of many great tradgedies of our society, and it's really rather disturbing (there are stronger words I could use, but I won't) to think of someone actively trying to create that sort of situation.

Now, maybe I don't understand exactly what situation you are proposing here. Are you planning on permenately living in the same space as your partner? If not, I imagine it could work--it certainly happens enough, usually not premeditated. It'll still put a lot of stress on your relationship, because it will be putting a lot of stress on your partner.

If you are planning on sharing living space with your partner... it's not like you'd be a friendly sperm donor for a seperate family... you'd be part of a unit. You'd be part of a unit trying not to pay much attention to another part. I absolutely cannot imagine, cannot fathom how that would work well. You can't easily ignore pregnancy, morning sickness, and childbirth in a significant other, and that's just the beginning. No matter how 'uninvolved' you were, the kid would still be in the house. S/he would still wake you up in the middle of the night. S/he would still take up a LOT of your partner's attention. Most new fathers are jealous of the attention that their female partners give to a new child. (Sorry to use an exclusively het example, but it's the only research that I know of) I can only imagine it would be worse if you didn't want the child to be there in the first place.

S/he would mess up YOUR livingspace. S/he would infringe on your schedule. S/he would be eating, every day, at your table. S/he would need to be considered when you wanted to go anywhere, especially if it involved your partner. S/he will be expensive. Very, very expensive. Yeah, you can have your partner pay for all of it, but that only works out clealy if you and your partner don't have any shared expenses (groceries, vacations, cars, living space, etc.)

The child might want to drive your car someday. S/he will want to talk to you if you're there in the house. Whatever holidays you + your partner celebrate will be centered around this person. Think about having to get rid of a pet that was aggressive towards the child. Think about stepping over babygates at the tops of staircases. Think about putting up any valuable/dangerous things you have. Think about child safety locks on the kitchen cabinets and sesame street every evening. Think about some teenaged babysitter that you hardly know going through your stuff all evening. Think about your partner deciding where y'all should live based on what the school districts are like. This child's needs will come first, almost without exception. Is that why you don't want to have kids? 'Cause it's a *darn good* reason to not want kids.

Do you want to be called 'dad'? I don't think even Sesame street is hip enough to use 'Live-in sperm donor...' 'Biological father' would work, except that it would be confusing.

And you have to consider other very real contingencies. S/he might be sick for years, or permanently handicapped--meaning $$$ and stress, stress, stress. Even if you refuse to be involved (paying for surgery, arguing with insurance companies, visiting this child in the hospital, etc.), well, you'd have to really not care about what your partner was going through. Seems kind of unrealistic.

A LOT of partnerships break up once children come into the picture. Even more if you count those that hang together for 15-18 impatient years and then break up as soon as they don't feel obligated to remain together and look after the kid. I can look for the research if you want.

What I'm saying is, it's a hard thing, raising kids, even if both parents want it to happen. If you don't want a kid, please, please, please don't have a kid, and I think that in terms of impact on your daily life, living with a partner who has a kid is a lot like having a kid. Maybe even moreso living with a partner who has a kid who looks a lot like you, 'cause gee, the kid has half your genes, and the kid happens to call you 'daddy' because face it, 'live in sperm donor' is kind of hard to pronounce....how exactly are you planning to not be involved? I just don't understand.


Posts: 257 | From: Sarasota, FL | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
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I should also point out that under Quebec and Canadian law, the father has certain legal obligations towards his child that he cannot abrogate. You partner cannot sign away your child's rights.

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The most exciting phrase in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" ("I found it!") but rather "Hmmm... that's funny...."

- Isaac Asimov


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Siren
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I think it could work. But I have to wonder how well the child would handle everything by the time he/she got to be a little older. Most kids would feel a little rejected if they knew their "dad" didn't want any real responsibility or want to play a role. I know that would hurt me a lot. I just see a child who could, not definitely, but possibly, be badly damaged by this sort of situation. Is that a risk you're willing to take?

Truthfully, I think if you don't want kids, don't have them. And if you want kids, choose a partner who wants them too. Otherwise, come to a comprimise that's fair not only for you, but for your future child. And I don't think that this would be the best situation for a child to be in. You and your partner should really discuss this in detail before making a final decision.

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Lil Siren
-Scarleteen Advocate
"What kind of paradise am I looking for? I've got everything I want, and still I want more...."- Ani


Posts: 190 | From: NY, USA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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I know that there haven't really been any questions posed of me, but I do feel the need to expand on what I said earlier, and to respond to some things, here.

First, it isn't like I'd be ignoring the child completely, or anything. I come from a family where my mom was frequently away on business when I was growing up, and when she was home, she often didn't get home from work until about 8 or 9 at night. She lived in Latin America, also, for my final two years at home. She wasn't always there for me, but I didn't resent her for it, I didn't feel short changed. I understood that she was working for the good of the family and the good of my future.

Kids grow up in those sorts of situations all the time. Often, they seem to turn out just fine.

Of course, my partner and I aren't close to making a decision on this, and if we were to definitely have a child, it wouldn't be for several years yet. There's lots of time for us to change our minds or modify our decision to some degree.

I do not plan on ignoring morning sickness, childbirth and whatever else gets thrown at my partner. We're partners for a reason, after all.

I've thought about financial costs, and I know it'll be expensive for both my partner and I. However, I should point out that there really aren't any necessary costly surgerires here in the land of universal health care.

I think, financial stuff aside for the moment, that a good rule of thumb to follow for this might be to help out my partner, whenever she seems to be showing signs of needing it. You know, if she needs time away from the child for a little while, I can take him/her to a movie, or skating or something. If my partner needs a back rub, I give it. If my partner needs a vacation, I can watch the kid for a few nights.

I'll be around pretty much all the time, and always willing to do something with the child if s/he wants, too.

And, of course, let me reiterate that there are still many years to go before I might have to face any of these realities. I may end up wanting kids when I'm 30. Who knows...

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When you get off work tonight, meet me at the construction site, and we'll write some notes to tape to the heavy machines, like "We hope they treat you well. Hope you don't work too hard. We hope you get to be happy sometimes."
-the Weakerthans


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
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So, you want to be a father in the idealised 'fifties sense?
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Dzuunmod
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I don't want to be a father at all, but I'm willing to make some concessions (pretty big ones, I think) in order to give my partner something that she wants.

If you think I've got my head in the clouds here, then maybe y'all are just realists or something. If you think that's so, I want to hear about it, and I want to hear why.

And why is what I said in my last post so bad, anyway? Basically, the terms laid out there amount to a fulfillment of what I think is a pretty standard-type agreement for many partners...

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When you get off work tonight, meet me at the construction site, and we'll write some notes to tape to the heavy machines, like "We hope they treat you well. Hope you don't work too hard. We hope you get to be happy sometimes."
-the Weakerthans


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LilBlueSmurf
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I think it could work ... Now i'm not a single parent or any type of parent, but i've been raised in two different single parent households for the past 12 years or so.

My parents divorced when i was 5/6 years old. I lived w/ my mom and my sister. She worked constantly. She was also sick w/ cancer of the cervix. At the age of 10, i was the babysitter for my younger sister, did a lot of the cooking, cleaning, and other stuff that most 10 year olds wouldn't dream of. I didn't resent her for it. I think it made me a stronger person ... Now there's a whole bunch of stuff that i won't have to learn when i go off to college

Then i moved in w/ my dad. He's a single parent also. We share all the responsibilities and most of the time i don't have any chores b/c schoolwork has always been more important to him.

Moral of the story ... It can work. But you have to work together. Don't ever ever let your child know that you didn't want him/her. That is the worst feeling in the world and I hated my dad for a long time just for that reason. It's not a good feeling at all.


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unhappykoger
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i think that if you dont wnat to play an active role in your childs life then you need not have children in the first place. i grew up without a father it didnt bother me like it does most people but my mother had to struggle for many years to take care of me on her own. trust me it wasnt easy. if you want to be a parent and not be with the mother or father then i say go for it. but take care of your kid. its a blessing and a privelage to have children not an obligation. dont ruin a childs life because you dont want to be a father and actually decided to get someone pregnant. my sons father stopped comming around after i broke up with him and my son was heartbroken for a while. he is ok now because his stepdad took the responsibility and became his father but i will tell you this my son resents his bilogical father for abandonng him and he is only 4 years old. it didnt bother me when i was a single paretn but i can say that it was really hard to do everything on my own. i am much happier now that i have someone helping me that really cares about my kids. and the kids are much happier too. my son is really attached to his stepfather and doesnt consider him a step father at all. to my son his stepfather is his daddy and his biological father although he knows the truth. the point is if you dont want to have kids and be in their livess at all times instead of in and out then dont have kids. it will ruin your life in the long run because by the time you want to have a relationship with your child the child will most likely not want anything to do with you.
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Siren
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I understand how you think it can work. And yes, it could.

But lets say this child is not very understanding of the situation and grows up resenting you or his/her mother? I think you have to take into consideration that this child will not just be a child that your partner wants, but a real person with his/her own thoughts, feelings, opinions, sensitivities, etc. And although all your idea's of how you're going to raise this child are good ones......what I'm saying is that this child may not like the way he/she is raised.

When this child asks, "Are you my dad?" Are gonna say, "No, I'm just the person who gave your mother a child, because she wanted you very much." And one child would be happy you did something so selfless, but another would resent you for not wanting to be a dad. When you have a child, you have no idea who they will be, and you might not get the one that is completely accepting of a not so conventional family.

Do you see what I'm saying now? I think you really, really need to think of all the challenges that might be ahead.

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Lil Siren
-Scarleteen Advocate
"Those are some BIG ice cubes...."


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Eclipse
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Why spend 18+ years of your life doing something you don't want to do and being someone you don't want to be? It just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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Rizzo
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Then again, why spend 18+ years NOT doing something you want to, or NOT being someone you want to be? Just giving you the potential momma's perspective
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Aria51
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Would a trip to a sperm bank be out of the question? She wants a baby, you don't... seems like a logical compromise to me

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And there's nothing I can do, as I realize with fright, the spider-man is having me for dinner tonight!

Peek into my Mind.


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Rizzo
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If you want to have a long term relationship with someone, despite wanting different levels of involvement in childrearing, I don't think a sperm bank would really help.
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Aria51
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Perhaps I should explain myself if I'm causing some confusion.

If Dzuun has no interest in being a father, yet his partner wants to be pregnant and give birth, and it has been decided between the two of them that a baby will be had, his partner might benefit from artificial insemination. Dzuun would then have no biological ties to the child -- and that means no legal responsibility. His responsibility would be to his partner, and the only person with responsibility to the child would be his partner.

Anyone see what I'm saying?

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And there's nothing I can do, as I realize with fright, the spider-man is having me for dinner tonight!

Peek into my Mind.


Posts: 1287 | From: Missouri | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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