When I was 24, my family had already started with the “You’re not getting any younger” digs. Back then, it was easy for me to roll my eyes and shoot back that I was 24 not 34 and I had plenty of time. I never felt the pressure to find the love of my life and start popping out 2.5 kids. I had so much I wanted to accomplish in my own life before I brought babies into the picture that it wasn’t even a thought in the back of my mind. Well, now that I’m closer to being 34 than 24, I guess you could say I’ve started to hear the clock ticking. Maybe that maternal instinct has just finally kicked in for me or maybe it’s my unwillingness to ever let my family be right about something, but I have finally reached that point where I long for the pitter-patter of little feet. That don’t belong to my cat.
There used to be a time where being single in your thirties was a fate worse than death. Now, it’s not all that abnormal. There are a lot of us out there, doing our thing. We don’t need a man to pay for our apartment or hang our shelves or repair our car (I can change my own oil, rotate my own tires and install new breaks.) We have certain friends or our “toys” for those lonely nights and sperm banks to fill the void . Let’s be honest, guys; it might be easier than ever before to get laid (askmen.com) but at the end of the day, we don’t actually need you for anything. Except for the cuddling, hand holding romantic “stuff” most men hate. But my suggestion if you ever want more than just that easy lay? Step up your game.
That being said, for us single ladies out there who do want a mini-me one day, what are the options when the dating scene is looking bleak and we’re running out of time? Sure, we’ve already mentioned sperm banks. I even found out from a co-worker that my health insurance actually covers in-vitro. Who knew? Store bought sperm has some downfalls though. For starters, there’s no baby daddy who’s going to teach your kid how to throw a perfect spiral every other weekend. There’s also no baby daddy to send a child support check and raising a kid is beyond expensive. And what about dating? Getting out there as a single mom is hard enough – finding (and paying) a babysitter, that point where you have to tell your new love interest you’re a “mommy”, finding the right time to introduce your child to your new boyfriend so that you don’t scar them for life. It’s complicated. Now imagine you have a bun in the oven. Imagine that third date conversation. “By the way, I’m pregnant. Who’s the father? I’m not really sure, I picked him out of a catalog.” And what exactly are the rules about having sex with someone while you’re pregnant with another mystery man’s seed? I’m not sure if Dear Abby ever had a column about that.
There’s also adoption but that’s another costly option. For women who can’t have children of their own it is certainly a viable and honorable decision. There are so many children out there who need loving homes and I have a lot of respect for the people who adopt children for the right reasons. For those women who can procreate, however, this option is a little depressing. While I imagine I would love that child as if it were my own, I don’t think I’m ready to give up on having a baby that has my eyes or sense of humor or fabulous fashion sense. Let’s be honest, we all want something that is a part of us. It’s magical, plain and simple.
The last option that I’ve thought of? The non-stranger sperm donor. That’s right. Isn’t that what a girl’s best gay friend is really for anyway? Back when I was about 19, I made a pact with my best male friend (not gay) that if neither of us was married by the time we were thirty, we would marry each other. When we turned twenty-eight, that got pushed to thirty-five. Now I realize that, while I love him to death, we would kill each other. But the gay friend, well that’s very different. Everything becomes less complicated when there is no possibility for a sexual attraction or for jealousy over dating other people. You can consent to raising a baby together and still have a platonic and healthy relationship. Maybe I’m wrong here but it seems to be pretty win-win. At the end of the day, when that gay friend and his future husband want a baby, they’re going to need a uterus, aren’t they?
I have a super fabulous gay friend in Florida. He is incredibly gorgeous, smart, funny, successful, kind and has a zest for life. All in all, he’s a pretty good catch. And he looks great in red “tightie whities”. All in all, not a bad choice to pass along fifty percent of the genes to a mini-me. We have had a running joke for years now about having a baby together. I will move down to Florida, we’ll take advantage of that in-vitro insurance coverage, and he’ll provide room in his house for me and the baby. Interestingly enough, I’m pretty sure this would be the scenario that would be the least complicated to explain to any future dates. “I had my gay friend’s baby.” “Oh, okay, cool. Where should we go for dinner?” While I truly believe this friend would be a wonderful father and we would make incredibly beautiful and intelligent children together, don’t we all want the fantasy in the end? Don’t we all still want the traditional family with a husband to come home to who is actually the father of our children? Or am I just old-fashioned?
In this time where we can do so much for ourselves, when is it time to start seriously considering our options? When do we give up on the fairy tale and write our own story before it’s too late? Or do we risk giving up on something we truly want in the hopes that Prince Charming is right around the corner? What if Prince Charming never comes? I can tell you, I’m out there in the dating world and there are a lot of frogs. I long for the days where the biggest decision I had to make was whether to wear heels or flats on a date.
“From your hair down to your toes You’re not much goodness knows But you’re so precious to me Sweet as can be baby of mine” ~ Bette Midler, Baby Mine