The clock she ticks loudly

The clock she ticks loudly

I’ve been thinking about this parenting gig for a long time now, I’d say for at least 15 years. At first it was the search, the search to do it perfectly, to do it right. As a gay woman there is no ‘accidentally falling pregnant’ bizo, the whole affair is completely conscious, there is no drunken night with the one you love and then ‘whoops, no period, I’d better pee on a stick’. No, the whole affair is completely awake, so how do you do it when you are two women? do you go to a sperm bank? No, I’d quite like my kid to know who their biological dad is, even if he plays more of an uncle figure role in the day to day, but he’s around at xmas, birthdays and milestones, or do I want a third person in my daily life, a third party that has a say in the day to day?……the whole idea, the whole concept needs a lot of head work and a lot of conscious consideration.

But what do you do if you don’t even have a partner? That’s an even tougher road. I spent most of my early 30s slinging myself around the dance floor at the local girls bar trying to find the love of my life, as a shy person meeting people, meeting potentials wasn’t an easy thing, so you load up on the alcohol, the Dutch courage so I can talk to girls and I found a lot of people who just wanted to have fun, and walking into that with that loaded energy of ‘I’m looking for the love of my life so I can have kids’ well fuck me, that doesn’t go down too well……

I kind of had this image that I’d find someone nice, fall in love, date for a few years before you move in together (and not doing that typical lesbian u-haul thing) then live together for a few more years before you have kids and then oh shit now we have to ‘daddy date’ for a few years to see if we can find a guy (I’m guessing a gay guy because why would a straight guy be into it, it’s usually the gays that think outside of the box, because, well there is no other choice) who wants to be a dad. So let’s calculate that, 2 years before living together, another 3 years living together, shit that’s 5 years and I’m 32 and the clock is ticking loudly, I need to find her today. And you know what, no one would date that, it’s too desperate, the whole search falters at that point.

I remember going to the doctors when I was 36, and my doctor looked at me and said ‘are you thinking about having children?’ Fuck I was only there for a Pap-Test so I say ‘yes I’d love to’ and she shows me that fertility chart, the one where every year after 28 the line goes down, and oh my god tears are streaming down my face, I didn’t come here to be confronted by my lack of finding a partner and having a situation that is not conducive to bringing a child into the world, for years in a row I would burst into tears in the doctors office because I didn’t have the life that made having a child and being a mum easy. Compound that with the fact I work in a childcare centre and all I see every day are parents and children, yep someone else is pregnant again hurray for them! How come they can get it together and I can’t? Isn’t there another way to be a parent then via the romantic route? Romance hadn’t worked for me, it was never my forte.

But then a few years ago I kind of had an epiphany. Why look for the love of your life before finding a parenting team. If love isn’t for me, and I’m interested in being a parent, aren’t their others out there who might possibly be wanting the same?

One of my best friends lives with the father of her children, they met as coparents, and she is now separated from her once romantic partner, the three of them have been platonically parenting and very successfully might I add, for over a decade, so my question is, if they can do it, why can’t others? The whole coparenting idea is not new at all, but it’s not mainstream, and I think if it was mainstream then maybe it would give more options to the 32 year old woman who is not finding romance easily and has that fucking clock ticking like a deafening drum in her head everyday. Maybe she doesn’t have to settle down with the next guy who comes along or have to consider doing it alone. I mean really, who wants to do it alone, what if you’re sick or just having a shitty year? we all need people to lean on, we all need a community, and especially children need a community of more than one person who cares deeply for them.

And the funny thing is, I would have started these conversations months ago, but this whole marriage equality debate just made me feel like I had no strength left. I thought shit if I start talking about a dating website for people who want to be parents that don’t even shag each other; you might have two straight women team up to be a parenting team, or a straight guy and a gay girl team up together, it doesn’t really matter the gender or the sexuality of the individuals, but geez those ‘No voters’ will have a hateful field day, and keep ranting on about the binary roles of husband and wife and really I didn’t have the strength to have that conversation with them right now. I’m more than happy to have passionate conversations about what it means to be a parent, and a million other evolved conversations about how we can be better versions of ourselves but having a debate with a narrow minded soul who doesn’t see what I see, maybe I need to explain myself better, but I hope and I pray that the ‘yes vote’ is successful tomorrow and we can all carry on having interesting conversations about the future of family structures and how we can design them better, where all participants bring their best selves to the table to shape the future of family and community.

It really does take a village to raise a child and I think it’s high time we design that village from the ground up. Let’s stay in this conversation, I think it’s going to be a good one…

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