First comes love, THEN comes marriage, THEN comes baby in the baby carriage …
I am continually amazed at the things that I read … and not always in a good way. As the title goes … First comes love, then comes marriage, THEN comes baby in the baby carriage … there are reasons for this order of things rooted in age old wisdom. It’s logical and makes perfect sense, at least to me. But evidently that is not so for all. I would argue that lust is often mistaken for love (especially by women), a half-hearted commitment of convenience substitutes for marriage, and too often the baby and baby carriage come somewhere in between lust/love and marriage (as couples prefer to take a “test drive” first by living together or maybe just “hanging out” together).
In a recent “Dear Carolyn” advice column in The Washington Post, a young woman (Baby Daddy Drama, aka Drama in this post) questions her “baby daddy’s” commitment. Drama is nine weeks pregnant, the pregnancy was planned, potential mom is in her 30s and didn’t want to “miss out” on having children. Said woman also notes that she has a good job and can provide adequately for the baby on her own. Baby daddy is “for all intents and purposes” her boyfriend although he “resists” that label. The couple “hangs out” a couple of times a week, “still” sleep together (uh hum … I think that means they still have sex) and plan to move in together “once the baby is born.” I’m curious … why wait until the baby is born? Baby mama says baby daddy wants to be involved in the child’s life but she doesn’t see a long term future for her and baby daddy. She complains that baby daddy resists the boyfriend label; he told his father about the baby but also that he and baby mama were not seeing each other! He wants to continue the relationship as long as baby mama wants it, e.g., sleeping together, hanging out and being “all lovey-dovey”. Baby mama asks if she is being foolish!
Seriously, what is this world coming to?? Foolish?? That might be the kindest adjective to apply here. For Drama to question “baby daddy’s” commitment AFTER she is pregnant is demonstrative of a complete self-centered interest with no regard for the child she has conceived. Drama states that she believes her baby daddy situation is better than if she had sought an anonymous sperm donor. Really? Granted “baby daddy” is not anonymous but Drama certainly does not “know” the man who is the father of her child. She has gotten herself a free donor whom she has mistaken in some way for a boyfriend. Baby daddy is lukewarm at best, goes along with Drama for what – sex on demand and a lovey-dovey relationship? Shouldn’t the relationship issues have been clarified BEFORE conceiving a child together?
But Drama gets what she most wants, doesn’t she? A child. After all, that’s the most important thing, isn’t it? Not what’s best for any child –to be conceived in love by his/her mother and father and then brought up in the context of that love in a committed marriage. Does Drama believe a father is irrelevant? It would seem that’s the case — well, except for the detail of the sperm. She can take care of the child herself – she doesn’t really need baby daddy beyond conception to the point of not even expecting that the two of them will remain together for the long haul. What message is that going to give to any child? Perhaps … whatever you want, go for it? After all, you deserve to get whatever it is you want.
We have truly become a consumerist society – right down to the “right” to possess a child. Drama sees nothing wrong with her desire to “have” a child on her terms – it’s something she doesn’t want to “miss out” on. Perhaps if she were more focused on finding the right mate, she’d be more successful in landing a “baby daddy” who would be a proper husband first in addition to having the qualities necessary to be a good father. A husband who had the desire and capacity to love Drama completely and not simply be a sperm donor, because when all is said and done it appears that’s all baby daddy is anyway although he’s technically not anonymous.
Not only has Drama totally misread the intentions (or perhaps deluded herself into thinking that if she wants something badly enough it will come about) of baby daddy, she has relegated motherhood to something to be achieved, something to check off her bucket list. Combine this with her inability to see things for what they really are – at the end of her letter she says she “thinks she can let go of semantics” – and I must admit that I worry for her child. It’s time for people to stop blurring reality by resorting to doublespeak in the form of semantics. Healthy children are not raised by relying on semantics, by twisting the truth to fit one’s own reality. Children deserve better – they deserve to be brought into this world by a committed mother and father and not for the purpose of suiting the selfish desires of one or the other.
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