This week, there was an email I really loved. It gets the prize for enthusiasm and creativity. Two guys, John and Steve, have started a blog called “John and Steve are Having A Baby.” It’s hilarious. They’ve combined names: John + Steve = Jeve and explain, “The hybrid name works for Brangelina and look how many kids they have! We’re really just two strapping, young (shut up) homosexual men who are at the stage in our relationship where having a child just seems…well, right. We have a Jack Russell named Lucy, and to substitute have contemplated shaving her, plopping her in a stroller and going for a walk in the park. Vanity kicked in when we thought strangers might actually think she resembled one of us.”
And so, these long-term dedicated partners are trying to have their own baby. They’re documenting their journey and blogging their goals, hoops and hurdles through the gay perspective on surrogacy (remarkably like the straight perspective) and hopefully, soon, getting a Baby Mama and a child.
Their email brings up so many important issues:
· Parents come in all kinds of packages. I know there are people who still think family equals one mother, one father, one marriage contract and their children. My apologies if my view of the world offends anyone but here goes: Take a look around. You’ll see that the whole concept of “family” has evolved. There’s the Brady Bunch Model – blended families. The Partridge Family Model: Single mom with kids and friends who provide extended family. There are parents raising their kids, their boy/girlfriend’s kids and acting as surrogate parent to their kids’ friends too. Grandparents raise their grandchildren when their own kids (the actual parents) are overseas, out of touch or incapable of doing it themselves. There are foster parents, stepparents and…even gay parents. This is the short list.
What makes a good parent? It’s not really a matter of genitalia and a marriage contract. It’s about dedication, love, capability, thoughtfulness and the ability to commit 100% to the wellbeing of a small human being for the rest of your life. Jeve sounds like they’ve got those qualities. Countless more traditional couples who have walked through my delivery ward do not. And yet…they’re parents, too.
· Positive intentions net the greatest results: Jeve is putting it out there and working towards their goal. They’re journaling, blogging, enjoying their adventure and doing all they can to get what they want: a baby to raise and love and have a great life with. Infertility is tough. Positive attitude, optimism and humor are proven to get you where you want to go.
· Have a sense of humor. You’re going to need it. Parenting isn’t all rosy glow and Hallmark moments. A whole lot of poop hits the fan. There’s anxiety, worry, irritation, tantrums, confusion and insecurity – and that’s just the parents. You and your child will have a much better experience if you can laugh off some of the tough stuff. I’m pretty sure that’s where gallows humor originated. Up all night with a colicky baby? Out of diapers, baby wipes and coffee? Toddler (or teenager) behaving badly? Use a lighter touch on any situation and I guarantee you’ll come out the other side a better parent for it. It really is a whole lot more fun than trouble, if you’re doing it right.
Jeve, I hope you write soon and tell me you’re "pregnant." In the meantime, please don’t shave your dog. That’s way too desperate. Especially if Lucy resembles you.
Got a question for Jeanne? E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be answered in a future blog post.
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