Exactly on this day a year ago my ex-J literally sat on his high-chair imposing his choice of not to pursue fatherhood – by telling me that it is either his way or highway if I want to be a mother. Yes. When we came together we had this conversation and I made it clear that it is imperative that I want/have children. If I can’t conceive I would adopt. But I want to be a mother. J cruelly led me on under pretences that the matter was resolved and then when I had fallen for him, he turned.
“Flipped like a pancake”, that one!
“Absolutely do not like the direction the world is heading in… don’t want to leave a strong carbon footprint… Economic uncertainty, climate change, political instability… makes me feel like I would not be leading a child into a better world than I grew-up in… Too many people on this damn planet anyway… I’m not so arrogant to believe I would be depriving the world of my genetics by not reproducing.” I asked him, “orphans are already there, don’t they deserve a loving family?” His answer was – “I want to travel the world freely and having a child is just extra cost and it takes away my freedom”. This came from a soon to be 40-year-old heterosexual-cis-white-male working temp.
Erm. Does that sound like an excuse you’ve heard before? Yes. It’s the same song that every guy who refuses to settle down would sing!
Truth be told, these are men with financial anxiety and daddy issues.
My ex-J didn’t have a pension fund at the time we started dating, he earned to pay his bills thus living from paycheque to paycheque, and it was clear that in the long run I would end up supporting him due to his inability to pay for living expenses due to no stable income or inability to budget. At the end his dad helped him out with setting up his first pension fund with a very limited inheritance. Sigh! What can I say? To me it was never about his money for he was charming and knew how to entice me into foolishly falling for him and agreeing to be his girlfriend.
The matter is truly this: how much do we want to be a mother or a father? If a man is saying he doesn’t want kids – that’s fine. But the moment he tries to influence the choice of a woman he reeled-in a relationship knowing fully well that she wants to be a mother, and remain rigid on his decision of not wanting children for “reasons” that sound more like excuses, unyielding-uncompromising, then he is not someone who is mentally in the right state to even be in a relationship unless he gets a vasectomy and establishes “no child” rule on the evening of their first date. Otherwise it’s simply a narcissistic move – where later on he will play the victim – as did J.
Fast-forward a painful breakup and a year later.
I am pregnant. Had our baby-shower yesterday. Have a loving boyfriend (a decade younger than my ex), who stands by my side supporting me through thick and thin. That’s maturity, love and willingness. Not just him, his brothers, and his parents too. Of course we are uncertain of the future. Of course we are afraid of what will come. He is as worried as I am, as we both wonder “will we be good parents”? Of course there can be world economic issues, world political crisis, etc external issues. But these existed since the beginning of time. Climate-change (though drastic today) is not new. If Greta’s parents considered climate-change as an excuse – today we wouldn’t have a generation capable of handling these changes, while teaching us how to deal with it, and in the process making this world a better place. Also inflation/economic crisis aren’t some new concept that we might go through! Inconvenience and downfall of civilisations didn’t just appear over the past decade! Our grandparents and ancestors saw World War and imperial conquests, throne-rivalry, genocide – our parents had these fears too! Yet none of them imposed that we shouldn’t have children.
Many would argue that they actually impose that we must have children a bit too much, and the social stigma for women without children is unnecessarily high. Yet, it’s a woman’s choice – motherhood. No one has the right to impose if she should or should not be a mother. A man trying to impose his insecurities regarding fatherhood, on a woman he claims to love, by negating her choice in this matter with some cock-n-bull reason – that too on Mothers Day – is nothing but narcissistic if not extremely cruel.
So yes. On Mother’s Day today, exactly a year later, I am grateful for the man in my life who becomes a dad as I become a mom soon.