I’ve always dreamed of being a mom. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to have kids — at least two, potentially three — and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. However, as I’ve gotten older and spent more time in the dating scene, I’ve started to feel like parenthood will never happen for me. How can I bring kids into the world when I feel like most men just aren’t up to the task of being good and equal co-parents?
- Yes, I’m aware there are good dads out there. Whenever I’ve voiced this concern to people, they immediately assume I’m some kind of misandrist who hates men and assumes they’re all useless. That’s not the case at all. I’m a straight woman who has loved many men in my life and still do. I have an amazing dad myself, and my two brothers, who I love dearly, are also dads. I’m not in any way implying that men are incapable of being present and engaged parents. I am, however, saying that it’s a bit of a rarity.
- What makes a “good dad” is a bit different in my mind. For many women, it seems as if all a man needs to do to be a “good dad” is to a) pay for diapers and other baby supplies; b) not leave the woman in question once she gets pregnant; c) agree to “watch” his own kids sometimes when the mom has other plans/needs a bit of a break. That’s not cutting it in my mind. I want a man who will be a father who’s invested in his children, who sees himself as an equal parent with equal responsibilities in caring for them and teaching them to be smart, thoughtful, caring children and later adults. That takes major time and dedication that I feel many men just aren’t interested in or prepared for.
- I’m just going off what I see. While I don’t actually have kids yet, I’ve seen with my own eyes how modern fatherhood is panning out. We all know that women tend to do the bulk of emotional labor (and physical labor) in a relationship, and this gets even worse when kids enter the picture. Even my brothers are a bit half-assed about fatherhood. Obviously they love their kids and consider them their pride and joy, but they’re also quite happy to take a backseat when it comes to much of the day-to-day work that comes with raising them. Their wives take the kids to school in the morning, run them around to clubs and activities on the weekend, pack their lunches, buy their school supplies, make their appointments with doctors and dentists, and the lists go on and on. My brothers might read the kids a story before bed or play with them outside for a bit after dinner, but the bulk of the hard work is done by the moms, and I’m not here for that.
- I don’t want to raise kids alone. I’m well aware that sperm banks are a thing and that I don’t actually need a man in order to have a child. However, I would like one. I’d like to raise kids with a partner, as equal partners and parents, and be a real family. Being a single parent is an incredibly admirable thing to do for both men and women and they have my utmost respect, but I’d prefer not to embark on that journey if I don’t have to.
- I don’t want to raise kids on my own either. By this I mean, I don’t want to end up having kids with a long-term partner and have to take the reins on everything. Kids are incredibly hard work, and parenting in general is an extremely emotionally trying (and rewarding) experience that I want to share with a long-term boyfriend or husband. I don’t want to feel like I’m a single parent even when I’m in a relationship because I’m the only one who’s really engaged with the kids and doing all the heavy lifting. I don’t want to have to treat my male partner like yet another child. I need someone who’s strong and mature enough and ready for this experience.
- I’m not giving up hope just yet. While I generally feel pretty hopeless about this whole thing, I’m not giving up on the idea of having kids or finding an amazing partner yet. I do know that there are guys out there who are on the same page as me and who want the same things and are ready to put in the effort. Hopefully, I’ll find someone who restores my faith in men so we can embark on the incredible journey that is having a family.