Sunday, April 25, 2010

Parenthood: You Don't Have to Go It Alone

A couple months ago, one of my best friends gave birth to twin boys. I have to admit that at first I was more than a little skeptical about the idea of kids for one of my closest friends, primarily because I am terrified of the thought of children, mine, or apparently, anyone else’s.
Truthfully, to the woman who has traipsed all over the world alone, finding her way in and out of other countries, cities, cultures, people, there is nothing more terrifying than the thought of having someone else so dependent on me that they can’t eat without my help. Even dependence on a much lighter level makes me shudder. Judge me all you like, invisible audience, but the people who are closest to me have already forgiven me this fault. More than a fear of dependence on me, however, my fear is a person’s dependence on only me. My fear is not ever having someone to pass off the torch to; no one to say, “no problem, Morgan, I got it this time; you go get some rest.” My fear is not having someone to take part of the burden; my fear is doing it alone.
I am not afraid to be alone. I am not afraid of traveling by myself, buying my own house, planning my own retirement or having to arrange for my own care when I am old. I do not feel that I am missing anything, and I do not wish for a partner on a day-to-day basis. The idea of being a single parent, however, literally gives me nightmares.
I realize that most people do not take on parenthood with the idea of having to do it alone. I realize that I could do it if I were forced to, and that I would probably not do the worst job on the planet, because I am aware of the sacrifices that need to be made, and I would make them if I needed to. Regardless, I don’t ever want to have to be there by myself.
All that being said, the choices are not parenting alone or no parenthood at all. Thankfully, there are men out there who make you realize that it is not necessary to do it by yourself, who pick up the slack even when they aren’t asked to. There are men out there like Nick, Mindy’s husband and the proud and more-than-capable father of twin boys. He’s not the only guy I know who can handle it – most of my friends, thankfully, are in relationships or marriages with men that will be supportive, responsible and amazing fathers – but Nick is simply the first one that I got to see up close and personal within hours of becoming a dad. Had him ask me if my hands were clean, watched him make sure not only that the boys were doing well, but that his wife was comfortable, too.
It makes me happy to see my friends in these types of relationships: with men that pick up their share of the chores, the joys, and the sleepless nights. It reminds me of something very necessary, something easy to forget when you trek around the world solo like I do: that there is more than one way to forge a path, and you don’t always have to be the one breaking trail.

Love and dual parenting kisses,


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