This month, I found out two of my men friends are going to have babies. For one, it will be his first. For the other, his second, with a second woman. With each scenario, my heart paused for a nano-second when I was told the news. My sister told me about my oldest friend, the one I posted about in late June (read) and I got the news from the horses mouth from the other one. Here are the things that stood out to me in each case:
Neither are married. I have a combined friendship of 40+ years with these two men and I do not recall either of them seriously discussing marriage and longterm committed relationships. I have had a romantic relationship on some level (no matter how small) with both, but never took them seriously enough in my adult years to think we could actually work as a viable couple. I notice with many men these days, babies seem to be their goal and marriage just something that may or may not happen. Call me old fashion, but it seems so backward to me. Do not get me wrong, I am not absolutely against having children out of wedlock. Most of my friends are like me, over 30, so it's not like we're in high school. I even went through a phase at age 28 or 29 where I tried my best to get pregnant. In hindsight, when I think of the man I was trying with, I am happy to report, no such luck. I don't think marriage makes children any easier. I know a number of women who are married, but still end up being the sole provider for the kids, even with a man/husband in the house. Furthermore, if the relationship is based on love, than what more could you ask for? I just think if you care and respect me enough to be with me, why can't we do things in stages? Why is your main focus on getting me pregnant and 'giving (me) a baby'? What is the prize in that?
Also, men that I know before they have a child, tend to lose their spark once a child enters the picture. There used to be this idea that men did not want women with kids. Lately that does not seem to be the case. But from the standpoint of a single woman, men with kids get at least 2 points deducted from their final eligible score. Especially if I knew them before the babies. Do not ask me why, but if I meet you and you already have a child, it is easier than knowing you before you had a baby and now knowing you with the baby. I guess subconsciously, I'm thinking, 'why couldn't you wait for me?'. Or just, 'why couldn't you wait period? It's not like you have an internal clock.' So yes, I confess, I have added points to each of these men's 'Reasons I Cannot Take You Seriously' list.
Furthermore, I have to ask myself, 'am I jealous?'. I mean, is it because sometimes I look up and think everyone is passing me by? With a lot of my friends now having 'boos' and babies, maybe deep down (or not so deep) I feel like I should be catching up. Not only do I not have a boyfriend, I'm not actively, consistently dating right now. Yes, I want children, but you kind of need a man to do it the most easy way. These women who have been impregnated by these men, my friends, are in a precarious situation. From what I have gathered from the men's position, they are not in love with either of the women. In fact, the word love was not mentioned in either case. But on the flip, these women don't have to worry about being 31 and not having had a child yet. In the end, I still cherish my position. I do want children, but I would prefer it come from a solid, respectable, loving relationship. Not some fly-by-night, 'you know how it is' type of situation. Where men get to brag about their 'seed', but the women are stuck holding the bag. Their lives have been dramatically changed, and men are still all up in my face proudly showing me pictures of their children on their cell phones, and simultaneously flirting. I'm straight on that.