The Gloves Are Off!

Let me first state that I don’t often get into debates with people. I have opinions about things that differ from the norm sometimes however I don't often share them. I tend to just smile and agree with someone, even though I might think they are wrong and I am right. Just to avoid things getting heated, because I am known not to let things go.

I am not writing this to open floodgates for debate. This post is from my personal opinion, and is not like anything else I have posted before. I am my authentic self on my blog, which means that I post what I feel.  This post is not to be controversial but it is something that touches me personally, deeply and is something that I am passionate about. It is also to give a little insight into my life, and how I don't see it as being different from anyone else's.

Regular readers know that I am in a loving committed relationship with a woman. I’m gay. And we recently welcomed a baby via IVF using anonymous donor sperm.
So we are two mums raising our daughter, E.  I have taken to motherhood like a duck to water (if I do say so myself) especially given that my partner actually gave birth. I have fallen hard for E, I think she is a legend, and she is as much mine as she is my partners. That’s all there is to it.

Last night I watched a documentary on the ABC about children growing up with gay parents. It was made by a girl, Maya Newell, who was raised with two mums. She asked other “gaybies” (A ridiculous term, but oh well) themselves questions that seem to be in asked by those that are against same sex parents.

Do the children end up gay themselves? Do they get bullied or harassed because of their parents? Do they feel that they miss out on something not having parents of both genders?

All fair enough questions. And the documentary itself was brilliantly done. Maya showed snippets of the lives from these kids, showing how they deal with everyday situations that regular (is there such a thing) families deal with. She spoke to advocates against gay people raising children, Fred Nile and Janet Albrechtsen, and let them share their views. There were no debates, arguments or heated discussions at all. (They did a good job of making themselves look like bigoted fools though.) Overall it was a great documentary from a different perspective, shining the light on a sensitive topic at the moment.

I would have thought I would be feeling great after watching this. The children were fine and well adjusted, some were gay, some were straight and their families all talked openly about their situations. However I didn’t feel good after watching it and it surprised me. I started doubting my choice to have a child in my situation  and with my lifestyle. There was never a doubt that we would have a child together and now that she is here I cannot imagine not having her. However I started  worrying that I have destined her with a life of being different, challenges that other children might not face and growing up with what is seen as ‘not normal’.

Have we been completely selfish to put an innocent child through this? She didn’t ask for gay parents. Will she get bullied at school and teased as being ‘gay’ just because her parents are lesbians? Will she miss out on the things that dads do with their kids? Having not had my dad in my life for the last 13 years because he passed away, I know what it feels like, but she will never know the difference so is that a worthy worry? Once we inform her of her creation will she feel less of a bond with me because I didn’t carry her and she isn’t biologically linked to me?

These are questions I have asked myself all morning. I was crying in the shower as I got ready for work, because as a parent you will do anything to protect your child and I felt guilty that I might have given E difficulties that she didn’t deserve. Made her life hard somehow.

I have had more time to think about it and I now think differently. 

Here is why:
·         Our child was thought about for a long time, a lot of money was spent to get her and we wanted her SO bad. This means that she wasn’t an accident, she was well thought out and desired.  We were prepared (well as well as you can be seeing as nothing really prepares you for parenthood) and we went into this willingly.
·         Our child receives more love than I think she knows what to do with. She has two families that adore her, many friends that we have in our lives are now in hers and will support her throughout her life, as well as having two mums that dote on her daily. We are beyond lucky to have the support from everyone in our lives. We are blessed.
·         Our child has men in her life. She has uncles (real ones through family), uncles (friend’s husbands and partners), great uncles, cousins and importantly a Poppy that adores her. So in terms of being around men, I think we have that one covered. Plus so many children grow up without father figures these days, so how is our situation any different?
·         She will learn that in our house everyone is welcome and accepted. Any gender, any sexual orientation, any religion, any colour are all welcome. She will not label people and will learn to accept people for who they are inside and not what they look like.
·         She will learn of her conception when it is time, and know that she was wanted more than anything by two mums that love her more than she could ever know.
·         There will be nothing but honesty in our family, no secrets. She will never be afraid to tell us that she has a boyfriend/girlfriend or whatever she chooses.

Ultimately, our family is like any other family. We will have arguments as E grows and becomes her own little person, striving for independence. She is already testing boundaries and showing her personality. We will gently guide her in the right direction, let her make her choices, be there when she makes mistakes (which will happen), and will support her in all aspects. We will take her to her activities, be it netball, footy, dancing or piano or whatever else she chooses. We will have lazy Sundays, go to the park with our dog on weekends, and spend hot days at the beach. We will read before bed, sing songs and have our own little family jokes that no one else will get.  There will be highs and lows, but at the end of the day we will have each other’s backs and will be there for each other.

Parents love their children and are only ever trying to do their best and the best for them, whether it’s a mum and a dad, two dads or two mums, single mum, single dad or even grandparents, aunties, uncles or older brothers/sisters raising children. We all love them more than we ever thought we could love anything, and will fight HARD for them to have every chance of living a brilliant, full life.  

I suppose I do have strong opinions on this, for obvious reasons. And this is the reason I chose to write this post. I needed to get this out.   I refuse to feel guilty, and E won't know anything different than growing up in a house full of love.

Surely children growing up in a loving environment is more important that who they receive that love from.

I am lucky to be in the situation I am in and judging by the documentary Growing Up Gayby, gay parents so far have raised some amazing children, just like their straight counterparts. I rest my case. 

I welcome other opinions however if you are rude, and if you diss my family you are not welcome here.


At November 21, 2013 at 4:01 PM , Blogger Carly Taft said...

I cannot imagine a more loving, passionate, accepting, nurturing family unit than what I see in your family you are both amazing mums who are raising one very lucky little girl. I have no doubt she will grow up an independent, adjusted and well rounded woman because she has the best possible role models and that's what counts, keep up the amazing work super mums, you are both awesome, Carly Txx


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