Wanted – Baby Daddy
At 27, there are days I feel more unsure about things than when I was 18. From relationships to choosing a career, there were things set in stone in those days of teenage-hood.
If you and a fella were ‘going around’, anything outside the two of you was ah horn, even holding hands with another chick. At 18, I knew my next step after A’ Levels (which had been another unquestioned step) was college and then a job – some job in marine biology, a dream I had toted without fail since the green, young age of eight.
When it came to love and marriage, being the good Catholic girl I was, and growing up in the typical, nuclear family, marriage followed by babies was also the planned agenda. Fast-forward almost a decade later, and only one part of the equation remains, and it ain’t marriage.
Somewhere around 25, after a few years with a live-in boyfriend, and ankle-deep in a two-week Carnival fling that was turning to be anything but that, God flipped on the ‘mother/nurture’ switch and the gnawing began. Cute babies were everywhere. Women my age were having kids – married or not. Toddlers and younger children with their innocent reasoning would fill me with indescribable joy every time we interacted.
‘God flipped on the ‘mother/nurture’ switch and the gnawing began’
At the time, I was still living abroad, and life in the US was becoming increasingly unbearable, especially since in my heart I knew I wanted a Trini man to settle down and have kids with. And even now, after a move back home and no true commitment in sight, Natasha Bedingfield’s “I Wanna Have Your Babies” continues to provide the figurative soundtrack for what I’ve been feeling for the last two years.
Since sticking my fingers in my ears isn’t an option, alternatives to fulfil my ever-present need to be a mother are seriously being considered, and here enters the baby daddy.
First off, let me demolish the old adage of the baby daddy, as the ‘wutless’ man who knocks you up and leaves you broke, bare-foot and bovine. In my definition, he is a loving, family-oriented man who is willing to have kids, but unable to make a committed relationship work. Close-hearted from still toting feelings since the last girl who horned him, he’s good enough to be friends and lovers, but not a life-long mate.
‘The ‘wutless’ man who knocks you up and leaves you broke, bare-foot and bovine’
If fidelity can’t be an option between us, I’m willing to settle for a man committed to his offspring. I have been with men who are so deeply devoted to their families, it’s a shame their committment couldn’t transfer to their relationships. Then again, this is our personal state-of-emergency – a generation of women who have enjoyed independence, gained accreditation, and are ready to settle down, and a generation of men with too many options to pick one. As there is such a thing as a biological clock, I refuse to sit down and wait for a man to make a decision.
The other part of my attraction to impending motherhood is the observation that motherhood is such an innate instinct. Watching mothers who were once school-day classmates was the greatest example that not only was the biology natural, but so too the very nature of motherhood. People I once “shoo-shooed” with others about, feeling sorry for them because they forgo the wild, forgettable past of the early 20s partying, were now women with purpose. Even the unmarried ones who you envisioned to be lost, hapless messes, were tender, sometimes stern disciplinarians who were caregiver, mother, and teacher all in one. They made it look easy. And although I am too realistic to know that it isn’t, it was also the dawning of the fact that it isn’t impossible without a husband.
In discussion with older family members, financial, ethical and moral concerns were raised.
“So what if he decide he eh minding his chile?” they asked.
I replied, explaining that my choice of a baby daddy would be man who would consider it unforgivable to do so.
“But so what? You will bring ah child into this? Knowingly? How yuh go do dat to the chile?”
“Do what?” I replied through gritted teeth. “Give a child two parents who could not have stayed committed to each other, but who are ready to commit their lives to their offspring?”
“But it eh right! The Bible say two people need to be married to have a chile?”
“It does?” I mused. “Which book? Give me a chapter and verse.”
And by the way, since most of us have trouble obeying the actual commandments laid out in the Bible, you know lying, theft, adultery (!), may God forgive me if all I would like to do is have a child with a man I deem worthy. Let me state that the baby daddy option isn’t my first… or my only.
Still, for the last couple years I’ve continued being my fiercely independent, sexy, intelligent, interesting self, and although I’ve gotten offers for sex, the fellas just aren’t talking marriage. So this is the medium. Find a guy who is intelligent, caring, ambitious and family-oriented, see how it goes, and even if all we do is end up being friends, maybe with a nine-month gestation period, we can both enjoy life-long purpose and happiness, even if it isn’t together.
Author bio: Quilin Achat is the Assistant Editor at Outlish. An avid lover of reading, she runs a small, unconventional bookstore called The Fire is Lit.