Recently, I came across a thread on the resolve.org message boards. The thread was about those going through infertility and their fear of being lonely in old age. No doubt this is something that scares
the shit out of me. One poster commented how she has a friend who is a ChildFree therapist who has patients that have come to their practice with some interesting reasons they wanted to become parents which included:
1. They are bored and don’t know what else to do.
2. They want someone to take care of them when they get old.
3. They want their kid to do what they didn’t get to do.
It can be argued that all three of these reasons are not legit reasons to have children. The first one for me I can identify with to a certain extent which I will address later in this piece. The second and third for me are setting unrealistic expectations that these people are setting for what their children would become.
This got me thinking what are the reasons I desire to become someone’s dad? At first I thought it would be a simple quick answer but in reality I had to give it some thought. So here they are:
1) I desire to raise a child with my wife: I understand this is not something that’s easy. While I don’t have first hand experiences, I recognize the challenges that come with it. Heck raising me as I know was not easy. But I also feel there is a reward that comes with it. I think we would do a pretty damn good job being parents. I’ve watched friends and relatives become parents (some that at times earlier in their lives didn’t have a desire to become a parent) and thought if they can do it so can we.
2) I desire to become a part of a child’s life and have a significant impact on their life helping them become the person they set out to become (not the person I may want them to become): I think there is something to be said for a legacy a person leave with their children. Traditions, knowledge and experiences that get passed down from generation to generation. Even though my genetic line ends with me, it would mean a lot to me if I can pass down those things w/out a genetic link.
3) I feel a void in my life and feel there isn’t anything beyond parenthood that I set out to accomplish: This is something being a loving uncle, mentor, teacher or foster parent does not provide for me. I want to experience being the parent of a child and being a part of their life’s moments. I want to watch them come down the stairs at Christmas and see their eyes light up when they see the presents. I want to be there for them when they are sad and watch them overcome adversity. I want to be able to watch them grow up into the adult they desire to become. That’s something only parents experience not any of those other things.
4) I desire to provide for a child what my parents did for me: My parents did so much for me. They gave me a chance and believed in me. I doubt I overcome my learning disability and earn a college degree without their guidance. I want to become as good a dad as mine was for me. As most parents my dad sacrificed for me.
5) I desire from my wife and I to have a family of our own: The picture below is of my dad, brother and I at a Giants game a few years back (me on the left). Though if we were to adopt we would become part of that child’s first/birth family as well. As scary as it sounds to some people, I would look at those family members as I do my in laws. I happen to be unusual in that I love my in laws. There are those who don’t get along with their in laws but that’s not the case for me. My in laws are just as caring and loving as my wife. As a father my father in law went above and beyond as a parent for my wife. As a father in law he has always made me welcome. I remember when I asked him to marry his daughter he welcomed me to the family. I bought my wife’s engagement ring through their jeweler’s and went with my mom and mother in law. They mean a lot to me and it hurts me that I was not able to make them grandparents (my parents as well).
So there you have it. Those are the five concepts that have driven my depression these last seven plus months. Those are the reasons I desire to become someone’s dad.