So I wrote a post for BabyCenter today about this newish website called “Modamily” (Modern Family… Get it?) And I just haven’t been able to get the topic off my mind since I first read the ABC News headline.
Long story short, thousands of people are using the website to find compatible co-parents.—People to have babies and raise kids with. Essentially it’s skipping straight to the divorce which—Let’s face it—Half of Americans do. On one hand I’m like “that’s kinda jacked up” and on the other hand I’m like “Hmm, maybe they’re on to something” but mostly the previous. Here’s a preview so you can see what it’s all about in their own words.
So after watching this and finding the strength to pick up my jaw off the floor, I decided I’ve got questions for these people looking for co-parent baby-mamas and daddies.
First off, why would you prefer this to getting a sperm donor or adopting? I’m assuming it’s for some kind of companionship.
Next, if co-parenting is the appeal, and there’s absolutely no desire for romance (one woman in the article has a 6-year-old daughter with her housemate—A 67-year-old man) then what happens if or when you do actually find someone for you? Will you all share home together, or will the co-parents sorta “break up” but still have visitation with their child?
And what do you do when you have several co-parenting partners? How does that work out?
This topic has been partly fascinating and partly bothersome for me and I’m really trying to pin down why it’s bothering me.
I was raised to believe that you get married then have kids. That lesson was DRILLED into my head… Constantly. Partly religiously, but when I really think about it, it was mainly an “I want better for you than I had” kind of mentality, for my parents who didn’t initially have kids together in a traditional sense.
Now without going all Rush Limbaugh on you (sorry, can’t stand the guy), and taking my religious views out of it, I do appreciate, and think there’s something to be said about the “nuclear family.” And I don’t mean that in a white, middle class, one man and woman sense, but rather in a married two parents kind of way. It’s gotta be pretty healthy for a kid to have parents who love each other and take care of him/her right?
But then the compassionate angel (or devil) on my other shoulder is saying there are many instances where parents are better parents when they’re not forcing an unhealthy relationship. In other words—It could be worse.
And what if I didn’t meet my husband when I did, and I was a single lady who went on to have an awesome life but still wanted some awesome kids of my own? Is adoption my only option? Would finding someone who also wants to be a good parent to help me out be a bad thing?
Or maybe a better way to think about it is from the standpoint of how the child will end up. Being brought into the world with two married and in-love parents rocks, but two parents don’t always work out (half the time they don’t) and they’re sorta left with one and another every other weekend (or summers). Could people starting out like “hey, we just wanna love this kid?” be better? Or is it being selfish? Is this still just too new of an idea to understand or even possibly guess what the outcome for the child could be?
So many questions.
I waited up for my husband to get home from work anxious to hear his thoughts. I had him watch their little explanation video and asked him what he thought.
“I don’t know what to think,” he said. My point exactly. So I guess at least we are together in our confusion. I think if we were both still single 10 years from now, and looking for a co-parent partner we’d hook up. But I’m glad we found each other early so I could have my interracial nuclear family. I just wonder how much longer this will be the norm. 50 years ago my family looked completely unusual (even illegal) to a lot of people. Today, I’d say it’s normal.
So am I just freaking out because it’s new and it seems unusual and wrong to me? Or is there really something wrong with this picture?
I got questions.