Sixth list of ten: Things I have in common with dads

one hundred stones
Original photo credit: The Windgrove Center, Tasmania, AU.

In celebration of the 100th post, part six in a ten-part series.

I’m a female parent who (a) didn’t give birth, but (b) is partner side-by-side with one who did, and (c) is in some ways nearly as mannish as I am womanish. As a result, more often than not it’s the dads I sidle up to and chat with at the playground, and I’ve made at least as deep a connection with my men friends who are fathers as I have with my women friends who are mothers. (This is apart from the obvious and intense connection I have with women who are, like me, lesbian parents.)

Given all this, I thought it’d be interesting to corral, in one of these lists, a good

Ten things I have in common with dads:

1. (with slacker dads) We both tend to want to avoid doing the dishes and the laundry as frequently as the sweetie would like.

2. (with handy dads) We both prefer to put the “some assembly required” toys together; this impulse also applies to installing child seats, building tree houses, and fabricating excuses to take a “quick trip” to the hardware store.

3. (with dads whose partners have carried and birthed the kids) We have seen our partners through the awe-inspiring Everest climb of pregnancy, witnesed them birth our kids, and therefore tend to see our partners in the kind of shimmering light that shines on them.

4. (with dads whose partners have carried and birthed the kids) Because it’s the other one who gave birth, and nursed, and smells like Home to the kids (rather than home), we’re chopped liver for years, and it hurts, man, it hurts.

5. (with donor-conceived / donor insemination / DI  and adoptive dads) Our parenthood has been made possible by the generosity of another man.

6. (with donor-conceived / donor insemination / DI and adoptive dads) We don’t look like our kids, they don’t look like us, and we are grateful for the powerful impact our nurture will have on them.

7. (with donor-conceived / donor insemination / DI and adoptive dads) We may worry about whether one day our kids will develop some strong desire to look past us, to the donor or biological father, for some biological kinship that we can’t provide. And of course we live with that, due to item #5 above. If we’re fortunate, we may even find ways to regard this in an expansive, positive light.

8. (with feminine dads in same-ish sex marriages) Kids are drawn to us in a distinct way, because while I can’t substantiate it with clinical proof, I know there’s just something wonderful about a person who has a rich mix of both masculine energy and feminine, all in the same body. And in my personal experience, kids pick up on this big time. They know they’ll get both the hoisting high and the soft cuddling, and it makes some visceral core part of them very happy.

9. (with gear fetishist dads) We wish that there were a baby shower for us, so we could receive stuff from this place. Or this place. Not that we’d want to admit that in public.

10. (with every dad with a wide-open heart) We consider this parenthood gig the toughest (most meaningful, rewarding) job we’ll ever love, and can’t imagine how we ever thought we could do without it.

[Seventh list of ten: Things to do whilst waiting for the birth]

7 Responses to Sixth list of ten: Things I have in common with dads

  1. LookyDaddy December 28, 2006 at #

    11. (with blogging dads) You have a unique viewpoint that is worth reading and sharing with the world.

  2. LesbianDad December 28, 2006 at #

    11a. I am most grateful, kind sir. Also most frustrated that I botched the TiVO thing and it didn’t record your network debut as a potential human speedbump.

  3. SDS December 29, 2006 at #

    Great post. I’m a new reader and felt compelled to comment. As an adoptive parent of internationally adopted twins, I struggle with many of these same questions. Interesting how despite the differences in our stuations, we still share these insecurities about our roles.

    SDS

  4. LesbianDad December 30, 2006 at #

    Thank you. I feel as if there are so many commonalities between my kind of non-birth parenthood and that of parents who’ve adopted. The only difference, in the instance of folks like me, is that we’re side-by-side with someone who seems more “legitimate,” or at least biologically linked. For better and for worse.

    This whole experience of non-biological parenthood — “not under my heart, but in it” — is something a great many of us share. Adoptive parents, step-parents, non-birth parents of all kinds, both in “straight” and LGBT families. The more we can share insights and support, the better parents we can be, I figure. And I would hope the proof would be in our puddings!

    Thanks for reading and thanks again for the comment.

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