The “should” in babymaking

Marta said I shouldn’t write this post.

But I’ve never been good at keeping my mouth shut.

This weekend, we welcomed a wave of new readers to the blog, most of whom found their way here via Freshly Pressed, wordpress.com’s virtual newsletter. The Freshly Pressed page features a running scroll of blogs on different topics (from gardening to fan fiction) and its editors were nice enough to include one of my blog posts in the lineup.

The attention was a wee bit overwhelming at first, but then I started receiving comments from readers–and fellow bloggers. Several mothers wrote to assure me that, indeed, I can survive without many of the “must have” items that other mothers will say we need. Others simply wrote to say good luck or congrats. A couple of readers thanked me for introducing them to the idea of the Target red scanning gun, which, as something of an anti-consumerist, I found really amusing.

And then there were the many “likes.” At a certain point on Saturday, I was receiving a message about once every five minutes alerting me that someone new had “liked” the blog post. It was strangely reassuring: this knowledge that strangers were voicing their support of our “babymaking story.”

But then last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I checked the blog again. There was one new comment–and it was far less supportive.

“I don’t think you guys should be parents,” the commenter began.

My heart sank. Though in retrospect, I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting a comment like that.

I titled the blog “This Queer Familia,” after all. We are two women in a bilingual, cross-cultural relationship who are trying to start a family. This is not exactly non-controversial. And yet sometimes you get so wrapped up in the excitement of what is happening to you, this thrill of watching your partner’s belly grow and thinking about the child you will raise together, that you forget how many people hate you.

“Children are not an extension of your sexual identity statement,” the reader continues in her comment. “Children are real people and, in my view, they need a gender balanced household with a mother and a father. Not two moms or two dads. That you choose to twist nature around to justify your freedoms I think is an ethical problem. You’ve got individual rights as anyone else does, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to belong to categories you really don’t belong to.”

I finished reading the rest of the comment aloud and turned to look at Marta, who had been listening in silence.

“We’ll I guess were even, cause I don’t think she should be a parent either,” she quipped. “She doesn’t like lesbians moms and I don’t like hateful ones.”

It’s moments like this that I remember why I love Marta so much.

Her point was purposefully exaggerated, of course. It’s not that hateful people shouldn’t parent. Because we’re all a little hateful sometimes. It’s that other people shouldn’t go around saying who should or shouldn’t raise a child. And other people don’t get to say which women “belong” to the catergory of mother and which women don’t.

The nice thing about having your own blog, though, is that you can censor hateful messages if you want. I didn’t have to publish that woman’s vitriolic comments and I’m not going to. But I also don’t want to ignore them. I think they deserve to be read, if only to remind others, as I was reminded, of the virulence of hatred that continues to exist in our society.

Also because I have to admit that the commenter’s words gave me pause. For a moment, I found myself worrying that maybe we shouldn’t be having a baby. Though not because we won’t be loving parents and good role models. But because I know our family, and therefore this little kumquat we’re hoping to bring into the world, will always be prey to this kind of hatred.

And I hate to think about that.

12 thoughts on “The “should” in babymaking

  1. Thank you for writing this post. In my humble opinion what a child needs is unconditional love be it from one parent or two regardless if they are heterosexual or not. Just because a child has a “Mom” and a “Dad” doesn’t guarantee anything in life. I am excited to follow your blog as you become loving parents. There is nothing in the world like seeing your child for the first time and everytime thereafter. Your child will see you for who you are, not who society thinks you should be. Congratulations and thank you for sharing such an awesome time in your lives!

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  2. I found your blog on freshly pressed…I read several of your posts and really enjoyed them. I got to this one and was truly shocked that someone would feel it ok to say who should or should not have children. You and Marta sound like a very loving couple who will be great parents to your little boy. I wish you both the best and look forward to reading more!!

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  3. I’m not going to start on this because it’d be too long for a just a comment. So let me just say this.
    Yes, you three will always be prey to this kind of hatred but you will alway have our love to back you up. This little kumquat is lucky to have the two of you.

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  4. I am never going to understand why some people spend so much time censoring and hating others … But what I wanted to say is that it is amazing how I have also forget that this may be an “un-normal” situation for some people. When I see (and read) week by week the things happening in your lives because of the little Avocado, I think many things like: I hope I will make a family with someone so supportive as you are with each other, I hope my partner will want babies as much as I do, and that he/she will be so interested in what is going on in my belly as Sarah does with Marta’s.
    You two are a REAL model for me, and I am not saying this to fight the person who wrote that in order to be 1-1, I am saying it just because I love you and I don’t like anybody making you doubt for a second what I see every day: that this queer familia really Rocks! and luckily, yes!, it is beyond categories for my inspiration.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. It is odd, after all the excitement, that one comment from one person can change everything even just for a few seconds or minutes, but it really can. If I could speak with her, I would just mention one thing. Look at the evidence, look at all of the children who have been raised by two moms, two dads, one mom, one dad, etc.. It makes no difference, just as long as those parents are loving, kind role models that will help direct their child down the right path. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re an inspiration to myself and many others.
    -Michael

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  6. I love Marta’s comment! So many children grow up in terrible households (ones that include both a mother and a father) and are messed up for the rest of their lives. As long as a child knows love and is cherished it doesn’t matter what their family unit looks like. You already love this baby because you’re out “gun scanning”…you’re going to do great!!! LOL!!

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  7. However we live, whatever decisions we make, there will always be people who won’t, for whatever reason, agree with our choices..don’t let it stop a moment of your joy..

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  8. I can relate to your concerns and feeling of protectiveness for this unborn child. Sadly there will always be those random ones who will point at your child, but they will also point at the immigrants’ child and maybe at someone else’s child who is simply happier/has more friends/has a better vocabulary etc. My point is that I discovered on Friday when my angel of a son was called ‘bad’ by two boys at nursery school, that no matter how hard you try to conform (and by you I mean me) at some point your child will inevitably be teased or offended by others. We shouldn’t (sorry for doing the should/shouldn’t thing) stop having children because some people are hateful. Let’s populate the world with happier ones instead!

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