to consider having a baby with my gay best friend?(81 Posts)
This is a name-change, for obvious reasons!
Context: I have a funny relationship with my ex. We met 16 years ago and split up three years later, just before I found out I was pregnant with our son. It was an amicable enough split, just in different places with our lives (and age gap was a problem). But we have stayed amicable, to the extent that he has a key to my house and we are very much raising our disabled son together, as he needs us both to be consistent. He comes to our house and doesn't have our son at his, and we go on holiday together BUT we don't live together and definitely aren't together.
However, we slept together on holiday last year and it continued happening when we got back. I ended up pregnant, and didn't tell him, while I decided what to do. I was very confused about the pregnancy and only told a couple of close friends. I eventually decided to go ahead with it and had started to get excited, despite all the many reasons why it would make life difficult, and was due to tell ex over the Christmas holidays, but had a miscarriage before I did so.
I am (obviously) in a funny place after the miscarriage and have gone from thinking being pregnant was mostly difficult and complicated to wishing I still was. I had got myself in a positive place about it and to miscarry was pretty shattering.
I don't want to properly get back with my ex, and I don't know if I'm able to think about meeting someone different, for complicated reasons that I won't bore anyone with, mainly to do with my son's acceptance of new people in my life. However, I am pretty convinced now that I do want another child. I don't think my ex would want another child, and I don't intend to 'get pregnant accidentally', so I am thinking about options.
My best friend is a gay man. We used to joke about having a baby together if I didn't meet anyone by my mid-30s, but it was just jokes. He is the closest person to me apart from family, and we are very similar in many ways. When I told him I was pregnant, I could tell he was struggling with it a bit; he kept joking about how people would think it was his (which is possibly true - some people do think we're a couple) and I really wanted him to have a role in it all. He looked after my son for me when I went to hospital and has been really supportive with it all.
He's a really amazing man who I love (not in that way, but that's a good thing in terms of stability) and would make a great father. And I think he has started to want children. I am used to sharing parenting with a man who doesn't live with me and there'd be no romantic/ sexual complications like there are with my ex.
Is this completely bonkers or is it something that could work? I know people will say I'm just reacting to the miscarriage, but in reality, I think the miscarriage has just woken me up to the fact that there's something missing in my life that I used to want. There's no going back to before the miscarriage but, even if there was, I'm not sure I'd want to as life had got very stagnant. I have a career that I love and my son has progressed massively, to the extent that I think he will be an independent adult, but I have got so used to living life around work and my son that I feel I have forgotten to think about what I want.
And I want another child, and don't have much time left. So, AIBU to
be even considering this?
I feel that another child is what I want. I do think the massive age gap would be 'interesting'...I think I have forgotten lots of what it was like!
But I am also aware that my head is not in its usual state at the moment.
My boss and some friends at work think I need some time off. I am getting so little sleep and am emotionally up and down. Boss has managed to arrange some counselling, starting next week, as GP recommendation would have been months of waiting. I was against it but figure I have nothing to lose. I want some normality back.
I have friends who had a baby together without ever being a couple and it works very well for them, so undoubtedly it is possible.
This comment of yours worries me a bit though:
"but I have got so used to living life around work and my son that I feel I have forgotten to think about what I want."
Won't adding another child into the equation just create something else for life to revolve around, thus continuing the cycle of not being able to think about what you want?
If you are absolutely sure that another child is where you want to go, then I would say go ahead. But having had DC3 only five years after DC2, I have to say that going right back to square one and starting again was a big deal, and that was a much shorter gap. Also you already have a disabled son and you state that it is only recently that you feel that he may manage to lead an independent life, so must be aware that there is the possibility that another child might be with you for the rest of your life.
If you've considered all that, and it's still what you want, then I wish you all the best.
I feel old, and very tired. I was young and (fairly) energetic with my son! Yes, the 2 dads thing would be complicated, but they get on well enough and they'd be no competition to each other. Plus, very aware that my son will be an adult in the blink of an eye and probably won't be at home for more than 5 years, so the time when ex will be around a lot will dwindle. Not that my son won't still need me and need my ex - he will - but the current arrangement won't exist soon.
I'd feel it would be too complicated with 2 kids with different dads - where one is around most of the time and perhaps also the other? Just in terms of arrangements and practicalities. I'd probably get a sperm donor instead But yes, take some time to think, and see how you feel in summer or something. 35 isn't that old!
Didn't finish my answer about counselling: I have a bit of a thing about hating sharing private thoughts with someone who is paid to listen but doesn't actually care. But I think talking could be good, because my friends who know are clearly starting to get bored of me being so up-and-down all the time, and I think they wish I'd stop talking about it and move on. Bloody hell, even I wish that.
Counselling was suggested, but someone I know works at the place that they use, so am nervous. Also not sure how I'd fit it in. Work is hard enough and I'm behind enough as it is.
Trying a sleeping tablet tonight to see if I can have a weekend without crying, having had some sleep!
Go for it. He probably won't get another chance, you really want one, and you both get on really well.
The rest is details
OP have you thought about getting some counselling? You've got a lot going on emotionally at the moment, it might be good to talk it through with someone neutral.
Went to the GP today as I'm really not coping as well as I'd like to be. Have been given a prescription for a week's sleeping tablets to see if sleep helps. But I can't see my feelings on having another baby changing, even with clearer perspective. I think best mate has decided no but is scared to tell me in case it tips me over the edge. No further forward with anything, really
Speaking as a first time mum in my late 30's I feel if you and your friend can offer a child stability and love then why not?
Parenting models are now pretty diverse and I wouldn't necessarily say the traditional family is 'better' or more stable.
If you explore the impact a second child would have on DC1 and on your friendship then I think you have a set of possibilities. I support and can see why you would rather have a known father than a donor - both have their benefits and disadvantages but a good friend who wants to become a parent too is very valuable and he will no doubt be enriched by the experience of having a child.
If your best friend really wants children and you are will to go 50/50 go for it.
I'd go for it. A wanted baby, two caring parents, a big brother? There are worse things in the world by a looooong way.
Go for it ! It's no different to the huge swathes of people that have kids together who aren't in a relationship or split up. Expect here won't be any emotional baggage between you two, bonus! I think it's a great idea and more people should consider this.
Sorry to hear about your miscarriage.
Does your ex partner get on with your best friend? How would ex partner feel about you having another man's baby (would it impact on your son when both were around?). If all those things are OK, it sounds like a great idea!
assuming you've sorted out the practicalities
Thank you all again for the advice. Whatever best mate says, I know I really need to sort myself out before making any big decisions about anything. I really need to be able to be back in work properly without crying over pathetic stuff before I even think of making any life-changing decisions!
Re: parenting views, best mate and I share similar views on most things. He's been around since my son was tiny and so he has seen how I've done things and would, I guess, have said if he disagreed with anything I've done - we're quite open about opinions. I guess it would be different if it was his own child though. We have had rows in the past, usually when we've taken our friendship for granted, but we've always resolved things as our friendship is very important to us. He has got me through some very tough times.
Thank you, everyone. Lots to think about.
Yes, I would need to resolve things with ex. I think the sex is just because we've always been more compatible there than in any other way, but I do love him in the sense that he is my son's father. I think he has maybe more feelings for me but, ultimately, we're not compatible long-term.
So having a baby with him would confuse things further, I feel. And I would genuinely like my best mate to be the father of my next child - not just because he's there, but because he'd be amazing.
Great minds..., hellothere
If you do go down this route, I really think you should think of having a professionally drawn up agreement/contract.
A friend of mine had a baby with a gay friend. It all worked beautifully for a few years. Then gay friend's relationship broke down and the friendship (between my friend and her gay friend) broke down. My friend is now worried that about her gay friend trying to fight for custody at some point.
More or less x post hopskip, I didn't see your post first!
I know two people who did what you're thinking of OP and it worked out really well for them. I would think a huge amount of discussion is required beforehand though, on logistics (what if your gay mate gets an unrefusable job offer abroad or something?), parenting styles (ie will you both agree fundamentally on how to parent?), things like views on religion (or not) and education, holidays, how the child's time is divided, finance etc.
Also, you have to work out where your ex would be in this picture. He'd really have to be told. Is there a compelling reason why you'd approach your gay mate rather than your ex?
If meeting someone new and having a child that way is not the most pressing concern for you, I think you're right to consider going it alone no matter how you do that. For example, I was always very clear in my head that having children was more important to me than having a lifelong partner, so if I hadn't met DH, I would have done it alone or even with someone as a coparent. Other people place more emphasis on meeting someone first. I think that's something very personal to each individual and only you can decide what's more important to you.
I can't say what's right for you but a good gay friend of mine had a baby with his best friend and they made it work. The set up was a bit different to yours and they lived together (along with his male partner) and made a very good job of it all.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, I guess it's about making sure that everybody involved is comfortable and clear on the boundaries, which means lots of talking.
I don't see why you couldn't make it work though.
I don't think you should do anything at the moment. While time is not stretching endlessly into the future for you at 35, your fertility is not about to end tomorrow either, so you can afford to take a bit of time and make the right decision here.
If your gay best friend wants to be a father, I think he'd make an ideal choice and it could work out well for all concerned.
The problem as I see it is your X, your DS's father. There are clearly unresolved issues in your relationship with him that desperately need dealing with one way or another before you throw another child into this mix.
Miscarriages can affect people in different ways. Once you are sure you have dealt with yours as well as you ever can do, I'd focus all your thoughts on your X. What are your feelings towards him? Why did you sleep with him? Why did you choose to do that knowing that it might pose a risk to your DS's relationship with him? You will need to be searingly honest with yourself to get to the bottom of all that, and then choose a plan of action that allows you to have a relationship with him.
IMO only once that is in place can you then think about how another child with a different father would impact on that relationship and whether you want that father to be your gay best friend.
It's a big decision OP - IMO it is a good sign that he is taking a lot of time thinking about it, because the worst thing would be someone who rushed into an ill-considered yes.
One thing to think about is you and your friend's opinions on parenting styles, and your methods of conflict resolution. Often friendships don't really require much in the way of resolving conflict - you do the things you like/agree on together and do the other things separately. No discussion required. Parenting, obviously, is different. Your friend may want a much more involved role than your ex has with your other DC, and may have very different opinions. You'd need to talk about how you'd resolve differences, and what things really really matter to each of you that you couldn't compromise on.
Views on education, discipline, routines or lack of, bedtimes, TV-watching, toys, etc. You will each have all sorts of views on parenting that just seem 'normal' to you, but may not to each other.
What happens if one of you gets a job offer a long way away or a new partner who gets a job offer a long way away?
What happens if the child becomes ill or disabled - who takes the long-term time off?
I think it can work, but a lot of discussion required.
Everything bumpngrind said was spot on in my opinion.
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