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Why do I feel odd about this? Non biological parent and 'dads'

(186 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 09-Feb-17 15:29:50

My DP is expecting our first baby. She got pregnant partly because I have a history of miscarriage, which is being investigated at the moment. So far there's no definite indications of why it happens, but some tests have come up positive and so they're continuing to check things out.

Obviously, we're thrilled about the baby and I honestly don't feel the tiniest bit that she isn't mine. In fact we both regularly forget she won't inherit anything genetic from me. grin However, I feel a bit odd about the mental 'boxes' people put me in. We just did NCT, and we had a lovely teacher who was falling over herself to be inclusive, and everyone else there was really nice and friendly. Now we've finished the classes we were encouraged to set up little facebook groups - a general one, one for dads and one for mums. Perhaps predictably, the general one is silent, there's one for mums which DP tells me is full of chatter, and as far as I know, there isn't one for dads at all because no one's set it up. Or, of course, they have and I just don't know. I could set it up myself, but I'm a bit nervous, firstly because I know someone in the same situation as me who had men complain they couldn't talk freely in front of her, and partly because ... and this is bad ... I just don't feel as if I have so much in common with the men. Rationally, I know we share a lot of common ground, and they're all nice, but I feel out of place. And obviously I don't fit with the mums either. And I feel oddly lonely.

I am not generally one for language policing and so my issue isn't that I mind people talking about 'the dads' and including me, or referring to me as 'honorary dad'. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just don't feel as if I have the same experiences as them.

I am sure this will all fly out of my mind once the baby's born and I'll be far too busy and sleepless to think about anything so trivial. But can anyone sort of understand why I'm feeling out of place, and help me figure it out?

Juveniledelinquent Thu 09-Feb-17 15:33:55

Don't over think things, oh and congratulations flowers

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 09-Feb-17 15:35:22

Slightly easier said than done, but thank you.

pipsqueak25 Thu 09-Feb-17 15:36:11

you will still be dad as you will be bringing dc up with your dp, 'honourary dad', ? just because things didn't start out in the typical fashion.
this is a case of 'smile and wave boys, smile and wave' with a mental thought of 'up yours peeps !'

WasabiNell Thu 09-Feb-17 15:37:39

Won't you be in the mum's group? As you'll be the baby's mum too?! Sorry if I've got crossed wires. And congrats!!

HaveCourageAndBeKind Thu 09-Feb-17 15:39:08

Am I reading it right that you are also female? In which case, why can't you just be 'a mum' too? Honestly every same sex female couple I know with children both consider themselves mums - but usually with different names. Mummy & Mama for example. Why should you be lumped in with men because you aren't carrying the baby?

MaudGonneMad Thu 09-Feb-17 15:39:53

Your experience is different, though. Not lesser, but different. So it's not surprising that you feel slightly out of place.

Have you found any groups for same sex parents? Maybe they would be of use to you. Sorry to hear that you're feeling lonely in all this.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 09-Feb-17 15:40:47

Yes, I'm the baby's mum, but I think the mum's group is for the pregnant mums, not me! And of course we do assume I'll be called mum by the baby.

CMOTDibbler Thu 09-Feb-17 15:40:49

Congratulations! To me, you'd be part of the mums group - after all, if you were a hetero couple adopting at birth or doing surrogacy you'd be a mum without question from anyone.

SilenceOfThePrams Thu 09-Feb-17 15:41:02

Join the mum's group. You'll be a mum. Fair enough, you're not doing the pregnancy bit, but you're very definitely a mum all the same.

Fabellini Thu 09-Feb-17 15:42:16

Are you dad though? Or are you another mum? Please, please don't take offence, I don't mean to be rude or hurtful, I just genuinely don't know.
Maybe you could join the mum chat, or are they discussing physical changes and stuff that you aren't experiencing? Because I guess that could be difficult for you too.
Once the baby is born though, you're right, none of it will matter.
Congratulations to you and your dp!

EdmundCleverClogs Thu 09-Feb-17 15:42:27

you will still be dad as you will be bringing dc up with your dp, 'honourary dad'

I read it as the OP is female and doesn't want to be 'dad', there's just not a 'category' for her. Willing to be told I'm wrong, of course.

What about online forums, or perhaps there's couples out there/in your town that are either or have already been through your situation. You could try and meet up with them instead of NCT/FB groups?

HaveCourageAndBeKind Thu 09-Feb-17 15:43:13

As a mum who's been pregnant and carried/birthed biological children I wouldn't care less if you were the pregnant mum or not. You're still a Mum to Be and still experiencing pregnancy through your partner. If you want to be in the mum's group you should be! If not though, that's something else entirely. Can/could you search for some more specific groups for non pregnant mum's to be?

DappledThings Thu 09-Feb-17 15:43:14

Agree you should join the mums too. I'm sure if this was my NCT group you'd have been totally welcome in the mums' WhatsApp group and everything social. Hope this is what works out for you

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 09-Feb-17 15:43:25

Cross post.

maud, thanks. We do belong to a group which has a subgroup for lesbian mums, but just at the moment all of the children are substantially older, and know each other well, so there's no one going through this stuff right now. Plus, though I don't know everyone's details, I think most of them either adopted children, or there was a clear reason why one partner didn't want to get pregnant in the first place, which feels a little different.

HecateAntaia Thu 09-Feb-17 15:44:10

congrats.
in your shoes I would join the mum group.
you are mum too.

juneau Thu 09-Feb-17 15:45:18

You'll be a mum and are a proud mum-to-be, so I'd join the mums if I was you. But I do understand that it's not quite the same when you're not the gestational mum. I think you'll just to take a deep breath and plunge in, accepting that your role is not quite defined here, but you're a mum - no doubt about it.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 09-Feb-17 15:45:31

I feel very unsure about pushing in on the mum's group.

I am in a (MN!) antenatal FB group and I am so, so hugely grateful to the person who invited me in, and it makes a really big difference. So I probably am being absolutely daft. I do have people to talk to, and I'm sure I could find online lesbian mums groups (though not that easily, I've looked). So I can't quite figure out why I'm feeling odd.

Batteriesallgone Thu 09-Feb-17 15:45:38

If you were in my antenatal group I'd assume you would join the mums group not the dads. Although not sure I can justify that now I think about it.

I think dads groups are quite rare. The pregnancy/birth is naturally the focus but talking about it in a dads group can feel quite disrespectful IYSWIM, like talking behind the partners back. That's how my DH felt anyway.

I think if it was me and I was looking for support I'd look to Facebook parenting groups.

HolesinTheSoles Thu 09-Feb-17 15:45:46

I can totally understand how you feel but I would join the mum group personally. You might not have as many shared experiences during the pregnancy but that's only a short time. Once the baby is here you'll be having the same experiences as the other mums in the group.

EdmundCleverClogs Thu 09-Feb-17 15:46:13

As others say though, you will be a 'mum' as well.

You will find after the baby arrives, you'll be more inclined to join groups that follow how you decide to raise the baby, instead of ones based on the 'parental role'. You may find it easier to 'find a place' once the baby is here.

MoMandaS Thu 09-Feb-17 15:47:05

Well, I don't think it is trivial, really. Yes, some of your experience will be similar to that of the 'dads', but you are unique in that group so, as you say, won't fully match anyone else. You have some experience in common with the biological mums, in that you are (I presume) a woman and also that you've been pregnant. I think I'm probably coming across as unsympathetic, which is not my intention at all. I suppose I'm just trying to say that I think your feelings about it are valid and understandable. I wonder if there's an online group of people in your situation where you might get some support/chat as the pregnancy progresses. In our NCT group, we did stick to meeting up separately as 'mums' and 'dads' but once the babies were born we just met up (still do) with whoever was around during the day, so you might find that to be the case in your situation, too.

MaudGonneMad Thu 09-Feb-17 15:47:07

What does your partner think? Would she be happy if you joined the Mums' group? Or would she feel that you were encroaching on her space?

I only ask because my NCT mums' group chat was pretty dominated by the physical/visceral side of pregnancy/childbirth/post-partum/breastfeeding. It would have been hard to contribute if you weren't going through the same thing. Others' experiences may have been different, of course. smile

Purplepicnic Thu 09-Feb-17 15:47:28

You have the 'right' to join the mums group in my eyes.

You could also set the dad one up - just because the dads in your friends group were knobs, doesn't mean the ones in yours will be.

Or find a same-sex parents FB group, must be loads.

NoSquirrels Thu 09-Feb-17 15:48:59

Join the mums group, LRD!

Yes, they are pregnant and you are not, but you are a mum not a dad, and once the pregnancy bit is over, you will really value being in touch with the

I don't think it's the same as a bloke wanting to invade the women's space, where you might feel you couldn't talk about bodily stuff in front of a man who didn't have a vagina. And yes, there may well be a bit of whingeing in private about the "dads" whose lives haven't changed as much, but as a long-time MN-er you are obviously not going to fall into any "new dad" traps of not getting up in the night/not pulling your weight at home/expecting life to go on unchanged/seeing your DP as free babysitting, are you? grin

Once the actual sympathising about pregnancy symptoms bit is over, and the babies are here, you will really value those women in the mums group, I bet.

Go join it. I'm sure you'd be welcome.

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