So, over the weekend, in celebration of my sperm reservation, I watched The Back-Up Plan. I saw this movie when it first came out and was absolutely floored that my life-plot had actually made it to the silver screen. I’ve never seen another movie quite like it, not one that attempts a genuine exploration of the reasons behind being a Choice Mom and the idea that just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you’re dead to romance.
While I don’t always appreciate the character portrayals in this movie, the thing I really love about it is that it’s messy and it’s real. Zoe (played by Jennifer Lopez) is a small business owner who “expected to be married with a family by now” but gracefully decides that being a mother is something she actually has control over and pursues an anonymous-donor insemination.
The day of her insemination she meets someone and the rest is Hollywood. It’s charming, challenging and was really the tipping point in my acceptance of Choice Motherhood as a path to both motherhood and love. One is not exclusive of the other.
I resonated so much with how often people told her:
“You just haven’t met ‘the one’ yet.”
“You don’t really want kids, you’re just lonely.”
Good gracious, how many times have I heard this….or used these words to question my motives. And her response was beautiful.
“I’m not lonely. I just want to have a baby.”
One is not contingent upon the other. You can, in fact, be a perfectly happy woman, interested in romance, and also decide to be a Choice Mom. Having a baby on your own does not mean that you don’t want to fall in love and grow old with someone. Though, if that’s true for you. Awesome! Rock your independent-woman-self.
I would love to fall in love, have someone in my life who has my back. Who loves my baby. I’d even be happy having more than one child if we were both financially and emotionally capable of doing so.
But, I’m not at that chapter of my life yet. I’m at this one. And this chapter is shaping up pretty nicely, if I do says so myself.
The other thing I love about this movie is that it challenges both characters to trust in a way they really don’t have a reason to. She doesn’t trust him to stay, he doesn’t trust her…to trust him. And round and round they go. And isn’t that the truth, sometimes? The longer you date without success, the more you learn about what people are capable of; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And after a while, I kinda started thinking…”How do people ever actually pull this off? This is crazy-making!”
And with rising divorce rates, a decrease in marriage rates, and the first generation in a long time that will actually be smaller than the one that came before it…maybe more and more people actually AREN’T pulling this off.
But, one thing I really have to emphasize is, you only know your relationship is the type to last forever…when it actually lasts forever. It’s all hindsight. And that’s okay. It’s okay to keep trying, to keep hoping that this one will be “the one” if that’s what you want for yourself. And if the one you thought was “the one” turns out not to be “the one”, then “the one” you want to be “the one” must still be out there!
Or! Maybe there’s more than one “the one.” It’s all very confusing, and to be honest, most of the time this stuff gives me heartburn and a ravenous Netflix craving, but the point is. Failure is only possible when you give up on something you still want. Change lanes, switch goals, take a break, try again. But, as long as you don’t give up, you haven’t ever failed.