In the on-going saga of reactions from people I loop-in on my Choice Mom decision, one particular person reacted in the most infuriating way I’ve yet to experience.
Some quick background on our relationship: He’s currently going through a divorce and custody battle. The circumstances are brutal and I’d extended a more supportive hand than our previous acquaintanceship would typically call for. For six months after he got marching orders from his soon-to-be-ex-wife, I’d been his sounding board while he struggled to understand why this was all happening and what to do.
We bonded, in a way, and somewhere along the way, I realized that our friendship was becoming more and more volatile. We’d begun to fight a lot. Me feeling like his expectations of our friendship were getting pretty heavy-handed and him feeling abandoned every time he needed me and I had other things going on. And that’s when I realized I needed to speak up.
Let’s just say…it did not go well.
We went back and forth for a few weeks and things had started to settle down. So, when I started looping in my friend group on my plans, I decided to include him in the process.
We both worked for the same company at the time so I decided the best way to let him know was through text so he could have some time to absorb it. He was polite and supportive initially, but then I noticed that he spent the rest of the day stomping around the office, snapping at people and resolutely not looking my way.
I messaged him later that evening, asking what was up with the serious mood swing after I told him about my baby plans. He was vague and evasive, stating that he “hasn’t been completely honest with” me. I knew I should have left it alone, but I followed the cookie crumbs, a common communication technique with him, and asked the question he seemed so desperate for me to ask.
“Does it upset you that I’m going to have a baby on my own?”
And that was all it took. I got text after text about how he had feelings for me, had for years, and was upset that I was “leaving him behind.”
This from a man who was still married, though divorcing. Had spent the last 6 months going through terrible relationship drama, not just with this wife, but with me as well. Many of our fights were around how much I didn’t appreciate the way he treated me.
I was furious. It took me a while to realize why. And then it hit me…
Being a Choice Mom isn’t about anyone else but me and my baby. It isn’t about the people I don’t want to date or relationships that didn’t work out. It isn’t about people I wish were there…it’s about ME. And I was, and still am absolutely livid that he was trying to take away this beautiful thing from me and make it about him. That somehow he had a right to guilt me about hurting him with my decision.
That kind of selfish, self-focused, self-centered crap is exactly why I want to do this my way. I want to have a child, not date one.
I wasn’t so much bothered by the fact that he had a negative reaction as I was that he still insists that the way treated me after he found out was acceptable. Picking fights, guilting me, keeping secrets, being intentionally vague…all so he could keep the focus on him instead of let it be about me, just once.
I realized then that we were incapable of maintaining a cordial relationship as long as his feelings about my decisions were that strong. One more fight later, and the friendship was over. Social media accounts were blocked on both sides (that’s 21st century fighting for ya!) and we parted ways.
No one has reacted as badly as he did, before or since. What a mess.
Now contrast that with another guy friend that I looped in who immediately asked for the clinic website, jumped on and started suggesting donors for me based on my athletic history! Their reactions could not be more polarized.
I have to admit. When I told Friend #2, his reaction was completely unexpected and made me so happy that it made me cry.
When doing something out of the ordinary, you rarely get to celebrate it from the beginning. Rather, my time has often been spent, soothing other, justifying my choices and assuring them that no, I don’t know what I’m doing, but that’s not really weird when it comes to parenting.
So rare is it that I tell someone and they’re just FUCKING HAPPY FOR ME. And those that are, are rare treasures. I’ve come to realize recently that celebration, at this stage, is a privilege – not a right. And it’s gonna take some serious groundwork now, so that when I finally get to say “I’m pregnant!”, I’ll be saying it to a group of people who are fully prepared to celebrate that with me. Not question me, doubt me, judge me or make it about them.
Cheers to the people who celebrate! I love you all!