CAMPUS MAGAZINE: WANTED: A FATHER FOR MY CHILD
Date posted: July 1, 2009
As if finding a husband for me was not a difficult enough task, and as if great guys grew on trees, I decided to make my life a bit more complicated by throwing the "father ingredient" into the "husband mix". I wrote countless articles, letters, and a whole book about my hunt for my Mr. Right where I specified every trait I desired when it came to looks, character, career, brains, and soul. It went without saying that I was looking for the man who would complete the missing piece of the puzzle. Then it suddenly hit me: I overlooked his potential for fatherhood! Yeah … it is as though I found the man and now I am wondering if he would make a good father or not.
When I jotted down what I wanted in a man, I naturally assumed that those rare qualities would make him a good father … until I ran into "K". The guy who only existed in my dreams walked into my life and I began enjoying the idea of being with Mr. Right until one day we were sitting in a coffee shop and the cute little girl behind us decided that she wanted to play hide and seek behind his chair; he totally lost it! "I hate her! I hate kids! I hate parents who do not know how to control their kids! She lacks discipline!" He barked at me making sure her parents heard him. I just nodded and hoped that he was just having a bad day.
That night I was haunted by nightmares of all sorts and I knew that this was the end of "K". Like I always do, I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and began rewriting my wish list but this time I decided to play it differently; he who would make a good father for my kids would be good enough for me. Yes … I put my unborn kids first and decided to look for a guy who wanted to be a father … and I met "M". There he was – a man who is aching to be a father. All in all I enjoyed "M's" company but I turned a deaf ear to how our ideologies and beliefs differed; I am a non-conformist who represented the path less trodden, risk, and the forces of change. He, on the other hand, was a conservative in every sense of the word with a tint of self-serving double standards. I had my reservations alright but I decided to put myself and my needs aside as long as "my child" was happy.
I told "M" about my unique dating strategy – The Month – where I would choose "the man" in the beginning of my cycle and would give him the chance to be my boyfriend until the beginning of the new cycle. If I enjoyed his company and I have had a good month, his contract would be automatically renewed for another month. If I suffered, his contract would be terminated immediately. He laughed and found me funny but when he told me how he plans on having a baby I stopped laughing.
(This is where the tint of double standards showed) Because he wanted God to choose for him, "M" would have intercourse with the two or three women he liked the most and he would get married to whoever got pregnant with his baby. He called it fate! "I chose before and my choice was not that great. I lost the woman I married and the son I was blessed to have. Now I do not trust my choices anymore. I will leave it in the hands of God. If the woman got pregnant then it is a sign that she is to be my wife and the mother of my children." "M" explained in utter simplicity as I stared at him in disbelief.
I will neither get into the right and wrong argument nor the religious aspect of what I heard. He is a grown up and so are the women – who am I to judge?! What really bothered me was my ego! Yes! Hearing him speak made me feel like a lab rat in some sort of impregnation experiment. I saw myself and the two other women in cages waiting for "M's" blessed seed to be implanted into our wombs hoping for the miracle of life. I saw "M" handing us daily pregnancy tests as he anxiously waited for the results and I saw how when one seed blossomed into an embryo, the rest of the women were dumped as the expecting mom and dad celebrated the success of the experiment. I could not think of anything more humiliating than being part of this experiment; being so objectified and stripped off anything that made me who I am. I was no longer Marwa; I was to become a woman … just another fertile woman!
Then it suddenly hit me; I am not very different from "M" for we both just wanted the baby. Like me, he did not seem to care much for who the mother would be, and again, like me, as long as she brought his baby safe to the world, she was good enough for him. In my wildest dreams I did not go as far as experimenting with several men until one of them got me pregnant but still the concept was the same. Having admitted that, a question popped into my head: Would "M" make the right father for my kid? I did not know how to answer that question!
I was dead sure that he would give that baby all the love in the world. I did not have a shred of a doubt that this kid would get the best education and semi-perfect parental guidance. This was how much I believed in "M" as a father! But if I died and "M" was to raise that baby alone, would my kids grow into that strong independent uninhibited person that I would have encouraged them to be? The answer was No! "M" was disqualified on the spot. My married friends told me that had they asked themselves that question before getting married, they would not have chosen the men they have kids with today. But seriously, think of it: What is parenting really about? Isn't is about choosing a partner whom you trust enough, respect enough, and agree with enough to have a kid with? I guess finding a father for my kid is way more difficult than finding a husband for myself – back to square one!