He Said-She Said: Letting Go of the Parenting Dream
- Thursday, November 06, 2008
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: How does a single let go of the parenting dream? I am never married and have always wanted to be married. I will soon be 46, so I am letting go of the parenting dream. Those around me won't let me. Is it so wrong to say I can be happy on my own without a child or that my future husband and I (wherever he is) could be happy as just a couple? How do guys feel about this? I know biologically speaking that men have so much longer to make babies. There are no books on this or Web sites with this kind of information. I feel so lost and so alone on this.
HE SAID: The greatest human tragedy is to give up the search. Nothing is of greater importance than the life of our deep heart. To lose heart is to lose everything.
— John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire
I would venture to say most singles have the desire to be married and have a family at some point in their life. My desire started somewhere around the early days of The Brady Bunch. Although I have yet to find my own family drama/comedy, being single hasn’t deterred me from experiencing joy and finding happiness.
It sounds as if you are letting go of more than just your dream of being a parent. You have lost the joy and happiness outside of being a parent.
Is it wrong to say I can be happy on my own without a child?
YES, it is wrong to say, “I can be happy…without a child,” only for the reason you would even ask yourself that question. In case anyone hasn’t discovered the fact that things (including spouses and children) do not make a person happy, they don’t. I have neither had a spouse nor a child, but I have reason to believe that if I am unhappy without them, I would be unhappy with them (and they would not be happy with me).
If having a child made someone happy, why would we have so many children aborted, abused, and abandoned by a parent? If having a child made someone happy, why are there so many marriages (with children) ending in divorce? If having a child made someone happy, why are there so many unhappy and messed up children?
Is it wrong to say that my husband and I could be happy as just a couple?
If the woman I was marrying (or dating) asked, felt, thought or even entertained this notion, I would RUN! If there is any question in your mind that you won’t be happy in your marriage unless you had a child, forget the marriage thing all together. What would marriage be like until you had a child? What if you couldn’t have one? What is marriage for, only to procreate? Nowadays, you don’t even need a man to do that.
If your dream is to be a parent, the only aspect of your parenting dream that may be in jeopardy is the birthing part. Your goal can be reached in a number of different ways.
Adoption is a wonderful option in becoming a parent. There are thousands of children in the United States and around the world who need a loving home and parent. Single parenting presents its own set of challenges, but it is possible to be a great single mom—especially with the support of family and friends.
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