Guys: Don’t believe anyone or any entity or any hateful organization that says gay men don’t have the instincts to be fathers…because (as cliché as it sounds) when love is leading your parenting path, everything will fall into place. But heads-up: there are at least 6 stupid questions asked new gay dads.
Gay dads: You got this and you’ll know what your baby needs.
And though love builds a family, there will be some unique experiences for you.
People will be dumb. Nine times out of ten it’s not malicious.
Other people will make tons of societal assumptions. Centuries of expectations about how families are built is hard to overcome.
They deserve some grace.
Your job will just be to focus on being the best, proud dad you can be and serve as an ambassador for gay dads everywhere.
You didn’t sign up for this, but it’s a cross you bear.
Go ahead and choose it joyfully.
While my kids were babies and before I designed the best, coolest diaper bag for dads (pardon that plug that simply helps my SEO), I experience all of this:
Is it Mom’s night off?
Ya know? It’s archaic and backwards to assume, “Oh, a dude has a baby on his own. He must be ‘babysitting’ his kid and giving his wife a break.” But you know? The world is slightly less progressive than we assume. So it’s honestly natural for people to make such (sexist, dated) assumptions.
This is the first of the 6 stupid questions asked new gay dads I find most frequent and vexing.
Rather than feeling huffy, mis-labeled and offended, use it as an opportunity to blow minds.
“Nope. I’m not a babysitter. This is my child, and they have two dads and no mother. So it’s a full-time job for us both. I just happen to be on my own, today.”
Smile and watch them back-pedal and sputter out of control.
Who’s the mom and who’s the dad?
Gender roles are so ingrained in our society that people assume there has to be one dad who’s “more the mom” and one who’s “more the dad”. Again: don’t be offended by folks so stuck in the 1950’s.
And let’s be honest – there probably is one father who’s slightly more of the nurturer and one who’s slightly more the disciplinarian. While neither of those labels are automatically more “mother” or “father”, they can serve as a jumping-off point to educate the troglodytes about same-sex parenting.
“Well, I guess my partner is slightly more the playful fun-time dad, while I’m perhaps a bit more of the organized home-maker.
Every member of a couple has its roles. That’s all that the muggles want to know.
Who’s the real dad?
Okay this one can get offensive. But keep in mind, even though it’s 2021 and even though gay parents are in the news, folks don’t yet “get” it. And being asked “who’s the real dad”, especially if you’ve gone through surrogacy, can feel like an affront.
But we know what they mean.
You can simply respond as to who is the biological father (if you even know) and follow up with, “But we’re both the real dads.”
No need to make it even more awkward than the idiot who asked the question.
How’d you get the baby and how much did it cost?
Again – people are dumb. They’re curious and (again) gay parenting is not the norm, so people really do want to know. And here’s your chance to act as an education ambassador. No real need to be offended or lash out. Answer what you feel like answering, and for the rest…you can just smile and keep things vague.
No need to pick a fight over the breeders’ ignorance.
Don’t you think your child’s missing a mother?
This one stings. But it doesn’t have to. Traditionally, we’ve been led to think that a nuclear family has a mother, a father, 2.1 children with a dog and a white picket fence. But for the larger part of human history, children have been raised in a tribe without assigned gender roles and without the suppression of the church to force us into controllable molds.
So you could argue that most of human history, children have had multiple fathers and multiple mothers.
In your case, your child is being raised with more love than they’ll ever be able to fully absorb. You and your partner went through a very deliberate act of generosity and love, hurdles and laws to get to this point. If that doesn’t compensate for the love of a mother, what could?
And think about children who grow up without a mother or without a father? Is that a loss? Well, sure.
What defines a “perfect” childhood or a “perfect” family?
You’re on the path to do exactly that. And that more than makes up for any familial gap.
Strangers will admire you.
And get ready to be praised and admired by total strangers. The sight of dads with their babies makes hearts melt. As before, it’s sexist, dated and unjust to the billions of mothers who lug their kids, nurture and love them and don’t get the extra praise. But society takes for granted the new moms and isn’t as accustomed to seeing dads on their own with babies.
So there’s lots of extra cooing and admiration for dudes with babies strapped to their chests.
It’s really not right or fair for the fab moms in our lives.
But enjoy it. You’re like a super hero leaving smiles and rainbows in your wake.
You’re representing a (now) long line of pioneering gay fathers. It’s an elite club of loving, caring men making the world a better place. Wear that badge with pride.
It comes naturally to you.
And let those 6 stupid questions asked new gay dads just roll off you like fairy dust.