Amalthea (amaltheae) wrote,

This thread made me want to make sure I've said some things I've thought about in my life and perhaps assumed my spouses knew. Assumptions can be dangerous, so...

I consider both of you equal partners in raising children. I do not believe that children are property to be traded in divorce decrees, used to manipulate other people, altered at whim, etc. They are very small people who trust the people closest to them to protect and nurture them and try to do what is objectively best for them rather than what we would all sometimes like to believe is best for them because it is what we want.

I decided I was okay with having children some day when I decided that I was able to give a child up for adoption if that was really what was best for the child because of my life or inability to care for it in an appropriate way. I was not willing to have one and was determined to abort an accidental one before that point. In understanding that sometimes the right answer is letting go and really believing that, no matter what age and whether they could fight for themselves or not, made it possible for me to consider raising a child if my life would allow for it.

I expect essentially the same from the two of you. I expect that genetics are far less relevant than a child's needs who has been placed in your protection. I expect that if I died in child birth that you would make the decision to share, one of you to keep or to adopt out the child based on what you can both agree is really the best thing to do for the child. I expect you to be able to evaluate the same question in the future if it applies.

I believe that raising a child is much like adult relationships in that you cannot do it functionally or well if you are not willing to walk away if that is really the only feasible answer, and if you are not willing to learn to let go when the time comes for that. Sometimes someone else should be allowed to succeed rather than continuing to wear the relationship down and breed resentment and hatred for something beyond the capacity of the people involved. At many stages and eventually completely, any child needs to be set free to be what they will be. We must remember that going in and attempt to give them the tools to make decisions for themselves that will better their lives and happiness when they do take their inevitable right to freedom.

That said, I expect that we are all intelligent capable enough people that we can manage to figure out how to make it work and how to not clutch at this little person for our identity just as we have learned not to clutch at each other for our identity to the exclusion of what the people involved really need. I expect that that doesn't mean you give up easily on any child you help to raise. It doesn't mean you don't protect them fiercely as you are able and they need that protection.

I expect you both to love any child I have as yours and to be intelligent enough to understand the trust this being has in you and how much more important that child's trust is than any genetic test anyone could perform or any property laws on the books. Any children should be equal inheritors to any gain the three of us achieve and difference should not be made based on genetics. I do not want to hear about genetics as an excuse for behavior for any reason other than a medical necessity of matching organs or blood types or family medical history records to help the child mitigate biological risks.

I am going into this with both of you because I need both of you. I believe we all balance each other in ways that each of us need, and that a child will be vastly better for, than it would be were I to choose between you for some reason. I am willing to have this baby because there are two of you to help me in this journey who I trust deeply to do their best for this child. I believe any of the three of us would struggle equally with trying to do this alone or in a smaller subset of the three of us. All of us have created a safe place for a child in our emotional lives by working on ourselves. All of us have made the financial and emotional and basic needs commitment to this child. For that reason it is all of our baby, and if I went nuts and left you both 10 months from now, while I might ask you to pay for a nanny and hope to help select her, I would choose to leave the baby with the two of you as the most capable providers for it as things stand today. That is how much I trust you both and how much this baby's well being means to me.

I have assumed you respected that fact, but realized I haven't said parts of it, intuitively believing you to be of similar mind, and I should. You both mean the world to me, and I am not having a child with one of you. I am having our child. I trust that we are in this together, and I value you both more than words can express. Remember that when the dark moments grab you, you feel baffled, lost, left out or overwhelmed. I have faith in all of us to figure it out in the child's best interests. We will all struggle. At times we will all fuck it up. But we are in this to help each other and we will learn as much as we can and talk about the hard parts as much as necessary to work them out. And whatever else, we will teach this child that it is okay to be brave enough to find what they need in life if we are unable to provide it all, respecting their needs as another human being. I love you two.


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