Archive for May, 2011

Who wants to be a daddy?

May 31, 2011

Actually I do, and I am putting this out there as a way of trying to tempt fate into it actually happening. I turn 40 this year and I feel time might not be on my side for too much longer. Now I know guys are lucky in that they can become fathers rather later in life, but that is not something I want to do, I think my 40’s is late enough for me.

This is not a mid-life crisis where I have woken up one day and thought, ‘Oh my God I want to be a father!’, I have always known that I want to be a parent. It is hard to explain just how it feels, but I am sure many people out there will know what I mean by that. I guess it has been this innate yearning inside of me for as long as I can remember. It goes way back to when I was 18 and a good friend of mine got pregnant, it kicked something into gear inside me that said “I want this” and that feeling has never really gone ever since. It has been stronger at certain times than at others, but it has always been there under the surface, in the back of my mind, just there. Over the years I think I believed all messages in society and the media that told me gay men (and women) should not or could not be parents. I simply assumed that as a gay man I had no right to be a father, unlike all the straight men I knew, regardless of their ‘potential’ to be a good or bad parent. But that feeling of wanting to become a dad just never went away, and when I turned 30 not only did I get very broody, I also got a little angry that I had allowed society to convince me that I had no right to realise this dream. By now this yearning had become a physical ache, and being around my friends with children got harder and harder. I decided I would make it happen, or at least make some serious headway into exploring the opportunities I might have.

I initially looked into surrogacy, because that seemed like the best solution for me as a single guy. But, I always came back to the same thing; I never really wanted to do it on my own, I wanted to share the joy, pain, disappointments, hard times and good times etc. I also have this idea that any child I have ought to know who his or her parents are, so that was another reason for me not to go down that path. In the end this was an option I decided against.

After some time I joined a couple of support networks for lesbian and gay people who are already parents, trying to become parents or just thinking about it. My main reason for joining initially was to meet likeminded people and affirm that I was not some freak for wanting this so badly. I met few female couples who were keen for me to be a ‘sperm donor’ but who were not looking for anything more than that. As I have said I want to be involved and know my child and have my child know me. Eventually I was lucky in that I met a great couple who were looking for the same, someone to help them co-parent not just a sperm donor. Unfortunately after a couple of years and some devastating miscarriages we stopped trying.

I thought that was it for me, I genuinely believed that I had missed my chance and that it might be time to give up on this dream, but fate stepped in and has offered me another chance. I could not believe my luck when I met a fantastic woman that shared the same dream as me and was looking for the same thing, after much thought and talk we came to an agreement to become parents together. She and I have started that journey together, not as a ‘couple’ in the traditional sense, but we are in a partnership in that we hope to be parents together. Yes, in an ideal world you would have a partner (some would say husband or wife) to do all this with, but sometimes the ideal just does not happen and you need to make things happen for yourself in other ways.

I know I will be criticised for being so egotistical in my desire and action to become a parent, but isn’t there an element of that in everyone that wants to be a parent even if they are straight and married? Surely the key thing is that any child you have is loved and cared for, what does it matter ‘how’ you have that child?

What you can do to help the planet

May 11, 2011

Ok, you know how I like my Keep Cup as it helps me to be a little more ‘green’, well I have a few other tips for you.

1 – Change you light bulbs: Buy the more energy efficient light bulbs (also known as compact fluorescent lamp) for all the lights and lamps in your home not just the odd few. Not only do they use less energy but they also last longer, so you will be saving money whilst saving energy.

2 – Turn off appliances at night: In fact don’t just turn your computer off, turn the TV off at the socket as well; don’t just leave it on standby. If you do this you could see almost 50% reduction in electricity consumption.

3 – Get on your bike: Cycling just 10 kilometres each way to work instead of driving saves about $770 in transport costs (including all running costs and depreciation) and 1.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. In addition, bicycle parking is usually free, and often more accessible and convenient than car parking, oh and you will get fitter.

4 – Turn off the tumble dryer: If you hang dry your clothes you will use less energy and save money, in fact an average tumble dryer uses 5000 watts of power, runs 24 hours per month, and adds $218 a year to you electric bill.

5 – Use rechargeable batteries: For years, it was believed that rechargeable batteries were poor performers compared to their alkaline counterparts, this is no longer the case. They have been greatly improved and many are now able to be reused more than 500 times, this is offers a huge reduction in the cost of replacing the batteries and just think if the reduced waste that would be produced from buying new ones all the time.

6 – Plat a tree: It’s an oldy but it’s a goody, trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water, and harboring wildlife.

7 – Buy local: Shopping locally reduces your petrol consumption and pollution (both your own and that used by companies to import goods into your country).  Also if you are buying from the local store you help to sustain vibrant, “walkable” communities, reducing sprawl and the need for cars.

8 – Recycle as much as possible: It’s a no brainer that the more we recycle the more impact we have on the environment. By recycling just 1 plastic bottle you would not only save anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill (yes that is how long it can take to completely breakdown) but you also save the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle. In fact for every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 months’ time and almost 2000 pounds of oil…..