I’ve been binge watching Jane the Virgin. If you’re not familiar here’s a link.
Anyway, In Season One, somewhere between Chapter 11 & Chapter 19, they all blur together when you’re binge watching, Rafael says to Jane what her Momma Xiomara was trying to tell her since Chapter 5. “We’re too different to have a successful relationship boo.”
That scene got me to thinking about my own relationship goals and expectations for co-parenting.
Had you asked me as a child I would have shared my Cheaper by the Dozen dreams and fantasies complete with list of names, middle names, and illustrations of my future children. (Yes, I had THAT much time on my hands)
The older I got, the further from reality those fantasies drifted.
I watched my mother stay ten years too long trying to make her family fantasies come true. I’m just not that patient.
Like me, Jane grew up without her father present. His absence caused her to spend most of her 23 years of life imagining what it would be like to have two loving parents. When she becomes pregnant (still a virgin), she was game to give the baby to the biological dad, until she found out his marriage was in shambles. Jane desperately wanted her baby to have the loving two parent household she never did.
I remember being a young girl playing with my Generation Girls Barbie collection, declaring my desire to have an Italian baby, a Mexican baby, an Australian baby etc. not connecting that all of these babies would require different fathers.
Fortunately, I eventually got old enough to connect these dots, and I knew I wanted my children to have two loving parents in the same household, like Jane never did.
But then, I looked to a friend. I had this friend as a teenager that I fell in love with and I just knew he would be the father of my imaginary children. We were happy together, I was willing to compromise, and we made each other laugh. I knew we had differing opinions on some things when it came to child rearing, but we were kids, and grown-ups work things like that out. We jokingly shared dreams of our future together, and even agreed to marry each other if neither of us were married by the time I turned 25. When I was 19 however, those dreams blew up in flames. Much like how Step Dad #1 having a baby ended the seven-year friendship and relationship with my mother, my friend confessed his love to me, only to marry someone else two weeks later.
I’ve never drawn any illustrations of my unborn children since then.
I’ve also ended several relationships based on my feelings that like Jane and Rafael “We’re too different to raise kids together boo”
I used to want 12 kids, I don’t have dreams like that anymore.