Platonic Parenting And 'Friendship Babies' Are A Perfectly Viable Parenthood Option
When I was in high school, I tended to have more guy friends than girlfriends. I remember a specific conversation I’d had with one of those guy friends. He was someone who I crushed on but never actually said it out loud. We’d flirt. All. The. Damn. Time. But that’s really as far as it went, until one day we had that conversation.
It was the most absurd conversation, truth be told. It went a little something like this. Him: So, what do you say if like, we hit our 30’s and if neither of us have spouses or kids we have a baby together? Me: Um. You know what, yeah. Sounds like a plan. We sealed the deal with a kiss and never spoke of it again.
We didn’t end up staying connected long after we graduated, but it was a similar conversation I had with my girlfriend recently that made me think about it. You see, her 30-something-th birthday has just passed and she knows, if she wants to start her family, now is the time. She asked me what I thought about a ‘friendship baby’. While I understood what she meant, I had no idea whether or not this actually was a thing that people did or if it was a hypothetical solution to her problem. So, of course, I thought of my guy friend from high school, and then I asked Google.
Platonic parenting, as it turns out, is a thing. Some do it when their marriage or relationship ends, but others are making co-parenting a deliberate choice. After all, they say the best romantic relationships are founded in friendship, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in a romantic relationship to have a child together. But before taking that jump, there are many things to consider to decide if a friendship-baby-situation-ship is right for you.
Jumping From Friends to Co-Parents
More and more people are considering friendship babies because they don’t want to deal with the excess stress and complications a romantic relationship can bring. For all my parents out there, y’all know what I’m talking about. Children impact every aspect of our lives. Raising a child together regardless of the type of relationship you have with their other parent is a balancing act. Trust me, I’ve been there and have done that.
Even though I already have children, lately, I’ve also been thinking about expanding my family. I’ve done the whole marriage thing for over a decade, resulting in children who I wouldn’t trade for the world. With that being said, I can’t say I’d do it again. Well, not the kids, but the marriage. Maybe it’s because I was too young when we got married. Well, not maybe; I know for a fact that played a role. But this talk with my girlfriend really got me thinking. What if I had a child with a person who I loved and adored, who was also an incredible friend? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate act of friendship?
Of course, this isn’t something to just jump into. Is this friend tried and true, or are they more just a part of this season of your life? You don’t need me to tell you that this is a lifelong commitment, but more than that, it is an incredibly special time in your life. Make sure whoever you choose to share this experience with feels the same way. And while we’re talking about feelings, remember that no matter what anyone else says, you have to do what is right for you.
Have a Friendship Baby If It Is Right For You, Even If People Don’t Get It
Maybe you’re one of those people who married your best friend and ended up happily ever after. Three cheers to you, friend, but my experience was the polar opposite. Truthfully, my marriage was incredibly toxic and borderline abusive, but that’s a story for another time. My ex and I found out about our first child before we were married, and there was a push by everyone around us to hurry up and seal the deal before we had the baby. The perception of how it would look to share a child with a man who wasn’t your spouse was shameful (thank you, good old Catholic guilt). So we did. Even though it wasn’t what was best for us.
My point is this: because I had children with the wrong person, I didn’t get to experience the incredible, beautiful milestone that pregnancy can be. But more importantly than that, if I do this again, I want it to be a positive experience for my kids too. They want another sibling, and I want them to have an example of what healthy co-parenting can look like, even if it isn’t between their father and I.
I’d being lying if I said I didn’t think about how different things might have been if I’d waited for that friend of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids with my whole heart; they are my everything. But if I do choose to try it again, it will definitely be with someone who is a good friend. Someone who respects me, and loves me (even if it isn’t romantically), and wants to do this incredible thing together. I’m not asking for a proposal or a marriage or anything people think of when they picture a traditional nuclear family. The jury is still our on whether or not I’ll try for a friendship baby, but it’s definitely something to consider.
This article was originally published on