EPISODE #119

Single, Female, Seeking
Baby Daddy

EPISODE #119

Single, Female, Seeking
Baby Daddy

My friend Andrea Silenzi makes a podcast called Why Oh Why. It’s about dating and relationships. Andrea takes all kinds of risks on the show—in her writing and her subject matter—and she allows herself to be vulnerable on mic in a way that I don’t hear very often. In fact, I love Andrea’s work so much that I recently came on as her editor. Here we are onstage at her live event last fall.

In this episode, we delve into Andrea’s personal dating life. She’s newly single, living in New York, and seeking what seems to be a rare beast: a guy who wants kids. To help Andrea out, I encouraged her to set up a focus group with single guys who want to be dads. I figured it was good, ahem, research.

Join us for some real-talk with Andrea and seven dudes with strong paternal instincts… and a strange obsession with braces.

More Why Oh Why
Subscribe to Andrea’s podcast, or start with two of our favorite episodes:
#12: Oblique Strategies
#24: Tips from a Gentleman

Have you felt YOUR biological clock ticking while dating?
Or maybe you’ve broken up with someone because you didn’t see eye to eye on the kids thing? Share, please! (Also seeking dates for Andrea. Haha, JK. Sorta.)

Focus group photo: Efim Shapiro

Our sponsors for this episode are Hills Brothers Hot Cocoa, Halo Top Creamery, 1-800-Flowers.com (click radio icon, code: LONGSHORT), Fracture, and LOLA (code: LONGSHORT). Use the promo codes at checkout for a special discount.

29 thoughts on “EPISODE #119: Single, Female, Seeking Baby Daddy

  1. I enjoyed listening in on the men’s focus group. Truth be told. I cried. I appreciated their honesty and definitely had soft core porn music playing in my head as well as I listened to them talk about their desire to have children. I loved hearing their baby names.

    I’m 33 years old and married for almost 6 years, but we have no children. For the first few years of our marriage, I wanted children but my husband wasn’t ready. His father insisted we wait at least 5 years. (FIL was in an arranged marriage, children came soon after they married, and I think he regrets moving quickly with his then wife.) Now our desire to have children has lessened dramatically. My husband and I work crazy hours, we were both promoted this year, and we have no support system here to help us. The cost of child care makes me feel like I will never be able to work again as I will have to stay home with the baby. Additionally, I really like what I do and wonder if I can handle the new role on top of being a new mom. I wonder if my work would look down on me or regret promoting me to this new role. I’ve been doing the reverse timeline a lot lately but I feel like I’m beyond simple subtraction and need to know calculus. I am now more confused then ever and I feel like I have to figure this out on my own. If my husband was pushing for a child/adoption, then I think I would be 100% in but like so many men, he doesn’t have to count backwards and plan.

    I wish I had a crystal ball. I need to know if I would regret having children. Thank you for listening to my rambling. I have not said any of this out loud and it felt good to do so.

  2. Oh Andrea, I know that it doesn’t feel like it but your reverse timeline might not have to be so long. I have six friends who met partners at 38 or 39 and had a baby within two years.

    But as you date at 32 it’s probably worth making sure at an earlyish stage that you’re compatible on some of the big issues. I am from a different country to my now husband and very early in our relationship – within four months – I had to say ‘I might be falling in love with you but it’s probably best to back away now if you don’t think you could ever live in my country.’ (I didn’t want him to commit to a move but I wanted to make sure the possibility was open.) xx

  3. I am a 66 year old married woman. This podcast episode slapped me right in the face with memories of my thirties! I dated a man who didn’t want children and, eventually, when I made the decision to adopt, he didn’t want me. As a single woman, I adopted two daughters and later married at 38 and had two step children. At age 43, I had a biological child and pushed the biological limits almost to the breaking point! My baby was born at 28 weeks and was a little over 2 pounds. All is well with him. When I was single with children, my daughters wanted me to go out on dates and get them a dad. I hated dating and my heart cried for Andrea. I also know that from my perspective, she is still quite young. I admire the way she is direct with the men she dates. I wish I’d had the courage to tell men what I wanted. Andrea’s life is still open to so many possibilities and I hope she can feel that!
    I listen to your podcast as a senior woman and see so many things from a different perspective, but feel that my perspective is dismissed by younger woman(yes, even my daughters!). Of course, I probably dismissed my mother too when I was 30. These are just comments from the other side of social security and, looking back, the choices I made have made for a fabulous, interesting life! Go Andrea!

  4. Hi, HIllary! I’m a long time listener of the podcast (I think I found you at about episode 25 back in 2014). I’ve felt so many things listening to these stories. Thank you.

    In all that time, I’ve never really responded to your invitations to ‘tell my story’ in the comments section or ‘find out more info on our website.’ Until this episode. When you suggested we come to the comment section and talk about timelines, I wanted to share mine. It was unbelievable to me how much I could relate…and also not relate to what you and Andrea talk about in this episode. I entirely relate to feeling the ticking biological clock. But in a different way than described here. Let me explain.

    I grew up and was raised in a very conservative, traditional family, in a very conservative, traditional community due to large part to a very conservative, traditional religion. Something like 80% of my home county are members of this religion–an area where I still live so we can be close to family while my husband finishes up his degree. My whole growing up I remember being taught my most important role in life was to grow up, get married, and become a mother to a small horde of children. My church has special worship groups that meet on Sundays for single people, so you can meet other single people, find your spouse, get married and start a family. You start attending as soon as you graduate high school–when you’re 18–and attend until you’re 30. Once you’re 31, you’re ‘too old’ and go back to a regular congregation of mixed ages. It’s a pattern that’s slowly changing in some larger cities, and places with higher concentrations of members. But overall, if you’re not married by the time you’re 30, there’s a sense that you’ve failed/it might not happen for you. There also exists a lot of pressure to have lots of children. Again, this is a sentiment that has lessened in recent years, but the social pressure is definitely there. I can’t tell you the number of people that asked my finance and I how many kids we wanted to have while we were engaged. Couples are often asked at their wedding how soon they plan to have kids; or immediately after a child is born, when they plan to have the next one. About two to three years apart is considered the norm for how close together children should be spaced. Longer than that and people begin to wonder. More is better [I remember when my husband and I first got married (I was 24), I did the mental calculations to figure out about when I needed to get pregnant for us to have 5 or 6 kids by the time I was 36 …because I’d been told by so many that having children after 35 is so much harder].

    Enter me. I’m 29. I’ve been married just over four years. I have a two and a half year old son. And I feel my biological clock ticking. I’m in a place personally where I’m questioning my relationship with the religion I was raised in. A lot. But my feelings about motherhood are so deeply rooted, I am having a difficult time changing the emotions and thought patterns connected to motherhood and family. I want to let go of the pressure I feel to have a certain number of children, but I see time passing by and worry about it. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year (our son was a year and half old, so it was time) and aren’t. I’ve felt personally compelled to tell some family and friends that we’ve been trying to they don’t judge me–so they know I want another child, I just haven’t been able to yet.

    With all the as background, it was so helpful for me to hear this podcast. To hear a perspective so vastly different than the one I’m surrounded by. Not everyone thinks motherhood needs to happen young. There is no requisite number of children. I’m not alone in the world in being worried about my clock. ‘Fewer kids might be okay. Lots of people have one or two kids and are extremely happy with that. This episode served as a small reminder that it’s okay for my life to be where it is. Thank you.

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