Gay "daddy mommy" Gary Osborne tells us about his journey into parenting.
Five years ago my partner, Bill, and I were wondering what we truly wanted for the future of our relationship. Did we want to grow old together and only concern ourselves with a home in the Hamptons, the Pines summer share, or the latest Felisi Tote? Of course we did, but more than anything we wanted to be Daddy and Papa and start a family.
Our journey of surrogacy began. With this decision came enormous costs (there goes the fabulous tote bag for next season!) and a ton of perseverance. It was not easy finding the perfect woman to carry our child, and very difficult to choose an egg donor – it’s a lot like online dating, but the first date is a lifetime commitment.
We soon realized that our gay New Yorker identities were doing a complete 180. I was certainly determined to be the best damn dad in the world, leaving my fashion director career behind and joining the ranks of city stay-at-home moms. Now with a baby on the way, getting our Chelsea one-bedroom ready, I found myself evolving into the “mom” role and losing interest in glamour dinners with my perfectly manicured gay chums. Now it was soon-to-be lunches with the girls I would meet at the “Mommy and Me” classes.
Once we finally became pregnant, it was a feeling of joyful expectancy. Then I started to click and scroll through the endless parenting resources. There were hundreds of sites telling me what to do, what we needed, and where to get it. The abundant options that supposedly make us better parents. I could not keep up with it all.
Newfound instincts were my navigator. I put down all the parenting books telling me what kind of parent I needed to be, and soon realized that all my child needed was love. That was it. No imported plastic contraptions that bounced or made quirky digital melodies, or strollers with primary colored toys hanging off the handle. All I needed was to provide love. This is my mission as a “daddy mommy.”
The mothering instinct took hold of me. Ok, maybe our breast milk was being FedEx-ed to us twice a week, and I was not getting sore nipples by letting my little one eat from my body, but I did feel a new sense of freedom. The only thing that mattered in the universe was the care of this little being in my arms. All I had to do was keep it simple and be present.
My partner and I definitely have slotted ourselves into roles as parents. He is the father figure, and I have become the nurturing mother for sure. It all happened effortlessly, and our children get there needs met and know no different. It makes me smile when my daughter, Adelaide, reaches for me and simply needs her daddy to hold her and feel that bond next to my body. She looks at me the same way I looked towards my mommy. I have become my children’s “daddy mommy” and I love it.