I just finished watching a few episodes of the new season of Bravo's Flipping Out. While I'm not a big fan of the show, I was interested in the storyline this time out. But I am now so disappointed, I can't even find the words to describe what I watched.
On the reality show two of the main characters, gay men, become dads via surrogacy. The plot shows them at the hospital with the surrogate mom when the baby is born and then fast-forwards three months later to check in on what life is like in fatherhood. Post-baby.
That's when the disappointment sets in.
This show and these two men had such an opportunity to show the reality of fatherhood, gay fatherhood specifically, in a positive light. But instead, the show denigrates quickly into a bratty display of anger and resentment that I fear will be quickly summed up as two gay men being stereotypical gay men who don't want to grow up. Ugh. Such a missed opportunity.
Yes, being a dad (especially a new dad) is especially trying. Trust me, been there done that. Arguably, gay dads have the added pressure of societal acceptance within a world that caters to straight, married parents. We know that, and we don't mind seeing a little of that. It's part of life, gay parenting life.
But there's a lot more to fatherhood than a screaming baby and endless bickering. Here was an opportunity to show all sides of fatherhood, gay fatherhood, for the world to learn and grow. Missed it by a mile.
#NotGood. The result was unwatchable IMHO and it didn't make me want to watch what happens.
But maybe in thinking it through, there's another side to the story for any would-be parent. Perhaps these two gentlemen just simply weren't ready for the experience of parenting. Perhaps they didn't think it through long and hard enough. Perhaps they didn't realize how much a baby would change their lives.
Let's fact it, having a baby radically changes your life. While I was certainly ready for it and I embraced it with all my might, I was thrown for a loop. I was ready, and had been for years, but it changed my life. For the rest of my life. I was happy for it, but I was ready for it. And it was still hard, screaming baby and all.
Perhaps these two just weren't ready. And if the show can help others realize that perhaps they too aren't ready then perhaps the show is serving a purpose.
Of course there are lots of different situations and we all have to map out our own journey, but parenting is one of those areas that should be met with extreme caution and preparedness when ever possible. I hope this show, at least, showed that.