At the age 37, I made the decision to have a baby, on my own, with a sperm donor. I’d just ended an 8-year relationship and my life circumstances at the time allowed me the flexibility to pursue family life, without the need for a 2nd income. I could take some time-off from Money Management, to provide for my daughter’s needs in the earlier years.
Aside from the logistics, my biggest reason for having a child on my own was that I loved the idea of calling the shots in my family situation. I just had the confidence that I could do it. Initially, I set-out to freeze my embryos, “for a better time”, until a very respected family member questioned “why wait”? She was right.
Lynn’s Top-10 List of Why Single Mom-hood Rocks
- You actually do get some chill-time.
- A parent gets to set its own schedule after babe goes to bed.
- You are a Master Organizer!
- You learn to prioritize your needs.
- Not having to run anything by anyone.
- A reset on your mood is much easier.
- You develop a keen sense of Self-Trust.
- Say goodbye to Pre-Set Family Rules & Definitions…Instantly the Coolest Mom on the Block!
- You Make & Break the Rules!
- No Co-parenting woes.
However, I will moan and groan a little on some of the basic challenges; but only a little, to give you an idea of what you might consider if this is your next big endeavour.
Challenge #1: not having someone as a ‘sounding board’. I recall the nights I walked up & down the hallway with little 10-month old Soleil in my arms, wondering if it was time to stop co-sleeping. Why on earth did I torture myself like that? We’re still moderately co-sleeping, and she’s 5!!!!! I curbed that challenge by hiring a professional that had some knowledge in parenting. Bingo. No more stress!
Challenge #2 : negotiating me-time. Since my folks live in a different city, I have no family support for childcare. However, before Soleil was born, I made sure to secure a babysitter (someone else’s nanny) for weekly babysitting, and used those hours very productively. Although she could only provide 3-4 hours at a time, I was able to get a few things done and have a quiet breakfast or lunch to myself.
Challenge #3: relationships. I questioned my ability to ever be in a relationship with another adult, after my kid was born. After all, my girl was a ferocious nurser, AND insisted that my bed was her bed & still does, to a certain extent. To boot, I truly loved my single-mom life. In the end, when my daughter was 2.5yrs, I met someone.
How does one negotiate the needs of the self, the child, and the other adult/lover? The same way all women do, by being WonderWoman (laugh)! Herein lies the biggest negotiation of all – negotiating with my story. Yes, I’m a “single-mom-by-choice”, but I also accept I have many aspects to my story, and that I’m worthy of love, as is my daughter.
I knew I had to trust that his love was simply the boomerang effect from the launch of my massive rockets of desire: to find the greatest love; one that was trustworthy, fun, and capable of handling “my unique situation”. I gave up on my old story, and embraced the joys of life…in all its forms.
Today, my partner feels utterly blessed to not be in a co-dependant situation, and that I’m solid in my own right. He sees a confident and loving parent who enjoys a life filled with mindfulness and balance – as much as he does. We have boundaries around sleep-overs, and how much time we spend together, and with my daughter. Afterall, he’s not her dad, nor do I have that expectation. He’s a role-model, yes, but I set those limits.
What’s your story? If you’re a single parent, what’s your top-10 list of why it rocks? If you, or someone you know, is considering having a baby on their own and would like some coaching to break down the steps, get in touch with us. We can help!