Many women grow up imagining a “traditional family.” They imagine finding a partner, deciding to have a baby, and creating that family together. For some women, not only did this image not pan out, it no longer has to.
Many women are making the decision to have a child on their own. To become a Single Mother by Choice. After breakups, divorces, endless online dating to no avail, and countless other situations, women are taking their lives into their own hands and creating families through artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, or adoption, just to name a few. Though the option can sometimes start as a Plan B, more and more, it’s becoming Plan A.
Deciding to do parenthood alone is filled with roadblocks, struggles, and challenges, but there are also incredible benefits and rewards.
Here are Five Great Things About Being a Single Mother By Choice:
Not having to wait for someone else to make your life happen
If you are ready to be a mother, if you’ve always longed to have a child, if you cannot wait to be pregnant, you can do something about it. You don’t have to wait until you meet someone, marry them, or whatever other societal expectations exist. You can go out and make it happen yourself.
You are in charge of all the decisions.
How to raise your child, to sleep train or not, to send to daycare or hire a nanny, what choices to make about school, the right pediatrician, and religion. The list goes on. There is no arguing over how many screens are too much. No fights over bed sharing or how to respond when your toddler throws a tantrum. The decisions are all yours.
The bond between you and your child(ren).
There is nothing like it. The closeness. The two(or more) of you against the world. They know they were on purpose. They hear it in the stories you tell, and they can see it when you look at them.
The intentionality of it all
The way you can plan ahead. Where to live, how to get pregnant, when to get pregnant, how to set up your finances, and much more. You are never 100% prepared to have a baby, and you truly don’t know what you are getting into until you’re in it, but when you make plans to do it on your own, the amount of planning ahead you can do creates a beautiful, solid foundation.
You learn how to ask for help
You must rely on reproductive endocrinologists, sperm donors, egg donors, surrogates, etc, to have your baby. Then, you learn to create your village of support once they are here. It is so important to have different people from different places for different things. No one expects you to do it alone, and the willingness to support a friend or a family member who made the decision to have a child on their own tends to be genuine and impactful.
There are so many SMCs out there! There are networks, meetups, and forums. It’s a fantastic community to be a part of.
If you are wondering whether this is the right decision for you, are looking for a group of similar-minded women for support, or are looking for support as you go through the process, reach out to Danielle Esposito, LCSW at the Midtown Practice. There is individual therapy available as well as a weekly, virtual, therapeutic support group for women considering or having already made the decision to become an SMC. We hope these five great things about being a single mother by choice have helped you navigate these tough choices.
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