Hi all, ttc as a single mom.... - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-19-2002, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, I kind of feel that this is real premature, but I am eager to join you all. I am a 34 yo single woman who is about to start a family on her own, using donor insemination. I am a family therapist who encourages attachment parenting and all things natural in her practice. I have been lurking on Mothering for some time (I always read the magazine), and I thought maybe the Single board would be the best place to introduce myself. I admire all you folks going it alone. Some of you may think I am nuts to deliberately start out on this path. But, my 10 year marriage ended last year because DH did not want children. I have always wanted to be a mom, and I hope to have a couple of kids. I don't want to wait forever, and I certainly don't want to wait for my "prince" to come. So, I am about to start the journey on my own. Any other "single moms by choice" out there? If I play my cards right in the next few months, I will be able to work 3 hours a day out of my office at home. I can have a babysitter come in for those hours to help. We will live simply, but I will be able to practice attachment parenting, and be with my baby most of the time. I am already committed to this...but I am wondering, do you guys think that is doable? Some of my married friends are shocked that I am considering parenting alone, as if it is an impossible task. I don't know, I think a lot of women do a great job alone.....am I being unrealistic?
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:21 PM
 
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NO I think its definitely doable! All you need is love and a bit of money for the bills!

I say go for it! You sound like you will be an excellent mom and what more can a kid ask for. Maybe someday down the road you will find the right one who will love you & your child.

So you get a BIG
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:38 PM
 
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It is absolutely doable and you come across as entirely capable of doing it extemely well!!

If you need proof, I am it. While I didn't actively pursue it, when I did become pregnant for the first time at 33 years old, I felt that though it was unplanned, it was definitely meant to be (daughter is 20 months old now). It didn't take long for me to decide whether or not I was going to continue with the pregnanacy or not.

It sounds as though you've already taken important planning steps for after your baby is here . . . and it sounds like you've got great options. Being a single parent is definitely conducive to practicing AP.

I'd like to send you lots of encouragement - my daughter's father isn't involved at all and yes it is sometimes exhausting to be the sole caretaker - but it is also rewarding and empowering. I've never felt better about my life or myself.

Good luck!!!

Mary
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:44 PM
 
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just want to add what I have learned.

You need a support system! Family and friends and other crunchy mamas!

I learned that I am much happier surrounded by people who are there for me unconditionally.
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Old 04-20-2002, 12:36 AM
 
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Yes, Erica is absolutely right.

Having my family nearby and like-minded mamas to confer with has made all the difference!

Thanks for bringing that up Erica

Mary
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Old 04-21-2002, 04:28 AM
 
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Honestly, I am extremely thankful I am a single mom! I wouldn't have it any other way! I don't have to compromise with anyone on DD's upbringing, I take complete responsiblity. True, I have no experience with fathers (mine is looong gone, good thing!), but I wonder if men can really have the strength of bond that women have with their babies. JMHO, take it or leave it! I plan on having another child in a couple years, reguardless of my relationship status.

You can do this! You have the pioneering spirit, the love, and the enthusiasm! Best of luck!
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Old 04-21-2002, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maurica, you have made an interesting point about being a happy single parent. First, let me say, I applaud men who become involved parents, and I think men are capable of being awsome parents. However, when I look around, I don't see much of it. I have know perhaps four men in my entire personal and professional life who were committed, loving, and did at least half of the work of child-care. Many men function well as traditional dads: breadwinners who "help" mom out. But, in those situations too, there is the problem of constantly having to negotiate and compromise when it comes to childrearing. For those reasons, I tend to agree. I don't really see my option of becoming a single mom as a poor second rate chance. Rather, I think I will be avoiding lots of problems that can arise in a traditional couple. Again, no offense to those men who are great fathers and/or partners, but I have not seen too many of them. I am sure I too am biased because my mom was in a similar situation: he was a lousy father who was abusive to her. I think we would have been much better off if my mom had left my father much earlier (I was already grown when they divorced) I think all the research that finds that kids from single parent families don't do as well are confounding single parenthood with poverty and/or stress. If a single mom is mature, able to provide a home, and happy to be a mom, the kids are fine. Living in poverty, or having to work long hours at a crappy job makes some moms resentful, and they don't have enough emotinally to offer their child. It is not single-parenting per se that is hurtful to kids. That is why we need to support all mothers.
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Old 04-21-2002, 05:17 PM
 
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I think all the research that finds that kids from single parent families don't do as well are confounding single parenthood with poverty and/or stress.
Raven67 - those 'studies' are a very hot topic for me! They do NOT take a multitude of variables into consideration, which is ESSENTIAL for accurate reporting. Not only do these studies ignore economic status and level of education, but geographic location as well. Not to mention a host of other important variables.

These studies would be much more accurate were they to expand on the definition to include single parents 'of a certain income, with a particular degree of education, living in a particular geographic area, etc. etc. etc.' You get my point. Even so, parents who fit this description may very well raise extremely well-adjusted children because there are OTHER variables at play in their circumstances!

Lest anyone misunderstand, I am not saying that 'poor' single parents do not raise children who do well. I am merely saying that there are so many variables that they must ALL be taken into account before blanket statements are made with such inadequate research backing them up.

That's my rant for the day

I just get very upset with these 'studies' - I feel they misrepresent single parents and add to the misguided opinions some people hold regarding solo moms (and dads).

Thanks for listening

Mary

edited for grammar - I'm sometimes anal. But not always.
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Old 04-21-2002, 06:19 PM
 
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Just do it. You will make it work for you. Some couples make it work for them and unfortunately, some don't. I think to a certain extent all couple-parents need to be committed single parents, does that make sense? Otherwise, baby falls into the bottomless pit in between where people think their commitment ends. There has got to be so much commitment from two parents so as to overlap in the middle, not 50-50 but 100-100 or 110-110 or even more. So I figure, you will be 100 already starting out and your caregiver adds some more...you'll have the same deciation as a dual-parent household. Don't give it another thought! I started our as a co-parent and quickly became a single parent in a community that worked pretty well for me and my child. Now I'm a co-parent again and honestly, it's almost more work to keep track of everything because I take on other commitments that I wouldn't have as a single parent.

Best of luck with the TTC.

Sarah
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Old 04-22-2002, 03:53 PM
 
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Raven, you voiced my ideas about fathering beautifully. I know there are great dads out there, I just don't know any first hand! Girl friends who have relationships with their children's fathers have literally told me, in all seriousness, that if they had it to do over they would "just have the kids and not bother with the dad." This declaration never ceases to amaze me, I've heard it multiple times. As a young single mom I see no need for a man in my life, I'm educated, self-employed, financially independent, love myself and enjoying every moment of my dd's childhood.

Sarah, I like your point about being committed single parents before bing couple parents. Great concept!
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Old 04-22-2002, 04:01 PM
 
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Oh dear. I hope you all find some men like my Thomas and his fraternity brothers and workmates. They are all awesome dads. Not a bad one in the bunch!

Sarah
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Old 04-22-2002, 04:16 PM
 
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Ah, Raven, such an adventure you are embarking upon! You sound totally capable and prepared, your plans are well thought out and, most importantly, you are READY for a child. Single parenthood aside, raising a child is challenging no matter what the circumstances. Not having another parent in the picture will actually make things easier in many ways. You will never have to deal with differences in opinion on childrearing, you will be free from the resentment that results from struggles to establish an equitable division of domestic responsiblities (as a family therapist I'm sure you know what a huge issue this is), and those yucky issues of divorce, custody, and child support will cause you nary a thought.

But you know what the best part is? A baby of course! You are at the beginning of a journey which will bring you to the greatest ecstacy that you have ever, ever known. The depths of love and joy that you have known so far in your life will pale in comparison to the rapture that you will experience when a tiny little being who births forth from your body is placed in your waiting arms. The love you give, the love you receive, it is a perfect and complete circle. Give life, my dear, and go forth bathed in the radiance of the wonderful mother that you already are. Keep us posted!
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Old 04-30-2002, 04:21 PM
 
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Dear Raven,

I am so excited for you! I am a SMC to a wonderful little firecracker named Sophia. She is five years old and was conceived with a "willing to be known" donor. My period is due any day now and I will be phoning them up to order some more from the same donor. Woohoo! Hopefully, baby #2 will be coming soon!!

What I have to say to you is absolutely go for it! Follow your heart! You will not regret it!! Yes, you will have days when you feel sorry for yourself and wonder "What was I thinking?!" But they will just be moments and they will pass. I think every parent has them, single or not. The love, joy, and fulfillment for outweigh any nagging doubts.

One of my favorite aunts, who had recently divorced my dad's brother, wrote me a lovely letter of support when I announced my pregnancy. She basically said she was so much happier and things were so much easier on her own. I have had many other women say the same. I admit there are times when I wish I had a loving, committed partner, but I know how rare a find they are and did not wish to entangle myself in a relationship that was not completely wonderful simply to provide a "dad" for my child/ren. So I went it alone.

I think the biggest factor is that Sophia is loved and *wanted*. She is not missing anything and did not lose anyone. It is simply part of her life and her world, and is her reality. I think she wonders sometimes what she is missing and may feel a little sad that she is different, but it's impossible for her to feel abandoned by anyone, because she was not. I think that's what may at times be detrimental to children of single moms. They know someone important wronged their mother and them somehow and feel a deep sense of abandonment. I think that's why it's imperative for moms whose kids do have a dad out there somewhere to always be positive about him. As far as studies go, the ones that include only those single moms who planned to be single moms (whether by consciously continuing a pregnancy, or deliberately becoming pregnant) show that the children do as well as or better than kids from two parent homes, because its the quality of the parenting that counts, not the number of parents.

And I'll just echo those that mentioned you need a big support network. Of course, that's true for any mom, we're not meant to do this even as just a couple, but it's more important for solo parents. I remember sobbing angrily into the phone to my parents when Sophia was about two or three, that I wondered if people thought I was any less deserving of help than any other mom, just because I had chosen single motherhood. At the time I was having difficulty getting help from certain family members. My intention had not been to change their attitudes, I was just feeling sorry for myself, and was complaining, but evidently I struck a chord, because I have gotten huge amounts of happy, willing support ever since! It does make a difference.

Sorry this was so long. I'm passionate! Can you tell?

Keep us posted!!

Love,
Kara and Sophia

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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Old 05-01-2002, 11:25 PM
 
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Raven,

Hello there! I am also a single woman pursuing parenthood. I tried four months last year to get pg, miscarried, and will be trying again in June or July. I'm using donor sperm and I couldn't be more excited about my future family!

I agree with you wholeheartedly that single mamas can raise good kids. Just cause there are two parents doesn't mean either of them gives a d*mn or are any good at parenting! Just cause you have sperm and eggs doesn't mean you have the brains or heart required My major was Child Developement, I was a preschool teacher & director for seven years and a live-in nanny for one. I'm also training to be a doula and I facilitate a parenting group - I've always known I wanted a family! But, I'm not waiting around for "Ms. Right" (I'm gay) either. I'm not getting any younger, and neither are my eggs, LOL.

I also look at the "plusses" of single parenthood. I am glad that I am not having to negotiate on things like discipline, nursing, where the baby will sleep, how we will live etc. I think I'll like doing whatever works best for us without having to compromise. And yeah, even in two-parent families, all the women *I* know do all the work anyway! Even in the families where the dad is present and committed and very involved (most of my friends are this way) - the mom STILL does 75% of the work involved.

Not to say that I wouldn't MIND being partnered. I'm just so much more interrested in building my family than I am in dating. Maybe when the future babe is a year old I'll venture out there again. Who knows? Who cares?

Welcome! I usually hang out in the Queer Parents forum, but I'm around if you ever want to compare notes or chat. Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2002, 01:46 PM
 
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Hi Raven
How is it going TTC? I'm getting started again this month and I can't wait.

Hope your journey is short and sweet.

Kelly
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Old 06-04-2002, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Kelly,

I am starting in late September (my 35th birthday present) or October. Unless of course, I manage to have an auspicious encounter with a broken condom by then. Glad you will be ttc. Keep us posted on your attempts. Do you have a donor? What qualities did you pick? I am looking at a medical student profile. He seems nice, very intelligent, and has the hair and skin tone I want. My work schedule is working out. In September, I will start working two days a week. I think that will be managable. I can have a childcare provider come in two days a week. My mom may be able to do one of the days. I really want to avoid a day care center, or lots of separation. Well, good luck to you.
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Old 06-05-2002, 05:02 PM
 
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Good luck, Raven!

ANd continued good luck, kelly
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Old 06-07-2002, 02:23 AM
 
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I want to say that you will definitely go to a level of love with your child you have never known before. It is awesome.
From that standpoint becoming a mother is probably the single most important event in a woman's life.

I also want to say you should be emotionally prepared for a lot of abandonment and prejudice from others, including family members and friends. I chose not to abort my daughter who was born earlier this year, and have been almost completely ostracized for the choice. My family (my mother still hasn't seen her and I had to trick my brother into seeing her one day becuse my SIL is so jealous) and 90 percent of my "friends" have completely left me alone to fend for myself - and it has been harrowing to say the least. I love my girl so much - I would never take back my decision, but the pain and anguish of being left behind and cut out by loved ones has been very difficult to handle. No one came to her birth, and no one came after I'd had an emergency C section to help us. I would sit up with her in the middle of the night not knowing how I would get through the day that was coming and feeling so depsrately alone and sad for her that no one cared enough to even come and meet her.

I know it may sound like a pity party, but this was something I never foresaw and would never have imagined could've happened. It sounds like you may have an easy situation, but I know single mothers are discriminated against and judged often, and that means all of us.

Good luck in your journey and have a peaceful preganancy. Oh - and I know a couple of women who are dealing with divorces and young babes and they all tell me how lucky I am I don't have to deal with the dad - so that part is true too!

Bye.
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Old 06-07-2002, 03:03 PM
 
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Boy loggedout, that sucks!

I am so sorry your "friends" chose to respond that way. That was really mean of them! I hope you'll make new, true friends, now that the babe is here. Boy, with friends like them, you don't need enemies! I hope they feel ashamed of themselves for the way they treated you. You made a difficult decision and they should respect that AND you!

Congratulations on your motherhood, and many blessings to you! Hang in there, sister!
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear Loggedout,

I am so sorry you are struggling for support. I feel awful that your friends have abandoned you. Sometimes people can be very selfish and judgemental. What part of the country do you live in? I don't think anyone bats an eye about single motherhood here where I am, Philadelphia, but who knows? I have gotten some negative comments from two of my more conservative male friends. I can't wait to show them up when I am succeeding as a single parent. Please stop back if you have any stories to share, or if you need some support. I am sure the mothers here would be supportive of you. Best wishes with your little one.
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Old 06-08-2002, 03:08 AM
 
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I'm in California - in a big city. My family left because my brother was just
marrying this incredibly insecure woman who was angrythat I got pregnant before she
did, saying I was stealing her spotlight from their wedding - and she forbidthem to come to the hospital
or support me in any way.

My friends were not my friends I have learned. A lot of them don't see us because they are affiliated with my brother too and he has better parties and more money so they can't jeopardize that by being my friend too.

I just really want my DD to have lots of friends of lots of people to adore her and right now it seems like she will be deprived of that and it really makes me sad.

I just wanted to warn you. Becuse even people who SAY they think single mothering is fine back out on you and stop calling when it becomes real that you are going through with it. Even in this day and age there is a stigma.

I don't mean to rain on your parade. I love my daughter so much - I can't believe how lucky i am to have her. It's just hard wanting her to have family and support too and not getting it anywhere. No one ever bothers to come and see her and that makes me very sad. She's beautiful and so deserves love and attention.
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Old 06-13-2002, 03:02 AM
 
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I don't think a child needs to birth forth from your body for you to have that never before known rapture of love and joy.

Adoptive parenting brings that too. And up the love and joy by breastfeeding the baby. This is what I have done, and I have been overwhelmed and mystified by a tiny creature who suckles at my breast, and depends on me to give him or her everything.

Now that I am a single mother, one of my plans in 3 years is to adopt another child. Maybe a boy so I will have two girls and two boys. I don't know. I will most definately not hold my expectations to Indian kids only like my nsdh did. I will be happy to adopt african american, biracial, indian (from India) chinese....from anywhere really.

Jyotsna

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Old 06-14-2002, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree! I would really like the physical experience of being pregnant and giving birth. But, if it doesn't work out, I am ready to start the adoption journey. I hope to have more than one child, so perhaps I will adopt even if I do give birth first.
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