I have just recently made my decision not to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC). I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.
Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?
All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility that it might not happen. It’s negative. It goes against the idea of having faith. But as time went on, I had to start to untangle my sense of self and my specific hopes from that dream. And I thought long and hard about starting my non-traditional family on my own. But for me it was also the ease of a traditional family that I needed– having someone else to share in everything–emotionally, practically, financially. And lucky me, I’d finally found that — a partner to share in everything — it’s just that he already has teenage kids, and is not up for any more.
At age 36 (had I seriously considered this then) my decision could have gone the other way. I always trusted that I would meet that fella I wanted to share my life with; I just assumed it would happen sooner than it did. I was never willing to go it alone…until the point when it became very real that I may never have children if I didn’t do it as an SMC.
So I weighed everything– financial feasibility, flexibility, willingness to make whatever change necessary, priority of motherhood, etc. For me, the partnership with a soul mate always came first. That may not be the case for everyone. You could go ahead and become an SMC and then meet someone afterward (there does come a time when the age appropriate men who are looking for age appropriate women aren’t necessarily looking to become a first time dad, and would welcome someone who’s already got a child).
It’s so hard to know. And yes it’s scary, it’s a huge leap of faith, but as they say, with great risk comes great reward. I would encourage everyone to read as much as possible, and to talk to as many women as you can who have gone through this before making a decision. The women in this group are a fabulous resource.