On Becoming a Single Mother by Choice

I was born to be a mom. I’m sure that anyone you ask who knows me well would completely agree.  I was a mother’s helper when I was seven years old, and I got paid $.50/hour.  I started babysitting regularly for a family with a three month old and a three year old when I was ten years old.  (I look back and think that family was crazy for hiring me at such a young age, but in my defense, I was a mature ten year old.)  My jobs growing up and my major in college were all kid related. At functions that kids and adults attended, I always found myself hanging out with the kids (even as an adult). I gravitate towards kids, and they gravitate towards me. My mom has referred to me as a Baby Whisperer. My friends have commented that I can somehow love anyone’s kids (which many of them can’t do).  I was meant to be a mom.  I just never imagined that my journey to motherhood would be so unconventional, although I think my story is similar to so many other stories that Single Mothers by Choice (SMCs) have.  And so begins my journey.  Of course it begins with the woes of a man…

I uprooted my life and moved to a new state when I was 29 years old for the man I thought I was going to marry. Life and our relationship took an unexpected turn, and I found myself single again at almost 32. My dreams were shattered and my future looked bleak. It took me a long time to heal from this break-up and losing the man of my dreams. After a long time, I found myself ready to starting dating again. Unfortunately, dating became very frustrating for me as I couldn’t find that guy with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Sure there were guys that were great, but I wasn’t willing to settle. I was beginning to think my standards were too high, but I felt like he must be out there somewhere.

When I turned 34 and Prince Charming was nowhere in sight, I began thinking about becoming a single mom (at the time, I didn’t even know there was the term “Single Mother by Choice”). I didn’t want to give up on my dream of having a husband, so I continued searching while always tucking the idea of being a single mom in the back of my head. When I turned 36, this idea was becoming more real because my biological clock was ticking loudly and quickly, so I began really exploring this idea. I honestly felt like there was a hole in my soul and something was missing. I questioned my existence in life and what the point of life is—not in a suicidal kind of a way, but a philosophical kind of way. I realized that I had such a yearning to have a child and that was the missing puzzle piece in my life. I kind of became obsessed with all of it for about a year, and at some point during that year I started a blog to help me process everything because writing has always been therapeutic for me.

I sat down and really analyzed my finances. I called about ten daycares and several in-home daycares to find out how much daycare costs for an infant.  I priced diapers, wipes, and formula at Babies r Us,Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart. I kept a list of prices for everything in a notebook. I took my monthly check and broke it down expense by expense until I realized this baby thing could be possible. When I began wrapping my head around all of this, I opened an account for a baby fund and started saving for daycare. (By the time my son started daycare, I had about 15 months saved.) The financial issue was appearing less intimidating as I realized that I’m pretty money savvy, and that I wasn’t and wouldn’t be financially strapped if I had a baby.

While exploring this option, so many things ran though my head day after day about being an SMC. Is this the “right” thing to do? Would I miss not having a husband during my pregnancy? Would I miss not having a husband to help me in the middle of the night with a crying baby? Would I miss not having a husband and celebrating when my son crawled for the first time?

When I finally shared my desire to have a baby with a few close friends and family, I could not believe how supportive and excited they were. So many people said if anyone can do this, I can. The support I received gave me more confidence in my decision. However, the fact of the matter is, I am truly alone in this journey because my family does not live in the same state.  While I had the support of the most important people in my life, I had to have the confidence in myself and not expect friends and family to help me along the way. I am extremely independent and wanted to do this on my own and not be a burden to those around me. I felt like I needed to prove to my manager, possible skeptics, and myself that I could do this alone. Going into this with that mindset made me hesitant to take that leap of faith because even though so many people had my back, I didn’t want to go into this thinking they’d all actually be there for me if I needed them. I felt like they all had their own busy lives, so neither I nor my baby was necessarily going to be high on their radar; therefore, I had to come to the realization that being a SMC was possible, and I would be doing it entirely on my own, beginning the day I brought my baby home.

When I “announced” on Facebook and in an email to my colleagues that I was 16 weeks pregnant (yes, I waited as long as I could), I was very open about what I did. I wanted to be honest with people and prevent any rumors that might start. I didn’t want people to think I was irresponsible, had a one night stand, etc. I wanted people to know how much I wanted this baby, and how much I had planned for it. Again, the support from people was incredible. The open door I created enabled people to ask me whatever questions they had and I loved that! I’ve had such great conversations with people along the way. When I was 18 weeks pregnant,  I was sitting at a round table for dinner with about eight colleagues, and a guy across from me with whom I was have a conversation blurted out, “So, where exactly did the sperm come from?” At that moment, everyone stopped their side conversations, and I had eight sets of eyes staring at me for an answer. Instead of being embarrassed, I was proud to tell them about my “Pick my Baby’s Daddy Party”, which opened the door to so many more questions because they were curious about my decision to become an SMC.

It took eight inseminations and a lot of glitches along the way until I finally conceived my son. My goal was to be pregnant by my 38th birthday, and I succeeded just three days shy of that day. I haven’t given up on my dream of finding a husband, but right now, I’m enjoying being a Mom to an amazing one year old boy. I am in love with him right now. I am hopeful that one day my son will have a sibling either via a pregnancy with my future husband or by my future husband’s previous marriage. But right now, none of that matters because I’m just enjoying the ride. 

To read my other posts, please visit SMC in StL 

16 thoughts on “On Becoming a Single Mother by Choice”

  1. I’m at that age too where I have been considering going it alone. My most recent relationship is on it’s last legs and I’m quite frankly sick to the back teeth of whining men who want to act like the centre of the universe rather than be part of it and I will never ever blackmail/badger a man into having a family as this is about as bad as tricking them if not worse. I’m 37 and childless I would never consider tricking a man so the insemination route is one I would consider. I’ve even change career routes to try and gain more happiness and that has worked to a degree. Even though I had to fight my way into a job that I now love my life is hollow. I’ve considered all the pros and cons too because just dedication my life to a work/passion although is great it looks a little bleak too. I’m under no illusion that having a baby won’t be tiring, mentally, emotionally and physically. I know it will take it’s toll on me financially too. I know there are things for a while I won’t be able to do because of bringing up a baby but raising a family I know would be far more rewarding than becoming someone who is full of regrets because I’ve not had a child and end up resenting the decisions I made/make now by not having them. I went through years of not wanting children and trying to carve out a career instead and this made me miserable. Whether it is my biological clock ticking loudly I just don’t know but I appreciate the authors piece as a few things parallel my own life. I have a job I am happy with, The course that runs along side will finish soon and I hope I get to stay in my new found career path as long as possible but it breaks my heart that I may have to delve deep and alone in my personal life just to have a family whilst everyone else either seems to be shelling them like peas or have done so. I just simply cannot trust anyone to have a family with them. Having had to fight for everything in my life why daydream for Mr Right when quite frankly I could do it alone and if that doesn’t work I’d consider adoption either instead or both.

    1. Gosh it’s so comforting reading this. I had considered at the age of 35 realising with regret that it’s getting harder to find ‘the one’. However I thought I found ‘the one’ at 36 however after marriage of a year due to his controlling family and him not acting with protection to help us so it had to end…..in fact I was trying to stay in that situation longer than I wanted to in the hope I will get pregnant so I could focus on that and the family wouldn’t matter.

      However with time I noticed that my husband would let his family interfere or either isolate me from them with baby.

      Therefore the trigger for making the big leap?! It’s been a very long desire to be a Mum and if I had a child in that family I’d be alone but with the interference….so why not do it alone anyway but not have the toxic behaviour and interference….I had turned 38 so I had to make a decision – it’s been extremely hard as I never ever thought I would be going through divorce as I’d waited so long for the right one but knowing about having the options of becoming Mum by choice gave me the strength and power to make that choice. I would have been the financial provider as well as my spouse did not as promise promote his own career…..my career with God’s blessings and my home that I rent out in my home town is a big financial support and I can be flexible with my job – so it makes all sense that way too. B

      So I’m just freshly going through the process of the divorce which should be straight forward but in transition of relocating back to my home town for the next two months. My self esteem was knocked down by his family and I had lost a lot of weight with the stress and I am depressed as I haven’t sorted my ‘family life’ yet at 38 which makes me feel so behind so I’m trying to get my health better and then look at this route.

      My Mum who is my rock has supported this pathway of going it alone and then meeting a partner but also hoping I will find another and then start a family….however knowing that I have this option is not making me desperate to run to any men. I really just want to be a Mum now and I’ll keep up with this blog as a support group and hopefully help others.

      It’s daunting and I also like was mentioned by another on this blog will consider adoption if conceiving myself does not work.

  2. I am 43 and have always wanted the complete package. But as the years slip by I am considering the SMC option. My major struggle is from a faith stand point. I feel as though deciding to do this my way is saying I don’t trust the plans God has for my life! It is a tough decision to make.

    1. We have a large number of what we call “thinkers” in the SMC organization, and our members are happy to provide a safe place to think about the option without judgement. If you would like to join SMC, please do — you won’t be alone in your thinking process.

    2. We have a large number of what we call “thinkers” in the SMC organization, and our members are happy to provide a safe place to think about the SMC option without judgement. If you would like to join SMC, please do — you won’t be alone in your thinking process.

  3. Being a mom is my greatest accomplishment. I wont lie. Some days its hard and I cry but everyday its worth it. They are my joy motivation and I love them more than anyone will ever know. They have been my strength when I wanted to give up .

  4. a wonderful story
    I too have always been told I was meant to be a mom…referred to as the mom without kids.
    I’m older than you …42…but trying ….thanks for sharing. It’s scary but you are showing us it can be done

  5. You are all so brave. With several unsuccessful relationships and the usual “bad man” experiences I too have decided to research sperm donation.

    I’m at a big set of life cross roads at the moment and I refuse to be made to wait until a decent man who would like children and who I can guarantee will stick by us, saunters into my life.

    Most importantly I am most happy without a man in my life and I hope I can channel all that positivity and devotion into making the perfect life for my very own little person.

    I’m so happy I found this site

  6. Really, I must say I am impressed. I am a single mother by choice too. Although we had a relationship, I and my baby’s father, but I just felt marriage was not what I needed to do at that point in my life. I was 23 when I got pregnant and just gained admission to the university. My baby is going to.be 6 in July and we are doing just fine. Even without her daddy’s support.With the help.of my parents and siblings. ..what I just have to say to prospective smc’s is that your happiness counts. Do what makes you happy

  7. Thanks for sharing ur story. It is so cute and touching.

    I could relate so well with ur story cz im a single woman. Im 33. Havent met d person i would like to spend my rest of d life with. Hmmm n yes ur rite about d ticking bio-clock..

    God bless u and ur son .

    Take care… 🙂

  8. It’s like I’m reading my own story…except I’m not pregnant,yet. I start insemination in May! Thank you for this post and blog.

  9. this is a wonderful story
    I had my heart broken so many times and I have given up the hope I’ll ever find a good, normal man but I still wish to be a mother and this “single mother by choice” is a wonderful thing

  10. Well this is my first visit to SMC. The stories I have read are giving me so much hope. I recently discovered I was pregnant (happy accident). I have wanted kids for the past 6 years. I’m turning 30 soon and although this isn’t the be all and end all it does feel like the beginning of a count down. The unfortunate thing about the happy accident is that there isn’t a happy marriage/ relationship to go with it. I have been in the relationship for three years now. Unfortunately things weren’t as they seemed. The first year and a bit we were living in separate states and spending three or four days a week together due to his work commitments brining him to my city. It was the best time and I’ve never been so in love. Eventually he wasn’t coming with work anymore and things got to the pointy end. I moved states to be with him. We had discussed that I wanted kids before I moved and he seemed really on board. So moved my life and now things aren’t so great. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want kids. That was all just pie in the sky stuff for him. He already has two from a previous relationship. The main reason we are fighting is that he has developed a drinking problem. Promises to stop and today his mate is coming up so he’s going to have a few. That’s a carton to himself and a bottle of wine basically he stops when he passed out. Any way I know this isn’t a forum to talk about men but that’s why I’m considering going it alone. I have an ok job and think I’ll be ok. I’m just scared as hell and wanted to thank you all for making me feel better about the whole thing. Thank you.

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