Brave and Amazing

“When I grow up I want to have a baby on my own by anonymous sperm donor” was not what I was thinking as a little girl. Like most girls my age I dreamt of meeting someone, falling in love and having a family. But that’s not how my life unfolded, so I decided to have a baby on my own. Once I made the decision it was easy, I was lucky enough to conceive on the first try. What was hard was everything it brought up emotionally and what it would take to feel proud of, and happy about, my life.

The first 5 years of my daughter Lulu’s life were filled with happiness, I loved being a mom and I was getting a lot of attention for having made the choice to do it on my own. My friends were telling me how amazing and brave I was. Strangers would tell me how they wish they had done the same thing; it was a complete high. But I began to realize that I didn’t feel brave and amazing, I felt like a loser. “I couldn’t get a man so I did this on my own” was the thought running in my head.

The moment I realized what I was thinking was the moment my life began to change (again). The first piece was in place, noticing the thought in my head: “I’m a loser, I didn’t get married”.  Now what do I do with that??!!

I had this seed of information about being a single mother, that I was using it against myself, as proof that I was not worthy of love. Wow. Not fun. Not in anyway did it feel good to know that I was carrying these thoughts in my head and heart.

Negative thoughts are tenacious, like weeds in the garden of our mind. I knew that in order to truly clear them out I would need to get at the root.

It always starts with a thought, the discomfort that comes with negative thoughts is there for a reason, it is telling us there is something we need to pay attention to. Tuning into those thoughts, rather than pushing them away is where all the good stuff happens. It can be super un-fun for sure, but I promise you that there is nothing more powerful than understanding your own emotional life.

What was really brave and amazing was working through the thoughts of not being worthy of love, and all the super icky feelings that came with them. Okay, having a child on my own was too, but, clearing that mess in my head and heart made room for me to focus on us as a family rather than how I was feeling about myself.

We give a lot of thought to the foods we put in our bodies (especially when we’re pregnant), we read what’s in our cleaning products so we don’t expose ourselves to harmful chemicals, we’re careful about what we bring into our homes whether by removing our shoes at the door or not watching certain TV shows. But we don’t always think about the thoughts we allow in our heads. Now is a good time to explore and tend to any lingering questions or doubts. It’s natural to question our big decisions and it’s important to like our reasons for having made them.

If you’re looking for more information there are lots of books out there that can guide you. Brene Brown, Liz Gilbert, and Martha Beck, just to name a few authors, write about how important it is to be aware of our thinking. Not specifically in relationship to becoming a mother, or parenting, but our thoughts aren’t limited to motherhood and parenting (even if it is an obsession right now).
Donna Agajanian, ACC, ICF

7 thoughts on “Brave and Amazing”

  1. You wrote exactly what I’ve been thinking. It took me a while to get over my own mental stigma I assumed other people would negatively think about my decision. Then a close friend and my strongest supporter pointed out these were all my own insecurities and those that love me and who I really care about would never feel this way. But it took me probably a year of thinking these negative thoughts which delayed my choice to finally become a Tryer. I had my first IUI last week and now all the emotions I’m feeling while waiting are just proof that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. Thank you for sharing this Donna, and your daughter is beautiful.

  2. I am currently in the thinking stage of becoming a single mother. This hits me because it is what I am already thinking. Will people pity me and think it’s just because I couldn’t find a man? Will people think I am weird for going forward with this? Most women I feel are in their late 30’s, early 40’s. I am 31 years old and I think about having a baby every single day. It is something I want but sometimes feel maybe I should wait until I’m older and I wouldn’t be judged as much. I just feel like urge so strongly NOW.

    1. Great questions! Did you know that about half of the members of Single Mothers by Choice are “thinkers” like you? We encourage you to join us and discuss all your questions with others who. are on, or have already gone down, the same path. You can join SMC by going to http://www.singlemothersbychoice.org.

  3. It’s one of the negative thoughts repeating in my head as well. I even wonder sometimes if family or friends are pitying me. Ridiculous I know but in my quiet time these thoughts do sneak up one me.

    1. Celina,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I wish you the best in your journey and finding your own place of brave and amazing.
      Donna

  4. Very well written. Negative thoughts can destroy us. Need to replace with what amazing things I accomplished doing this on my own! I am strong and fierce! I am happy with me!

    1. Yay Tiffany! Being a mother is not for the feint of heart. My daughter shared this poem with me today: i struggle so deeply / to understand / how someone can / pour their entire soul / blood and energy / into someone / without wanting / anything in / return.
      It’s from the book milk and honey.

      Good luck!! You are amazing 🙂

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