Testing The Waters

 My mother and I just finished a phone conversation about my plans for the upcoming weekend. We discussed how the guy I’m currently casually dating is not coming to visit (he lives 2.5 hours away) because he has to work tomorrow. In the past month, he and I have backed off a bit, mainly because I’m busy, he’s busy, and yeah, it’s long distance. I really like him and could see myself marrying/having kids with him, but he’s older and already has two teenagers (ages 15 and 13). He has a lot of drama in his life unrelated to me, and while he says he wants to eventually get married and have more kids, part of me doesn’t believe him. The two he has are close to 18, and he’ll then be done paying formal child support. Part of me thinks he’s just telling me he wants more kids because that’s what I’ve said I wanted. If I already had a child, who knows how that would change things?

So during our phone call, my mother makes the statement that “You should stay single for as long as you can. Being married and living with a man is hard work. Don’t  jump into it just to have a baby.” Great advice. All true. I’m happily single. Yes, I would love to have a companion to share things with and go out to dinner every now and then, but I’m GOOD by myself. What I’m not happy about is having my fertility melt away while on this elusive search for “The Holy Grail of Men.”

After she said that, I thought I’d test the waters and float the idea of trying to conceive (ttc) on my own so I said, “Well mom, I’ve thought about having a baby on my own as I get closer to 35. I think I would be okay doing it without a husband.”

Her response? “Oooo you don’t want to do that. It’s hard being a single mother.”

Back story: My mom was a single mom for awhile. I have a half-brother and for the first 4 years of his life, she took care of him without child support and without his dad being around. She really only had the support of my great-grandmother until my parents got married. And a few other relatives also have gotten pregnant “accidentally” by now-ex-boyfriends, and they’ve struggled. So she has a point. But they’re not me.

So to counter, I said, “But mom, I’m stable and if I choose to do this, I could do it on my own.”

She responded, “Well, keep thinking on it, and when you get the urge to have a baby, go borrow Friend X’s child and see how you like it.”

So that was me testing the waters. Probably not the best conversation. And I probably could have handled the last statement better. I just let the topic drop and didn’t reply. I think in the future, I’m going to have to get my thoughts/viewpoints outlined and have a more formal This Is What I’m Doing conversation. I definitely have to explain that “doing it on my own” doesn’t mean getting pregnant through some one-night stand, but that it would be a purposeful choice assisted by my doctor and an anonymous donor. But she knows I want kids, and at least now she knows I’m not depending on a relationship (particularly the current, not-that-satisfying one I’m in) to make it happen. It was a good start.



2 thoughts on “Testing The Waters”

  1. Good on you for broaching the subject with your mother. I agree with Cathy – there is a big difference between choosing single motherhood and unplanned single motherhood through unforeseen circumstances. I don’t mean one is better or more worthy than the other; just that they are different, because people prepare for the former but not for the latter.

    As for the guy you are dating: personally, I would be wary of someone who vaguely commits to maybe, possibly wanting more kids, some day. Back when I was deciding whether to go down the SMC track, I dated a guy who was clear he didn’t want more kids (he had five!) and that was fine, as we just had a short-term thing. I dated another guy who had two kids and very vaguely said he might want more one day, but that we would “need to build the foundations before building the house.” Fair enough, but I did not want to invest one, two, three years of time and find out that in fact he didn’t want more kids, or at least not with me.

    I pursued single motherhood and now have a toddler and am pregnant with my second child to the same known donor.

    Best wishes to you in your decision-making process.

  2. I think there is a big difference choosing to become a mother knowing you won’t have a partner, than someone who accidentally becomes pregnant or who was partnered and then became a single parent not by choice but because of divorce/ separation/death. You never had expectations of a second pair of helping hands or the emotional support of a spouse.

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