Telling a Broader Society

Two-year old boyI am a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), living in the Boston area; my son will turn two this month.  He’s getting to the age when I can start communicating with him about family structures, and I’m reading him books about different types of families.

While I’ve read a few things about telling your child about the absence of a father, I haven’t seen as much about the issue of how you frame things to a broader society.  Certainly I explain about donor conception, the issue of my biological clock, sperm banks, and so forth, but that just addresses how things came about.  It would also sound like my family structure was a last resort, which in the moment it was.

The whole truth, however, is that I did not want to settle for a bad relationship.  I know that a bad relationship is harmful to the child, and in my case, it did not seem financially necessary.  I also know that many marriages are just bad relationships.

Once actually pregnant, I was thrilled to be experiencing a bond with my child that was not contingent on my feelings about someone else, i.e., another parent – – feelings that could turn negative.  While our society seems to acknowledge that a father may have hostile feelings towards a child because of his distaste for the mother, one hardly hears about the mother’s potential disconnection from her child due to her disappointment with the father.

While the significant benefits of the SMC route — the stability, the stronger bond with one’s child, the greater ability to make parenting decisions, the inability to shift responsibility, are specifically mentioned among the SMCs that I know, it’s still challenging to decide how much of that to present to those around us.

Rekha V. 

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4 thoughts on “Telling a Broader Society”

  1. I love this article, this makes so much sense to me. This is why I just decided to try to become a mother on my own. I haven’t found someone as a good lifetime partner and I’m 40 now. I don’t want my ability to have a family to be contingent on finding the right partner. And even if you feel you have, there isn’t much time to build a solid relationship, and then try to have a baby later in life unless you really rush things which isn’t healthy. Power to you, for making the choice you did, it’s inspiring for me to see you have a 2 year old!

    1. It is a big decision, and good for you for thinking it through carefully. We have a section on our online Forum especially for “Tryers” (our term for members who are trying to conceive) and you might find it helpful to join us and share the process with others. You can join us at http://www.singlemothersbychoice.org

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