So here I was: 30 years old, still single and no serious relationship in sight and thinking of becoming a single mother by choice.
As I set myself the limit of waiting until I’m 30 it was time to take matters in my own hands, time to take action…
I just couldn’t get myself to do it!
Now that I’ve come to the point where I was supposed to start the whole process, to use all that carefully researched information to get pregnant, I was suddenly filled with doubts.
Partly, I just couldn’t give up hope to find a partner. I couldn’t yet let go of the dream of having a ‘real’ family. And there were many doubts plaguing me that I have thought of before but never really laid aside as it was all just hypothetical thinking.
I was asking myself questions like:
- Do I want this child out of the right reason or am I just being egoistic? Egoistic meaning wanting to fill the void of a partner with a child.
- What if I have a relapse? I suffered from depression a few years back and I was suddenly very much afraid of the possibility to get postpartum depression.
- Am I strong enough to be a working single mom with no financial support or will all that responsibility be too much for me?
- Will I have enough time for the child or will I be constantly busy earning money to get us by?
- Will the child miss a father and hate me for the decision I am about to take?
- What if something happens to me and my parents are no longer fit to take care of him or her?
- Am I ready to take on all this responsability by myself?
- Do I have enough support?
- and, and, and…
No matter what kind of question might pop up in your head, I have probably asked that myself hundreds of times. And I have scrutinized my answer just as often.
If I have found an answer that is, some of those questions I am still asking myself today. From time to time at least…
On the contrary to before though, I started to talk about my plans with my Mom and some close friends. I talked about my wish to have a child but also about the possibility to do it by myself should I not find the right partner. And that kind of started to make it more real for me and slowly I was working towards a point that I could say yes to plan B.
My friends’ reactions were mostly positive, though some of them were a bit afraid of the responsability that I would take on all by myself and they voiced their concerns some carefully and some were more outspoken. They still promised to support me either way.
I even think the idea itself and that it was coming from me wasn’t all that surprising to most of them. They were aware that I loved kids and that I have always wanted a family. And well, my family would have looked different anyway!
Whether that kid was going to have two Moms or just me as a Mom didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
That was also probably the advantage of living near Zurich and having quite a progressive group of friends, after all most that weren’t I have already offended with my outing as a lesbian years ago.
And of course, I didn’t really ask those in my family that I knew were very conservative or religious and would have been totally against it for their own reasons.
Because even though talking about it made me take a big step towards the decision to go down this path, I was still very much uncertain at this point and could have been swayed easily by consistent naysayers.
But since I’m neither religious nor conservative I really didn’t want to be bothered by their concerns. I wanted it to be my decision and my decision only and I just needed a bit more time to think it through before I could face their shocked reactions.
Yes, I also considered Co-Parenting!
One of my gay friends thought about having a child together with me.
We didn’t know each other for long but we simply connected and it felt as if we’d known each other for years. We also seemed to have had the same expectations in regard to parenting a child.
I really would have gone forward with it, as it would have nixed many of my concerns. But unfortunately, shortly after we started discussing and really considering it, he lost his job and then decided to return to Austria which nipped our plans in the bud.
To start a family with someone who was at the time still a stranger for me seemed horribly complicated and very uncertain from a law perspective. So much could change in our lives; we could find partners and create our own families, not agree on how to raise our child, move away, etc. Going down that road – even just hypothetically – raised another bunch of questions and doubts so that I very quickly decided to lay this plan to rest.
The best argument, if you just don’t have the courage
My Mom was always super supportive. She was great when I outed myself a lesbian when I was a teenager, when I shortly after moved to Germany because I was blindly in love with my first girlfriend and she was all for getting a grandchild, no matter what my family would look like.
While thinking about it she really was my go to person to ponder the back and forth that was going on in my head.
When doubts started to take over my thought process, she usually reminded me:
There are so many women out there that get pregnant by accident, whether due to a One Night Stand or from a partner that turns out to simply not want to be a Dad or helpful at home. Some of them even teenagers with no apprenticeship, and still they manage. You will do just fine!
And it was the most helpful argument because it translated into:
Don’t think so much about it just do it.
I was really trying to be prepared for any possible outcome and you just can’t be. Not when it comes to kids and parenting.
And it’s so difficult when you’re thinking of becoming a single mother, when you really have to take a decision, make a choice, to willingly take the plunge, to decide when the right moment is, if the best circumstances are met, …
So months passed by, sometimes I felt ready to take the plunge just not right away and then I was again filled with doubts and not sure whether I really should go forward with it at all.
The right time, it just didn’t come…
Now looking back I am surprised that in reality it only took me a year but that’s probably because even before I turned 30 I have pondered these questions and overall the process to come to decision to at least try to get pregnant felt like a lifetime. Also in that one last year those questions really were present at all times, same with the statistics that ensured me that the more time it took me to decide the more expensive it will probably get because it will be more difficult to have a child.
I really felt like time was running out even though I was still considerably young.
At some point – obviously – I came to my decision and it was the right decision for me to become a single mother by choice. Up until today I have not once had any regrets, on the contrary…