Single Mother Parenting
Many women who aren’t in steady relationships still regularly consider having children. In fact, based on statistics gathered in 2009, forty percent of the US population are the offspring of single parents.
Story from a single mother
Some deliberately become single mothers because they believe it’s the only way they’ll ever have children while others, due to circumstances, have little choice but to become single moms somewhere down the line.
One thing is certain, however — a single mother faces unique challenges and needs to be prepared for everything after making the life-altering decision to become a parent.
Why Single Women Choose Motherhood
Once a woman reaches the age of 35, the odds of her conceiving are lower than when she was in her twenties.
By age 35 a fertility specialist may be required to help her get pregnant.
Artificial insemination is one option for women who lack a suitable partner. She first needs to choose a sperm donor to father her child, and in so doing consider his legal rights given he won’t likely play a large role, if any, in the child’s life.
When a woman isn’t granted sole custody of her child by the court, the father retains his inalienable right to be present in his child’s life.
Finances are another obviously important consideration for any potential single mother. More than ever, supporting a child is expensive.
A child’s mother should have enough money to cover a minimum of six month’s rent along with all of her general household expenses, including the cost of her utilities.
A close friend of ours told us this story, which is shared by many single mothers.
Despite all the pride and happiness sharing important little moments with her child brought her, Ellen [not her real name] still sometimes wished there was a father around to experience them with her small family.
She also knew this was impossible.
Ellen had remained single throughout her thirties and could sense her biological clock ticking, very aware that the ability to conceive was gradually slipping away from her.
She eventually opted to have a baby on her own rather than wait any longer for the right man to show up.
While she’d never wanted nor intended on being a single mother, the thought of potentially never having a child was simply unbearable to her.
Ellen’s path led to fertility treatments for four years, five IVF cycles, and three failed pregnancies. Her child eventually arrived with a bill of roughly $54,000.
The Arrival of a Little Girl
Ellen’s daughter was the joy of her life, so much so that she could never find the right words to express just how much she loved her little girl.
But she was concerned about never earning enough money to properly take care of the child.
She was frustrated living in her tiny flat and always needing to ask her friend’s husbands to perform minor household tasks for her, like fixing her computer and assembling furniture.
Her story is consistent with that of many single mothers. Some days she doesn’t even have the time to brush her hair in the morning after getting her toddler cleaned, dressed, and fed.
At the end of her day, there’s no father to help give her daughter a bath, read her a story, or hear about what happened over the course of her day.
A single mother must do all the chores by herself; washing the laundry, cleaning the flat, doing the dishes, and locating the perpetually vanishing TV remote.
Searching for a Soulmate
Prior to the birth of her child, Ellen’s social life didn’t exactly consist of trendy bars, nightclubs, or thrilling dates with attractive members of the opposite sex.
Rather, she often had dinner with friends, went to the cinema, and sometimes enjoyed just staying at home with a good book. With her beloved daughter now in the picture, Ellen’s personal life typically consists of green tea, migraines, and exhaustion.
She still believes her soulmate is out there somewhere but no longer has the time to try and find him.
She has learned all about courage, determination, commitment, loneliness, focus, resourcefulness, and resolve.
The Lack of a Father Figure
Ellen reports that she’s found reliable men to help her with tasks like assembling IKEA furniture for her toddler’s room.
Their help may be invaluable but it still doesn’t replace an actual father.
Not long ago her daughter’s nursery school teacher held up pictures for the children to identify. One of them was a man shaving. The teacher asked the children if any of them had a daddy who shaved every morning.
When all the kids said their daddy’s shaved Ellen’s daughter was a little confused and didn’t say anything.
All Ellen could do when her daughter related the story to her was tell her that she loved her.
Ellen had essentially discovered that parenting as a single mother was equally agonizing, complex, and wonderful, yet clearly not without certain repercussions, the above story being a case in point.
Being a parent brings a lot of joy, emotional bombshells, and practical hardships along with its challenge made all the greater in a single-parent household, but still so worth it!
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