Liv has tried it all. For the latter decade of her 34 years on earth she has been unyielding open to love. She’s dated her type and men not so much her type. She’s speed dated, online dated, taken a hiatus, double dipped in the ex pool and even left it all up to Jesus. None has rendered the ever-elusive imperfectly perfect partner. She is the sweetest, kindest person anyone could meet.
Liv has standards, but not ridiculous picky ideations. Just your basic good hygiene, has a job, treats me well kind of criteria, yet she still hasn’t met HIM. Her mother had a rather hard time conceiving, as did her mother’s mom. Early menopause runs in the family and if she does the math, she has just about 6 more years before her clock stops ticking. Her friends, married and single alike chant the same, “be patient, it’ll happen mantra,” but Liv can’t help but think she’s running out of time.
More than anything in the world; more than anything she’s ever wanted; Liv has always wanted to be a mother. So much so, that in moments of explicit honesty she allows herself to acknowledge that her desire for companionship is mostly in part to her desire to be a mom. So Liv’s decided that she’ll give herself until 35; a number far out of her prospected plans. After all, 10 years ago she hadn’t planned on raising a teenager while in her 50s.
For the most part, young women who obsess over their biological clocks or worry that their time is running out have unwarranted fears. Fears that lead to irrational decisions and often erratic behavior. There are persons however, who’s clocks are ticking. Persons like Liv, whose fears are real and their claims to be running out of time are substantiated. Liv is taking matters into her own hands and wants to have a test-tube baby. She knows it’s a completely unnatural matter defiant of religious and societal rules, and she’s received quite a bit of scrutiny for even considering it.
People seem to have very strong opinions about women who choose to have children on their own, almost to a point of condemnation. At the very least it’s deemed grossly unnatural and/or completely selfish. Those against it argue that a child should never intentionally be placed in a situation devoid of two loving parents. While those in support of the idea could just as easily quote broken home statistics and the scarring effects of familial instability. The fact remains that nothing can prepare any woman for motherhood. There is no book, documentary, means or amount of advice that could make the reality of becoming a parent any less overwhelming. It is an immediate and vast change and one will never (not until their 18, not until their 21, but never) be responsible solely for themselves. It is years of worry, guilt and a constant lack of time.
Choosing to be a single mom should never be misconstrued with the idea of going it alone. It’s just not possible. No one can raise a “well-adjusted” child on their own.
Before any considering to procreate, one should have a solid support system in place. Even for married couples this ought to be a major concern. For the elective single parent these considerations should be of further concern. That support system doesn’t have to be a man but long-term reliable figureS are essential. Furthermore, being single can be hard. Being pregnant and single is even harder. Parenting is certainly not something to be rushed into, no matter how well others have done with whatever less they had. As taboo as elective single parenting is, another somewhat taboo but highly effective tool for parenthood is the use of infant simulators. There’s no real way to figure out if you’re ready to be a parent, but simulators are pretty good indicators of the unpredictability and minimum demands of a child. Everyone should consider using one. You can also never save or prepare enough for a child. There’s no set minimum figure but one should have some fiscal responsibility that considers the new addition, and the possibility that a moderate nest egg could vanish. As a single parent, do you have more than one source of income?
Back up plans are becoming less taboo but it seems we have a far way to go before shedding societal impressions of a traditional family. The decision to become pregnant should never be a reckless one. It should never be without grave thought and immense consideration for the life one hopes to bring into this world. But more than anything the decision to build a family is a family decision. It truly doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It’s a personal matter that should be left up to the person’s directly involved.
What are your thoughts on single women choosing to be artificially inseminated?
Cover image courtesy of lifestyle.bzi.ro