The 21st century has changed some, but not all tired—possibly unrealistic—attitudes about single women in general and single mothers in particular. As recently as 2010, the Pew Research Center found that 69 percent of people feel having and raising a child without a man to help raise that child is “a bad thing for society.” I knew if I was going to do this — become a single mom by choice — I would need a village. I went to my grandmother, my dad’s mother, first because she was the matriarch of the family. She asked if she could talk to her pastor about it. I agreed after arming her with my list of reasons, including my age and the time it would take me to find a partner.
As I write this, my mum and dad are wheeling Quinn around the park, pointing at the ducks. When they arrive at my back door, my son catches sight of me. My parents arrive and invite me and my darling son, who I name Quinn, to stay with them. We are fed and loved and cared for, and end up staying for four months. On some days, I catch my parents staring down at Quinn in his bassinet, their faces soft with adoration. I log in and out of the donor database over a series of weeks.
Megan Watterson uses the term “indie mom” –meaning a single-but-not-really-single mom. Thought I’d share because I think it’s a wider term that encompasses the style, function and reality of modern parenting–an essence perhaps not quite captured by “single mom”. Teagan was three months old when I decided it was time to get out of a relationship that was unhealthy for both of us. The decision to leave my marriage last July was the hardest one I ever made, but I wanted to set the example for my daughter that she shouldn’t put up with behavior that she believes is unacceptable.
But as more women no longer feel pressured to marry men they don’t really want to be with just in order to have children, there will be more choice moms like this author, and therefore more situations like hers. Jane Mattes, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and the founder of Single Mothers By Choice, a non-profit for women who are thinking about or pursuing single parenthood. Mattes says she pmeet support founded the organization in 1981, shortly after becoming a single parent herself. “I had a wonderful family and friends, but I realized I needed more of a support system, so I started asking to be connected to more single mothers by choice just through word of mouth,” she says. Because this was before the Internet, her new social network of solo parents communicated through snail mail.
Then, explore how you might be able to let go of the jealousy. For example, it might help to make it a point to share little reminders of how much you each value your relationship in the hectic mix of your everyday lives. It can be hard to know upfront whether dating a single parent is right for you, but you’ll save a lot of heartbreak if you are honest with yourself and potential partners from the beginning. Here are several indicators that dating a single parent might not be a good fit for you right now.
Single Mothers: Psychological Problems for Kids?
And Zion has a father who loves and supports him, emotionally and financially. Then, a friend of a friend asked me out on a blind date. “You probably want to rethink that,” I told him. But I was in the middle of my solo baby-making mission. My desperation was getting in the way, too.
Finally experiencing that famous tick-tock was unsettling, I admitted, but also a relief. Now I got what other women had been talking about. Even so, I wasn’t ready to dismiss my decades-long ambivalence. Maybe it wasn’t denial, as people say, but a genuine disinclination to be a mother, my own internal voice trying to be heard above the ear-splitting din of cultural expectation. This is the guy that tells you about his yearly bonus, designer suits and finds a way to ease the topic of money into every conversation.
Take It Slow When Dating a Single Mom
On his nationally syndicated radio program, conservative radio host Neal Boortz is fond of describing “single mothers receiving public assistance” as “welfare broodmares” lacking values, morals, and ethics. A broodmare is a female horse kept for breeding. To back up his claims, he has, among other things, cited statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that women who received public assistance give birth at more than three times the rate of women who do not receive public assistance.
On the other hand, there are so many accidental-duds out there. It seems a risk, possibly not worth it, to possibly let one into the delicate and sacred life-balance of new mom and child. Is not a dud, and instead is a wonderful addition to the family. This is a love story of life working out in a non-traditional, pretty perfect way.
When you experience jealousy, stop and acknowledge the emotion. If, after giving it some thought, you think the issue is worth bringing up, find some time when the two of you can talk about it alone. Come clean about how you’re feeling and talk about what you both value in your relationship.