I recently saw a post on Facebook by BabyCenter.com about making the choice to become a single mother. Actually, the article posted was a bit ridiculous — it was all about celebrities becoming Single Mothers and asking “would you consider it?”, which I think is a completely different question than “regular people” becoming single mothers due to financial means, full time assistance, etc. But, the 245 comments that followed about single motherhood were very interesting, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on some of them).
“I’m a single mom, I didn’t chose it. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would actually chose it over a 2 parent family. Unless they are totally insane and live off of copious amounts of stress and frustration…”
Um, OK then! So, did I choose this? Yes, absolutely. Would I have preferred to have a 2 parent family? Absolutely. But, would I regret waiting until the “man of my dreams” came along, only to find out that it was too late for me to have a child? Absolutely. Might I be insane? Absolutely!
“I don’t think I would choose to be a single parent. It’s difficult enough with me and my husband… Plus I truly believe children need a mother AND a father. I can’t imagine not having a dad.”
I agree completely that children need male and female role models. (see my post The Importance of a Father Influence). Whether it’s a boy or a girl, both influences are important. For me, I DO plan on getting married, and hope it won’t be too long before that happens! But in the meantime, I will need to find a plan to ensure that my child has enough male influence in his/her life.
“If the choice was to have a child as a single mother or not at all, then OF COURSE I WOULD! Couldn’t even imagine not being a mommy!! It’s such a blessing and unbelievable experience that nothing can replace!!”
“Being in a relationship where your significant other is not around much physically is not the same as choosing to be a single mom. My ex and I have a good relationship and our son is great, but looking back, I’m sorry for all the times he asked why daddy wasn’t home. I don’t mean to offend anyone who made the choice have a child as a single mom, but I believe it’s selfish to knowingly do that to a child.”
“You’re making a choice for the child. every child needs both parents for their development and self esteem. I grew up with mom and no dad, I wished my dad would have been there more!”
Divorce is VERY tough on children, and even tougher when one of the parents is not reliable. I think this creates trust issues in relationships. So in an SMC family, while it’s not ideal to not have a father figure around on a regular basis, I do believe it is less harmful to children because they KNOW there is no father, rather than being disappointed when he may be unreliable or not around a lot.
Selfish? I’ll go back to that in a second. But, technically divorce was ALSO a choice! But, selfish, really? I’m going to be doing so much for my baby, physically, emotionally, financially, etc., that I don’t even understand know it can be perceived as selfish. The woman below said it well actually.
“I conceived my son with a donor after a year of trying because being mama was so important to me. So it’s selfish of me that I chose to devote my entire life to being the sole provider for my son? Is it selfish of me that I happily gave up some of the activities and lifestyle I had before pregnancy to be a loving mom to my son? Is it selfish of me that whatever I need or want either comes last or not at all because my son’s needs and wants come first? Is it selfish when I am up at 4 a.m. feeding and playing with him when I know I have to get up soon to start our day? I think a woman who chooses to build a family without a partner is FAR from being selfish.”
Again, well said!
“Statistics prove that without a father in the life of a child, children are more likely to not graduate, get pregnant, have low self-esteem, and even have higher suicide rates. What good mother would choose that for their child?”
Again, this is another arguement I hear a lot. But those numbers are for divorced parents! There aren’t enough SMCs to affect that data yet, and no SMC-only studies have been done to my knowledge. I don’t see how a woman who makes such a major life choice to become an SMC is going to allow those things to happen to her child (yes, we can’t control everything, but I just don’t see it happening more than in the general population!).
“Becky, those stats do not account or disseminate for those children raised by CHOICE by a single mother who was situationally able to do so and those raised by a single mother who was abandoned by the father-often times unable to provide for the needs of her child. I think there is a huge difference. I almost made the choice myself: 35 years old, unmarried, career in place, head on straight, supportive family, and stable home. Women are told that our “choice” to have children later in life is irresponsible (due to possible health issues for mother and child). But, if we don’t have a proper partner in our life at the time, does that mean we should remain motherless? Relationships can come at any time, the window to have a child is so much smaller.”
“Even though I am married, I feel like [a single mom]. Work full time, do all the house work and all of the cooking. Nothing would change – except I could have cereal dinner every night and no one would complain that there wasn’t a hot meal.”
I’ve heard a lot of people say this to me. Not that I think it’s incredibly common that the husband does NOTHING to help (including financially), it IS a possibility.
So what are your thoughts on the above? I know I’ve expressed some opinions that not everyone will agree with!