Thinking About Single Motherhood By Choice: 7 Smart Pieces of Advice
Am I Ready To Be A Single Mom By Choice?
When women are contemplating whether they are ready to be a single mother by choice, they usually think through all scenarios and concerns. They spend a lot of time trying to decide if being a single mom by choice is right for them. I think it’s why those women who choose to become single moms by choice report being so happy as mothers.
But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy process. Here is some of my best advice to those who are in the thinking phases.
1. Do it sooner rather than later–even if you don’t feel ready to be a single mom by choice.
I interviewed several women who had become single mothers by choice on my podcast and asked each one about their regrets. Across the board, each woman said she wished she’d started sooner. I think in part it’s because they love being a single mum by choice so much, they wish they hadn’t debated it for so long. But also because the biological clock is real—and by waiting, many women find out that it’s really hard to get pregnant.
2. Listen to yourself when you are feeling like your best self.
I truly believe we generate lots of different narratives/stories. When we feel down or in a funk, we are plagued by doubts and concerns. But when we are feeling like our best, we feel excited about taking the leap to become a solo mother. Don’t listen to the stories that arise when you aren’t feeling your best. I believe this is a great way to get clear.
3. Recognize that doubt will always exist—it never fully goes away.
Again, you need to trust what you want when you are in those moments of clarity when you are in touch with your best or highest self. When you just finished your favorite work out class, or checked a bunch of items off your To Do List, what are the images and thoughts that arise? Do you see yourself as a capable single mother in those moments?
4. Don’t assume that having a baby alone will mean you will always be single.
It’s just not true. You can’t predict what choices will lead to partnership—meaning you could choose to have a baby alone and meet the man of your dreams the next day. Or you could get pregnant with a partner and they could bail. It’s impossible to predict. So, make bold choices, and don’t let fear of partnership prevent you from becoming a mother on your own.
5. Remember that having a baby isn’t logical.
In our society, we often place the most importance on logical choices. But having a child isn’t logical–it’s time-consuming, exhausting, and expensive. BUT, still so worth it. You will experience love beyond your wildest imagination–so intense that all the hard parts are worth it. Waiting for the “right” time will likely never come. So back to #1, do it sooner rather than later–even when it feels illogical and “not the right time.”
6. Remember to use your head, heart, and gut to decide.
It’s easy to get stuck in pros and cons and logical reasons. It can feel like spinning round and round in thoughts. It’s important to satisfy the “head” with information and facts–to understand the process and what it’s like to be a single mom. You do need to process all the info on this level by talking through all your concerns with coaches and other single moms. But then you need to put it down and listen to your heart and gut. Get quiet and let your true desires surface. Allow yourself to just trust that you can handle it. The spin/doubt will surface again and again–trying to pull you away from your desire and knowing. It’s your job to listen to your truth!
7. Don’t assume being a single mom by choice is harder than raising a child in partnership.
Clients say to me all the time, “why would I choose this path that is so much harder?” I can’t tell you what it’s like to raise a child with a partner, but I am not convinced it is necessarily easier to do it in partnership. I think some things are easier and some things are harder and they likely balance each other out. I’ll go into why I think it’s just as hard or possibly easier as a solo mom in future posts, but it’s notable that so many of my married friends tell me all the time, “I wish I had done it on my own, it would be so much easier.”
I hope this helps you to weigh your options. It’s not an easy process but I hope these ideas help you avoid some common pitfalls I see women make when trying to decide.
Would you like more help as you contemplate whether you are ready to be a single mom by choice? Join my 3 Month Thinkers Intensive, launching Sept 20th. Or set up a free call to discus your next steps and figure out if the group is right for you.