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Choosing to have a child even though I'm single
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#1 MaybeMumSoonish

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

I've been thinking about asking this question of EBer's for a while. (It's a touchy issue, so please don't arc up too much.)


When i first joined EB, I was young(er), had a gorgeous partner, and looking forward to buying a house, having kids, making a life and a home, the whole she-bang.

Fast forward a few years and my partner suddenly blurts out that he doesn't want kids. Although I would have given up the notion of kids to be with him, if that's what he really wanted, the suddenness of his change of heart (no discussion, no warning) and several other issues that rapidly cropped up (also no discussion, no warning) eventually destroyed the relationship. And almost took me with it (I tried to do 'something silly' as my mum would say).

Now it's been a year (and 16 days. Not that I'm counting). I'm over my grief at the loss of him and the relationship. I've even dated a little bit.

But I'm really introverted and unlikely to meet anyone I would love and trust again (it was a bit of a fluke the first time around), enough to have kids with anyway. But I go gooey every time I see a baby, I dote on my brother's kids, and I'm really conscious of that ticking clock (30 next birthday!). I have a good job, no debt, a family who would help, but I also have no assets to speak of, no support beyond my immediate relatives, and while I'm not likely to do 'something silly' again, my depression is for life. (Runs in the family, I've been diagnosed since a teenager.)

So the big question is:

Should I get pregnant and have a kid? By myself? Willingly choose single-motherhood?

Or resign myself to being childless forever?

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

I think your dichotomy is artificial.

Childfree and single at 30 =/= forever. You have time to wait and build your career and assets. You're still grieving (counting the days). It's not the right time to be making big decisions.

#3 *Lena*

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

I would many mothers are single parents and do a great job why wouldn't you. I don't see why you should miss out. There is plenty of men out there that are happy to get in relationship with women with children if you find someone later in life.

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

You're 30. Hardly over the hill and hardly single forever, and hardly at the end of your childbearing years. Resignation to childlessness is a tad overdramatic.

#5 Futureself

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:22 PM

QUOTE (MaybeMumSoonish @ 11/04/2012, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Should I get pregnant and have a kid? By myself? Willingly choose single-motherhood?

Or resign myself to being childless forever?

I don't think you're at the stage as yet where these are your only options.
I think very much that you have plenty of time to grow, gain more strength and understanding with/of your depression and meet someone who will be a true partner to you. You are not even 30 yet, that is young and you have time. Plenty of time! I say this as someone who has had many discussions with someone close to me that at 38 she will go it alone and have a child as a single woman. She is 35, nearly 36 now with no boyfriend in sight. I am 100% supportive of this and understand completely why she doesn't want to forgo motherhood.

I am also concerned that you say that you are so introverted that you have 'no support' apart from immediate family - I think everyone needs friends, outlets and interests and am concerned that you want to fill all roles in your life with a baby/child. That's not ok, and not a healthy expectation of a child. They can't be your everything.

Go, seek friendships, explore hobbies, travel and be a 29 year old. Revisit this in another 8 years if you're in the same place.  original.gif

#6 Moo point

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:22 PM

I understand the "going gooey" over babies but I've always been like that - and even then didn't know if I ever wanted kids.

Although I'm fairly outgoing, I had a lot of misses in the relationship stakes and didn't meet my DH until I was 33. We are expecting our first baby and I just turned 37.

My point is, as PPs have said, just because you're single and childless at 30 doesn't mean it is forever. The right man may be just around the corner, and unless you're aware of any pressing fertility problems (ie early menopause) then you still have time on your side. And it is good to have more of a financial buffer if you do decide to go it alone.

FWIW, my DH is a little introverted, and we met online - perhaps when you are over the grief and have a handle on your depression (as I think you may need some more time) you could look into this? It's a way to meet people on your own terms.

#7 noonehere

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

Is it a possibility to put some eggs aside for just in case and then wait a few years?

Is it a possibility to put some eggs aside for just in case and then wait a few years?

#8 ali27

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

According to statistics, most women today are yet to have their first child at 30. So I think you are thinking about this decision quite a few years too prematurely.
Although I don't think it is necessarily a poor decision to have a child on your own, I think you need to put the idea on hold for a while longer.

#9 katniss

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:28 PM

It's a very personal decision. I personally couldn't have because my boys were challenging babies & I didn't have much family help.

My friend, however, became a mum 7 months ago through IVF as a single woman. She had dreamt of being a mum forever & her relationships just didn't work out & found herself facing being childless in her mid-30s. She lives next to her parents & has their 100% support - they even helped her with newborn night duty. Her baby girl is also very good & sleeps very well. Her parents are very well off so she has a lot of advantages on her side that not every mother does.

You are still young but I don't think it's wrong to start thinking about it. You do need to keep in mind that it can take time to get pregnant through IVF (as it can naturally too). Also my friend was on the waiting list for a couple of years because apparently donors can specify only couples. From memory it was a good 4 years before she actually conceived.

Edited by BubbleWitch, 11 April 2012 - 06:35 PM.

#10 Polly Esther

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:29 PM

Having a baby is effing hard, and there's no way I'd do it alone, willingly, unless it were seriously the last chance I had.

It's not. You're not even 30 yet... and meeting someone once you have kids become harder, so you may be choosing to be a single parent for a very long time.

Will you be working when you have your child? Will you be able to find childcare for the hours you work? Will it work out cost-effective to work? How will you handle paying for household bills while you're off work (yes, there is paid maternity leave, but you may require more time off work, and you might find it's not enough anyway)? Will you be able to manage having a job and dealing with a baby/toddler/young child without the aid of a partner?

Of course all of these may be done... but will they be a struggle? It's always nice to make life a bit easier if you can... and you're not going to enjoy motherhood much if you're spending all your time working, or feeling like you're about to die because you're so effing tired.

You also might wish that you had someone to share your child with... not just hte care of the child, but the "moments," that only a parent can really appreciate. It can be hard to have nobody who's an interested in your child as you are... it sounds like such a little thing, but little things can grate after a while.

Anyway, my advice would be to wait and try to find someone you're compatible with. You've got more time before you're too old for kids, and it might make life a whole lot easier on everyone if you just wait a few years before considering children again.

#11 Isolabella

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:30 PM

My point is, as PPs have said, just because you're single and childless at 30 doesn't mean it is forever. The right man may be just around the corner, and unless you're aware of any pressing fertility problems (ie early menopause) then you still have time on your side. And it is good to have more of a financial buffer if you do decide to go it alone.

Most of my friends have met their partner post 35 and at 37 are having their babies. 30 is too young to call it quits.

As PP mentioned that you are counting from breakup in days you are not over it and not in a frame of mind to be making such big decisions.

Oh yeah, I am a total introvert (score 99% on Myers Briggs for Introvert). DH is also an introvert (only scores under 10%). We met while on holiday.... a holiday romance that is still going strong 14yrs later (Plus marriage, house and 3 kids).

Get out and experience life and you never know what is around the corner.

ETA: The holiday I met DH on was one I took to 'get over' a bad breakup and went with the idea that I was NOT going to be my usual shy person but put myself 'out' there. I was the one who looked up, saw DH across the bar and wandered up to say 'Hi'. 8hrs later we were still chatting, sitting at the end of  a pier watching the sun rise. I left my holiday 3 days before DH. I returned to Syd.... he returned to Melb. On the day he arrived back I sent a flirty email. We emailed lots during that day and by the end of the day I had invited DH to Syd for NYE which was 4wks away. The rest as they say is history. If it had not been me getting out of my comfort zone I would never have met DH.

Edited by lsolaBella, 11 April 2012 - 06:41 PM.

#12 bakesgirls

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:34 PM

I think you are the only person who can answer that question. Not randoms on the internet. After all, you are the one who will be affected by whatever descision you make, not people on EB.

#13 Peridot

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:34 PM

Having a baby is effing hard, and there's no way I'd do it alone, willingly, unless it were seriously the last chance I had.

Oh so true oomg.gif

I'd definitely wait until at least 35 before making this decision. I couldn't imagine how hard it would be raising a baby yourself, giving birth and going through all those newborn nights alone, no one next to you in bed at night to share thoughts and feelings, and special newborn memories with.

All the best for whatever you choose though OP original.gif

#14 follies

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

Are you asking as you want a child now or because you are scared you will not meet someone later?

I would give yourself a time frame of 4 years to actively meet someone else in the same place in life and be in a better place financially, then ask this question again.

Even introverted people marry and have kids.

#15 ~Panda~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

If it were me, I'd wait a few more years. But I'm not you. I think you really need to sit down and weigh everything up.

#16 123tree

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:52 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 11/04/2012, 06:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you are the only person who can answer that question. Not randoms on the internet. After all, you are the one who will be affected by whatever descision you make, not people on EB.

So true.


You know how you will deal with this.  Also think how will I deal with a sick or disabled child?  Are you still confident with your decision.

Also being a mother to a small child can be very lonely at times.

#17 Kay1

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:58 PM

I think you are too young and too freshly out of a broken relationship to be seriously considering having a child on your own.

I was desperately clucky for about 5 years before we had a baby - we wanted to be established first - DH wanted to wait longer etc. Around late 20s early 30s that biological clock really gets ticking so I can understand why you are thinking this way.

Personally I'd give it another year or two at least. I have many friends who met someone well after they turned 30, got married and are having children now. I also have a friend who didn't meet someone and so at 37 made the decision to become a mother even though she is single. She has lots of support, the father is involved but its still very, very hard.

Bear in mind that having a child will make it much, much harder to find a life partner (if for no other reason that you just won't go out as much) and it sounds like that is something you do want from life.

#18 Princess Bubblegum

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:59 PM

When I was younger my best friend and I made a pact that if we were both single at 30 we would go together to get donor sperm and go down the AI route. I fell pregnant at 21, she got married at 30 and now has two daughters. Thinking about that now, I think 30 is still too young to consider it being the end of days regarding childbearing.

I became a single mum when I was 22 and my DD was 5 months old. It was a very hard road to travel alone, even with my family's support. I have strong memories of holding my DD who would not stop crying, while I was sobbing uncontrollably because it was just so overwhelming. Motherhood was the first thing I had ever done in my life that I could 'get out of' if I didn't feel like dealing with it (or just flat out couldn't deal with it). I met my DP 2 years later, and have two boys with him.

I hate that my DD has a different dad to her brothers (even though her dad is a very good dad now, and we are good friends).

I hate that DP and I didn't get to share the experience of our first pregnancy together.

And one to to really consider is that if you have a baby now, you will NEVER have the chance to have that lovely "just us" time with any future partner, as you will almost always have your child with you. It doesn't sound like much, but I am sad that DP and I missed out on that time together.

I recommend waiting, but perhaps if you are feeling confident enough to deal with a baby alone, direct that confidence towards pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone and put yourself out there a little bit more, and you never know, the most amazing guy might be out there too.

#19 MaybeMumSoonish

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:01 PM

Some great posts, thank you ladies all. Pls keep em coming.

#20 podg

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:02 PM

I'm very introverted and was single (with maybe 3 brief glitches and a very sad missed opportunity) from 25 to 32. Then I met DH... and at 40 I'm expecting baby #4.

I agree with others, a baby/child/parenting is really hard work alone, and you sound like you haven't made the headspace for another relationship yet.

It might be the right thing for you to try for pregnancy alone. I would leave it for a few years though, and work on being really happy in your life as it is. It will set you up for a new relationship - with a child, or a partner.

Good luck either way.

#21 Balto1

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

I kind of understand where you are coming from with the worry that you won't meet someone else. Had I not met DH, I believe I would still be single today.

You may meet someone, you may not. As PPs have said, having a child is a huge thing, especially when you are single. Having a child also impacts on your chances of meeting someone down the track.

Just a thought- have you considered investigating egg freezing while you are in your late 20s, early 30s? This way, you can potentially extend your fertility for a few more years to give you some wiggle room (you still have a few years of natural wiggle room anyway). Nb- I don't know much about egg freezing and like any fertility matter, there are no guarantees.

#22 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:10 PM

i would ask myself again in 5yrs.
in the meantime work or building relationaships

#23 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:12 PM

Give yourself a few more years.

A lot can change.

Plenty of people have gone from single to married with a child in under a year.

#24 BetteBoop

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

I met my DH at 30 and had a baby with him at 35. Most of my friends had their first child between the ages of 33 and 40.

You still have plenty of time to try for the ideal in your head. In a few years if that doesn't work out, then reassess.

Otherwise, why not enoy being single for a while? From what I can remember of being single and 30, it's an awesome lifestyle.

It's quite possible, in a few years time if you're holding a screaming toddler with a belly full of arms and legs standing beside the last man you'll ever have sex with, you might come to look back wistfully on this time.

I do.


#25 indigo~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hi OP,

I am 40 and currently 12w pregnant, the result of doing IVF on my own so will be a single mum by choice. As per PP, I would suggest waiting. You're still quite young and have plenty of time to meet your future partner.

If I could choose, I wouldn't be doing this on my own. But i got to the age where it was crunch time and I decided I preferred the thought of doing it in my own to never being a mum at all. I got to 38 and a half and thought I'd better get cracking.

Two things I'd mention: IVF took longer than I had expected (18 months and 9 stim cycles) and it was really expensive. If you are doing IVF for "social reasons" with no medical reasons to need assisted conception, then you are not eligible for medicare rebates.

So if you are thinking about it *much* later on down the track, start saving a really good nest egg now. You'll want to be as financially secure as possible before starting out.

On the topic of freezing eggs, it can be done now for social reasons, but the success rate for freezing and then defrosting eggs is still quite low. It's much less successful than freezing embryos. So you may need to do multiple stim cycles to freeze enough eggs to make it worthwhile. Again, no Medicare rebates for egg freezing for social reasons.

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