June 23, 2009,
L.H. asks from Washington, DC on June 19, 2009
Loss of Single Life
I am a single woman in my 40's going to be a mother in under a year. Becoming a parent was totally planned and something I very much want but I am already mourning the loss of my single life. I love my lazy Saturdays and taking naps and meeting friends for happy hour and getting pedicures. Please single moms, tell me how GREAT being a single mom is and how you do not miss your single life AT ALL!!! thanks :-)
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the supportive words, advice and comments. For those who asked, I requested a girl 0-18 months. So she may be an infant, may be a toddler. To the women who posted who said I shouldn't adopt or should be married first--you are blessed to have a husband to which to share the parenting journey and that, too, is my preference but as of now it is not to be. That doesn't mean, though, that I should forgo being a mother. I don't think you really meant that. It's just going to be such a huge lifestyle change and I am being real when I express my hesitations. I also doubt you really think it's better for a child to grow up in an orphanage in Ethiopia than be in a single parent home so I accept your apologies for the hurtful statements. :-)
M.C. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
Hi. I'm 35 and the mom to an 8yr old and 2 yr old. Neither were planned by me, but now that they are here, I wouldn't change a thing. In my mind every Mom is a single mom. We are the ones that get up in the night, sit with them when they are sick, get them to the babysitter, etc.
You say that you are adopting, but not what age - a baby, an infant, toddler, older?
Being a mom is wonderful; tiring; special; worrisome; rewarding; and stressful all at the same time. Since you are a first time mom, I my advice is to hang out with friends that have young kids. Stay overnight at their house, see their routines, babysit their kids, etc.
Becoming a mom isn't about what you lose, its about adjusting your lifestyle willingly to include another person, and loving that person so much that you adjust your plans for what is best for the new person... waiting to go shopping because baby needs a nap, or running errands right after breakfast since baby will be happiest then, meeting friends for lunch instead of happy hour.
As for losing your free weekends, my advice is to adjust your 'me' time to the middle of the week. Take an occasional day off from work, find a babysitter for the baby, and have your 'me' time.
1 mom found this helpful
K.L. answers from Richmond on June 19, 2009
That mourning process is part of becoming a parent, single or not. What changes is what you find pleasure in....it will be "different".
YOu will also learn to PLAN time to enjoy some of the treasures you miss....Like a pedicure every week, or meeting for dinner with friends. That's what family, friends, and babysitters are for!!! Relax, this is part of becoming a parent, and enjoy the last moments of FREE time while you can!!!
1 mom found this helpful
B.C. answers from Norfolk on June 20, 2009
You will still be single after the adoption. What you will miss is the comparatively simple life of being responsible only for yourself, wants and needs. By becoming a parent, you will be responsible for the health, welfare and well being of another life and you will be that child s world. It's awesome - and scary. Sometimes that child will be so sweet and make you so proud - and sometimes you will want to tear your hair out if that kid talks back one more time. Each of you will experience all the emotions together, and you'll have to deal with temper tantrums and discipline and teachers and homework and grades and activities. Every parent deals with all of this. You will need people who will raise your child should you die unexpectedly (sometimes called God parents) and a will is a good idea. Heaven forbid your child become orphaned a second time. Parents Without Partners is a good single parents group. Do not be surprised if your single friends without kids do not share your interest in your child. Dating will be more complicated as some people (not all) get scared off at the thought of marrying you and having a ready made family. Try watching "Parenthood" - a 1989 Steve Martin film. A great movie. Parenthood really is like a roller coaster. It has it's ups and downs and makes you want to laugh and sometimes scream.
1 mom found this helpful
K.S. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
Congrats on your decision to become a single parent. I too was a single parent, sort of by choice. For me, giving up the single life was no big deal because all I ever wanted was to be a mother and have my own children to love. I was also 27 at the time and was getting bored w/ the single life. So its really all about your mindset. If you really want to be a mother then you will find a way to make that your priority. No one says that you have to give up pedicures and naps and going out either. I was fortunate to have my parents help, so I was still able to do all of that. The only difference was that my Child became my priority and all the fun stuff came 2nd. I just didnt do all the "single" stuff as often.
Just dont be too hard on yourself and get torn between parenting and living the "single" life. Try your best to find a comfy balance thats good for you and your child. At the same time, remember you have to grow up sometime and since you chose to have this child NOW, then you also have to be willing to grow up NOW as well, afterall, you are in your 40's! :)
Maybe you can find yourself a single parent support group through meetup.com.
J.P. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
I had very similar concerns when I found myself pregnant at 35. I was thrilled but so worried about whether I could do it on my own and whether I could be selfless enough. After living alone for so long, I even worried if I could live with anyone, even my child. All I can tell you is embrace the change. You will miss lazy Saturdays sometimes but you will find so many other things to take the place. And don't spend too much time worrying because there is no way to anticipate the reality of your new life. Yes it can be hard but it is also so incredibly wonderful. And it is just, different. You will rise to the new challenges and you will find whole new reasons to get out of bed in the am. Yard saling with a child can be great fun! So is early am grocery shopping before the crowds hit. As your child gets older, you will be able to leave breakfast in the fridge for her to get while she watches TV and you continue to sleep. And playdates are WOnDERFUL things. You have your child close, she is happy but you can do chores or read a book or check out Mamasource! Good luck to you and don't have regrets...
T.B. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
I've been a Single Mom for the last 13 and a half years. What I can tell you is though sometimes I miss the "single" life....everything you mentioned in reference to what you're going to miss, I still do. It's all about balance and planning. It sounds like you have the planning down (trusted babysitter - right?)...all you have to work on now is balance and that will define itself after your baby gets here and you learn each other. Being a single mom is not necessarily a role I chose but I thank the creator every day for allowing me to be a vessel to these children. They are beings of light and don't forget to count it a privilege to be their vessel. May you live in light, love, happiness and present consciousness. You'll be just fine.
Blessings and Be Well,
T.B. answers from Norfolk on June 20, 2009
you are about to embark on an incredible journey. You are already proving yourself as a selfLESS person for adopting! kudos to YOU!
roll with it and hold on...you will enjoy the ride and YES you will miss the "old days" however the new days will fill your heart with joy!
I have 2 18 year olds and a 2 year old. many of my friends thought I was crazy for "starting over" I cannot tell you how much I love being a parent!
smile! it's gonna be great!
D.K. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment. You want other single moms to give you a package of platitudes, but I think what you need to do is understand that it's not going to be easy, it's going to be damn tough. Motherhood always is... What makes it all better is how rewarding it is. You're going to miss your freedom, you're going to miss sleeping in and all of that, but it will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes you'll lose sight of how rewarding it is, but you'll always come back around to it.
BTW, I'm not sure why you're doing this to yourself and the child. Why would you adopt if you're single, and why would they let you adopt? I guess I don't understand why so many women these days feel like a man is something totally unnecessary for a family. I think it's terribly sad and I pity all of the children being raised without that balanced male/female marriage as the stable cornerstone of their childhood. I really think you should do some research on how growing up in a single parent home affects kids and think on this quite a bit more..........
I can't believe how angry I am at a lot of the moms that responded on here. HOW DARE YOU have/adopt children out of your desire to not be lonely!!! What a burden for that poor child! GROW UP!!!!!! What are you doing to these poor children?
Don't put words in my mouth please. If you really wanted to do this right for the children, you could certainly get married and THEN adopt. The world is full of jerks, but it is also full of wonderful family men that would love nothing better than to settle down and raise a family. I meant everything I said. It has nothing to do with the "lesser of two evils"....sorry....I just won't accept that reasoning. But hey, it's your life. If you want the little girl to grow up in an already morally unstable country in a single parent home without a male influence then I guess that's your business. I personally want better for my children. I am not apologizing, so you can stop being snarky.
J.V. answers from Norfolk on June 19, 2009
I'll have to say -- watch out, adoption is contagious. I started with one 5.5yo Russian girl (when I was 43) and was thrilled to teach her English and nearly cried when she figured out all by herself to spell M-A-M-A! We actually did a bit of traveling throughout Europe as I was living in Italy at the time. She was a great travel and marveled at every new experience. I originally had planned to adopt an infant but had fallen in love with her. Also, being from a large family (5 siblings), I did want her to have a sibling...
So at the age of 46, I adopted a Belarussian 10mo girl. I was thrilled to experience so many of her "first" -- other than teeth + walking. I so loved being a mom -- again, nearly cried when I heard my then 2yo in the backseat singing her first song "Mama, Mama, Mama, I love my Mama". Yes, giving up sleeping in was tough...but on the weekends, when she took a nap, so did I...older daughter was content to watch a movie on TV. This is my compassionate daughter + she tells me she's going to take care of me when I'm old ;-)
Okay, I wasn't quite done..so at the age of 48, I adopted a 9mo Georgian (as in Republic of, not the state) girl. This sweet little girl was the happiest of babies...I could have handled triplets if they were all like her. I'm so emotional, we were at the dentist last week + I began to get teary-eyed again when he showed me my 5yo's two wobbly front teeth + said her 6yo molars were nearly in. She begins k-garten in Sep + I know I'll cry then too.
So, yes, it is absolutely worth it. I do recommend you take an occasional day (perhaps one Sat morning, afternoon, or evening each month) for yourself. You'll also find your circle of friends will likely change...to others with children.
Last recommendation -- if you can find an adoption support group that meets locally, jump at the chance to join. We participated in a wonderful one in Montgomery, AL but then moved to Yorktown, VA + there isn't one here :-(
Best Wishes on your upcoming motherhood.
A.Y. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
This may be long, but I wanted to respond. I see that eveyone has been very supportive in their answers, and I am TOO. I'd like to say that upfront. I am a mother with biological children, but I would LOVE to adopt some day. I think it's one of the greatest gifts you can give.
However, my take on it is a little different. Most of the ladies responded are about your age, so perhaps they are closer in their situations to identify with you. I am still in my early 20s, so you can say I started having children relatively young. So, to get to the point, if you're already mourning the loss of your single life, then maybe you should give adoption a second thought. I know you say it's something that you are wanting to do, but perhaps it's something not for you. As for the woman in her 40s, you've lived an enriched and interesting life, and there's still so much to do. However, as I said, if you're still having doubts (that's what mourning means) at THIS POINT in your life, then you should hold back. Would you still feel the same way if you had a partner?? Is adopting something you've always wanted to do??
Please, please, please, I am not being critical, NEVER have been of anyone. No one has a right to judge anyone!! And I'm not digging deep, it's just what it seems on the surface. Adopting is a HUGE deal, you're bringing a new life into your own.
So, going back to the age difference. I never wanted to have children or any kind of family until I met my husband, and then suddenly everything changed. My world turned upside down, and we started having children. It was one of the best things I've done in my life, which I never regreted or looked back, or mourned about.
For the people in their 20s, we've done a lot (well, I think): lived and traveled around the world, I have my degrees, starting on my career, lived through 4 miscarriages, and then went on to have a great family back here in the States. And never for a moment I looked back or doubted if I made a right decision with children, or how would it be if I was single.
I don't know your life story, or what brought you to the crossroads you're at today, but I just wanted to give you a different perspective on the situation. Perhaps this will help, but maybe not. At least I hope you will have a chance to sort out your feelings and make a firm decision. I wish you only the best and many more blessings to come.
M.T. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
i am a sigle mom with a therteen year old daghter and im tellin you there is nothing better that being a single mom i mean my daughter is a teenager i mean think of it it is realy hard raising a teenager but trust me once youve seen that look on your babys face you would forget taiking naps cuz your baby is gonna be the most important thing in your life and trust me you dont wanna grow up lonley with no kids to take care of you and the clock is ticking and belive me there is nothing better that bieng a single mom!!
P.W. answers from Washington DC on June 19, 2009
I too and a single mom by choice. I had my son at age 40 and I absolutely love being his mom. Yes, it takes so much of your time and life changes, but I wouldn't trade him for anything. My parents live in North Carolina and they have him one-week per month, so I relish in my "me" time.
Also, congratulations on your decision to adopt - bless you and know that all of us are with you.
A.H. answers from Richmond on June 19, 2009
First I applaud you for adopting. And for being honest, Yes, it is awesome to be a mother, a role so different than any other. I am unclear of the age of the child you are adopting. Still, whatever the age, there is the initial bonding, when you look into each other's eyes so deeply and your heart opens so wide, you want to yell with excitement. The unconditional love of a child is amazing & something to learn from.
Grief comes from different life experiences, even when moving forward into something positive. I recommend you find a way to express and release, like journaling... and even hold a ceremony to honor yourself as a single woman, and your passage into motherhood. There can be different ways you can do this.
I am a single mom due to choice & divorce. It was the right thing to do years ago, I was so happy to leave... & still there was the grief to process. Denying the grief will only fester the underlying feelings. Giving it a voice, listening, being kind, gentle & non-judgemental, will help you through this process. And then, unburdened, you will be an awesome mom! I have seen so many moms & dads excited & ambivalent, afraid, of being parents. You are not alone!
If you would like more recommendations & support, let me know. My background is maternal-infant nursing, with birth & adoptive mothers/parents. I do one-on-one coaching now, which I love so much more than being in the hospital!
All the best to you & yours!
E.M. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
I want to applaud you for having the desire and courage to adopt and raise a child. My husband and I split when my daughter was born and I raised her as a single parent. Being a parent is wonderful and being a single parent, I think, is easier. The decisions are all yours. My social life revolved around babysitters and including my daughter. I would not take her to happy hour but she went many places with me as children can learn to live around your schedule. My daughter and I have had some wonderful experiences together and have a strong bond. If you are interested, I can help you find live in child care. Au pair's can work up to 45 hours a week and you make the schedule! This way you know your child will have wonderful, loving, consistent care when you are at work or at play!
E. Moss, Childcare Problem Solver
Cultural Care Au Pair, Baltimore
###-###-#### - cell
Dedicated to finding flexible, affordable childcare.
M.H. answers from Washington DC on June 23, 2009
I'm sorry I dont have time to read all of the replies you have already received, but I still wanted to share my feelings. First of all, from your update it appears as if you received some negative feedback. Please take it all with a grain of salt and consider the sources--people who are narrow minded and don't think out of the box. I feel sorry for them and know that they are missing out on so many wonderful things in life by being so closed minded and seeing/living life in black and white with no shades of gray. I am 37 year college graduate who has a wonderful job, a home of my own, and an amazing support system in place for me and my daughter. MY life is MY choice, no one elses. Now onto my feelings.
I had my daughter when I was 36. She is now 16 mos old and I have been a single mom since day 1. I too was worried about the transition from singlehood to singlemomhood, but now I cannot say enough about wonderful life is. My daughter is the answer to every prayer I've said and every dream I've had. She is my sun, moon, and stars all rolled into one. As much as I thought life before her was wonderful, life now is 1000% more amazing. I am not saying there are times I dont miss going out to dinner and being able to sit back and relax without worrying about cutting food small enough or keeping all the sugar packets from being thrown on the floor, but those thoughts fade away the minute I see that little smile or get a big hug and kiss. I would trade a lifetime of quiet dinners for those hugs and kisses any day. I am not saying being a single parent is easy--its definitely not. But I got us on a great schedule really early and it works for us. I work full time as a paralegal and my daughter is cared for by a family member while I work. I have an amazing group of friends and family who would babysit my daughter anytime I asked or anytime I needed a break--but I have NEVER once taken them up on the offer. When I get home from work or on weekends I cant bear to be away from my daughter for one minute. She and I are a team and I love every minute of it. I feel more blessed than anyone I know and I really cant remember much about life before her anymore. Congratulations on your adoption. What a selfless thing you have chosen. Good for you and what a lucky little girl too! To be taken from a potentially tragic life and placed with someone who will love her unconditionally is a good thing. If you ever need any advice or encouragement on singlemomhood please let me know. I am sure you will do great and love every minute of your new life. They grow up so fast--enjoy!
J.S. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
I am a single mom to a now one year old. My becoming a single mom was also planned. I knew it would be hard some days and it is. But I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I love being a single mom. I won't lie to you. Once in awhile, you will miss having the freedom to come and go as you please or just take off out of town on a whim. I used love those lazy day offs where you sleep til noon. Now, I am up by seven with my daughter on my days off. I can't just decide to take off out of town now. I have to plan the trips. Now, I find kid friendly places to eat out or visit. Once you look at that cute, adorable, innocent, loving face, your heart will melt. After awhile, you won't really be able to imagine life before kids. My life has change only for the better since my daughter came along. Good luck. If you need any more encouragment or just want to check, feel free to email me.
K.C. answers from Washington DC on June 20, 2009
It will definitely shock your system after 20 plus years of adulthood without, but...the rest is amazing. It's good you've started mourning now:-) So, enjoy yourself, take a trip somewhere, and get ready. Everyone tells you (when you're pregnant) to do these things, but REALLY, do it.
The age of the child you're adopting will make a difference in your rest cycles and opportunities. I still miss lazy Saturdays and naps. I was 44 when my daughter was born and it's been completely amazing and crazy. She'll be five in September. I always thought I knew how demanding it was for others until I had my own. That being said, I've never experienced anything so satisfying in my life. Start looking into play groups and activities, because as one writer said, your friend base will grow if not change a lot. You need to be around others experiencing the same issues. Good luck and congratulations on your adoption!
L.B. answers from Charlottesville on June 22, 2009
I agree with Kelly L.
I am a single mom - with 5 month old. I wanted a child for the last 5-8 yrs and though it would never happen. Morn your single live I know I have and I have and still am. So does my boyfriend and he has a 3 year old. I am 40 years old and keep reminding myself - it's like the seasons. My single life was like summer and now I am entering the fall stage. I have always wanted to experience everything in life and this is another stage or cycle in the life process.. just like the wrinkles, age spots and gray hair. I have also morned my youth and still continue too... this is life it's ok to morn it - when you are ready move on do so and don't look back - I friend of mine sent me an email regarding the seasons email me and I will send it to you... ____@____.com -- remember fall is full of color and the leaves are so beautiful... you have many things to look forward to.. they are just different and new.... look at this as a new adventure..