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 :-)
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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.
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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!!!
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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.
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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.