At the recent San Francisco event — as was the case in Austin and Atlanta — women spoke to me individually, or with the group, about the intense emotions they felt in not being able to yet BECOME Choice Moms. Talking about sadness is not always easy for us.
Some women made the decision long ago to become a single mother, but it hasn’t happened yet. Simply not having a partner isn’t the only hurdle. Fertility issues, adoption blocks, health issues, miscarriage, financial setbacks, job/health coverage loss. I’ve heard so many stories from women about the huge roadblocks they have faced to motherhood.
When you decide to “go,” it can be so emotional to be in the “yield” position, sometimes for years.
And, making it even more difficult, it can seem like a very hard thing to talk about out loud with anyone. You might not want friends and family to know you are intending to take this path. They might think it just gives you more time to find a partner, not understanding that you are mentally ready to be a mother. Or you might get the basic sympathy that doesn’t mean as much when it comes from someone who HAS their children, or someone who hasn’t yet struggled to conceive or adopt.
Here’s what Stacy said about her reactions from the event: “After four plus years of trying to become a mother, I’m feeling disheartened beyond words. And sadly, I felt completely misfitted at the SF event. I wanted to see someone like me; someone who was suffering/struggling to figure out how they fit into the Choice Mom world when they can’t actually reach the goal of being a mom at all. I did so much work to get to the place where I was ‘ready’ to become a Choice Mom. I had to ‘come out’ to my friends and family. I had to rethink my vision of the future. I had to orient my identity. It never dawned on me that the identity work would just be the beginning of such a long battle.
“The sorrow I’ve carried in my heart, five babies lost from my own body and one daughter lost from a surrogate, has been all the more challenging because I’ve had to traverse this journey unpartnered. Also, I experience more resistance and less support than my married counterparts. One dear friend actually told me recently that maybe my losses were a reflection that it wasn’t in ‘God’s plan’ for women to choose motherhood without a husband. Choice mom is now how I self-identify and it has been for over four years. All the women I was ‘thinking’ with and ‘planning’ or ‘trying’ with are now happy mothers. I chose my home because it was perfect for single motherhood. I chose my car because it could accommodate the baby I thought was coming home. I even cultivated my current professional trajectory to best suit single motherhood. But I’m still not a mother. And every day, every pregnant woman I see, every family I see, every stroller I see, is a dagger in my heart and a reminder of what I’ve worked and prayed so hard for, but has not yet blessed me. I’m still waiting for my turn.”
Use this space to share your story and thus enable connections with others who understand, who have been there, or who ARE there now. We have a wonderful community. I’ve met thousands of us. We can tap into the power of our community to make the connections we all need on this journey.