To tell her not to rush into this?(50 Posts)
I have a friend who is 33 next month and she is desperate for a baby. She has only ever had one real relationship which lasted two years when she was aged 26-28. Prior to that relationship she had just gone from bad man to bad man and has been doing it again since the relationship ended. Of our 'circle' she is the oldest but the only one to have not settled and had children.
She has previously joked about using a sperm donor but last week she admitted to me that she is now seriously considering it and has got an appointment at the end of the month with some clinic to start the process. I was quite shocked and told her not to rush into anything as she still has time to find a partner, fall in love, have a baby together etc (which is her dream scenario) but she took my reaction quite badly. She told me I'm not being a very good friend and what right have I got to tell her that she shouldn't do it. All I advised was that she think it through a bit more as it's a huge decision to make but she hadn't really spoken to me since.
BTW - I'm not against the use of sperm donors at all, I just think that at 33 she still has time to find her Mr Right?
....or do I need to apologise for not being more supportive?
I think you need to apologise. Of course you are right that she has time to find someone but to a person who has only had 1 relationship 5 years ago that will sound like bollocks.
Plus she has clearly decided that a child is more important than a partner so good on her for being proactive to make it happen.
How much time?
she's 33. When will she find someone she wants to settle down with who wants to settle down with her? a year? two? 5? ten? maybe never.
Then the other person has to be ready for a child.
then they have to conceive.
meanwhile she isn't 33 any more. she's 35, 38, 42... time ticks on and she's been feeling strongly that she wants to have a child for how long?
How much longer is 'acceptable'? Then will doctors consider her too old?
she will have spent a lot of time thinking about it and she has decided that she does not want to leave her chance of a child in the hands of fate, trusting that one day soon she will find a man to settle down with.
What if her need for a child leads her to compromise on the man and she's in an unhappy relationship? Is that more acceptable than making a choice to have a child by herself? Is she not being sensible to recognise that the men she has been with are not the right type to father her child?
She doesn't need a partner to have a child. That can always come later.
I think you need to apologise too really.
All the times you assumed she was joking about using a donor was probably her just testing the water to see what everyones reactions would be.
It doesn't sound to me like she is rushing in at all. It sounds like she has been thinking about it for a while and made and informed decision to go for it. Good for her.
I think you need to appologise, i have a dear friend who has a similar plan for 35, she's currently 31. She said she just has too many older friends who have got to mid-30s and ended up having DCs with a completely unsuitable man because they were running out of time, so had a DC with whoever they could get at that point. They have then been suck with a man they knew they didn't like being part of their lives for the next 20+ years.
Her logic is they are often thinking in the back of their minds they might be single mothers, so why not be pickier, say you want to be a mum and if you can't find a good man to have DCs with, not to settle for second best, but to have one on your own.
At 33, your friend might be able to wait another 18 months, but realistically, she's not got much longer than that before she's risking never having DCs in order to chase the "happily ever after" dream. How early into a relationship would you consider it be acceptable to start trying for a baby? Even if she met someone now, she would probably be treating him a little as a sperm donor, this way she's being honest.
In the future, can I suggest you listen carefully to what people joke about. IME it often is what they are seriously considering and are testing the idea out.
Apologise. She has thought it through, that's why she's going ahead with it.
If I was her, hearing the negative opinion of spermicide donors from the mouth of someone who has had the good fortune to have found someone and had their children, would have me telling you to F the F off, quite frankly.
YABU, you should support her and try not to be so judgemental. She's making a decision which in light of her priorities seems pretty rational.
I do think that you need to apologise and be a bit more supportive TBH.
If I were your friend then I may well feel the same way as her.
It is likely that this is not a decision she has taken lightly. She is desperate for a child and you are right she could meet a man and settle down in time, but what if she doesn't.
She may feel that time is not on her side. She may not want to go into motherhood say 5 years down the line.
If she feels ready for this now then I am sure this isn't something she has decided to do on a whim without thinking through all her options.
Why are you against it?
You sound smug. I think you were out of line, too. Instead of being happy for her, you spoke to her like a child.
Why were you shocked that a woman doesn't want or need a man?
According to your post, she's saying she wants a baby - not a relationship.
I think it's a very sensible plan and would wholeheartedly support her.
I'm not against it, it's just a big thing isn't it? We hear so many women now not having children until their late 30's and into their 40's and it being perfectly fine, which is why I said she still had time. I definitely think using a donor is a better option than her having a ONS or starting a relationship with someone unsuitable just in order to get a child. Maybe I came across as quite flippant towards her when I really didn't mean to, it just took me by surprise at the time.
What you said was "Please do think about this, it is a big decision and you are still young enough to meet someone to have a baby with"
What she heard was "I and our friends all met and married men and had babies, but YOU DIDNT. I am sure that you will meet someone eventually LIKE I DID AND YOU HAVENT SO FAR. I have a lovely marriage and family and YOU DONT, you should wait until you can have what I have, arent I lucky and smug?"
If you point out any potential downfall in her plan she will see it as you rubbing her nose in the fact that you are happily married and mummied and she isnt. Unfulfilled baby dreams can ruin friendships, my then BF stopped speaking to me because I got PG 8 weeks before her despite the fact that we both knew we were both trying and she had only been trying for 1 month compared to my 8 at the time. She was back on the phone when she got her blue line, but our friendship was never the same.
Apologise, explain that you were just a bit shocked as you didnt realise that she was so set on it but that of course you wish her luck and will be there for her. Then, stay out of it and dont offer any opinions at all.
In fact I would tentatively suggest that in your 'circle' she fulfils the role of the single childless spinster you can all pretend to wring your hands over... whilst in private being thrilled that it's not you. And now she possibly won't be it's bit of a threat to you all.
Just saying.. but I speak from the experience of a close friend of mine in the same position. Not pleasant.
I don't think you have to apologise. You don't have to agree with her or her choices.
You do have to be supportive if you want to remain friends though.
So maybe call her and tell her that you will support her decision.
I've done various things I know my friends haven't agreed with. They still supported me when things went really well/tits up.
Why do you think that she has not been thinking about it for a long time?
It is quite clear that she has. She first raised it you say yourself a long time ago, at the time in a joking way.
This is something she has considered carefully.
Don't patronise her by assuming she does not know her own mind.
Assume that your friend is intelligent enough to have given it a lot of thought and investigated properly in order to reach the decision she feels is best for her in her situation.
But Jean - she does want a man. All she has ever wanted is marriage and children, it's been her focus since she was about 16. I feel quite sad that she has given up on this dream, she told me that nobody will ever want to be with her and so she's just going straight for sperm donation. I think I was worried that if I did act all positive it would be like I was agreeing with her and saying, "Yeah, you're right, you are never going to find someone," and I don't believe that. That's why I told her she still had time to meet someone, I was trying to encourage her not to think so negatively of herself.
"We hear so many women now not having children until their late 30's and into their 40's and it being perfectly fine,"
And we also hear about women who never found their 'Mr Right' and about women who were never able to conceive.
How can you possibly know into which group your friend will fall?
So let her do both independently of the other - have the baby whilst continuing to look for a man. They aren't mutually exclusive.
And it's very sad that she feels that way, but if she feels she may never have marriage and children, why should she have neither?
And maybe she will meet someone. And maybe they will have kids. And maybe that will happen if she moves her focus away from it and maybe it won't. But if the marriage+kids never happens, she will be a mother because that was something she wanted and which she could choose all by herself, and it is one half of the dream you say she has had for most of her life.
I feel quite sad that she has given up on this dream, she told me that nobody will ever want to be with her and so she's just going straight for sperm donation
But it's not a dream, it's real life not a fairy tale. She's being realistic about her situation at her age.
Ironically jean she doesn't agree with 'alternative' family set-ups. For example, she doesn't think that a woman who has a child should then go on to have another child with another man if she and the father split up. She doesn't agree with blended families, step children, half brothers and sisters etc. She sees family as 'mom, dad and their children in the same happy household' and that anything else isn't fair on the children.
Hence another reason why her announcement took me by surprise.
What JeanSeberg said.
YABVU - just because she wants to be a mother now doesn't mean she will never have a relationship again.
I hate the phrase Mr Right.
You feel quite sad? Try thinking about how she feels.
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