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Did anyone here choose to be a lone parent?

(39 Posts)
timetobeme Thu 08-Sep-11 13:45:17

Firstly, this is my first post here so hello to everyone. Secondly, I hope this is the right place to post, I couldn't find the question anywhere else.

Briefly, I am pushing 40 and because of some silly decisions in my past, am very much single and just not meeting men who want to have children. I have wanted to be a mum for a long time, but did not want to go it alone or deprive a child of a father. In the last couple of years I have had flings but felt it would have been wrong to get deliberately pregnant. Because of my age I am now feeling desperate and thinking I may just have to just do this on my own. I am just looking for your thoughts on this.

oldraver Thu 08-Sep-11 13:59:37

Yes. There are quite a few threads about it.

timetobeme Thu 08-Sep-11 14:44:39

Thanks oldraver, I've been trawling through the lone parents board but can't find it. Will keep trawling.

RedDad Thu 08-Sep-11 16:45:46

I guess I did in a way.
I had a brief (2months-ish) relationship that ended & shortly after we discovered we were pregnant. To me there was only ever one choice & that was "to become a parent". Despite the circumstances I was very much thrilled about it & still am now that I have a gorgeous daughter.

The only issue was whether we re-kindled a relationship. We didn't, which in all honesty wasn't my initial choice but hindsight shows that would've been the incorrect choice & has meant that there wasn't a 2nd break-up, something for which I'm thankful of as THAT set of circumstances would've been heartbreaking for a whole new set of reasons.

MitchiestInge Thu 08-Sep-11 16:48:28

do you have full residence of your daughter or is it a shared care type arrangement reddad?

RedDad Thu 08-Sep-11 16:57:51

Well the plan we discussed is for me to have her every other weekend with me where I am currently as a minimum. THis si beginning in the next few weeks when she is 8/9 weeks old so it's all very new.

angrywoman Thu 08-Sep-11 17:02:00

I absolutely do not see why you should not go ahead. Perhaps not even tell the father? You just need to make sure you have support. There are others in exactly the same situation as you for example. I don't believe 'families need fathers' at all, I think it is only an issue if children lose contact with good, loving, reliable fathers. They won't miss what they never had! Also you might want to think about what positive male role models will be around and find some if there are none?
I know a woman who was in your position and married a guy JUST to have a baby! (She ended up leaving him).

timetobeme Thu 08-Sep-11 21:43:50

Thanks for the replies. The big worry now is that is that I need to get cracking and find someone, time is running out, if it hasn't already.

Newbabynewmum Thu 08-Sep-11 22:39:16

I don't think you should use someone to have a baby. If you really want to on your own then have you considered using a donor. I think it's so unethical to almost trick a man into it and not tell him (sorry if this isn't your plan and I've misunderstood).

I am planning on having my second child next year using donor sperm. My DD1 has a (useless) father who I left when she was 2mo so I know I can cope alone.

Just a thought. If you know you definitely want a child it is a better option IMO than rushing a relationship or not even telling the man what you're doing.

littlemum007 Fri 09-Sep-11 00:29:42

Oh God, wake up and smell the bloody roses girl !!! DON'T DO IT - Go and live with a single mum for a week - come here if you like - experience the poverty and the lack of child support from the father and all the rest that goes with it - please post me privately and I'll give you my address - I've a spare bedroom and you can stay home all day with two babies for starters.... For a 40 year old it sounds like you need a bloody wake up call - can't you get a cat or something if you're desperate to take care of something?

PaigeTurner Fri 09-Sep-11 07:10:13

Yes, me. It's hard and grim most of the time (so far, I am only 8 months in, was not in a relationship when I conceived). It's ok I suppose if you have plenty of money and family support, otherwise it's seriously hard work. I mean seriously.

Oh and also, don't count on offers of help from friends, I have found their lives are just too busy in reality.

acrunchieandacupoftea Fri 09-Sep-11 11:11:58

Not by choice no.

But, what do you want a child for?

Where do you work/will they offer family friendly hours?

What have you thought through, in terms of the pros and cons and how you will actually manage on your own?

When you need to get to hospital to give birth?
When you realise at 8pm in the evening that you want some milk from the shop but your child is asleep in bed?
When your child is ill?
When you need to take the day off work for the first day of school?

Not that you can't do it! But there are things to think about and talking to work or finding out how flexible they are would be a good start. smile

electra Fri 09-Sep-11 11:33:15

littlemum - what do you know about the op's financial situation? Single parents are not all poor you know. Sheesh.

My youngest dd (now 2) was conceived during a totally disastrous and abusive relationship that lasted about 8 months. I chose to keep her with the full knowledge that her father would probably never even know her, much less play a role in her upbringing. I am completely sure I did the right thing - she's a lovely little girl and we all adore her. In your shoes I can understand entirely how you feel - would it be easier if you used a sperm donor though?

greenapplechutney Fri 09-Sep-11 11:36:36

I don't worry about the ethical reasons for finding a man just to have a baby with, but rather the power they could hold over you in the future. Once a man has parental responsibility (which they can get pretty easily even if you don't put them on the birth cert), they can stop you from moving away, request contact which can be disruptive to your routine and/or demanding your child travels long distances, interfere with your choices regarding schooling and medical care, disrupting your holiday plans. In practice, it can affect your lifestyle enough to damage any chance of a future relationship. So I'd definitely go for an official sperm donor - you'd also have peace of mind that they'd been tested for STIs and there'd presumably be some background medical checks.

I wasn't exactly a LP by choice but I did end up being a LP from pg. The practical issues raised by crunchie were fairly easily dealt with tbh and although it's been hard work, it's all I've ever known so I don't know how parenting with someone else would be easier. I think it definitely helped that I only have one child and I was a lot younger than you when I had DD, so I didn't feel the effects of the late nights so much.

angrywoman Fri 09-Sep-11 11:42:38

Yes the realities might need research. Have you have much contact with children/ babies? What littlemum says relates how hard singlemumdom can be. Of course it is balanced by the amazingness of being a mum to your child but I don't think people realise how draining it is with or without a partner to help. Wanting to take care of your own child is the most natural and basic instinct and is completely understandable, just make sure you have considered crunchies points.

timetobeme Fri 09-Sep-11 14:39:05

It's precisely because I'm nearly 40 that I am asking for experiences from people that have done this. I am not irresponsible or feckless, but had I known I'd still be single at this stage, perhaps I should have been in the past and I would at least have had youth and energy on my side!
Thank you for all opinions.

MrGin Fri 09-Sep-11 15:12:53

timetobeme I was with the mother of my beautiful dd for about 5 months before she found out she was pregnant. I was 40 she was 41. We were just a bit careless, well a lot careless actually. So we had a conversation, thought it over for a few weeks and agreed that we should go ahead on the understanding that given how new the relationship was we might end up separate.

We did indeed split up eventually, but manage to remain on good terms.

If you'd have asked me before the pregnancy whether I wanted children I would have said no, as much as I like children. I was quite happy living in a nice barn conversion, driving a sports car, working hard and having lots of spare cash.

Now that I have a child, I am skint most of the time ( I managed to hang onto the sports car ) but I have no regrets about being a father. My daughter is the light of my life without a shadow of doubt.

My XP was / is in a very good situation, own home with no mortgage, lots of savings ( and I'm talking six figures ) and a job that pays very well for minimal time.

We manage ok, I'd certainly like to see more of my daughter, but I see her a fair amount, I help out where and when I can, I make a decent contribution towards my dd.

Obviously if you want to have a child you need a man, or more specifically some sperm. You may find a good 'un who even if you're not in a relationship will help out, be responsible and be a good dad, or a bad 'un who will cause you and your child a ton of grief.

But being a parent in your 40's is no bad thing IMO, what you lack in youthful energy you make up for with experience and maturity which your child will benefit from.

ike1 Sat 10-Sep-11 19:55:31

oh bloody do it. its tough but if u want it that badly......

SazZaVoom Sat 10-Sep-11 20:00:41

Go for it. But please use a sperm donor, rather than tricking someone or keeping it from them.

timetobeme Sat 10-Sep-11 23:59:36

Thanks again, taken on board and much appreciated.

happybubblebrain Sun 11-Sep-11 11:39:36

I didn't choose to be a lone parent, but I'm very glad I am.

I really don't think there is anything wrong with choosing to be a lone parent, I think one parent can be just as good as two. In lots of ways it's preferable, not having to deal with a manchild.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 12-Sep-11 21:54:40

I' m a single mum by choice, and would say it's the best decision I've made in my whole life. But it is very hard, especially to start with. I did feel like I was going to sink without trace in teh first 3 months. Fortunately I had very supportive friends and family around me. Advice:

Do your sums - can you afford to buy/rent a 2 bed place? Can you afford childcare? Is your job likely to be ok about time off when your child is sick/ not expecting you to travel for your job/ being ok with you leaving on time to do nursery pick-ups?

I'd advise using donor sperm - far fairer. And ideally go with above-board donation where your child will be able to identify the donor at 18. You won't be able to predict whether knowing his/her ancestry will be a big deal for your child or not, and speaking for myself, I didn't feel that it was my decision to take.

Realise you'll have to get organised (I was the scattiest human on the planet) - you do have to buy milk in bulk etc. 'cos you can't nip out to the shops in the evening.

Pregnancy may feel lonely. Though I don't think you'll have problems finding a birth partner (I had two, my best friend and her wife). And I do sometimes wish I had a partner who felt the same as I did about DS - someone to share his amazingness with (in the sense that all parents feel their children are amazing, not in the sense that I expect uncle tom cobbly and all to feel that way about my child).

BTW, I was 41 when I conceived and 42 when I gave birth!

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

ihatecbeebies Tue 13-Sep-11 10:04:19

GREENAPPLE - you said that a father would easily be able to get parental responsibility without being on the birth certificate. My DP when he was in a relationship with his ex and their DD was born she went to the registry office without telling DP so he couldn't be put on the birth certificate (she was pretty twisted!) and then throughout the next 2 and a half years they were together (living together too if it makes a difference?) she kept saying 'yeah we'll put you on the bcert soon' but never did and now they've split up his lawyer says he has no rights and he can't demand to get put on bcert without her permission. He can't get a DNA test without her permission either and she won't let him see DD, it's been almost a year now since he's seen his little angel. She's severely disabled too so wont ever be able to ask to see DP either or wont be able to go find him when she's older. Have you been in a similar situation or know people that have that could offer us some advice? Has our lawyer got it wrong?

ihatecbeebies Tue 13-Sep-11 10:16:02

Timeto - I suppose I 'chose' to be a lone parent, ex had a really bad drinking problem and would get drunk whilst alone with DS (to the point of even passing out one day in the afternoon leaving a 1 1/2 yr old DS running around with alcohol lying around and his nappy so soiled that it fell off) so I made the decision to leave him. It is hard, very hard, but not as hard as it was living with ex and having an extra person to care for.

Please don't trick a man into having a child (as another poster suggested) this is a horrendous idea, use a sperm donor instead, but go for it if you think you'll be fine financially and emotionally on your own.

I have also now met DP and have a bit of extra support, he leaves the parenting to me but it is such a big difference having someone to talk to when I'm having a hard time with DS. Being a lone parent didn't stop me from being in a relationship again and it shouldn't stand in the way for you either - good luck!

greenapplechutney Tue 13-Sep-11 11:48:05

ihatecbeebies I'm surprised the lawyer said that. Your DP could get a parental responsibility order by applying to the court on form C1. That form doesn't ask anything about DNA tests. I don't know what would happen if the mother denied he was the biological father (paternity wasn't denied in my friend's case), but courts generally do have the power to order a DNA test so perhaps that's what they'd do. It wouldn't change the bcert (I don't know if your lawyer is right in saying that he can't be put on the bcert without the mother's permission). But the PR order would grant all the rights he would get by being put on the bcert, so it's not really necessary.

The mother can put forward reasons why she doesn't think PR should be awarded but the courts would ultimately decide - and it would usually only be in quite extreme circumstances (e.g. evidence of very violent behaviour or child sex offences). (If anything, I think the courts tend to favour the father in these cases, and women who have suffered DV often continue to be manipulated/emotionally abused through contact because they have not been able to show enough evidence of DV).

This is a very good leaflet from the Children's Legal Centre about PR.

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