Here I am, just shy of a month after my 33rd birthday, and I have made the bold and wonderful decision to become a “Single Mother By Choice” (SMBC) a.k.a “Choice Mum”.
This is a decision I have had in the back of my mind for years. I always wanted a family while I was young so I envisioned myself getting married and having kids in my mid-20s – 2, maybe 3 – and if that doesn’t work out I’ll go to a sperm bank or adopt a baby when I’m 30. I had it all planned out. But life doesn’t give a toss about what you have planned. So, when my mid-20s came and went, and that plan hadn’t worked out, I thought “no worries” I’ll just re-plan. I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of a husband and happily ever after, so I decided to give myself more time “If I am still single at 35 then I’ll go to a sperm bank” (I felt adoption was ruled out by a medical condition but more on that later).
The part of my new plan I didn’t count on was my biological clock starting to tick so LOUDLY so early.
So I forged ahead with a relationship with someone I knew deep down that I clearly wasn’t compatible when I was 28 in the rush to avoid the dreaded prospect of being single with no man when I turned 30 – he was my “last chance”. When that went wrong I had a bit of a melt down, then took a couple of years out to work on myself.
At 32 I was starting to hear that ticking again, so I rushed into another relationship doomed to fail with “baby goggles” firmly affixed. This time I realised much earlier that this guy was (a) not really compatible with me, and (b) nowhere near ready to settle down and become a father; but I convinced myself that by some form of a miracle he’d change and I wondered whether, even if he didn’t, I could stay with him just to achieve my goals of marriage and motherhood by 35. Yeah right! It lasted 8 months, the last 4 of which were beyond turbulent.
When we (inevitably) split up a friend set to me “Don’t worry, you have plenty of time to have a baby. Just put yourself back out there, date, but don’t have an agenda“. That’s when it hit me. I can’t do that. I’ve reached that point where if I were to embark on another relationship I’d just be looking for a glorified sperm donor because, as it is right now, I want a baby more than I’d want the man.