Social Question

JilltheTooth's avatar

Single Mothers By Chioce: What are your experiences with your adult children?

Asked by JilltheTooth (19692points) July 28th, 2010

By Single Mothers by Choice, I mean anyone choosing to have and raise a child alone, whether via a sperm bank, known donor, traditional “surprise” method or adoption. I’d love to hear your take on how it was to raise her/him/them to adulthood.

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17 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

My mother did this (at least that what she told me lol). It was a constant struggle for her, she said when I started growing up, she underestimated how much food I would start eating. She had to work a lot of course, she didn’t have a degree or good jobs, she is just now finally going back to college. So essentially, unless you have a great job, it is just extremely diffucult.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Blackberry: Kudos to your Mom! I was financially secure and my daughter didn’t eat THAT much and I still found it hard, even with the best kid in the world but I’m not at all biased ;-) From what I’ve seen of you here you seem OK, even, dare I say it, fine, so she wins an award or two. Or you do. Or somebody does.

ninahenry's avatar

Since this is in the social section I’ll give some input, although my mum was not single ‘by choice’ – Unless you can afford childcare whilst you carry on working, it is very difficult financially, like @Blackberry said. I’d also try to get good childcare rather than just a baby sitter, i.e. someone in it for a long time, reliable, who would like to bond with the child and help them develop. Effectively, you wouldn’t be parenting the child alone as they’d need other connections and role models around them.

It can be done, it just costs twice as much, but any parent needs to think about finance and whether they are mentally and physically capable to look after a child before doing so, whether they are single or in a parenting couple. I wish any one good doing this good luck and a lot of love and to seek support from friends and family rather than taking it upon themselves entirely alone.

Were you referring to this organisation by the way?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ninahenry : I’ve already done it as you may have guessed by now and you hit on exactly the advice I give to the people who ask me about it. Good call. We didn’t have a branch of the “official” group in Seattle at the time so we started our own, but I understand the official group is very good and has been around for a long time. I recommend them to anyone who’s even toying with the idea.

ninahenry's avatar

@JilltheTooth wow! good on you for starting your own! I hope there’s something just as good in the UK and other countries. Support systems are crucial for everything :)

Austinlad's avatar

Here’s a male’s pespective from one who for several years served as pseudo-surrogate dad to single mom’s young daughter and since had watched her grow to young adulthood. Having chosen not to marry, the Mom (and this is only my opinion) was far too indulgent with the girl—and she (the girl) became (and again, only my opinion) far too dependent on her mother for things I believed she needed to do for herself, even at a very eqarly age. Mom would let daughter even go outside their apartment alone when daughter was 12. At 23, she now lives away from home, but it’s as if they were still living together, calling each other constantly to discus the girl’s “problems” (things I think she should be solving herself. I also watched the Mother get herself into terrible financial trouble because she had no second income—and so many of her expenses were for things her daughter throw hissyfits to have. Don’t get me wrong. Mom was a good mother in many, many ways and took wonderful care of her daughter. I admired her for that. I just think the single parent approach undermined her daughter’s sense of self reliance.

ninahenry's avatar

@Austinlad yeah, I guess it can be difficult to draw the line between what is too close and not close enough! A mother should be a mother, not a best friend, otherwise the child will be dependent on them too much. This may be out of guilt for not ‘providing’ a father figure, or out due to the amount of time they spend together but it’s certainly crucial to get the role right. Good point to bring up from your experience.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Austinlad : what you’ve described sounds very like many relationships I know that are from 2 parent families as well. My daughter and I are still very close but I honestly can say she’s never had a hissy fit at least with me and her sense of self-reliance is beyond most her age.

JilltheTooth's avatar

ANY parent needs to know to be a parent first and foremost and the friend thing can happen also…

ninahenry's avatar

@JilltheTooth that is true, I guess it’s just more likely to happen in a single mother-daughter relationship as they’d probably spend more alone time with the child than a mother from a 2 parent relationship.

Are there any single fathers by choice out there too?

Blackberry's avatar

@JilltheTooth I don’t know how she did it, either. Thanks :)

ninahenry's avatar

@Blackberry d’awwwwwww bless you, sweetness!

Austinlad's avatar

Thanks for that input, @JilltheTooth, and kudos to you.

Austinlad's avatar

@ninahenry , thanks for the response. I know it’s a tough road, and I can’t tell you how much rspect I have—no, AWE—for parents, single and otherwise.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wow. First time here as a jelly and I’m already delighted with all of you. I can see an addiction forming…
Deliberately doing the single parent thing should be well thought out and planned. In other words, it’s always a crap shoot! Wanna make God laugh? Make plans!

ninahenry's avatar

Welcome! waving a tentacle in your direction.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ninahenry Thanks! By the way, I’ll bet if you contacted the SMC group they could probably tell you if there’s a comparable group in the UK.

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