How I Ended Up as a Single Mother

It seems that every story I read about a single mother starts with some terrible heartache.  An abusive relationship, a man who wasn’t all he seemed, a period of domestic bliss followed some time later by a bitter divorce.

Well, I’m not here to tell you another one of those stories.  My story of single motherhood is one of hope.

Life didn’t quite work out for me in the way I had planned.  You know how the story is supposed to go: graduate from university, find a job, find a partner, get married, settle down.

That was what I thought would happen to me.  The problem was, it didn’t.

The story of how I became a single parent doesn’t have a clear beginning.  I wasn’t abandoned, and no one walked out on me.  It was a decision that I came to slowly, over a period of time. Sometimes I think it was always meant to be this way, that I have the child I was always meant to have, that he had been waiting for me as though babies wait in some sort of limbo to be born, like little cherubs with wings, but I’m not that fatalistic.  We are the results of all our choices, and I will start mine with a brief thought I had back in 2005, whilst watching the announcement of the Olympics being awarded to London.  It was the briefest of thoughts, just a little flutter that went across my mind about what I wanted the future to look like, and it was a future where I was sat in a sunny stadium, watching the Olympics, with a baby on my knee.

I wouldn’t say I made it my immediate mission.  2012 was still seven years away.  I was not even 25, and about to move to London and start a PGCE.  My future career was only just coming into focus, and I was as single as ever.  I still am.

Time went on and despite my best efforts, the dream of marriage and children eluded me.  In 2011, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant and then lost the baby at 12 weeks.  The shock of that miscarriage stayed with me.  The thought that all of a sudden my future was going to be a certain way-and then it wasn’t.  I spent nights wondering if this was the beginning of the end.  Was it my last chance?  Was I too old now?  Was I menopausal?  Was this going to happen again, like it did to Queen Anne who had seventeen pregnancies and no surviving children?  Was I going to end up alone and unfulfilled, some kind of fairytale villain taking her bitterness out on the world by sapping the happiness of others?  One night in 2012, after the Olympics had been and gone and I still didn’t have my husband, children or my happy ever after I did what any sane woman would do.  I GOOGLED MY OVARIES.

Armed with a report from the Early Pregnancy Unit at my local hospital, I pored over the alleged sizes of my ovaries.  This had to mean something, and with help from my trusty friend Dr Google, I was going to find out what.  I wanted answers, facts, something scientific to grasp onto about why this had happened, and a reassurance that it wasn’t going to happen again.  Google would give me the answers.

It did mean something, Dr Google pronounced.  It meant I was on the verge of menopause.  My ovaries had shrunk to the size of someone ten years older than me.  It was the beginning of the end.  If I didn’t do something soon, I would have no ovaries left.  I would be EGGLESS.

I immediately booked a ticket to the Fertility Show.

By the time I had attended the Fertility Show, had my fertility tested (the results were, as predicted, not promising.  Never let it be said that Dr Google doesn’t have its uses) and perused the offerings of various sperm banks I had made up my mind.

My adventures in fertility treatment were mercifully short, as such things go, but they did encompass enough drugs to stock a small pharmacy, shocking amounts of money and an extremely curious courier, not to mention the sheer terror of the whole thing actually working.

In some ways, being a single parent is hard.  You have one income, and one person to rely on.  The thoughts about what would happen if anything happened to you go round your head, but those feelings are hardly unique to single parents.  Nor, for that matter, is a single income.  In other ways, however, being a single parent is amazing.  I may not have the traditional family unit, but it’s amazing what you can achieve with determination, love and a hefty dose of modern technology.

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50 Comments Add yours

  1. Amazing adventure! I like to google most things against my better judgement 🙂

    1. Min says:

      Thanks! Yes it’s so tempting isn’t it? I think Google as pretty much made any kind of real life expertise redundant.

  2. Hannah G says:

    Google is like my best friend! I think you made an amazing, exciting and brave decision, what a wonderful way to bring a child into this world. I’m so glad that in todays world women have a choice of when they are ready/ want to become a mother, and don’t have to wait for the ‘right’ partner to come along #Abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say!

  3. Mrs Mum NZ says:

    Good on you! I am very lucky in that I got the career and the husband. But I’ve thought about what I would have done had I not. (Single friends triggered these thoughts) And I honestly think I’d have done the same as you. It’s great to hear of such a lovely story. #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thank you. I realised I wanted a baby more than a husband really, and I was just looking at men as potential babyfathers. It was definitely a good decision for me.

  4. PinkPearBear says:

    Wow! You are amazing. I think what you have done has taken extreme bravery and your little cherub, (I also like to think of a whole host of teeny babies waiting somewhere for their time. I tell my children that before they were born, they were stars waiting to come down!), will always know just how wanted they were and how much love and effort went into bringing them into the world. #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say. I hope Piglet will feel that way!

  5. Kate Holmes says:

    What a lovely life-affirming post. Something tells me you are doing a great job and I like the way you write mixing humour with the serious stuff

  6. Sam Kersley says:

    I take my hat off to you, I’m married with a 20 month old boy and I find it hard some days with my Husband’s help and here you are doing it on your own. Talk about being superwoman. My parents divorced when I was young me and my brother lived with my mum So I know of the scarafices you have to make when your a single parent. #bestandworst

    1. Min says:

      Thanks-I’m no superwoman. In fact I’m working on a post right now that certainly dispels that myth! I’m living with my mum at the moment and she helps out a lot so I am lucky that I do have family support.

  7. I was always desperate to have kids and had made a promise to myself to do it alone by age 30 if I it hadn’t happened already. Good for you for taking control of a scary situation.

    #fartglitter

  8. It’s amazing sometimes how things work out isn’t it – and how you can have a flash into the future. Sounds an amazing story and nice to know that not all single mums are borne out of traumatic events #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      Thank you, yes some of us are single mums by choice. If I had been able to choose my destiny, I would have preferred to do things the traditional way, but things are pretty good as they are.

  9. laura dove says:

    Wow good for you. Too many of us sit around thinking what if and if only, and before you know it life has passed us by and we have never achieved our dreams. You sound like an amazing Mummy and your baby is lucky to have been so wanted, many are not that lucky. Thanks for sharing. #fabfridaypost

  10. What an incredible story! It’s amazing what good old Dr Google can do for you and you paint a very positive pictures for anyone in a similar position. It’s a tough job being a parent and being alone must be tougher so good on you. I’m always in awe of anyone going alone. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    1. Min says:

      Thank you for hosting and commenting! I’m lucky that I do get a lot of support from family. Without it I would find things a lot more difficult. x

  11. Your baby is lucky to have a mum who is smart and determined enough to persue her dream of having a child in a non traditional way. Its a fabulous story and I thank you for sharing it, Tracey xx #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      That’s a lovely comment Tracey, thank you very much. x

  12. Amazing what you can achieve when you’re determined! I often thought that’s what I would do if I hadn’t have met my husband when I did because I knew I wanted to be a mother above all else. It’s great to hear your story. Thanks for linking up to #showandtell

    1. Min says:

      Thanks for hosting and commenting!

  13. You are such a strong women and so brave! I’m so sorry for your loss. Piglet is such a lucky boy to have you as his mummy. You have everything he needs. He will grow up to be such a wonderful boy. I admire your courage and I think Piglet will be so proud of you too. Thank you for linking up with us again Min. What a wonderful post. xx #FabFridayPost

    1. Min says:

      Thank you. I hope he does grow up to be lovely-I worry so much about him, but I think that’s the same for everyone! Thanks for hosting and commenting. xx

  14. Gosh I didn’t expect that conclusion! I can honestly say I would never have thought to do that. It just wouldn’t have dawned on me but I think that’s because of different outlook. So I would have been destined to childless spinsterhood if I hadn’t met my hubby! I nearly fell apart when he’d be away for 2 months at a time over a 2 year period and I had the 3 kids who were all really young. Definitely couldn’t cope with single mummydom long term. But it’s a matter of what we’re used to and what we’ve chosen. You’re made of strong stuff. #abitofeverything

    1. Min says:

      I think it is what we’re used to. When I was pregnant I had a bit of a mini freak-out one day at work worrying that I wouldn’t be able to cope, and some women I worked with who were or had been single mums said that I would just get on with it, because that’s just what you do, and they were totally right. Now I’ve moved in with my mum and I can’t remember how I coped when it was just me and Piglet as my mum is so brilliant and does loads of childcare.

  15. Emma says:

    Such a postive, empowering post. Your baby is very lucky to have you :- )#justanotherlinky

  16. Miranda says:

    Children are a blessing, no matter how they come about. I know single parents that are amazing, I know babies born into 2 parent homes that are well-rounded, and then I know parents who seem like they have it all together but they are really falling apart. I don’t know why I said all that, just to say that as long as a child has love, whether from single mom, single dad, married, divorced, whatever parents, love is all that matters. And it sounds like you have that and you are doing an amazing job!!! Congratulations to you for knowing you wanted a baby and making it happen. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! I totally agree, love is all that matters.

  17. Having been through cycles of fertility treatment to have our first child I know that it isn’t an easy option and how the drugs can affect you too – it was a brave decision and one to be proud of. Your son is lucky to have a strong, determined mama! Thanks for linking up this amazing story at #sharethejoy and hope to see you again next week x

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! I’ve just found out about this linky-will join up again. Thanks for hosting and commenting. x

  18. Debbie says:

    Hi Min, being a parent is never easy, but being a single one must be testing. I like how your dream started and how you were determined enough to follow that dream and make it a reality. Good on you.

    xx

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! It isn’t easy, but parenting never is. Everyone has their challenges, and I think for a lot of single parents, one of the biggest ones is trying to co-parent with an ex-partner who you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with. At least that’s one issue I don’t have. xx

  19. Loved reading this, makes a refreshing change from other single mum’s stories. Husbands are over rated anyway 😉 xx #justanotherlinky

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! Yes, being a single mum can be a positive choice. It was for me anyway. It isn’t easy, but parenting never is no matter what the cirumstances. Thanks for commenting! x

  20. Rach says:

    Wow. I found this post as I read another post of yours from #bigpinklink and I’m glad I did. What an incredible and interesting story. So positive and insightful.

  21. Life as Mum says:

    Oh wow how amazing! Well done you
    Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky

  22. Good on you and I think you are an inspiration for doing it on your own! Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    1. Min says:

      Thank you-and thanks for hosting!

  23. Super interesting! Glad I read this post! Congrats to facing that period in your life and prevailing! Look at how far you got. So cool. Best wishes!

  24. Gela says:

    really interesting post and inspiring that you took control of the situation and didn’t let your dream of having a baby slip through your fingers. My single parent tale is more ‘conventional’ (sort of) but I think our situation was somehow meant to be.

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