I was never one of those girls who had a ton of boyfriends. But just because I didn’t find the right man, is choosing to become a parent on your own a selfish decision?
Toward the end of my four years of college, I met the man who I would eventually marry a couple years later. My life was going exactly as I had planned – note to self: stop trying to plan your life! I had it all! I was 23 years old, had my master’s degree, a great job, and a large, two-bedroom apartment (you, too, can live large on $23,000 a year in Canton, OH!). In another year, I would begin the family I’ve always dreamed of. This was perfect. I really wanted to be a young parent and grow up with my children, as my parents had with me – as it turns out, I’m not sure I will be able to keep my lunch down if my son makes me ride all those spinny rides at the amusement park that I used to love as a kid. But after only a year of marriage, we filed for divorce.
I was the first of my friends to be married and the first to get divorced. Nobody quite knew how to react to me, so they just stayed away. It was quite a lonely time. Thank G-d for self-help books! I went through every exercise in the book, cried for a month straight, and then moved on. It took me twelve years to be in another relationship, which then only lasted four months. TWELVE YEARS!!! Twelve years of being set up, of online dating, speed dating, planning singles events, joining singles’ clubs and even interviewing with a matchmaker. You name it, I tried it. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it felt like work, and after a while, it just got really tiring. For a while, I gave up dating completely and decided I was happy being single. But I really wasn’t.
I finally met someone and was honest with him up front and let him know I was looking to get married and have children soon. Usually the kiss of death, but I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. After a year into our relationship and not being any closer to the end goal, we called it quits. Turns out, he wasn’t so interested in marriage, and although in his forties, wasn’t in a rush for children either.
Let’s face it, women in their 30’s and 40’s who want children are like ticking time-bombs, and men don’t seem to want any part of that. Talk about pressure!
So, in late 2007, I decided immediately that I would go after my dream of having a baby…alone. I had thought about this a few times in years prior, but wanted to give the “fairy tale” one more try. You know, the one with the smokin’ hot, loving husband AND the beautiful family. Since that clearly wasn’t working out for me, it was time to take matters into my own hands.
I wondered if my child would hate me or if my decision to parent on my own was a selfish one, but in the end, I hoped that my love for my child would overcome these obstacles. Since having children has always been my biggest dream in life, I went for it! At the time, I lived in a small, one-bedroom condo, (that’s what happens when you move from Canton, OH, to the big city) but figured out how to utilize every space to fit everything I would need. It would be tight for a while, but I’d make it work. So, off I went!
Next Up: I’m not in Kansas anymore! Coming on March 15th.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you been there…30-40 years old, dating and knowing you need to have children ASAP? How did YOU handle the situation? Were you up front or did you play it cool for a while?
Until next time,