FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Having a baby on my own

EllieC
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi all, 27 year old woman here

Earlier this year I suddenly decided I wanted to have a baby. I'm not exaggerating by saying 'suddenly', I visited a friend in hospital after she gave birth and met her new little one, and in the space of that afternoon went from not really having any interest to desperately wanting to become a mum. Several months later this feeling has gotten stronger if anything. I think about being pregnant, the excitement of waiting to welcome a new life into the world, getting to hold my baby for the first time, looking at them and being so in love with them and proud of them.

The catch is that I'm not currently in a relationship. I haven't been for a couple of years now, in fact. So there's no obvious candidate for a father. At my age it's not like my biological clock is running down, so I know that I could wait, see if I meet somebody I want to take that step with in the coming years, and look at other options if that doesn't pan out in time.

I don't know if I want to wait that long though? It's just a really powerful longing I have. It's 2018, there are medical options like donor sperm for women who want to have a child and don't have a partner. I wonder though if I would be missing out on the opportunity to share that joy with someone I love? And whether my child might feel like there's something missing because they don't have a father - not just no father in their life, but not even a father than I could name or tell them anything about?

Anyway, I know that in the end this is a decision I have to make for myself, but I'm wondering if anybody has any input... has anybody gone the route of having a baby on your own, or waited for a partner and been glad you did, or grown up not knowing anything about one of your parents and felt like it negatively affected you? Any thoughts in general about becoming a parent or the desire to have a child (or lack thereof, if thats the case for you)?

Any thoughts appreciated

Ellie

12 Replies 12

blondguy
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Ellie

Thankyou for the important thread topic. This would be a difficult time to be going through with all the points you have mentioned above.

I will find a colleague/member(s) that can offer some helpful support and/or a chat 🙂

We will post back as soon as we can

my kind thoughts for you

Paul

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello EllieC, I was going to reply to your first comment but thankfully Paul has already.

There is the option of having IVF by yourself, rather than wait for someone to come along and form a relationship, however, this costs you money.

Babies are beautiful and of course, they grow up, costing the parent/s a great deal of money for food, clothes, education, cars and the list goes on, and when we have a baby all we can see is love and joy, proudly taking them everywhere you go, but we never think about how well they will behave or whether we will still have a relationship with them later on in life, that's always blocked and something we never think of that may happen.

They could well and truly be successful wouldn't that be lovely and help us when we get older, so all of this is not thought of when we want to have a child.

Just remember there is so much we don't think of when having a baby.

Can I suggest you go and talk to your doctor.

Waiting for someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, would be the best choice but sometimes people want to have a baby hoping that this will help them overcome a problem, unfortunately, it doesn't.

I would like to continue this if you want to.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

White_Rose
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Ellie

A very warm welcome to the forum. This is an important topic for many people which is good to discuss here. Thank you for your insights.

A friend of mine has a young son who was conceived via donor sperm. She decided it was time as unlike you her biological clock was running down. She is a strong, resilient woman who has the support of her family, all living reasonably close. She also had a good job, by which I mean she enjoyed her work and was reasonably well paid. All of these factors as far as I know were considerations for having a child on her own. She went into this with much thought and planning.

It sounds pretty clinical I know but it was important to for her to feel both the baby and her would manage well, as far as one can make that prediction. I know there are many single moms out there, all single for various reasons and they cope in varying degrees. I think it is important that, as far as possible, you have sufficient resources to manage. Many single moms thought they had a loving relationship in which to bring up children but for whatever reason find themselves caring for their children alone.

This is different for you as you can make plans, look at your financial security, know you have support for example if you are unwell and someone needs to take care of baby. Or if baby is unwell and you need time off from work. These are not huge barriers but they need consideration.

I offer these comments for your consideration. As you say, it's your decision. I do not know how long it has been since you to decide you would like a baby but please take a step back and consider how you will manage. Give yourself time to be certain. You said there was no rush.

Having a child with a partner sounds great and in general this is how it works out. I am sure you know marriages do not always work out and mom becomes a single mom and copes well. These days there is no guarantee. My friend wrote a little book for her son about growing up without a dad. The book talked about not knowing about the father and the questions you have raised.

I'm sorry I cannot tell you where to get a copy as I understand there were only a few printed. However you can do the same. I think from memory her book was the size of a Golden Book, which I'm sure you remember from your childhood. It had lots of pictures and was written with the help of her son.

Give yourself time and if the need to be a mom continues I wish you all the joy of having a baby.

Mary

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Ellie thanks for this very interesting and important topic.

Geoff and Mary have written very thoughtful comments with many points to consider.

As you say you do have time on your side and it is ultimately your decision.

I wonder if you have mentioned or will mention this to your family or is is still an idea you are contemplating and have not yet gone into the practicalities.

There are no guarantees in life and relationships.

I know a woman who became pregnant soon after meeting a man and they married had children and the marriage lasted for over 25 years.

I know someone who did not plan to be a single mum but decided to keep her baby when she found out she was pregnant and her son had a relationship with his father in his teens.

Sometimes even though things are unplanned they can work out and sometimes people who plan things well, find things don’t really go the way they planned.

I agree with. Are that you have time, to work out what you want.

How would you feel if you waited a year or two and seeing how you feel then?

I can understand how you felt after seeing your friend’s baby and it is a very special time seeing a new baby and it can evoke many emotions. I wonder if you are watching your friend’s baby grow and sharing in that delight.

I became a grandmother for the first time a few months ago and the emotions that holding a new born baby brought out in me were so strong .

Thanks again for honestly sharing your story.

Quirky

EllieC
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks everyone

I want to take a step back and clarify a few things, because obviously my first post made me sound ridiculously irresponsible

1. I am quite aware that there are positives and negatives to having a child. I listed just the good points about having one in my post because I was explaining why I wanted to have a child. I’m hardly going to say “I want a baby because they’re expensive and they poop and take a lot of responsibility”. I have considered all of those and more though

2. I’m not considering going out and getting inseminated tomorrow, I’m not rushing into it that much. I just struggle... it’s a good 10+ years before I could realistically say I’m running out of time biologically. If in 2-3 years time I still feel this way and still haven’t met somebody, could I start looking into artificial means then? Or should I force myself to spend potentially another decade childless just so I can say I waited as long as I could for a partner?

3. I am financially stable. I have a home, I have savings, I have a well paying job in a stable industry with enough experience and qualifications that I could take time out from the workplace and come back in or move into a role with more flexible hours. I have a large supportive family, I work in a maternity hospital so I’ve already picked up some baby care skills from hearing and reading the education our midwives provide. I have anxiety, but it has been very well controlled for a couple of years now. I say all of this not to boast, but to point out that I am certainly better prepared than a lot of new mums for the practicalities of child rearing.

It is difficult for me to see so many friends and relatives have children or announce their pregnancies over the last year. I am so happy for them, genuinely, and adore their children, but there’s always that jealousy and that sense of “why can they have this but not me? What’s wrong with me?”

I couldn’t explain the feeling to somebody who isn’t a woman or hasn’t wanted a baby that much. The instinct is biological, everything in your mind and body is telling you to have a baby and you feel that sense of longing through your whole body.

Hi Ellie,

Your first post didn't sound irresponsible to me, I got where you were coming from.

I don't know that my situation would provide any of the insights you're looking for but as a mum I thought perhaps I could add something different.

I married the first time at 27 and didn't particularly feel an overwhelming desire to have kids but realised pretty quickly that my husband was not the sort of man I would want as a father. Fast forward 3 years, we separated. A year after that and I found a man that is increadably caring and loving, someone I thought would be a great father. It took me a while longer though to actually decide that's what I wanted.

I was 33/34 during our first pregnancy and am 35/36, about to give birth again. He is everything I had hoped for as a husband and father. I have had high anxiety and post natal depression, and he has depression, we don't have much of a support network. Together we have coped very well.

One thing I would say that I feel is relevant to your situation is that being an older mum is tough on the body. This second pregnancy has knocked me about physically. I guess it's luck of the draw and I'm not the most fit, but just because you can doesn't mean your body is up for the joys of pregnancy. Nobody tells you about the nitty gritty stuff. I wish I was 10 years younger, even 5 years.

When it comes to the raising of the baby, I could not have coped without my hubby, but as mentioned we don't have a support network I can call on.

Of course I am not rushing you. I just wanted to point out 2 things so you could consider them amongst everything else; things can change a lot in a few short years, so as you've said you have time to not rush anything. At your age, I was marrying for the first time, and I've had a 3 year marraige, divorce, remarried and am about to have a second baby since then. Secondly, pregnancy and parenting gets harder with age. To give you an idea, a first time pregnancy at over 35 is automatically considered higher risk in our health system. You've got plenty of time before then, but just keep that in mind.

I hope this perspective has been helpful.

Hello Ellie

Please accept my apologies for misunderstanding you. It did sound as though you wanted a baby pretty much straight away so thank you for the clarifying information.

To see others happy in the way we want to be is hard. I feel it sounds like jealousy when you are surrounded by family and friends with babies and toddlers. However it's not the description I would give. Jealousy is nasty and demanding, wanting what others have. I cannot see that in you. Longing yes, but you care for the various little ones around you. You share in the joy of others who have children even though you ache to hold your own baby. That shows what a great person you are.

Your post did not show you as irresponsible, only that you had a need. I cannot speak for anyone else but for me it seemed you were moving quite fast, hence the suggestion that you wait a while. I sincerely apologise for mistaking you.

In spite of the answers you received I hope you will stay here and post for a while.

Mary

EllieC
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi again,

Despite my rather defensive response, I really want to thank all of you for replying. I did ask for everyone’s thoughts and I didn’t really explain myself well in my first post. I genuinely appreciate you all wanting me to have the best chance at success with being a good Mum and finding happiness.

You’re all lovely and I hope that when I have a child they will grow up surrounded by people with as much kindness and wisdom

x Ellie

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Ellie

Thanks for your replies and your honesty. This format has its limitations and there can be misunderstandings.

That biological urge is one I know and when I became pregnant in my 20s unexpectedly I had a lot of pressure on me because I had bipolar. I knew I wanted the baby and could cope.

I know this is different from your situation by that urge and knowing it what you want is very strong.

Thanks for your kind words.

Quirky