Maybe one of the most difficult things about being a Choice Mom is telling people what I’m going to do and being met with confusion, doubt and the inevitable prompt to explain (read justify) my decision.
It’s not like I just woke up one morning and decided that this was the path of my dreams. I’ve struggled most of my adolescent and adult life to balance romance with school/sports/work. I know that, if I found someone I was truly compatible with, co-parenting would be much easier. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a foster parent, it’s that being the only person in the room is not always to your advantage. Sure, it can help with structural consistency and continuity of message, but it sucks when you’re literally the only person in the house to be mad at.
Still, I go back, time and time again, to the personal truth that I have so much more desire and drive to be a mother than I do to be a partner at this point in my life. And, that makes dating very front loaded. Too front loaded, apparently for relationships to survive for more than a few months.
So, in order to continue on this path without succumbing to fear, I’ve started to cultivate why it is I want to be a Choice Mom, rather than see this decision as some kind of backup plan. Because it’s not, it’s actually exactly what I’ve been asking the universe for most of my life. I’d just grown up in a society that subtly and not so subtly drives home the notion that in order to be a mother, you first have to have a relationship, and more traditionally, a man.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I want to be a mother more than I’m currently interested in a romantic relationship.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I never want my child to become a bargaining chip in a failed relationship.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I’m ready to be a mother now and I don’t need anyone else to make me better/more prepared.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because being a mother should not require anyone else’s permission.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I’ve been clear for most of my life that being a mother, having someone who takes precedence over me, will bring out the absolute best in who I am and what I’m capable of.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I know that the most challenging moments of my life have been the ones that have helped me grow the most.
- I want to be a Choice Mom because I think that soothing this drive within me to be a parent will actually make me a better partner to someone in the future. When the fear of running out of time has abated, I will be better able to be present as a partner.
Obviously, these reasons are very personal and they even change from day to day, challenge to challenge. I’ll also say that I want to be a mother now because I know that my parents are both in unstable health, and it’s important to me that their ability to meet their grandchild is not limited by my ability to successfully date. We are a tribe. I can do this now. I want this now. I want them to be a part of my child’s life for as long as they possibly can.
So, why be a Choice Mom?
Because I WANT.