My mom and I are very close. Our relationship has evolved over the years from parent-child one, to one of mentorship and friendship in equal servings. She is my confidant, my mirror and the one I count on to keep me grounded.
Naturally, her opinion and support are very important to me. And so, when making the decision to become a Choice Mom, sharing that with her was a huge milestone. Telling my mom was, in many ways, finally being able to take ownership of my decision.
Now, these kinds of conversations don’t happen organically. They’re awkward, stilted and inevitably set the person back on their heels. I don’t envy my mom for the shock she got when I finally confessed to her what my plans were. There’s no segue, no opportune moment to say…”Oh yeah, speaking of broccoli, I’ve decided to spend a bunch of money, choose a donor from a sperm back and have an insemination so I can be a mother.”
Telling her was terrifying, not because I thought she’d react badly, but because I knew that she never dreamed that his was how I’d end up starting my own family. She wanted me to have more support, she wanted me to have a partner, someone to have my back, and I knew that telling her was, in my own way, telling her that I’d let go of the idea that any of that was going to happen in the order any of us were hoping for.
Needless to say, we both cried.
“I wish you’d wait.”
“Maybe you could find a friend to be a baby-daddy rather than spending all that money?”
“I wish you were more financially stable.”
Each statement or question ripped my guts out, not because she was being cruel or judgmental. She wasn’t. It hurt so bad because she was saying exactly what I was thinking. Each statement put a voice to my own doubt, my own fear, my own wishes. We both knew that it had never been my dream to be a single mother. I certainly don’t relish the idea of risking my entire savings on this….and it may not even work! Then what?
Never the less, my mind is made up and she’s a good enough mom and friend to know what it looks like when I’ve charted an undelayable course. I’ve waited before. For money, for dating, for stability. And, the only thing I’ve learned from waiting is that it’s filled with nothing but regret. Money comes and goes, so does romance. Stability is an illusion. The only thing real, is today. What you have right here, right now. In this moment.
Women with much less money, support, and stability than me have become phenomenal single mothers. To continue putting off this part of my life in favor of more that so many others will never have any of….sounds like madness to me.
And so I’ll embrace my own version of insanity. Madness by action rather than inaction. And I know she’s got my back. She’ll be there, with me, every step of the way.
And I love her so dearly that the volume of my gratitude brings tears to my eyes.
I love you, Mommy.