Life is a journey. Being an entrepreneur is a journey. Being single is a journey. Choosing not to bend to today's social pressures of becoming a single mom is a journey.
So why am I still single and NOT a Mom? I wasn't always single. I was married for 12 years, and was with my ex for 16. I had a great life. I was one of the very few in my milieu who was married. I was a young bride. I delayed having children because I had things I wanted to accomplish before "settling down". When I finally was ready (and actually got pregnant), I was in for a rude awakening. My husband was not into kids after all. Luckily for him, and tragically for me, I lost the pregnancy. Several months later, he walked out. Months after that, we were divorced.
At first I was very angry. He refused to talk things out with me. He was by a nature a coward, and didn't like confrontation or conflict of any kind. He wasn't one for revealing his feelings. I got divorced in the dark. It plagued me for years not knowing the "why"s. At first I couldn't even imagine ever dating. Then that changed, and I dated. I no longer moved in the same social circles or work environment. Most of my good friends were no longer in New York City, and most that were still around dropped me like a hot potato. Now I was the only single one, and they were either married or in relationships. Making strong bonds later in life is difficult. Your friends are just about all women, they're single, and they become your competition in all facets of your life. They are all going after the same things you are, especially men. They become select about when they want to socialize with you, and believe me, it's a slim proposition! And the men, they steer clear unless they are single themselves and totally "into you". In other words, there's no such thing as a friendship with a man of value who shares your values. But isn't that what friendship is all about? The chances of meeting someone appropriate for me and whom I could envision sharing the rest of my life with, were (and still are) very slim. With the passing of each year, I began to realize that I most probably wasn't going to meet anyone who was marriage material and with whom I could have a child. I knew some middle aged, single women who opted for in vitro fertilization, and were happy with their choice. I considered and reconsidered this, but in the end, chose not to take that path.
Ok, so for a modern woman, and I do consider myself one, I can be a bit "old-fashioned". I was raised to believe that one had children with someone you love, not a stranger's sperm, not via a surrogate. I put adoption in another category, because there are so many children out there without parents who are in need of and deserve families. I chose not to go there, because I didn't think I would be able to raise a child alone, and frankly, I just didn't want to! Again, I believed, and still believe, that a child should have two parents who love each other in the picture. I just never found the right guy again, but one couldn't say that I didn't try. Once upon a time, being in a relationship or getting married was the popular and accepted "solution" to a woman's "problems". I'll tell you a secret: it wasn't and isn't.
Yes, as a single woman gets older, it's hard to maintain a fulfilling social life. Oftentimes, it's non-existent, unless she works at changing the mind sets of those around her. Yes, it's very difficult, but not impossible. Other societal disruptions have taken place and stuck. It's time that the childless single woman openly owns and embraces her status. It's also time that she openly seek the communal support she needs to forge ahead. It's never easy to ask for help. Ever notice that it's easier to give than to ask? Not everyone will give the answer one wants to hear, but how else will one know who will if one doesn't ask?
I'm not saying that women shouldn't undergo in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, or adoption. Do what makes you happy. I'm just saying that one shouldn't succumb to societal pressures. Stick to your beliefs and convictions and seek out those that share them. Most important, be true to yourself. It's only then that great things can happen!
There are many different ways to have children in your life without going through the "regular channels". Become a mentor to a child, teenager, or young adult. Help your siblings or friends with their kids. Become a teacher. Or perhaps you'll be lucky enough to meet a great single guy who has kids. And so on.
One reason why LetsBSocial was born.
This post was originally published on the LetsBSocial Singles Community and Support Network September 3, 2014. The Community has since been "deactivated" due to lack of interest and heavy opportunity cost on my part, but I still feel there is much to discuss on the topic and will continue to write about such content here going forward. It is a topic of which I have much experience and continue to care about a lot.