When the thought of the reality of maybe becoming a choice mom entered my mind after my divorce at age 34, I had many hesitancies.
It took me over the next 6 years to resolve or manage these concerns before I finally got pregnant with my son Taylor. These hesitancies included; my finances, my reputation, relationships, my daily life sacrifices and giving up the fantasy in my head of the ‘ideal family’.
Money is always a concern.
Everyone seems to have an issue with it; some fortunately have to deal with the troubles of too much money, but most of us worry about not having enough. Money affords our life necessities and our luxuries. I am a hard worker and have established myself financially but the costs of conceiving then providing a nice standard of living for my kids as they grow up always concerned me. Being the sole provider for my children, I also needed to be sure they would be taken care of if something were to happen to me and I was unable to provide or be there for them.
The costs of fertility drugs are quite minor compared to the costs of insemination, in vitro, medications, sperm and donor egg which are quite substantial. The further down the spectrum of trying you need to go to conceive, the higher the costs. I didn’t keep a running total of the costs of all my fertility attempts but it does go close to 100 K in the end. Very little is covered under my extended medical and the rest I had to pay for. At least I could write it off my income as a medical expense and some of it I did recoup.
With such high costs I just had to prioritize.
What was important to me and where do I spend my money. Fortunately, I do make a good income and I don’t need my clothes and apparels to be designer made. Keeping my expenses low by not living above my means was what allowed me to afford all the treatments. I live in Vancouver where the housing costs are astronomical compared to most cities in the world. I live in a neighbourhood and condo that doesn’t drain me of my income. By living in a home below my means and not spending my income on wants, I was able to afford the costs of conceiving. So finances did not become a big hesitancy but they were always on my mind.
Prior to becoming a choice mom, I was concerned about what my relatives, coworkers and students and their parents would think. I believe that a generalized view of single moms is one of a spinster living well below the poverty level and very unhappy. I thought others would frown upon my decision to be a choice mom. But thankfully I was so wrong. My relatives, coworkers and students have only been so happy for me and my family.
My 89 year old aunt says
“you’re kids are so lucky. Without you choosing to do this, they wouldn’t be here. Kim, you are just a pioneer with this process, soon this will be the norm.” She loves my kids so much she says she wants to keep them.
My 93 year old grandma says
that it didn’t matter how much these children cost, they are priceless. My father; my grandma’s only child and my grandpa; my grandma’s husband of 70 years, both passed away over six years ago within months of each other. She did not want to live for anything until she saw her great grandchildren. Her great grandchildren have kept her happy and healthy. Even her home care nurses have said to try to keep her with them as much as I can. Her dementia and age are showing and she has somehow lost the spark in her personality; but, I see her laughing, cooing, and clapping her hands and sparks shining when she is with my kids. It`s like she is a different person with my kids; on her own she’ll sit in the dark room staring at the wall but with my kids she`s tickling, laughing, smiling and making them laugh. My children have brought their great grandma out of depression and given her a reason to live. My hesitancies of what others would think was so unfounded and not even a concern now.
Prior to becoming a choice mom I was married
I had many relationships in hopes of remarrying before I had children. I really enjoyed many aspects of being in a monogamous heterosexual relationship. But my biological clock was quickly ticking and the reality of not having children if I didn’t do it on my own was just in my mind not an option. One of my friends said it well when she said I’ve spent years of my life in relationships, just take a break and spend time with your children then go back into another one later. It’s not like I can’t have a relationship with someone after I have the children. I thought about this and it was just the right way for me to do it. I could always meet someone later. Doing it as a choice mom is the best way to go as these are 100% my children and nobody could take that from me, unless of course I let them if I remarried and they adopted but that would be completed up to me and my kids. Though the concern of relationships was an issue in my decision making it’s not a thought at all now. If anything I’m so happy with my time with my kids that I will probably put off being in a relationship so I can enjoy my time with them.
Being a single mom of three kids definitely keeps me busy
Much of my days I spend cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, pumping breast milk, grooming and feeding. My son Taylor is four years old so he does go to preschool 5 days a week in the afternoons so I have to walk him to and from. My mother walks him as well. Taylor also has swimming lessons on weekends and with birthday parties, play dates and family outings to places like the aquarium, I keep myself very busy. My past concerns of not having enough me time have entered the picture sometimes as I have not seen an adult movie, gone fine dining and have had only minimal visits to the gym. Now that the babies are a little older I can arrange to find some me time. I now have the children in daycare once a week. Partly so I have some me time and do some errands and partly so they can adapt to the daycare as I will be starting work full time in a few months. I so enjoy my time with them that I don’t care if I’m not fine dining and my dining experiences are only limited to family friendly restaurants or if the movie is some kids animated show. Most new parents can relate to any of these concerns as it is not only limited to being a choice mom.
The biggest hesitancy of all
What delayed me becoming a choice mom the most was the hopes of meeting “Mr. Right” and starting a family with him and building the house with the white picket fence. It’s kind of synonymous with breaking up with someone in that you are not only sad with ending the relationship with this person but most importantly of saying goodbye to your fantasy future that you have created in your mind with this individual. By becoming a choice mom I had to let go of my fantasy I created as a child of meeting the right man, getting married and building a life and family with this man. What made this ‘letting go’ easier was that when I’m ready, I will be in another relationship. I know this relationship will be a very healthy one as I am very happy with my life.
Being a choice mom was a very calculated decision partly because it was so difficult for me to conceive. The time it took me to get to the process of donor egg and donor sperm allowed me to manage any hesitancies I had in becoming a choice mom. Looking back now I realize that many of my hesitancies then are not even a concern now.
Thank you for listening and please join me in the next episode on “becoming a choice momma; my in vitro journey.”