Saturday, February 25, 2012

Don't Feel Sorry For Me

Mel over at Stirrup Queens posted recently about a new site called Modamily & it really rubbed me the wrong way…not Mel’s post but this new site. Admittedly, I haven’t followed any of the links she provided so I am writing this solely based on the quotes in her post.

I am not against the concept of the site. Basically, it’s a social network matching site bringing people together who want to co-parent as opposed to using an anonymous donor etc. I believe it’s a fabulous option that could work for many people.

What I take exception to is this: (copied from Mel’s post who copied it from the site)

“In most cases, when using a sperm donor, a mother is resigned to being a single parent. We feel that co-parenting provides more support to the child because it involves two parents that are physically, financially, and emotionally committed. Healthy, happy, and balanced children are what we are trying to achieve and statistically, having both a mother and father within a child’s life dramatically improves chances for a happy and balanced upbringing.”

I found this offensive on so many levels. Firstly, I am not, nor ever have been, resigned to be a single mother, hence the choice part of Single Mom by Choice. I am beyond grateful to live in an era, society, culture that allows me this choice as an option. I have had many feelings throughout this process; resignation was never one of them.

Secondly, I find it hard to accept that I could have more support from a co-parenting situation, at least the type this site promotes, than I do now. I guess essentially I am co-parenting Elena with my Mom since we live in the same household & my Mom will be caring for Elena while I work. On top of that support, I have numerous family & friends who are more than willing to look after Elena if I need. And if we’re talking emotional support (for me or Elena), again I don’t see how their situation is any more supportive than the one I’m in.

Which brings me to thirdly, I am thoroughly offended at the implication made that my daughter will be a less healthy, happy & balanced child based on my choice. I would never judge anyone for the choices they make so am extremely insulted by the judgment implied here. I don’t know how my daughter could be more loved or cherished by myself or the people who surround & support us. Elena has her fair share of male influence & a deep commitment from me & my family to ensure she never feels lacking by not having a father.

Lastly, I resent the implication that my choice is a consolation prize. “Poor Tiara, she wasn’t good enough to snag a husband so had to resort to sperm donation.” Admittedly this wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out, not because Choice Motherhood is a second choice, but because it wasn’t an option I was ever aware of before a few years ago. I, like many of my generation, grew up with the notion that you have to meet Mr. Right (or Mr. Good Enough) in order to get married & have children. So I spent copious amounts of my time, effort, emotions, meeting men, developing relationships & working hard to make relationships work that were destined to fail, all for the deep desire to have children & be a mother. If someone had sat me down when I was eighteen years old & said, “Look Tiara, there are more ways to become a mother than getting married.” If I had been made aware of the options that would be available to me, I don’t believe I would have devoted my twenties to trying to find Mr. Right. I don’t believe I would have spent the first part of my thirties in such a deep depression, convincing myself I must be worthless & unlovable because I hadn’t been able meet Mr. Right.

When I choose Single Motherhood, I didn’t give up on love. I took the desperation out of meeting Mr. Right. I finally learned that one wasn’t dependant on the other & I could be a mother, fulfill that dream & still hold hope that I’ll meet a life partner someday. The most important part of this lesson I learned? Before, I believed my happiness & the completeness of my life was contingent on this elusive Mr. Right. I now know that my happiness solely rests in my hands & becoming a mother has made me feel complete.

The fact that this site diminishes my choices to promote their own is why it completely loses credibility with me. Which is sad since I think the option of co-parenting is a great alternative that many could benefit from.

There are many other issues that come up regarding this site, so please, if you haven’t already, click over to Mel’s post. She is far more eloquent that me.


  1. Uhm, yeah, they are full of crap. They are putting going down the single mom-sperm bank route because they want to promote themselves, its like a political attack ad, don't vote for the other party because they suck, vote for ME. Thinking about it that way is the only way I'm refraining from getting majorly pissed off.

    If all really goes well, then I'd say yeah, the modafamily's route is better than being a single mom, because you give your child 2 parents instead of one. But when on earth do all things go well? Probably for maybe 1-2 out of 10 couples reproducing in this way.

    2 strangers are likely to fight when they become roomates. When they decide to have a KID together? Two people who fall in love and get married and then decide its not working out can savage their child in a custody battle-- I shudder to think what two strangers who have never been in love with each other may decide to do when the co-parenting experiment fails. Its likely to get seriously ugly, I pity anybody stupid enough to do this without an ironclad legal contract first.

  2. I agree, I resent the implication that one parent homes (by choice) are somehow "less than". I decided against the co-parenting route because I felt like it could get very messy and traumatic for the child - I mean, this other person is bound to be in and out of relationships, have all kinds of life challenges over an 18 year period, decide to move, change jobs, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of happy co-parenting situations out there, but plenty that didn't exactly go the way the mother expected, either. There is zero research to support the statement that two-parented children are ALWAYS happier and more well-adjusted than single-parented children (unless the single-parented children in the study are below the poverty level and born to teenaged mothers, which is almost always the case in these "studies"). So, yeah, I feel your outrage.

  3. Bravo!! Applause! Applause!

    You said it pretty eloquently to me!

    You hit the nail on the head and I can't speak for all SMC but for me you are dead on!

    Thank you for this post.

    Those idiots at that website need to read this!

  4. As far as I can see, that site is a disaster waiting to happen. Also from what I saw, I think I'll stick to my donor.

  5. I completely agree with you. I'll stick with being a SMC.. and I am sure I can raise a healthy, happy, stable child!!! Thanks for your post.

  6. Time is limited so I'll make this short, but I agree with you completely. I couldn't be happier with my decision to become a choice mom. I was talking to a fellow choice mom the other day and we both remarked how happy our babies are. Maybe because they are not around parents arguing over issues (including how to parent) they are happier children (at least before they hit their teen years and need to hate us for something so they choose the fact that there is no father). I really enjoyed how perfectly you expressed yourself here.

  7. This is it exactly: "The fact that this site diminishes my choices to promote their own."

    Resigned is never a word I'd use to describe any SMC I know. Empowered, sure. Tired, happy, self-assured. But not resigned.

  8. That paragraph you wrote about your twenties/early thirties? I could have written that!

    I agree they missed the true concept of "choice" when they wrote about SMC's who use donors to create their families. And they certainly have missed observing the healthy families headed by single women that I've had to the honor to know.

  9. I love this post - no time to give it the comment it deserves, but I LOVE it. Thank you!

  10. Well well said! I totally agree with what you have written.

  11. Great post!
    I think there are studies that show that our children are healthy, happy and balanced. What is important is not how many parents a child has, but the fact that he is loved. We SMCs go through quite a lot to have our children, and we sure love them :-).
    There are advantages to shared parenting, but I am more than happy thatt I have my little girl all to my self :-).

    I see on the ticker that Elena has just had her first birthday. I am sure you have a bithhday post and all, but since I am so behind on my blog reading and I don't know when I'll get to it, I will say here and now HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR ELENA!!

  12. "I finally learned that one wasn’t dependant on the other & I could be a mother, fulfill that dream & still hold hope that I’ll meet a life partner someday." PREACH. Fulfilling one dream doesn't mean that the others won't come true. Elena is beautiful!

  13. I remember Mel's post and it too raised my hackles (not Mel's post, but the new site). I'm of the opinion that a child can and will be happy and well adjusted if raised in a loving home, regardless of how many parents are in it. Great post!

  14. So empowered: "When I choose Single Motherhood, I didn’t give up on love. I took the desperation out of meeting Mr. Right."

    Well said, Tiara.

  15. Here from CdlC - bravo! Great post!

  16. Beautiful post! I hate it when parenting choices get distorted into judgements. You have captured that so well in these wonderful words.

  17. Beautiful post! I hate it when parenting choices get distorted into judgements. You have captured that so well in these wonderful words.

  18. Here from Creme. Great post. You are able to really zoom in on the ridiculous assumptions present in their argument.

  19. I loved what you said about taking the desperation out of meeting Mr. Right. How many women (and men too, I suppose) have "settled" because they want to have a child and they feel the pressure? Probably a lot. Good for you for speaking up about a cause that's close to your heart!

  20. I am going to go a step further and say that I believe our decision is better than co-parenting. While I haven't looked at the site, to me it seems that co-parenting is like joint custody. I think that concept is hard on children (my parents divorced and I went through their co-parenting). I think one stable home with however many caregivers, whatever genders, and however related to the child is best.

    Someday people will realize that family function is way more important than family structure. And that the children of single mothers (especially by choice) are not destined for terrible childhoods. The reason single mothers do so poorly in the statistical research is more related to the poverty they tend to live in when trying to support a family alone than their singleness. Perhaps we could better invest our energy as a society in allowing women (and everyone else) to earn wages on which they can provide for their families.


Your comments are greatly appreciated so I've turned off the verification!