The choice to single parent

One morning last week, I was watching the 100 women series on BBC News. Their focus that day was on women who are choosing to be single mothers; having and raising a child without a partner. The question asked was “Is there any way to tell if women are choosing to have children on their own or is it just a necessity (because they’re getting older)?”

Sally O’Donnell (BBC movie based on her) says it came as a decision, not a question.

She said “I am going to give this a shot and if it doesn’t work then I’ll let go of the chance of having a child.”

She was worried she’d be judged as an older woman on her own but says in fact the medical community was very supportive. She went through IVF to have her son Stephan.

She says (when criticised for having a child on her own at her age): “People can make judgements about any situation and that’s up to them but it doesn’t have to impact me, it’s their stuff, it’s not my stuff.”

Sally kept hearing people say their children are the thing they are most proud about (amongst all their other achievements). She too wanted to experience that.

Demographics are changing. Women are reaching their late 30s and 40s and suddenly realise they are going to be childless. So they either embrace the childless life or see how they can become mothers.

There were two guests on the show to discuss this.

Tim Samuels (radio presenter) feels it’s a woman’s RIGHT if they want to have a child. Zoe Williams (columnist at The Guardian) says it’s not a right but it is a NEED and we shouldn’t underestimate that.

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So what do you think? Should more women go out there and have the child they desire or should women who haven’t had a chance to have a child by the time they are a certain age just let go and accept it? I’d love to hear your views. Tomorrow I’ll be interviewing a mother who chose to go down the path of single parenting (in my Inspiring Mama’s series) after a serious accident changed her life forever. Watch this space!

For more information, check out Single Mothers by Choice and questions you should ask yourself first.