Why Do Women Choose to be Single Mothers?

Unless you have an intimate experience with parenting alone, it’s likely you gape at women who choose to be single mothers with an open mouth wondering, “Why would they choose this life?”

It’s an honest question and usually asked with no intent of insult. 

As a single mother by choice, I would never take this question to mean the asker is expecting justification. I completely understand how people may not be able to wrap their heads around the decision I made.

If you an outsider looking in on a single mother situation, or perhaps you are considering having children on your own, here are three very good reasons why a woman may choose to parent alone:

They Refused to Settle Just to Have Kids

With technology as it is today, women don’t even need a male partner in order to get pregnant. All they require is a donor and IVF (in-vitro fertilization) or even adoption.

Some women may choose this path because they so desire to have children but aren’t willing to settle for just anyone in order to make it happen.

As long as a woman has a stable life and love to give, why can’t she have children on her own?

A study conducted by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in 2017 found that children growing up in single-mother-by-choice experienced no differences in the parent-child relationship or child development than those raised in a two-parent home.

What the study found was that women who become single mothers by choice had a greater support system, either from friends and family.

In the case of women who choose to become pregnant solo, the cost of IVF treatments and adoption are high, so it’s very likely they are financially stable going into the process as well.

They Decided to Have Children Later in Life

A woman may choose IVF or adoption later in life as well. These women often have focused on their careers or never met the right person to raise a family with – the proverbial clock is ticking and they wish to be mothers.

While older women need to be careful when it comes to pregnancy and their age, more often than not they are financially secure and emotionally capable of taking care of a child.

Yes, our bodies have an “optimal” timeframe in which to conceive children but our emotional capabilities of mothers never diminishes, even as we age.

As long as a woman is healthy enough to accommodate a pregnancy, there is no reason she can’t choose to parent alone later in life.

Otherwise, adoption is always an option.

They Escaped an Abusive Relationship

Perhaps the most common reason why women choose to be single mothers is that they made the choice to leave an abusive or toxic relationship.

I specifically mention toxic relationships because, when couples make the mutual decision to split up, the mother is not technically choosing to be a single mom all on her own. They are choosing to parent apart.

However, when a mother is faced with an abusive situation, she may choose to be a single mother instead of trying to raise a child in a toxic and aggressive environment.

So it’s often not a choice of “I don’t like my partner, I’m going to leave,” and more, “I have to parent this child alone because the alternative is dangerous.”

It’s a decision made primarily for the benefit of the child.

Even though it is a common reason for women to choose to be single moms, it is definitely a difficult one to make. Instead of looking at what they can give to their child, they are looking at what they can take away.

Pair that with the stress and anxiety of being financially and emotionally responsible for a child solo when doing so was never the plan.

The Single Mother Life

Even though there are women who choose to be single mothers, there are others that end up in the situation due to unforeseen consequences.

However a mother ends up parenting alone, they should never be treated any differently than families who have two parents taking care of the children. No matter who is raising a child, the important thing is that the child is treated and guided with love.

Single mothers may face many unique challenges but are privileged to many unique rewards.

So the next time you see a mother who chooses to parent alone, I hope you’ve gained some insight into why they willingly put themselves in that situation.

One-hundred percent of the time, it’s out of love for their children.

Are you a single mom? Did you choose the single mom life? If you’re comfortable sharing your story, we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

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