💖 Millennial Mothering 💖
If you're a millennial chances are that 'babies' have well and truly entered your conversations with friends.
Do I want kids? When do I want kids? How long do I have? Will I have trouble with having kids? Am I ready for that kind of lifestyle change? Do I need to have a partner to have kids?
It's becoming more and more normalised to choose not to have kids (and thank goodness!).
But, what about those of us who know we want them but who are currently partnerless?
That's the case for my legendary mate, Kate.
This conversation with Kate is a powerful reminder that we don't need permission to go after the things our heart longs for.
What's your story Kate?
I'm a 35 year old woman living in Melbourne, Australia - I run my own business (remote!). I love travel, my amazing friends, my fluffy cat and a seriously good cappuccino.
You recently shared with me that you've started your journey to motherhood with your best friend. Can you tell me more about this?
I've always known I've wanted to become a mother one day - I've never had any doubts about the kid thing. But my love life has been a bit hit and miss - I travel a lot, have lived overseas and I have high standards (picky is a good thing!).
I found myself at the start of the pandemic bemoaning my situation and the likely months or years of lockdowns and I'd hit 33. That may sound young, but I was fully aware that choosing someone to have a baby with is probably one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make, because they're in your life forever. I didn't want to rush that, and I didn't want to make a mistake in a desperate search for a 'baby daddy' over a partner.
I witnessed friends starting to struggle to conceive and I knew I didn't want to risk that, so I had to start getting serious about my fertility. My best friend, a gay man, listened to me and reminded me that I didn't need a partner to become a mother.
How did you come to this decision?
I suppose I started to realise having a baby is a bigger priority for me right now than falling in love. In 2020 I was lucky that my eCommerce business took off and I was able to buy a house on my own, so I started to feel very grounded and 'ready' to start thinking about my future seriously. It still took about two years to actually take the first step - I needed to journey from begrudgingly seeing it as "my only choice" to "the right choice for me right now".
Are you and your best mate going to co-parent or will you go solo?
I'm going solo ;) My mate is going to be 'around' and could one day develop into some sort of 'dad' role, but we are starting from a place of zero expectations. He doesn't want the full responsibility and I don't want to resent someone who doesn't pull their 50% but gets all the benefits of equal parenthood. That's exactly why I want to do this alone.
How are you practically going to make this work with your mate? What hard conversations have you had to have?
We are still having ongoing conversations - I think the key will be openness. I'm open with our friends and family about the plans. He knows my family well and I'm meeting more of his. We're trying to stay away from too much dreaming of what it 'could' look like because I'm a strong believer in open communication enabling us to find a way throughout the process. There's no way either of us can imagine how this will practically work in every single way.
Why is becoming a mum so important for you?
I adore my mum, possibly more than anyone in the world. She is an incredible person and gave me so much love and support to become who I am today. I want to raise a child with the same beautiful relationship and I have a lot of love to give. I also adore my friends' kids - they remind you of what really matters.
What has been the hardest part of this process?
There is a process in grieving the narrative we grow up with, the 'Disney story' of meeting the guy and having a baby together. I'm a romantic at heart despite becoming increasingly feminist as I grow older, and I'd be lying if I said I don't have 'why me' moments. I try to focus on this being a decision in my life that doesn't necessarily have to dictate whether or not I'll meet someone in the future. It's just something I need to do right now to stop that incessant ticking clock!
What has been the most empowering part?
Telling friends and family and receiving such overjoyed, happy reactions - I haven't had a single negative response. Everyone has been so uplifting and believes in me, promises to be around, which is all I need. I'm a very open book and it's been lovely not to keep this a secret.
What advice would you give to others thinking of doing the same?
Join your local SMBC (Single mothers by choice) group on Facebook - it was a game changer for me when I started to surround myself with other women in a similar headspace or who've already done it. Talk it out with loved ones. Visit a fertility specialist and get your AMH tested (ovarian reserve hormone) to be armed with more information.
Thank you SO much for reading. What did you think?
We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Love, Rosa x