It was over special fried rice and Shanghai noodles a couple of weeks ago when I finally discussed with my mom the reality of my decision of becoming a mother on my own; some particulars on the process with the fertility clinic. We were talking on the phone the night before and she was excitedly gushing over the latest photos of the first baby in our immediate family, my niece. She religiously checks the website where my brother and sister-in-law post the photos the moment she wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed at night. I admit – I do check daily too…seeing her brings a smile to my face each and every time.
Anyway, she pointed out how happy my brother and sister-in-law look and how much they must be enjoying new parenthood. She then gave me her blessing on my choice to pursue single motherhood. My happiness was instant. She even mentioned that she had talked about this with my aunt. To me, this translated into the significance of her being okay enough with my decision that she was even comfortable sharing it with someone else.
As for the rest of my immediate family, other than one extremely lengthy email that initially turned me into a puddle of tears with its appearance as an authoritative scare tactic which I have now chosen to trust was written with good intention and love; my siblings are pretty much avoiding the topic altogether. This is probably for the best as I don’t wish to strain our relationships and cause tense disagreements right now. It will only cause me stress and anger, emotions I do not wish to invite into my life right now. I am not planning on telling my dad anything at this point.
As for friends…I have to admit that I am avoiding a number of them because I dread telling them about my decision. Even my best friend. Who is due with her first child very soon. I know that the conversation will not affect our relationship (or at least I don’t think so…), but even though we have a long and relatively close friendship despite not living in the same city, my worries exist because of her religious and cultural beliefs. I know that to this day, I still have not lived up to her fairy tale life that she has envisioned for me over the last 20 years. I have never dared to tarnish her impermeable innocence with the sordid details of my dating life but she should have an idea at the very least of who I am. I know I will have to tell her eventually but at this point, I do not want to risk spoiling the first moments of her own motherhood journey.
One friend I told never replied back to my text.
Another one diplomatically just listened to me, without ever stating her opinion, and only commented that she has never known anyone else to do this.
The only other friend I have discussed this with was filled to the brim with sympathy for my situation and even said that hearing about all the things that I deal with always helps her feel less depressed about her life. Huh. And then wide-eyed, eager and curious, she soaked up every detail of the process thus far. The number one being how to choose a sperm donor, of course. Even my mom had asked me how I would be getting the…ummm…”stuff.”
Fortunately, I also have one wise older friend in her 60s who has always been like another mother to me. She has always been a champion (the only loyal one) of my relationship with S and she was the first one to tell me to pursue single motherhood. She was the one I sobbed to after I realized S was not going to father my child. In those early heated moments when I was considering natural insemination by strangers through co-parenting sites, she was the one who talked me down and pointed out that S is a traditional sort of man who would undoubtedly have his heart destroyed if I slept with another man. She was adamant that I find a sperm donor through official channels. Am I ever glad that she had talked some sense into me. If not, I am certain that any chance of my relationship with S continuing on would indeed be non-existent.
I am aware that I cannot go on continuing to avoid my friends so that I don’t need to talk about this. And if they are indeed my true friends, they will in the end want happiness for me and so would support my decision. I am going to be selective about which friends I will be telling, as well as which stage I will be doing it at. My current priority is to be as calm and positive as I can be for this journey as I want to be creating a healthy emotional, as well as physical, home in my body for a baby. In the meantime, I will surround myself with people who want to share in this unique and special journey with me and I hope that understanding will eventually reach those who don’t. I will focus on those I am so incredibly fortunate to have in my life right now.
I know it really shouldn’t matter what others think of personal decisions but it does really mean something when loved ones are on board with your choices. Especially moms. I was thinking I should share with her at some point that maybe a huge part of why I desire a baby so much, regardless of all of the struggles in the process, is maybe because I want to have a relationship like what we have had with my own child. I want to be able to unconditionally love a child and share the journey of entering and exploring each and every part of life with him/her. I want to pass on all of the good parts of me I have gotten from her onto her grandchild; the continuation of her beautiful love to future generations.