I want to share my story as to why I am a single mother by choice.
I’ve seen this topic buzzing around Quora, a site that allows people to ask and answer questions.
It seems a lot of people are curious as to why a woman would choose to be a single mother.
Perhaps you are a single mother whose relationship simply dissolved.
Or perhaps you are a happily coupled mother who can’t wrap their head around this concept.
Or maybe you ended up in the same situation I did and never thought of yourself as a single mother by choice.
No matter the reason for reading this article (which I appreciate you doing, by the way!), I feel compelled to share my story with you.
The Day I Peed on a Stick
When I reached the point of being three days late for my period, I knew something was amiss. My suspicions were confirmed when I shared this information with my mother and she asked me if my boobs hurt.
Man, did they ever.
I bought a pregnancy test that week but held off on taking it. My birthday was that Friday and I didn’t want to ruin the day by finding out I was pregnant.
The prospect of having a child with my then-boyfriend was terrifying. Our relationship was not good but at the time I had no idea I was dealing with a narcissist.
All I knew was that I was unhappy and the last thing I wanted was to have a child with this man and find myself trapped in the relationship.
It was early in the morning when I tiptoed to the bathroom to pee on a stick. I’m not sure how pregnancy tests usually work but that second line popped up with no hesitation.
I remember just sitting there feeling defeated. I always imagined experiencing an intense depression if I ever found out I was pregnant but I think instead I was in a state of shock.
I knew I had to tell my then-boyfriend and I knew he would react with excitement. I wanted to feel excited too but I knew that no good was going to come from this situation.
He was, of course, ecstatic – which I would later learn was because (according to what he told one of my friends) he was trying to get me pregnant on purpose.
This all made sense later on when I started to learn more about narcissism and realized this was a ploy for control. If he got me pregnant, he assumed that I would stay with him and continue to exist under his control.
However, because I didn’t know he was a narcissist, I thought maybe this development would change his behavior toward me and that maybe we could make it work.
I was wrong.
“This is the time to pull up your socks.”
The above phrase was one of the first things I said to him after I told him I was pregnant. Our relationship was not only based on his control and abuse but was completely one-sided.
I worked, he didn’t. I cleaned, he didn’t. I did everything and he sat around all day playing video games – and berated me for having any issue with this.
I made it clear to him that if he didn’t start taking responsibility around our apartment and treating me better that I would be more than happy to parent this child alone.
He made promises and told me that he would smarten up and that we would parent this child together.
Part of me believed him but overall I knew this was a lie. In an effort to separate him from my mother (who lived next door in the same apartment building), I played the “we need more space” card and insisted that we move.
I figured that if I could get him away from her then I could more easily leave him when the time came.
And it didn’t take long.
My Fearful Pregnancy
We moved to a new apartment and the boxes weren’t even all unpacked before I up and moved out.
The final straw was an argument we had that led to me staying at my mom’s while he told me he’d have my stuff out on the street.
He also said some other unsavory things that led me to filing a report with the police for threats and harassment.
I was scared – not for myself but for my unborn child. I knew that bringing a child into this relationship was going to condemn it to an environment of toxicity, anger and fear.
I spent my entire pregnancy afraid. I was afraid of him and afraid that, financially, I wouldn’t be able to care for this child.
I didn’t get to spend nine months glowing and excited. I spent it with fear and anxiety, slapping a smile on my face to the rest of the world because that’s what I thought was expected of me.
Still, this state of fear was well worth it if it meant that my child would be raised in a warm and loving home.
A Single Mother By Choice
I wasn’t sure if my ex was going to be active in my daughter’s life. I was prepared to take on the role of parenting all by myself.
Even though he is still involved in her life, that involvement is minimal and I have ended up basically being the only effective and functional parent to my child.
And it has worked out marvelously!
Yes, people take pity on me because I have to do it all alone but the alternative would have been trying to do what was best for my kid while expecting someone else to shoulder 50% of the responsibility.
I knew with him that would never happen and I would only end up frustrated and miserable.
With the way my life with my child is, I am the only one I can be disappointed in – and given what I’ve been through, I cut myself quite a bit of slack.
I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
After I left my ex, a friend once said to me, “Don’t go back to him just because he’s the father of your child.”
The mere thought of it made me want to puke. After all I had endured, most of which I couldn’t even define until recently, I knew there was no going back to that abusive atmosphere.
Becoming a single mother by choice may seem like a huge sacrifice but it’s what I had to do with my daughter. Plus, I’d honestly be further behind in my life if I had stayed.
Being a single mother has led me to discover my passion and pushed me to better myself.
A Happy Ending
While my story doesn’t define why women choose to be single mothers, it certainly is not an unheard tale.
Even though I suffered through a catastrophic relationship and ended up having a child with a narcissist, I can honestly say that my life is more fulfilling than it was before.
Right now my daughter is seven years old and every day I am thankful that she is in my life.
Even if I’m parenting her all by myself.
Are you a single mother by choice? Do you feel comfortable sharing your story? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!