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WWL: Choosing Single Motherhood
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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In this episode:

The definition of what makes a family has changed through the years


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49:02 minutes (23.54 MB)
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Women who want children are no longer waiting for Mr. Right.  In 1981---a New York woman started Single Mothers By Choice—a support network for working women who wanted to start a family before it was too late. Now thousands are single mothers by choice including women in Connecticut. Today, Where We Live, Lucy Nalpathanchil talks with local single mothers who gave birth or adopted a baby will talk about their decision and their experiences.We'll also speak to the Director of UConn’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Services about fertility options and a psychologist who counsels women before they venture into Single Motherhood.

You can join the conversation.  Are you a single mother?  Are you thinking about raising a child on your own? Leave your comments below.

Click here for further reading on single motherhood.



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Single Mothers

I listened to this episode in my hospital bed with my three-day-old son in my arms.

As a 40-year-old single mother (mother by choice, single by default), I put immense thought and planning into the decision. That's been the case with every other older SMC (single mom by choice) that I met while contemplating whether to follow that path.

I have no illusions about it being easy; I know it'll be the most difficult, yet most rewarding, thing I've done in my life.

I also hope to find and marry a compatible man someday who's a wonderful father figure to my son, but had to make the choice on motherhood while biology was still on my side. I think you'll find that to be the case among many of us.

Thank you to the participants for being on the show; I hope it's helped to educate and inform many listeners about the thought process and emotional depth behind this choice.

single mothers

I'm a 41 year old single mother to a 2 year old daughter. It was a hard decision to make to become a single mom. I was sad to think I was not married yet and had no good prospects, but I also have had the overwhelming calling to be a mom since I was a little girl. Of course I would prefer to provide my child with a mother and father but that isn't what life dealt me at this time. Most of us single mothers spend a great deal of time thinking, talking, researching before we decide.  I spent a great deal of time choosing my donor and learning more about his medical, philosophical, family, religous, personal and education background than many couples know of each other before marriage and having kids. What finally pushed me to my decision was the idea of me as an old woman, on my death bed, pondering my choice to become a mother or not. And instantly I knew it was the right thing to do. I don't think it was a selfish act. In fact I gave up a lot, as all parents do, when my daughter was conceived. Is it hard at times? Yes; but it is hard for married couples, too. My daughter is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I did not have full support of the people closest to me when I told them of my plans but now they look at us and are so thrilled to have my little one in all our lives. And as Ellen said on the show, I, too, still hope to marry and provide my daughter with a good father. And if he never comes along, yes she will be without a dad. Other children are without important things too. Does that mean they should not have been conceived? No. These wonderful children have great potential to make a positive difference in our world. Who knows, my daughter could be president some day!

Listener email from David

Hello! ! ! It's 2009. You want to have a baby, do it!
The real problem is how we get the message out that it's OK to do this if you're 40 (or 30 or 20), but NOT if you're 14. This is the real issue.
A related question - how do the mothers on the air feel that they can contribute to influencing the middle school kids to help them make smart choices.
(I know I'm only a dumb guy, but ...)

Listener email

I am a single adoptive mother.  My daughter is now 32 years old and happily married with a successful career.  Looking back, I believe that the adoption was a selfish act and I am not convinced that removing her from her (3rd world country) was a better thing for her.   Adoptees loose an enormous amount when they loose their 
parents and their country.  

I also underestimated the value of the father figure ( which is truly critical) as I believe all 'single by choice' mothers do.  Male family members, friends and male daycare providers are very simply not the same.  I would have said all the same things your guests are saying when I adopted.  It is not until you look back that you can see it more clearly.  While I am not sorry that I adopted my wonderful daughter, I am sorry that I did not provide her with the benefits of a two parent family.