Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who disapproves? Here's who...

One woman on the Choice Mom discussion board noticed a pattern -- that others have agreed with -- about who tends to disapprove of the Choice Mom path, and who does not:

I've started casually telling family and friends that I'm planning on starting to conceive or adopt by myself w/in the next two years. I've gotten a range of responses, some negative and some positive.

The people who have responded negatively so far (some single parents and some married) have launched into these shrill lectures about how being a parent is such hard work and being a single mom is basically IMPOSSIBLE and about how it's going to "ruin" my life and probably end up with me getting fired from my job.

The people who have responded positively (also some single and some married) have told me that while parenthood is hard, they have faith that I'll love being a mom and that I'll be a good one, and that I should totally go for it!

I have noticed, though, that the negative reactions have tended to come from married and single moms who never particularly wanted to become parents (and became moms by accident or because of spousal/ family pressure, etc.) or who never particularly enjoyed being parents themselves (unfortunately my mother is one of those people). And the positive responses have tended to come from people who just really enjoyed parenting, either with or without a partner.)

Has anyone else noticed that? That people's reactions have had more to do with their own attitudes about/experiences with parenting and less to do with choice/single motherhood in general?

Responded one woman:

I have noticed the same thing. Most of my responses were positive...even from my dad. I think he just wanted to be a grandpa. But, a few of the negatives were from people who didn't appear to enjoy being parents themselves (or were jealous that I had the money/guts to do it alone when they didn't). My one aunt, who now has an 8 year old who she does every thing in her power to avoid, was definitely not positive. She thought I was insane and that "there was no way" I could pull it off.

Well, I have my almost 3 year old daughter now. And I adore her. Even when she always rearranges the ornaments on the Christmas tree! I love being with her...and yes, it has changed my life and it is definitely hard...but I wouldn't want it any other way. Of course, that same aunt says that she got "stuck" with a bad kid (he has asperger's) and I got an "easy" child. Well, that may true but I would be trying to work with/help my child regardless of the challenges.

I think most people react based on their own feelings/experiences. You have to do what you think is best for you.

What about you? Have you noticed a pattern in the people who tend to disapprove of this choice, whether they are focusing on issues that affect a relatively small percentage of kids who grew up in a divorced or highly stressed environment, or whether they are focusing on how hard it would be to parent alone?