Child: Daisy, 2
Location: Didsbury, Manchester
Expectations of Motherhood: I’d been longing to become a mum since my early 30s and started to feel left behind as my friends all started getting married and having children. At this time I was still single so motherhood didn’t feel like an option for me. This has recently been termed social infertility. At 37 when my relationship status had still not changed I decided to pursue solo motherhood using a sperm donor. I felt like I might miss out altogether otherwise. I knew it would be tough doing it solo but I was ready. I was mainly worried about the exhaustion from lack of sleep but also whether I would feel lonely with no partner by my side.
Reality of Motherhood: It’s a rollercoaster! There are so many amazing moments. All the firsts; smiles, words, steps. Seeing my daughter develop her own personality and spirit. Having her hug me tight. Watching her play and learn. Seeing the world through her eyes.
There are also tough moments taking this journey solo. It can feel relentless at times being 100% responsible for everything with no partner to share the load. Exhausting. Frustrating.
For me, the positives by far outweigh the challenges. I also believe there are elements of having a baby on your own that are easier than doing it in a partnership.
Taking your child/children home for the first time: I had to stay in hospital for quite a few days as my daughter and I both had an infection. I couldn’t wait to get home. It felt quite surreal that after so long dreaming of this moment, it was finally here. My mum stayed with me for the first 10 days to help me settle into life as a new mum, especially as I had a C section. When my mum left I remember feeling quite overwhelmed, but ready to tackle things solo.
The best/worst advice: The worst advice I got from a friend was don’t do it solo, it’s hard enough with a partner, it will be so hard alone. I am so glad I didn’t listen to that.
The best advice I got was to swallow my pride and get used to asking for help. It will enrich my life. They were right. It is so much easier with a support network around me.
The hardest part/s of being a mother: The hardest part of being a solo mother is that everything falls on my shoulders. All decisions, finances, illness, childcare, basically everything. Although I have a great support network, it is all my responsibility, with no-one to share that with. The most challenging times I have experienced is when I have been ill and have no-one to ask to help me. Luckily my mum has always managed to be there for me at these times. I hate always having to ask her to help.
The best part/s of being a mother: Seeing Daisy develop into her own person. She is such a character. Seeing her laugh and literally jump for joy at small things. Witnessing her constantly learning new things every day. Hearing her babble to herself and singing in her baby language. Watching her dance around. Having big hugs and kisses. Seeing her relationship with Granny and Grandad and the joy it gives them. The fact that I am parenting solo means I am free to make all my own decisions.
Has becoming a mother changed you? It has changed me in so many ways. I am less self centred. Work life balance is better achieved. I have become even more productive as I have very little time so I try to ensure I am using it wisely.
Has your perspective on work changed since becoming a mother? It’s totally changed. I feel like being a mum has made me better at my job in some ways! It makes me more productive as I just don’t have a single moment to spare. I waste less time. I focus hard in the time I have available.
Hopes for your family: I hope Daisy grows up being proud of my decision to have her on my own. She has lot’s of male role models in her life to learn from. I hope we are healthy and happy and constantly growing as people.
I would love to meet someone at some point in the future and form a blended family. Let’s see!
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums: Do what feels right for you. Surround yourself with amazing people. Get comfortable asking for help.