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I guess I'm still fixated on this and I feel like I'm starting to feel pessimistic about it and starting to give up a bit. Next month I turn 36 years old and I really want to be a mother and to get married and have a family. I broke up with my ex-fiance just over a year ago due to his bad mental health issues and drug addiction. I put a lot of effort into trying to meet someone for a relationship but obviously due to the COVID pandemic and quarantine for most of this year, dating hadn't really been possible. I did go on quite a few dates at the start of the year though and also a few since coronavirus restrictions eased off in my city two months ago.

I've been finding it really hard to find someone that I actually have a real connection with who also wants marriage and children. I have a close male friend who is also 36 and I've known him for 6 years. We initially tried to date but then he revealed he's polyamorous and not into marriage or kids. I also only liked him as a friend really but I was FWB with him on and off for 2.5 years while I was single.

Anyway he always said that he didn't really want kids of his own but he wanted to be a donor. He was even subscribed to a donor website and nearly became a donor for a lesbian couple. Ever since we first met he told me that he can be a donor to me and help me have a baby on my own. We'd always discussed it over the years and the offer was always there. Over the last year I began to strongly consider it and he said he really set his mind to it too and is keen to go through with it. He said he would keep in touch with the child and be like an uncle/friend role by spending time together each week and things like that. He said his mother was also happy about the idea and wanted to be a grandmother. 

I've also considered using an IVF donor but I think having a baby with my friend would be better because then the child would actually know who their father is. Also I really trust my friend and he's a really nice and handsome guy who is very well educated with a masters degree. He works as a school teacher. 

I'm feeling really torn and panicking because at 36 years old I feel like I'm getting a bit too old to have a baby if I leave it too long. I really want to get married and have a real family of my own but I'm just not sure if it could take a few years to actually find someone. On the other hand if I have a baby it may be off putting to some people and I may find it even harder to find a partner who will want to get married. Unless of course they might already have kids of their own too and be in the same position.

Any thoughts or suggestions anyone? Is anyone here a single parent or used a donor?

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20 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

Anyway he always said that he didn't really want kids of his own but he wanted to be a donor.  Over the last year I began to strongly consider it and he said he really set his mind to it too and is keen to go through with it. He said he would keep in touch with the child and be like an uncle/friend role by spending time together each week and things like that. He said his mother was also happy about the idea and wanted to be a grandmother. 

I

The way I see this, and understand this:  He doesn't want his own kids, but will "donor" one to you.  Then he'll play an "uncle/friend" role when it suits him and see the kid when it suits him without having the responsibility of a father, and also not paying child maintenance.  So, all-in-all, super convenient to HIM!   So does this mean he'll be in and out of the child's life as he sees fit?  Things in life change and he can move on, get married, move away and never see you or the child again.   That can really mess with a child's psyche (imo).  As for grandmother - will your child know her officially as her grandmother, or will she also be "pretend grandmother"?  

Lots to think about here, especially how all this affects a child.

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1 minute ago, Capricorn3 said:

The way I see this, and understand this:  He doesn't want his own kids, but will "donor" one to you.  Then he'll play an "uncle/friend" role when it suits him and see the kid when it suits him without having the responsibility of a father, and also not paying child maintenance.  So, all-in-all, super convenient to HIM!   So does this mean he'll be in and out of the child's life as he sees fit?  Things in life change and he can move on, get married, move away and never see you or the child again.   That can really mess with a child's psyche (imo).  As for grandmother - will your child know her officially as her grandmother, or will she also be "pretend grandmother"?  

Lots to think about here, especially how all this affects a child.

Well he wouldn't get married, he is anti marriage. He's polyamorous so he would have relationships with different women. Regarding the grandmother, to my understanding she really wants to really be in the child's life. I don't think my friend would fully cut off contact with the child but no he wouldn't be like a full-time father. He would just catch up once a week or so. I just thought that it might be better for the child to actually know who their father is and at least have a friendship with their father. If I don't meet anybody soon then my only option would be to use an IVF donor. I wouldn't actually know that person at all and my child wouldn't know them. A donor is not obliged to even respond if you contact them according to the IVF donor laws here in Australia. So if they don't wish to keep in touch in any way then they don't actually have to. Which may end up being the case. I think not knowing who their father is at all would leave such a big void in their life. 

I just feel so sad because I want a real family but I don't know if that will happen or if it does, how long it will take. Often I was single for a few years at a time because I wanted to find the right person. But being 36 years old waiting a few years to actually find someone is not really that much of an option...

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Can you look into freezing your eggs? Was not an option for me when I considered it -only frozen embryos were viable back then.  I agree with Capricorn.  I was very lucky to conceive naturally at almost age 42 and 36 was when I briefly considered single mother by choice.  I rejected it for me personally for mostly moral/ethical reasons, personal to me.  How do you feel about adoption later in life -even if you are single? I have a friend who started having kids around your age -she was single, still is, used the same anonymous sperm donor and had 4 kids in this way from ages 36-42 or so.  Really hard life as you can imagine.  Expensive full time nanny too.   II do relate -I had the same fears and of course as I got older even more so (I started dating my husband when I turned 39).  I do know one woman who couldn't have her own children.  She started to go through the adoption process at around your age -as a single mom.  Can you believe that she met a guy right before she found out she was allowed to adopt the infant.  She told him -can you imagine that conversation?  Anyway - guess what -they've been happily married for about 5 years!  They're a family -he was happy to be the adoptive dad and marry her. Amazing.  

 

I was where you are and I get it.  I'm sorry you're feeling so stressed.

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If this guy is with a variety of women and fathers your child and only sees the child once a week or so with no formal legal arrangement I can't see where that would be a good situation even though she'd know the sperm donor.  I would think it would be really confusing especially if he ends up having other children with one or several of his sex partners.  That also would affect the relationship with the grandmother who of course will have to be supportive of whatever her son wants -and he might end up changing his mind about marriage, and marry a woman who is not comfortable with the arrangement.  Way too complicated/confusing IMHO.

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I would not consider the friend and go with IVF with a donor if I were in your position.

Speak with your doctor about this. Book an appointment and speak with your gyno. It's not a light decision.

I would also not worry about finding a partner who will accept you if you have a child. Someone who loves you will make time for you and your child also or have room in his life for the both of you. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

If this guy is with a variety of women and fathers your child and only sees the child once a week or so with no formal legal arrangement I can't see where that would be a good situation even though she'd know the sperm donor.  I would think it would be really confusing especially if he ends up having other children with one or several of his sex partners.  That also would affect the relationship with the grandmother who of course will have to be supportive of whatever her son wants -and he might end up changing his mind about marriage, and marry a woman who is not comfortable with the arrangement.  Way too complicated/confusing IMHO.

I second this entire post.  It's all very well and good for him to live this fairy tale fantasy of "I'll visit once a week", but real life doesn't always work that way.  Once the novelty wears off I imagine he'll carry on with his life as normal.  It could even get to the stage where he'll "conveniently forget" all his promises of visiting and being a "friend".  I feel for the child in this case - all way too confusing (imo).

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My sister ended up going in-vitro. She's a beautiful, successful woman, but as she got older the dating pool dwindled. Most of the men she was meeting were divorced fathers who already wanted kids and didn't want more, or confirmed bachelors who didn't want kids at all. 

She doesn't have any time for nonsense, so she went the in-vitro route. It took a while, but she eventually had my nephew. Now she is a very happy and diligent mother. 

Whenever I tell anyone about it, especially women, they are extremely supportive of her choice.

Edited by Jibralta
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2 hours ago, Tinydance said:

I just feel so sad because I want a real family but I don't know if that will happen or if it does, how long it will take. Often I was single for a few years at a time because I wanted to find the right person. But being 36 years old waiting a few years to actually find someone is not really that much of an option...

I'm so sorry, at least you can know there are great examples to prove this isn't, "it," for you at all!  

I think even though it's probably hard right now, think about what the child will go through if this, 'friend," fathers him/her, and then loses interest.  😔

And then even if he doesn't lose interest, but shows he's only there sometimes (when he feels like it), that is just painful for a child when they, "see," truths like that, finally.

Ultimately, you have choices... I would ask myself, "Is my desire for a child greater than what would be best for that child's heart/mind/soul?"  It's my opinion children should come first when thinking about these kinds of decisions, but I do understand your desire, too.  ❤️

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Just as I say if you need a roommate, don't make it one of your friends, because you'll likely become enemies, I feel the same way about this situation. It's unlikely to have a friend whereas you're on the exact same page about everything when it comes to major things like living together or creating a child together. It ends up causing great grief.

The child will probably think, "He's my dad. Why hasn't he ever cared enough to be more involved? He's only here for the fun stuff, not the tough times when I need a shoulder."

You might not like the custody arrangements, and not ever fully knowing anybody, he could try to invoke some rights later on you're not comfortable with. This won't happen with an anonymous donor. He might make poor decisions when he takes the child to see Grandma that you don't like, and then bad blood could build. If you were dating someone who you weren't happy with, you can dump them. You can't dump the biological parent of your child, or at least strip him of his rights, unless it's egregious behavior.

Men your age or a little older should expect a dating partner might have children. If I were a guy, I'd feel better about it if the child didn't have this Mr. Fun Part-time dad intruding on the family time, and I might feel more inclined to take on a fatherly role when the child doesn't already have a dad. Good luck in your decision.

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I am the child of a single mom. I always had a happy life, I never went without and to be quite honest, I don't feel I missed out much at all on not having a father.

Yes, I do think fathers have their place and are important role models, but not all children have the privilege of having a father.

Some fathers pass away unexpectedly, some are deadbeat dads and take off, and the child never gets to know their father. But if the child has other strong male role models, like grandpa, uncle, family friends, etc, then they won't miss a huge amount.

That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong at all with having a baby as a single mom. If you feel the baby will still get a lot of love and a lot of support and you can cope on your own financially and emotionally, then I see no problem.

Not everyone has the ideal situation, and not everyone meets their prince charming. But that doesn't mean you should lose out on the experience of being a parent. It truly is one of the most wonderful experiences in this life. 

I hope whatever you decide to do, that you feel comfortable with it and confident with it.

You deserve motherhood as much as anyone else.

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For me it came down to - personally -was I willing to deprive the child of a father I was married to (or at minimum "like married to") at the starting gate.  Yes, divorce, yes heaven forbid death etc but at the starting gate - knowing he/she wouldn't have a father -I couldn't do it.  I did consider adopting -meaning single mother to a child who had no parents at all and was already here -not me creating a child knowing there was no stable family unit.  But it's such a personal choice just sharing my analysis that I did at age 37.  I had my only pregnancy and only child at age 42.  At age 37 I was very single.

I do know of single mothers by choice who seem to be doing a wonderful job.  And obviously I know of many many single moms who became single moms despite starting out with a partner who are just awesome human beings and not just as parents.  Their children are so very lucky.

 I know of none who later married other than the adoptive mother I mentioned above.  I do not know if they wanted to marry - or marry that badly.  One had a baby after a divorce (no kids), another had the 4 kids and has never been married, and same with a third woman.  Now, the third woman wants to date/ get married and she also is passionate about her career, uses full time nannies pre-covid (her child is 3 now), and is very conflicted about balancing her career and motherhood.  For example she was very angry and defensive when people pleaded with her not to take her baby (then 18 months old) on a business trip and leave the baby alone in a hotel room and bring the baby monitor downstairs to the hotel restaurant so she could attend a business dinner.  This is one example of a few examples like this -meaning her choice wasn't between keeping her job and taking care of her child but keeping her plans -whether job or basically living -like going to the gym - over her child.  She's very upset not to be doing business travel right now.  I think she loves her child to the moon and back and I think she did not anticipate all the daily living stuff she wouldn't get to do -especially during a pandemic -by making the choice she did.

 

 My point is make sure if you do single mother by choice to be bluntly honest with yourself what sacrifices you are willing to make given that you will not have a partner and given that your parents or others might not be available to help even if they really want to.  Stuff happens.  Now there's no "guarantee" with having the dad married to you/committed to you but there's a far greater risk of this sort of thing without the dad/partner.  IMHO.

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49 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

was I willing to deprive the child of a father I was married to (or at minimum "like married to") at the starting gate.  Yes, divorce, yes heaven forbid death etc but at the starting gate - knowing he/she wouldn't have a father -I couldn't do it. 

At my nephew's christening, I realized that my nephew would be missing more than a father. He would be missing the entire father's side of the family. Half a potential support system.

But ultimately, it may not mean much. Lots of people get by with less. And our family is great.

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Yes !  There are many different kinds of families and endless comparisons can be done. For me personally my personal values meant I did not think it would be in the best interests of a child to deprive him or her of a father at the starting gate.  My desire for a child which was - understatement - intense and intense since age 19 - had to take a back seat to the best interest of my child.  For me.  Not for anyone else and not telling anyone else what values to have.  I gave myself a year to decide.  After I turned 37.  It took me one month.  Never looked back.  Now that I’m a mom I know for sure I made the right choice.  I know many women who choose their desire to be a mother - who feel it’s basically their right to have the opportunity to be a biological mother - first.  I did not feel that way about myself. I do not feel just way about myself now.  Emphasis on “myself”.
 So if a woman asked me what I thought I would share what I wrote above.  But I will not tell any other person how to evaluate it if I’m not asked. Of course if I felt that there was actual abuse or neglect involved I might give unsolicited input but otherwise no.  Not my business. 

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On 12/16/2020 at 5:44 PM, Capricorn3 said:

OP, any updates?  What have you decided to do?

Ooppps so sorry I only just saw your comment for some reason! Well I've been doing online dating the last three months but it's really not going well. Some dates/people online have legitimately been a bit of a disaster lol I'm leaning towards using my friend as a donor because he's been  talking about it a lot and now actually seems to want a child. He seems to want to co-parent. The problem is I think I need to hurry if I want to do it with him because he said he wants to start dating soon and doing online dating. So if he finds a woman who has an issue with this he might change his mind. He us polyamorous though as I mentioned and not sure if he'll end up dating any women with children of their own.

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Perhaps a serious talk with him on the details.

Will his name be on the birth certificate?

Will there be a legal contract?

Exactly what will be his involvement in the childs life?

Will the child be on his health insurance from work?

If you die would he have legal authority for the child?

I guess what I am saying is once you start doing more than just talk about this kind of thing reality really starts helping you make the decisions. 

I am sure you would be a great single mom. Trying to decide what some future guy you meet might think and having that affect your choice shouldn't be on the table in my opinion.  If you are sure you want to be a mother and things have not worked out for a "traditional" situation then you should do what you think is best for you and your future child. 

  These life changing decisions are so hard to make but I am confident you are reflective enough to make the right choice for you.

  Best wishes

   Lost 

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Great questions from Lost. And talking about the nitty-gritty with your friend? Well, I think that would really help you—you both—understand the seriousness of what you're both considering. 

I say all that in part because I can't help but be a bit unnerved at the idea that you feel this needs to happen "fast," before he matches with and gets involved with someone who isn't enthusiastic about him fathering a child with a friend. If you think he'd be that quick to change his view—well, how can you really trust that he wants to actually be a parent in some capacity? Just going from what you're writing here, he sounds much more impulsive than intentional. 

Of course, none of that may have to factor into things if you're okay with the idea that his truest commitment to this begins and ends with being donor. If you were my friend considering this, I'd probably say do so if, and only if, you wouldn't be crushed if he ultimately has little to no relationship with the child. 

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2 hours ago, Tinydance said:

Ooppps so sorry I only just saw your comment for some reason! Well I've been doing online dating the last three months but it's really not going well. Some dates/people online have legitimately been a bit of a disaster lol I'm leaning towards using my friend as a donor because he's been  talking about it a lot and now actually seems to want a child. He seems to want to co-parent. The problem is I think I need to hurry if I want to do it with him because he said he wants to start dating soon and doing online dating. So if he finds a woman who has an issue with this he might change his mind. He us polyamorous though as I mentioned and not sure if he'll end up dating any women with children of their own.

So I agree with BC.  Impulsive doesn't work and since he is going to have multiple partners one of them could get pregnant, he could decide to move away with one or more of them, he might want your child together to stay over while he is having sex with one or more people in another room, etc.  This is not a hurry up decision -like it might be if you were let's say getting older, very serious with someone and decided to try to conceive before the wedding (as we did, because we knew for sure we'd marry sooner if we were lucky enough to get pregnant sooner).  That kind of "rush" I see because the couple has already decided to be together.

He can find a woman who has an issue with this at any time - while you are waiting for your pregnancy test results, while you are pregnant, after you give birth.  How precarious for your child!  (and raising a child even with a loving two-parent family is precarious enough). 

Do you want to tell your child "I decided to deprive you of a father from the starting gate because on line dating was going badly and I wasn't meeting anyone I could be committed to and I wanted a child badly."  How about instead if you really want to go to the single mom route then in your 40s let's say foster a child who is already here with zero parents or zero involved parents or look into adoption. I know someone who did that - went for a domestic adoption in her late 30s.  Can you believe she met a really awesome guy at a party, a week later found out her adoption was going through, met up with him again (long distance!), told him about it, he was on board and they got married when her little girl was a baby - been married I think four or five years now.  So happy.  

I realize I am projecting my own personal values on you and I apologize if that;s not ok (it's how I determined why I could not be a single mother by choice -because of what I thought a child deserved, at minimum). But even if you do single mom by choice please do not do it in this situation.

Another example -my friend who is in her mid 50s got divorced in her early 40s after a brief marriage to a guy she met online -I met her later.  Then she met a wealthy guy around her age in our city.  She didn't want to marry again.  She did want a child.  I believe now she never really loved him but saw him as a way to have a baby.  They did IVF together and had a son and she moved into his huge house in an affluent area.  He started cheating on her about 2-3 years ago (ironically as I later figured out I think it was with someone I knew).  She prepared to leave him but did it methodically as she needed a full time job and she needed to get her citizenship.  Now I know he also was abusing drugs.  And his wealthy business was going down the tubes.  He died a bit over a year ago -cause of death was "natural causes" but he was abusing drugs and very overweight and unhealthy.

So now she works full time, the house is going to be foreclosed on, her son is struggling -he is 10 - because he lost his dad, his mom works all the time and I'm sure he was subjected to all their fights and being shuttled to babysitters when his dad was with the mistress.  He will be sent to a boarding school next year because she just can't handle him and work full time particularly given virtual learning and no place to live pretty soon.  Now, this can happen of course with a married couple - a happily married couple -a parent can pass away etc.  But the thing is since they were not married and he left her nothing she has no financial support and didn't for years, the son is the heir but the estate is dwindled to nothing and she knew she was getting involved with a "bad guy" but wanted a child. 

I am not standing in judgment but rather reporting the facts -the increased risk when you're not married and/or not with someone you care about who cares about you/not with someone where you're supported financially in some way should something happen -and there is an innocent child involved. 

No I do not think he will like the military style boarding school and I think this boy is reeling from his dad's sudden death and doesn't know how to express his feelings so he plays video games all day.  These risks can be decreased when a child is born into a stable married home or at the very least two committed partners who love each other and want with all their hearts to have a child together and do all it takes to raise the child -together! 

 

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