The 7 things I have learnt since becoming a solo mum

If you’re single and looking to start a family, we can help. Our supportive and experienced staff will guide you through choosing the best process for you, using donated sperm with either intrauterine insemination or IVF treatment. Through our Patient Support Partners network, we also offer support that goes beyond clinical advice with access to counselling and fertility coaching services which may be of benefit when considering the wider emotional aspects that go with considering starting a family as a solo parent.

Fertility coach and RHG Partner Mel Johnson created The Stork and I to empower single women to understand their options for starting a family following her own experience of IVF with donor sperm which resulted in the birth of her daughter Daisy.

‘Going Solo’ is an online group coaching course which Mel runs remotely for women considering the journey to solo motherhood, for up to eight participants at a time, covering topics such as making the decision to start the journey to solo motherhood, grieving for letting go of the traditional route to motherhood, getting your friends and family on board, reviewing your finances and your options, choosing a clinic or alternative path, choosing a suitable treatment or method of conception, choosing a donor, preparing yourself and your body for your fertility journey, managing treatment solo, your support network and planning for the future.

Find out more about ‘Going Solo’ courses here: https://thestorkandi.com/groupcoaching/

Read Mel’s blog on ‘7 things I have learned since becoming a solo mum’ here:

At 37 I found myself ‘socially infertile’. I was more than ready for motherhood, but had been single for most of the previous 10 years. With no partner to try to conceive with naturally, I decided to become a solo mum using IVF with donor sperm. I certainly did not make this decision lightly, it took almost 3 years of consideration to be sure I wanted to take this path. I had to allow myself to grieve for the loss of my dream of following a more traditional route to motherhood.

I chose solo motherhood based on the fact that I was approaching forty and was worried that due to my age, there was a strong possibility that my fertility would be in decline. I felt that I may lose out on the opportunity to become a mum altogether if I waited any longer to meet a suitable partner.

After disappointment following the first embryo transfer, the second frozen embryo transfer resulted in a positive pregnancy test. 9 months later saw the arrival of my beautiful daughter Daisy.

Since having my daughter I have been contacted by numerous women in the same situation looking for advice. I run an online course called Going Solo, that specifically helps to support women considering this option. I have also collated 7 things that I have learnt that will hopefully help others who find themselves single but ready for motherhood.

1. Your support network is key

You can do it alone. I’ve known people who have. But it will be significantly easier with a support network around you. Identify who your ‘tribe’ is and ensure that you share with them how they can best help you.

 2. Don’t worry about what other people will think

One of my biggest concerns was what other people would think of me. What I’ve come to realise is that everyone will always have an opinion about your situation whatever you do. I’ve been lucky that everyone so far has been positive, but if I encountered negative opinions I would try to ignore them and focus on what I am doing, not what others think.

3. Adult company is important

Most women who are in a partnership get to spend the evenings and weekends with their partner or at least have them at the end of the phone for support. As a solo mum, you might find that many evenings are spent alone, once your little one has gone to bed. The more people you can find who are happy to come and hang out with you at your house the better, so you can still have adult company in the evenings. You might need to plan ahead more often to ensure this happens.

Going Solo4. Don’t write off meeting a partner

It is still possible to meet someone after becoming a solo mum. You can just look at having done things in a different order.

I went back to online dating when my daughter was 4 months old and found it much easier than previously as all time pressure has disappeared.

My profile clearly says I have a young baby that I chose to have on my own and many men say it is easier with there being no ex involved and are happy to date someone with a baby. I’m hopeful I will meet someone to settle down with now the pressure of having a baby has been lifted.

5. Learning to ask for help will make your life significantly easier

If you have always been fiercely independent, now is probably a good time to learn how to ask for help. If you accept you don’t need to be super woman and do everything yourself, life will become a lot easier.

6. Don’t be fooled by other peoples ‘perfect’ situations

It might seem like everyone around you has the perfect family life, but that is very rarely the case. Everyone has their own circumstances to deal with. It’s best to focus on making the most of your own situation rather than comparing yourself to others.

7. It’s not as difficult as you might worry about

Once you are responsible for a baby, the likelihood is you’ll step up to the mark and nail it. You will never have known any other way, so it will just be the norm for you. There are also some advantages that come with doing things on your own that you will discover. If you need support Thriving Solo is a course to support how to best manage on your own.

 

Mel Johnson is the founder of The Stork and I, a support group for single women considering solo motherhood. She run’s Group Coaching Courses and a solo mum support group as well as offering 1:2:1 coaching.

Photo Credit: N C Hope Photography