"As women we’ve been raised to believe that our self-worth is in direct proportion with
being “chosen” by a guy to be his wife and the mother of his children." - Daniela Koenig
Single & Ready to be a Mom? Now What?
By Daniela Koenig, Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern
Life’s been a fun, adventurous, successful and maybe even extraordinary experience so
far. You’ve done a lot of the things you’ve wanted to do, whether you’ve focused on your
career or you’ve traveled the world or just grown up and done the things you’ve wanted
to do. You’ve had a few relationships from which you’ve learned a lot, maybe some
heartbreaks, there were times when dating was fun and other times when it was painful.
All in all life feels pretty good, maybe even great at certain times.
However, lately you’ve been having this feeling that something is missing. You’ve
always known that you want to be a mom and that one day you want to find the right
partner, settle down and have a family. Inspired by the stories you’ve heard and the
images you saw on TV. You imagined that one day you’d meet a handsome stranger,
spend some years getting to know him, have fun, then he’d propose, you’d have the
dream wedding, then you’d focus a few more years on your career and when you felt
ready you’d buy a house and have a family. Well it hasn’t worked out that way, has it!
As women we’ve been raised to believe that our self-worth is in direct proportion with
being “chosen” by a guy to be his wife and the mother of his children. Now there is
nothing wrong with wanting partnership and deciding to raise a family together, however,
we need to stop making our life depend on “Prince Charming” and his timing.
You find yourself at 38 ready to be a mom but single. What is a beautiful, intelligent,
wonderful woman to do? Yes, you can wait and hold out till you meet the right partner
and have a child together, but deep inside you know that you don’t want to wake up one
morning at 46 and realize that you’ve waited too long.
You turn to the internet and quickly find hundreds of websites offering advice on being a
single mom, books help you assess what steps to take, sperm banks offer you the choice
of choosing the perfect DNA. It all feels a little abstract and you have a mix of feelings.
It’s ok to have a wide range of feelings.
Yes, some mornings you wake up feeling elated and there is an odd sense of liberation –
“Heck yes I’m doing this by myself! Watch me!” On other days you find yourself feeling
like you can’t possibly shed another tear because you are feeling sad for giving up the
dream you really still want; partnership and a two-parent family. Some days you find
yourself jealous of your sister, cousin, heck you even find yourself jealous of the stranger
in the supermarket with her perfect husband and perfect baby. And then at 2 a.m. when
you wake up and it dawns on you that you are considering being a single mother, the fear
lurking in the corners of your subconscious creeps in and threatens to devour any sense
of resolve you’ve worked hard at attaining that you can do this by yourself… and you are
left feeling utter terror. “What if I can’t do this? What if I don’t have enough support?
All of these feelings are normal and actually ok for you to have. This is a huge decision
and even if you’ve always known you wanted to be a mom you didn’t plan on being a
Make sure you get plenty of support from friends, family, a therapist or a support group
on your journey and remember all your feelings are normal.
Some resources to accompany you on this first leg of the journey:
- Write a journal; keep notes of how you feel, your thoughts, your hopes, wishes, your concerns, questions, etc.
- Collage: Choosing single motherhood even though more common in the 21century isn’t the preferred image on billboards and in the mass media, so you are going to have to create your own vision of what single motherhood looks to you.
- Read a book and hear about the journey of other women who have chosen to be a single mom. It can give you hope, encouragement and normalize your thoughts and feelings
Ask the tough questions and answer yourself honestly:
-Have you reached your personal and career goals? If not are you ok with
potentially not reaching some of them?
-Are you emotionally and financially in a place to support yourself and your
- How do you deal with stress and intense feelings? Assuming that the first year
or two will be very stressful do you have coping strategies that work now that
get you through rough spots?
- Do you have support in your life from friends, family, colleagues that can help
you not just in the first few weeks but will be there with you for the long haul?
- Are you aware of which needs can and will be met by a child and which a
child cannot meet?
And most importantly be gentle with yourself and get plenty of support.
Daniela Koenig, MA, is a registered MFT Intern (MFTI #68203) passionate about supporting people to live the life they truly want. She leads a group called “Single & Ready to be a Mom” in SF, where she accompanies young women on their journey to motherhood – empowering them to follow their inner calling. Her next group starts in
September. To find out more about her you can visit www.DanielaKoenig.com or call her at 415-255-2551. Daniela is supervised by Hannah Milan Gottsegen (MFC #367818)
Labels: Daniela Koenig, motherhood, Single mothers