Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend from college. She explained to me that last year she was attempting to have a child on her own. She was explaining this to her brother, when he replied, “In this day and age, why would you do that on your own?” Perhaps he had good intentions, however, I could not help feel insulted for her. My question is, “In this day and age, why would she not do that on her own?”
In recent years, as many of my girlfriends hover in their late 30s to late 40s, I’ve had a handful that have decided to do parenthood on their own. I commend them. No more waiting or wishing for Mr. Right, no more hoping for Prince Charming or a knight in shining armor, no more sacrificing what they really desire for the sake of making another happy. They became a parent on their own, alone, and consciously.
Don’t get me wrong. A fantastic partner would have been ideal. Nobody can deny the fact that it takes a village let alone another human being to help raise a child. However, that opportunity never presented itself to these women at the right place, time, or situation. So, like strong women do in many situations, they decided to go it alone.
Going It Alone.
I was going to go it alone myself in a few years ago. I, a strong, single woman, had been cancer free for years and received my oncologist’s blessing (well not really… his face contorted, and he asked if I really wanted to do that). I selected a clinic overseas (Czech Republic), a method (embryo adoption), and a short term/long term plan (birth, childcare, etc) that suited my needs as a single woman and future single mother. I could do it on my own. As a matter of fact, why would I not do it on my own?
Well, because less than two months after that alleged blessing, my PET scan came back positive. I had cancer…again. Hmmm. Time to regroup. Some surgeries, lung collapses, infection, and long hospital stay later, I was definitely not going it alone as a mother. It was no longer on my radar. Living was my new passion project. And I was going “it“ alone.
Going It Alone.
This is not to discredit and deny thanks to my friends and family that did help me. They aided me in the most profound ways and under some very compromising circumstances. I simply can’t thank them enough. Really, though, I was doing this alone despite the fact I had wonderful oncologists, nurses, therapists, girlfriends, guy friends, sisters and family. However, the truth of the matter is, I am a single woman in her 40s, unmarried with no plans to marry, family that is 1500 miles away, with friends scattered across this continent and others. I am going this alone.
We all have our team, posse, crew, old and new friends that step up when we need them. Some of us are fortunate enough to have close families, siblings, or an amazing spouse. However, in reality, human beings, due to the nature of modern society, are doing it and many, many things alone.
So, when someone ask, “Why do that on your own? Why go it alone? How do you do it alone?” Whether it’s a naysayer, a brother, or a mother or…any of them!!! If they dare ask, “Why would you ever do that alone? I say, “Why would I not (insert curse word) do it alone???” See if they have a legitimate reply.
Is this really a new phenomenon? Women have been getting sick, raising children, building, surviving, inventing etc. independently since the beginning of time. Men and husbands died or disappeared at sea and war for centuries. Women were often left supporting entire villages, children, and each other.
Why go it alone?
Because we can.
I do lots alone. I read alone. I drink alone. I bike alone. I do much alone. Of course, it might be easier (or maybe not) with a good friend or amazing partner? But why wait?
Throughout history, women have been referred to as the fairer sex. I am still not sure that means. However, women are certainly not the weaker. We are strong.
We are fierce. We are independent. We are wise. We are so much. We always have been.
So, I say, have your child. Fight that disease. Go on the long-desired dream vacation. Don’t wait.
And, if anyone ever asks you, “Why would you do that on your own? How do you do it alone? Why go it alone?” I ask you to respond like this,
“Why would I not?”