Choosing to Parent

When I was 33, I found myself unmarried and pregnant. This was not a disaster or a dilemma for me since I had a good job, made my own money, had been married, and already had a child. I knew that I wanted more children, and did not feel that I needed to be married to accomplish that. I had already been there and done that as far as marriage was concerned. And, I knew what it took to endure the diapers, disease, and pertinence that accompanies children.

Nonetheless, making the decision to have a child in my circumstances was still an unconventional move. While Murphy Brown had successfully delivered and nurtured her daughter alone, choosing to be a single mom required bravery and convention. In truth, simply choosing to be a mom requires bravery and conviction, doing it single simply takes a bit more. 

My second child was successfully delivered on a July day in 1991. Two of my best girlfriends served as my birth coaches. One brought a bottle of champagne which we popped open to celebrate the birth. The father was not present, or particularly interested, a pattern that he established early.

Single parenting was the most frightening and liberating thing I have ever done; frightening because you know you are in this alone, and you must bear the consequences of your decision, no matter the costs; liberating because every decision is yours alone to make, no discussion or compromise. Your responsibility is larger and your freedom greater, requiring a trickier balance. 

This is not journey for the faint of heart. It is one that if you are lucky, will lead you to the greatest loves of your life.

Lori LeachmanComment