Mel over at Stirrup Queens posted recently about a new site called Modamily & it really rubbed me the wrong way…not Mel’s post but this new site. Admittedly, I haven’t followed any of the links she provided so I am writing this solely based on the quotes in her post.
I am not against the concept of the site. Basically, it’s a social network matching site bringing people together who want to co-parent as opposed to using an anonymous donor etc. I believe it’s a fabulous option that could work for many people.
What I take exception to is this: (copied from Mel’s post who copied it from the site)
“In most cases, when using a sperm donor, a mother is resigned to being a single parent. We feel that co-parenting provides more support to the child because it involves two parents that are physically, financially, and emotionally committed. Healthy, happy, and balanced children are what we are trying to achieve and statistically, having both a mother and father within a child’s life dramatically improves chances for a happy and balanced upbringing.”
I found this offensive on so many levels. Firstly, I am not, nor ever have been, resigned to be a single mother, hence the choice part of Single Mom by Choice. I am beyond grateful to live in an era, society, culture that allows me this choice as an option. I have had many feelings throughout this process; resignation was never one of them.
Secondly, I find it hard to accept that I could have more support from a co-parenting situation, at least the type this site promotes, than I do now. I guess essentially I am co-parenting Elena with my Mom since we live in the same household & my Mom will be caring for Elena while I work. On top of that support, I have numerous family & friends who are more than willing to look after Elena if I need. And if we’re talking emotional support (for me or Elena), again I don’t see how their situation is any more supportive than the one I’m in.
Which brings me to thirdly, I am thoroughly offended at the implication made that my daughter will be a less healthy, happy & balanced child based on my choice. I would never judge anyone for the choices they make so am extremely insulted by the judgment implied here. I don’t know how my daughter could be more loved or cherished by myself or the people who surround & support us. Elena has her fair share of male influence & a deep commitment from me & my family to ensure she never feels lacking by not having a father.
Lastly, I resent the implication that my choice is a consolation prize. “Poor Tiara, she wasn’t good enough to snag a husband so had to resort to sperm donation.” Admittedly this wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out, not because Choice Motherhood is a second choice, but because it wasn’t an option I was ever aware of before a few years ago. I, like many of my generation, grew up with the notion that you have to meet Mr. Right (or Mr. Good Enough) in order to get married & have children. So I spent copious amounts of my time, effort, emotions, meeting men, developing relationships & working hard to make relationships work that were destined to fail, all for the deep desire to have children & be a mother. If someone had sat me down when I was eighteen years old & said, “Look Tiara, there are more ways to become a mother than getting married.” If I had been made aware of the options that would be available to me, I don’t believe I would have devoted my twenties to trying to find Mr. Right. I don’t believe I would have spent the first part of my thirties in such a deep depression, convincing myself I must be worthless & unlovable because I hadn’t been able meet Mr. Right.
When I choose Single Motherhood, I didn’t give up on love. I took the desperation out of meeting Mr. Right. I finally learned that one wasn’t dependant on the other & I could be a mother, fulfill that dream & still hold hope that I’ll meet a life partner someday. The most important part of this lesson I learned? Before, I believed my happiness & the completeness of my life was contingent on this elusive Mr. Right. I now know that my happiness solely rests in my hands & becoming a mother has made me feel complete.
The fact that this site diminishes my choices to promote their own is why it completely loses credibility with me. Which is sad since I think the option of co-parenting is a great alternative that many could benefit from.
There are many other issues that come up regarding this site, so please, if you haven’t already, click over to Mel’s post. She is far more eloquent that me.