Has somebody suggested to you that it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40? Or is this something swirling around in your own awareness using up the energy you need to be a mother now?
Let's face it, dealing with insensitive infertility comments is a useful skill to develop when trying to have a baby in your mid forties and beyond.
The matter of overcoming judgment around the age piece, I have addressed in getting pregnant after 50.
I teased out some of the knots you can feel emotionally when you want a baby but are single in a video on that post.
But this audio and article below explores the notion of whether it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40 from other angles.
It was inspired by a question I received from Eva. What follows is an extract from her share...
"...Deirdre, one more feeling that comes up is if it is justified to want a baby so much when you are alone, as in single.
This has its root to an "attack" I received from a former friend who aggressively told me that children need two people when I expressed the desire for a baby four years ago.
... her meanness (and subsequent bad energy) got to me...
She is out of my life...."
Thank you Eva for asking this great question because a lot of women are asking themselves if it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40. I'd like to respond to it in a few different ways with the intention of serving you now.
To begin with, I looked up the words 'justified' and here is what I found. It means 'marked by a good or legitimate reason'.
What comes up for me here is that in our patriarchal, male world we (women especially) have been trained to believe that a good reason is required to proceed in the direction of our dreams - when they fall outside what is considered the norm.
But there is more to that definition than meets the eye. In operating terms what this has meant for women is that the reason we want something must be perceived as justified and legitimate by those in authority (family, social circle, teachers, leaders etc.).
Whether the reason feels legitimate to the woman herself here carries no weight whatsoever. Especially when she dares to entertain motherhood without the patriarchal prerequisite of husband (or partner). Or refuses to accept that her expiry date has passed.
(Sure times have changed and there is more flexibility around this in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, these notions still form the background in which we experience our womanhood and our Creative Feminine™.)
It is interesting that the word legitimate was used in this definition.
Disguised as 'moral code or conduct', patriarchy is not keen at all on anything illegitimate - especially children.
Why? Because they threaten the the order of things and challenge the control mechanisms that keep women in place.
Illegitimate is just another word that informs us whether patriarchal approval has been given. How well we have been taught as women to seek approval from others.
Hence your query if it is justified or selfish to want a baby when single after 40. But your story doesn't end there Eva. Not by a long shot!
Because you went on to write the following:
"...I will pass like the wind through all of that and be there for my embryos...
Noise in my head but I know what is right. I know it......"
So you answer your own question about whether it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40! Even if you are well aware of the predictable disapproval from different sources, you are saying yes to you.
Instead of giving your power to the chatter in your head (reason, justification etc.) as we have been trained, you are engaging your feminine wisdom and being guided by what you would love to create in your life and how you feel now.
By choosing this route, not only do you give yourself the chance to be who you truly desire to be, but you are also supporting your fertility by listening to your feelings and believing in your feminine. (Even if the medical model doesn't get that yet).
What I am hearing here is a woman (and mother) in your feminine power - discerning your own fertility truth. Rather than continuing to play with her, you asked "is she really my friend?" and received a very clear answer it would seem!
Although not understood by most, this is a very important part of the fertility journey and becomes even more influential in the experience of age and fertility after 40. Withdrawing from people I didn't feel nourished by helped me transform infertility to motherhood - and this practice is just as significant for me now as a mom.
So I love that you are releasing friendships that don't feel supportive - because that will serve you hugely now and right through motherhood!
The third piece I'd like to address, in this quest to establish if it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40, is to look a little deeper at your "friend's" comment.
She expressed that children need two people and while she was most likely referring to the backbone of patriarchy (husband-wife scenario), there is wisdom in her comment nonetheless. Bear with me...
Whatever about a child's needs (which we can explore elsewhere if that would be valuable for you), children need more than two people - for us to thrive as mothers. Perhaps that's why so many don't want to have a baby alone.
But this has nothing at all to do with whether you are single or in a committed relationship.
Especially in the early years, motherhood is a full-time job. Not the nice cushy full-time of a 40-hour week where you get evenings and weekends off along with holidays - while being paid. Nope.
Because the model of motherhood has been established by men and the current default setting for us is to give power to patriarchy, it's full time. And some.
In order to show up as the women and mothers that our children really need us to be, a team of support is called for. Some of that will be very practical and relate to running a home, shopping and meals etc.
But we will also need people to hold the reins while we have time-out - so we maintain a strong connection with who we truly are as women (independent of motherhood). This is essential in order to make the best decisions as a mom. I didn't have this and the repercussions were enormous.
In addition, it is really important for us as woman to have an emotional space to process this new role (and person) and navigate our way with confidence.
Although patriarchy encourages us to pretend that all is hunky-dory, we need to be able to explore authentically what is really true for us in motherhood - without fear of criticism - in a way that actually empowers us.
In that way, it can be lovely for you and your baby. Whether you are single or with a partner.
That may sounds like pie in the sky now especially if you are dealing with infertility costs or cannot imagine having the resources or people in your life that would facilitate this for you.
Not to worry. You don't need to know 'how' this will happen. You can still proceed in this direction.
Whether it's selfish to want a baby when single after 40 isn't the inquiry that will serve you most now. In any event, you found your answer within. Considering the kind of team you would love, on the other hand, is well worth the investment.
I invite you to sit down to create a vision board or write a few pages about your ideal week in your life with your new baby. Intend that in your life as a mother you will be have all the sleep, nourishment and child-care support that you could possibly need.
Imagine yourself waking up refreshed each morning and heading for bed each night feeling deeply satisfied. Create a time-table that includes your dance or other movement classes for example - and not just once a week. (How I wish I had done that.)
Create this schedule for real and hang it up where you see it - to remind yourself about where you are going as a mom.
Ensure that what is most meaningful to you and core to your sense of well-being is included in your time-table.
And once you have steeped yourself in this version of motherhood you would love most, then intend to draw it into your life in a way that's sustainable for you and joyful.
By taking your time to contemplate this thoroughly, you will begin to notice the people and permutations that could contribute to this becoming your reality.
And be alert to new possibilities which demonstrate that it certainly is not selfish to want a baby when single after 40!
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your opinion around whether it is selfish to want a baby when single after 40. Please share your comments below because your contribution here really, really matters!
More Resources For You