If you’re contemplating single motherhood, there are many important things to consider in making your decision. Perhaps you are among a population of women who made a promise to themselves that they would still pursue motherhood if they were not married by a certain age. Or maybe you’ve been married and divorced without a child and you still want to be a mother. Perhaps you’ve always pictured yourself as a parent—but not necessarily as a wife—so single motherhood just makes sense to you. Or, quite possibly, the decision involves mourning the dream of the “traditional” path to motherhood: love, marriage, and then a child. Regardless of which path led you to this decision point, we recommend answering the following questions honestly about yourself before you move forward.

Considerations before Choosing to Become a Single Mother

There are many questions to consider in choosing to become a single parent:

  1. Do I have financial, emotional, and social resources to be a parent?
  2. Do I have realistic expectations about motherhood?
  3. Would my family and friends support my decision to be a single mother?
  4. How would I handle any health issues that arise during pregnancy or with my child?
  5. Do I have a good work-life balance? Do I travel frequently in my current position? Should I consider moving to another position? How will I manage all of the demands on my time?
  6. If something happened to me, who would be my child’s guardian?

These questions are not unique to single women, as many married couples ask themselves similar questions, although they are more poignant for a woman choosing to parent on her own.

Single women are also often posed with questions or judgments that their coupled counterparts do not receive. For example, many are asked, “Why do you want to become a parent?” The answers are similar to other women: “I always wanted to be a mother.”

Once you’ve made the decision to move forward the next step is to meet with a physician.