The Uptick of Choice Motherhood

It’s the end of 2021 and more women than ever are pursuing becoming a single mother by choice. Why the sudden urge to pursue motherhood solo? 

COVID has shifted the way we plan our futures. 

There is nothing like a worldwide pandemic to make you stop and think about what direction your life is going. The spring of 2020 left everyone with a lot of downtimes to think about their paths and goals. Our lives and priorities changed drastically. We started to think, “What am I waiting for?” The time of self-reflection left many single women realizing the importance of family. On top of this, people have more flexibility to work from home and make time for family. 

Modern families are becoming the new norm. 

We are living in a culture where acceptance for our differences is finally normalized. As an elementary school teacher, I am witnessing firsthand a generation of children who are being taught to accept people for their uniqueness. Whether it be a different culture, race, sexual orientation, or family makeup, children are being raised much more inclusively then in previous generations. This refreshing take is allowing women to have the courage to seek a different path to motherhood without judgement from society. 

 Women are becoming more educated about their fertility. 

So often we hear about women having healthy babies naturally well into their 40’s and social media leads us to believe that we have time. But more and more women are taking their fertility into their own hands and doing their due diligence. Whether it’s the increase in fertility testing thanks to at-home testing like Modern Fertility, or egg freezing becoming a more common option, women are learning how to preserve their fertility. For me, I was 34 when I had my fertility tested and learned that my ovaries were aging at a quicker rate. That information led me down a very different trajectory versus if I just believed that my fertility was finite. 

 The dating app culture has made it harder to settle down. 

I sometimes wonder what dating would have been like if the apps had never been invented. They have created a “next best thing” mentality which has led to a serious lack of committed relationships. I’ve been an avid user of dating apps since they came out. And in those 10 years, I’ve had relationships sprinkled in, but it has also left me utterly exhausted with this way of dating. And while I met plenty of nice men (and a lot of not nice men), I wasn’t finding the connection I knew I needed to build a family with someone. As we get older and want to become mothers, the way you view these potential mates takes away from how dating is supposed to be fun at the end of the day. When it stops being fun, it’s time for a break. And that break when you want to become a mom, maybe the time to pursue that dream differently.

This generation is putting off marriage and babies well into their 30's. 

I can count on my hand the number of friends I had that got married in their late twenties, and it's three. By my mid-thirties, I still had six girlfriends who were not married. The ones that were, didn’t start having children till close to their mid-thirties. Millennials have delayed marriage and having babies more than ever before. A lot of women are in their late thirties before they even consider starting a family. In a poll of 200 SMBC’s, the most popular age for becoming a single mom by choice was 37-39. Women are more focused on their careers, traveling, and trying to experience the freedoms of life before it hits them that their time to have a baby is running out.