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AIBU to be horrified DD2 is going down the sperm donation route to be a single mother?

(79 Posts)
JulesT65 Fri 08-Sep-17 20:24:43


My DD2 is 27 and has been in her new house 2 years (first home) and has had 1 serious relationship in her lifetime, she had been with them since she was 16 and they were great together, he moved in after her being in her new place a year. She used to phone me very upset saying she loves him so much, but doesn't want to live with him. She explained that this was going to be a reoccurring problem for her (which I didn't think much of) and she later broke up with him, saying that since moving in, it was expected that they spent a lot of time together and I was very much, well eh, yeah! Anyway, she recently came out to me today that she is going to be using her savings for IUI treatment (I had no idea what this even was until I looked it up!)

She says she wants to separate a relationship with having children and that they are 2 separate things to her... I wasn't really getting it.

She plans on having her first at around 30, she says the treatment may not work straight away so wants to start the consultations, etc. now.

She has a good job (50k a year) which is more than me and her dad brought up 3 children on, so I'm not worried about that, but I am worried about the decisions she is making.

It seems very odd to me to separate an intimate relationship and having a baby, as without all modern day science, it wouldn't happen..........

I spoke to a friend about it who has a daughter who is going through IVF (with her husband) so it's completely different and probably shouldn't have asked, as she said I should be happy I'm going to have a grandchild, but I do already have 2 (from DD1) so it's not like I can focus on having a grandchild at the end.

I suppose I'm hoping other nannies see where I am coming from... It's not something you wish for your child, is it? It sounds a very lonely life. She has always been like this, never enjoyed going out with friends as a teen, but was never depressed, etc. it was just her personality.

She has said in no way does she expect any childcare help from me, but of course I have told her to not be silly. I would obviously love the child as much as my other GC and want to look after them, etc. but I'm just finding it all odd and hard to process.

seasider Sun 24-Sep-17 09:17:26

I understand Watermeadow but at least your children know who he is good or bad. The worst part of not knowing is the loss of identity (like the missing piece of a jigsaw) I was very much loved as a child but grew up in an age where not having a dad was shameful.

watermeadow Sun 17-Sep-17 18:10:40

Too many assumptions that a child needs a father and he will be loving and caring.
When I told my children that I was divorcing their father one said, "Thank God. Why didn't you do it years ago?"
We were far happier without him.

vampirequeen Sat 16-Sep-17 11:10:24

I think your DD has thought this through. She wants a child but doesn't feel the need to live with a man to have one. There are couples who live in separate homes....a couple were on the TV the other day who do just that. She's just taking it one step further and cutting out the relationship side.

As to the child knowing it's father. I guess your daughter will have thought this through and will be honest with the child. The child will not grow up wondering why his/her father doesn't love him/her but will know that he/she was so wanted by his/her mother that she chose to have a baby.

seasider Sat 16-Sep-17 07:59:32

Watermeadow other people may not care but in time the child might. Why is it all about what the mother wants. My mum was not a single parent through choice but every part of my life has been affected by not knowing who my father was. Even simple things like questions from a doctor about family medical history cannot be answered truthfully. Years ago I used to lie to avoid embarrassment.

Eglantine21 Fri 15-Sep-17 16:48:20

That made me smile Anya. Too true, I had never even held a baby till they plopped mine in my arms!

Anya Fri 15-Sep-17 16:42:19

Good heaven! Who says you have to have experience of being around young children, helping others with theirs, etc??


I bet many of us had never changed a nappy, held and comforted a crying baby, fed a baby and so on, before producing our own offspring. I certainly didn't but I learned. Sharpish!

Well said Watermelon and anyway it doesn't matter what we, or indeed the OP, say - it's not up to us.

TriciaF Tue 12-Sep-17 18:35:03

Just to say that our DD1 has gone through similar stages and I found it very upsetting ++.
They're living in different times to those we grew up in.
Now (TG) she has a partner who she lives with and they've worked out their own aims in life.
I've found this thread very helpful in sorting out my (still ) confused feelings. Thanks to all.

watermeadow Tue 12-Sep-17 18:18:24

Hurrah for modern enlightened attitudes!
It no longer matters a damn whether someone is gay or straight, married or single, or how they become parents. If a responsible adult chooses sperm donation and single parenting nobody will care as long as the children are loved and cared for.
Better this than a miserable relationship, acrimonious parting and parents at war over the children caught in the middle.

Deedaa Sun 10-Sep-17 22:19:04

Jules An engineer! Wow! She could still find it a shock though. I know my SiL who is an aircraft engineer found it very difficult with his boys when they didn't do what the manual said grin

Eloethan Sun 10-Sep-17 17:09:06

jules I would be surprised but not horrified. It's not so unusual these days.

What would concern me, however, is you saying "It sounds a very lonely life. She has always been like this, never enjoyed going out with friends as a teen, but was never depressed, etc. it was just her personality." This doesn't sound like a very healthy environment to bring a child up in. Children need interaction with other people and if your daughter still has no, or few, close friends that she socialises with and with whom the child can form some sort of relationship, it could be very isolating for him/her.

£50,000 p.a. is a fair amount of money but probably no more, or not significantly more, than two people's joint incomes - and costs go up significantly when you have a child.

Some people have no choice but to bring up children on their own but it must be very hard work and quite lonely to have to cope with no emotional and practical support from a partner. I wonder if she has had any experience of looking after a young baby/toddler/child for any extended length of time - and on her own?

devongirl Sun 10-Sep-17 14:09:34

I have a friend who has twins by sperm donation and is raising them as a single parent. She has a lot of family support (parents and a sister with her own children in the same village) but nonetheless is a single parent; her children are delightful and seem perfectly fine with the situation. She keeps in touch and they meet up with other mothers and their children in the same situation, as she doesn't want her twins growing up feeling 'odd'. Seems to be working well.

MissAdventure Sun 10-Sep-17 12:36:30

I suspect a few people are at the very least dubious about our children's choices, but all you can do is support them
I can think of worse scenarios than the one your daughter has chosen, though I can see why you would be less than pleased about it.

norose4 Sun 10-Sep-17 12:31:32

A member of my family toyed with the same idea , mainly because she didn't rate any of her ' boyfriends ' as suitable father material. Perhaps you could have a long chat with her to see what her reasoning is & you may find that is not such a strange decision as it currently sounds . Whatever the outcome sounds like you will be a lovely supportive granny .

Craicon Sun 10-Sep-17 12:17:00

I think you're right to feel concerned, OP.
I also understand the point Deedaa is making about some women assuming parenting is a lot like managing staff. They read books by parenting gurus like Gina Ford (!) and follow the instructions then can't understand why their babies don't sleep though the night at 4 weeks or are fussy eaters etc.
Is she assuming that it's relatively plain sailing sharing your life with a child when they are biologically your own? I wonder if she appreciates the adjustments she's going to have to make?
I don't think having a good father figure around is all that important in the grand scheme. (Mine was an alcoholic)
I'd be more concerned about her struggles maintaining relationships and especially friendships.
Just because she gives birth to her own child doesn't mean that it will be a mini-me identical version of mum. It might have a very different personality type and ultimately be extremely hard work to parent.
How well does she get on with her sister's children?
Is she a doting Aunty?

cassandra264 Sun 10-Sep-17 10:44:44

I have a relative who went down this route is very happy with her decision, and is managing motherhood well. (It does help that she is financially independent and money is not a problem).

What I think is more of a worry myself is that when her son becomes a teenager she will be well over retirement age and her health is not always good now. And all her immediate family still living are now in Australia - and none are younger than she is.Not having any family alive to turn to as a young adult can be a serious disadvantage.

I think your daughter's decision to go for this while she is still young and healthy is a sensible one.

luluaugust Sun 10-Sep-17 10:15:29

MOnica agree with the last bit of your post, watched this happening with a friend of my daughters, career was everything but in this case suddenly at 41 she met somebody and the following year had a baby, thats why I felt at 27 a gun was possibly being jumped and doors closed.

Serkeen Sun 10-Sep-17 10:00:09

Hi JulesT65 I actually have two takes on this and as you have posted I am thinking you are looking for opinions.

My first take is what a lucky child to be born to a Mother that really wants that child, and as you know having a Partner is no guarantee that he is going to be around forever, he could leave you and then you are left alone anyway.

My other take on it, is that, it is a tad selfish in that fair enough your partner could leave you but he would still be a Father to your child. It can not be a nice experience being Fatherless.

Could she not wait until she finds a partner that she Does want to live with..

I guess she needs to thing lots about everything..

M0nica Sun 10-Sep-17 09:26:38

I appreciate that no two cases are the same, but look around you everyone is different but most can be aggregated in to broad groups and certain characteristics tend to go together. DD is my most immediate example, but I have other friends like her, not quite the same but similar.

Broadly speaking several are single by choice and live alone and prefer that. Most are fortunate to be part of loving families and have nieces and nephews they dote on and that affection is returned, but whether they admit or not, and several don't, although parenthood has had its attractions, some how it has never happened. Some like DD have thought it through, others regret it never happened, but from outside can be seen to have instinctively sabotaged any opportunity that arose.

I suspect this may happen with this girl. She is 27 and says she will wait until she is 30, then she will say that her career is at a critical stage and she will delay it a few years longer, until she realises it is too late and will always regret it, like my friend, wanting a family but undermining every opportunity to do so.

Luckygirl Sun 10-Sep-17 08:41:47

M0nica - the OP's DD is not your DD - people are different. Her personality and decision is hers alone - others think differently. Many new Mums have not been around babies much before they find themselves looking after their own - I know I hadn't - so in that respect the OP's DD is not different from any other parent.

123kitty Sun 10-Sep-17 08:38:19

Hi jules, what a lovely relationship you must have with your daughter that she chose to discuss this with you first. She sounds intelligent and old enough to have thought this through, so just keep supporting her decision. Lucky you another grandchild to love.

Starlady Sun 10-Sep-17 01:44:09

I don't think you're being unreasonable, Julie. I fully understand your discomfort with dd2's plan. I don't think you should be "horrified" though - she's simply doing something you're not used to. But you can't help your feelings. As long as you express them here instead of to her, you're more or less okay, imo.

Many of the concerns voiced here by both you and other posters seem very valid to me. But question and worry as we might, we don't get a vote here - it's your dd2's decision and no one else'.

"It seems very odd to me to separate an intimate relationship and having a baby, as without all modern day science, it wouldn't happen.........."

But the science is here, so it can happen. And while it may seem "very odd" to you and me, it obviously doesn't to dd2 - and again, she's the one making the decision.

Fortunately, she's giving herself a space of 3 years and will be consulting with them over that time, etc. That gives her a lot of time to think it over. If she still goes through with it at 30, imo, she will do so after having given it a lot of thought.

I'm glad you're ready to love her prospective child and even do some childcare if needed. I hope it all turns out for the best.

Caroline123 Sun 10-Sep-17 00:29:44

I can see where she's coming from.
She can maintain adult relationships, she's been with the same boyfriend since 16 until a year ago.
Some men are high maintainance just as some women are.
They need a lot of looking after,and add a baby to the mix and things can get complicated and too demanding.
A baby is hard work we all know,but it's different to a partner being hard work.
Your dd has your support so that will help.Many don't have that let alone a supportive partner. She lived with her partner and he's obviously not the one,so good on her thinking about becoming a mother without the hassle of a known sperm donor.

haporthrosie Sat 09-Sep-17 22:53:44

MOnica I just read your post about actually being around children - don't want you to think I'm stealing your ideas!

I was going back and forth to the kitchen eating far too many Jaffa cakes as I wrote and so missed the last few posts before mine smile

haporthrosie Sat 09-Sep-17 22:46:16

Definitely a lot of things to think about with this one. It would be odd if you didn't feel a bit funny about it.

At least your daughter is thinking in terms of 'when I'm thirty' and not rushing out to do this next week! In those three years she might change her mind, meet someone who makes her feel differently, have one of those hormonal body-slams that up-ends everything, or become more certain that this is really right for her.

I think there might be hope as well as cause for concern: your daughter doesn't suffer from depression, seems to understand herself quite well, sounds very responsible, and there's frequently that amazing 'now I've got a baby my child is my world' instinct that comes from the blue. She might be a very good mother.

If she is the sort of person, as so many are these days, to think of a child as a sort of accessory, then that's different. I can't help wondering what she's like with children. If she communicates well with them, if she seems to understand what they really are, those are good signs. But even that - thanks to the wonkiness of body chemistry! - only gives an idea. We've probably all known at least one seemingly aloof, un-maternal sort who suddenly becomes all mushily Mumsy when having one of her own.

As you're the one who knows her, you're really the only one who can know the extent of the problems the rest of us Netters can only surmise. If you think she's the sort to be a good Mum, my instinct is bless her and I wish her - and you and the baby - all the best. If you think she's really just not cut out for it, there are still the three years in which she may come to understand that, and in which you can discuss it with her. And - I know I keep banging on about it! - there is hope in the hormones.

Best of luck to you and try not to worry too much!

luluaugust Sat 09-Sep-17 22:40:27

I wonder if what went on after the boyfriend moved in was a bit like what used to happen when people didn't live together until after marriage, that first year was often pretty hard.