Being a single mom is incredibly difficult. There are many routes to single motherhood, whether it be by choice or by circumstance. A mother in the UK has sparked controversy by saying that single mothers are "selfish," causing single mothers everywhere to scratch their heads. Sometimes relationships end, and more often than not, that's what's best for everyone. Other times, the dad has died, and the mom certainly has no choice in that. But some women do choose to have children by themselves. Maybe they don't want to be married. And what about queer women who wouldn't be in heterosexual relationships with men at all?
Lottie Daley, who is herself a single mother was guest on the British morning talk show, Good Morning Britain. Daley claims that women, especially those who choose to have children alone, are selfish for making the decision to "deprive a child from the outset of a father." The context of the conversation was British celebrity Cheryl talking about having a child on her own after the end of her last relationship. But regardless of the origin of the conversation, the stance she asserts is incredibly troubling.
As pretty much any single mom will tell you, having a child on your own is not selfish at all. In fact, being a single mom is one of the most selfless things you can do. Single moms don't often have much time and/or money to spend on themselves. Everything they do is for their families. Having a child, and knowing that you will be doing it on your own (even if you have a great support system) isn't selfish -- because you are literally giving everything up to care for that child.
I know many children with two "parents" I also know children with single parents who have a much better upbringing, love and security! Having two parents doesn't give better childhoods and make you more loved!— x Charlotte x (@FairydustUk) April 16, 2019
"I have a friend who is the product of a sperm donor and he is absolutely miserable," Daley claims "He is so upset that he won't even have children. He is looking for his dad."
There are a few things wrong with Daley's line of thinking. You can't guarantee that a child with a dad will have a positive relationship with him. Plenty of kids have dads who don't want to have any sort of relationship with them. A kid whose dad is a deadbeat isn't going to benefit from that kind of relationship, in fact it could be a detriment. We have to trust that women know what's best for their kids, and if not having a dad in the picture is what's best, that's what we should encourage.
What so a lesbian couple of have a baby are selfish because theres no ‘male father figure’ and a gay couple are selfish because theres no mum?? Behave!! As long as a child is loved and brought up well what does it matter??? 🤦🏻♀️— Rachel Allison (@rachel_allisonx) April 16, 2019
Saying a woman who wants a child with or without a father figure in the picture is selfish is pretty ignorant. A woman's biological urge for a child is theirs and often has nothing to do with their partner. If a mother is choosing to have a child, we know she will give it all the love and protection it needs, no dad required.