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Thread: Hi, single lesbian who can't stop thinking about babies!!

  1. #1

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    Question Hi, single lesbian who can't stop thinking about babies!!

    I'm 24 and have been wanting to have a child since I was 17 or so, never seem to find a compatible partner and now that I'm in a stable home situation for the first time in 5 years, I'm thinking about maybe just going it alone... I have plenty of family support, I live with my mum and six-year-old brother.

    Would be interested in chatting to other queer mums in the area (Caboolture and surrounds) to get an idea of what I'd be in for... Have some concerns as well that I may not be a good mum due to some mental illness issues - anyone out there who can reassure me or tell me I'm right to be concerned?

    Also, do people think it's irresponsible of me to consider getting pregnant when I'm not well-off financially? I'm having a lot of guilt-issues...


  2. #2

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    Shades! That's such a difficult place to be in! I'm not a single mum so I can only comment on what the single mums I know go through. But I do have aaah, "mental issues", and depending on what they are, they can sometimes help you be an even better mum! I'd have a chat with your caregiver (GP, psychiatrist or whatever) about that side of things.

    I don't think having a baby should ever be just a financial decision, but we are living in the real world so you do need to take it into account. You do get the baby bonus but that only goes so far and doesn't cover you forever. I know you are with your mum, but do you independant way of supporting yourself? Could you live of the Government payouts alone? (maybe try living this way for a couple of weeks ot see what it's like) Remember you are very young (you are!!) and you have a lot of time to work through your issues (mental, financial etc)

    I don't know if it would help your baby urges which can be so strong they drive you nuts! But maybe try focussing on your nephew or volunteering to help out others with babies, just to get out some of that maternal need? It's very hard, when you look around everyone in the world seems to have babies except you!! Whatever you decide, good luck on your journey!

  3. #3

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    With regards to the financial issues - my theory is you will never have enough money to get married, never have enough money to buy a house and never have enough money to start a family. If you believe in your heart that you are ready to be a Mum then start investigating your options. Good luck, I hope your dream becomes reality for you very soon.

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys... I've got a GP app. in June so I was planning to discuss some stuff then - thing is I've just moved up from Melbourne so it's my first app. with her, lots of stuff to sort out and she doesn't know me from Adam so it doesn't quite seem fair to ask her opinion just yet about how fit I am to be a mum!

    I get lots of contact with babies every time I pick Riley up from school (they jokingly call this Conception Bay!) because we wait around for the kids and most of his classmates have baby siblings who come with mum to pick them - so I get to Ooh and Aah and cuddle them, but it's not enough!

    I used to live off what I get on Newstart, it's doable as long as I'm sharing rent with someone else. My mum's promised me though that I don't ever have to move out if I don't want to, she knows it's hard 'cause of being sick.

    I just don't know if I can reconcile my desire with my guilt, I keep thinking I'm just being selfish...

  5. #5
    smiles4u Guest

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    I just wanted to make a point in saying 'Government Handouts' as mentioned by a previous members comment are not there to support people purely because they want a baby

    ... I worked & paid my taxes for over 20years before I had my 1st baby at 40 ... I too had many baby desires for many years BUT could NEVER ever end up being one of ' those ' that is happy to suck money out of the hard working tax payer (not all tax payer are rich$, a lot of us struggle too !!!)

    My DP earns an above average income (I am home full-time with my daughter now) & after all these years of working & paying taxes I can't even get a Concession card to get cheap fare on a bus.

    I take the local bus sometimes & pay full fare, & it gets my blood boiling when I see so many young Mother's usually with more than one child pay concession. They are so young, it would be lucky if they have worked for 5yrs of their life, if any at all

    ... SHADEY I so hope you have some sort of finance$$ coming in of ' your own ' to support this baby ?? If you are working at all do you realise the cost of childcare if you have no one you personally know to look after your child for free whilst you work.

    ALL THE VERY BEST IN YOUR DECISION, ... AND YOU WILL HAVE THAT BUBBA ONE DAY WHETHER IT BE SOONER OR LATER

  6. #6

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    Thanks for your honesty Smiles, I can see where you're coming from with the whole sucking the money out of taxpayers - I've been on government support for more than a couple of years now and feel really guilty about it - but I'm told by family and also by Centrelink staff that I shouldn't - it's not my fault that I am sick and generally unable to work. I'd also have my mum to help with the days that I struggled to look after bub AND me...

    That's honestly a big part of the guilt and selfishness issues that I've been stuck on with this whole thing.... So you think that the fact that I'm on support because of being unable to work should mean that I shouldn't be considering having a child?

    (I'm seriously not trying to sound facetious or combative here - not sure how to put it exactly though - I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on this - I just sometimes come across wrong)

  7. #7

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    Shades, I think you need to work through any guilt issues you have with your care giver, but PERSONALLY I don't think you should feel guilty about it. Plenty of financially well off people have babies and make TERRIBLE parents so it's not really about that. It does make life harder not to have money but you sound like you know that! One question, would you be able to be in any better financial position of you delayed having a baby? or would it not really make that much difference? Do you feel guitly that you can't provide financially for your baby, or that society would judge you as sucking the system dry? In which case, give society the bird, and take what's available to help you live your life as best you can.

    I have to agree with Krisp - you never have "enough" money to do anything in our society.
    Last edited by nickel; May 30th, 2008 at 12:20 AM. Reason: was felt to be verbally attacking someone - sorry! did not mean to do that

  8. #8
    smiles4u Guest

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    Oh, NICKEL that was a little unfair on your behalf verbally attacking me that way

    Do you understand that the single parents pension is there for those that can't get employment at their time/situation of need until they do get employment, NOT for those who chose for it to be an option of living & being financially$$ supported by others.

    OMG, could you imagine the massive financial strain on this country if ' every single woman in this country ' that's wants a child & does so & chooses to go on the pension ...

    ... AND could you imagine if every single woman that ' doesn't ' have a child decides to STOP working therefore STOPS paying taxes which HELPS towards these woman having their child & choosing to be supported on a pension

    I can only hope that my daughter when she becomes an adult & if she chooses or wants to have her own child, doesn't EXPECT every other person pay$$ for THAT child's unbringing.

    I would imagine that women that think this way have been encourage with that way of thinking because they themselves had Mother's ' do the same' & have/had others financially support the unbringing of their child.

    I won't be here again on this topic,
    ... oh, it makes me far too upset for those that are out there working their hearts out to pay$$ for their 'own child's' unbringing & paying towards some strangers child's financial support on the pension
    Last edited by smiles4u; May 26th, 2008 at 05:03 PM.

  9. #9

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    Shades - i think you need to look at this from a whole lot of angles. financial is one that obviously stirs up a bit of debate. to be honest, the funds you get from the government aren't that much so you'll have to do it tough - raising a child isn't cheap, and you've got to be able to find the resources to raise your child on your own. it IS a welfare payment, and applying for welfare is always a choice. it isn't a case of coasting on government payments until your child is 16 - there are mutual obligation expectations to meet, and to be entirely honest, mental health issues, in most cases, are not sufficient to get you exempted from the need to meet that mutual obligation. there is, unfortunately, a huge social stigma with people being on welfare payments, and this is something you will be subjected to daily, so you need to be prepared for that. in all honesty, i think choosing to hav a child knowing that you will have no source of income other than welfare isn't a smart move - but this is MY opinion from watching some of my friends struggle terribly to get by. lack of money can have a mammoth impact on how you are able to raise your child, and can have an impact on that childs self esteem long term. i am the child of long term welfare recipients (due to physical disabilities) and i've had to work damn hard to build myself up and get past the mentality that welfare is the easy option. i don't agree that ONLY children of welfare recipients believe that welfare is the easy, or the "done" thing - but it has been proven through some pretty major government studies that children of welfare recipients ARE more likely to grow up believing it's the way to go, and expecting hand outs to survive. you have to take into account whether you can help your child get past this mind set and exceed that expectation to become a well-educated and productive contributor to society.

    i guess more than financially (you'll always find a way to make it work) you need to work out whether you will be able to provide an adequate and supportive environment for a child if you bring it into the world. is the illness you're suffering going to take you away from your child? is it going to make it difficult for you and impact on your child's well being? will pregnancy and birth exacerbate the problems you already have? is the illness you have something that is likely to be passed on to your child and cause them issues? are you medicated with anything that could be harmful for your child? the fact that you're already feeling guilt at just contemplating a child tells me that you're probably not in the right place for this. if you're feeling doubt before you've even taken steps to become a parent, you're probably not ready

    the biological yearning to have a child can be overwhelming - i'm not going to deny that - but you have to make sure you're ready not just for being a mum to a new born, but a parent to a child - you need to know that you're ok with dealing with both your mental illness and the needs of a demanding individual for the next 18 or more years. your mum might be there for you now, but what happens when your little brother grows up a bit and needs more of mum's time. or mum is working full time and can't be there to pick up the pieces for you - or, as horrible as this sounds - what if something happens to mum - how do YOU cope? having a child is a long term responsibility and one that YOU have to be ready to take on. yeah, mum is there, but hun, you can't rely on that. you can't factor this in to your decision making. it has to be all about you. being a parent is going to be hard work - and being a single parent means you have to be able to take on 100% of the load as there is no other parent to share that responsibility. i won't try to talk you into or out of it - just want you to pose a hell of a lot of questions of yourself before you decide.

    the biological imperative to be a parent won't just go away - for some of us, it gets worse as we get older! but it can't be the only deciding factor for you in having a baby.

    good luck in making a decision that is in your best intersts

    BG

  10. #10

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    Hi Shades,
    It's so hard to find a compatible partner these days . Money is one issue babies and kids are really expensive but saying that I lived next to a lady that was a single mum of 2 and she managed to work and live on her own it can be done there is a lot of support.
    Goodluck chicky I wish you well

  11. #11

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    Just for the record Smiles... I work as soon as I feel well enough and stop when I get too sick again - it's not a 'decision' to be on welfare. Don't be thinking I enjoy living off others.

    Thanks for your considered and detailed answer BG, and for your support too Kel -

    Am thinking time is not going to help the finances... still - even laying that aside there is still the illness thing... I'm not on meds at the moment for the very reason that I'm thinking of this baby issue, but I'm still not sure where I stand on the fairness of having a child when I know that the genetic predisposition to have what I have is lurking there somewhere... I mean, I could always hope that once they get to the likely age of onset - teens - there'll be better treatments... but is that naive and idealistic of me? Do I still want to risk saddling a child with depression... I just don't know. And it's not something that will change either, now or in ten years - I still have that same genetic material to pass on... so if I say no now, then it's pretty much the same no for ten years from now... I just don't know...

  12. #12

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    Hi there
    Firstly I would like to say that I understand how much wanting to have a baby can impact on your life. It can dominate your every waking thought. DH and I spent 4 years ttc and ended up needing fertility treatment. For me having a baby meant everything.

    Secondly I know what it is like to be the child of a same sex couple. When I was 9 ish my parents split and my mum found a female partner. While I was well loved by my family and friends I will say it is not always easy for the child or the same sex parents when society passes judgment. During such times external support is really important for the mum/mums and child.

    I don't want to tell you what I think or what you should do, thats for you to decide but I would say that if you are having a lot of doubt and questions about your health and finances then maybe your not ready just now to have a child. Maybe take some time and research it a bit. Read a few books, talk to others (GP, family, friends etc). I feel that when the time is right for you you will be a mum and a great one at that.

    I wish you all the best on your ttc journey . Remember that there is support out there and don't be afraid to reach for it if you need it and honey disregard any criticism there will always be people to have a go at what ever you do.

  13. #13

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    Thanks Macca...

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    Hi Shades,

    I haven't really read many of the posts, as I wanted to reply to you and not get into an argument!

    I can't really help with you health concerns. I have had my share of serious mental illness which I am thankfully completely recovered from, but I do understand your concerns about being a good mum (still suffer from depression). I believe if you have talked about getting pregnant with your psychiatrist and psychologist, and you have their support then I would let go of some of that worry. It's extremely important IMO that you do have their support throughout the whole process, as it is stressful and the moods hormones you go through when TTC and when you are pregnant can rattle even the most mentally stable person! And if you don't get pregnant the first time, having negative results can be really painful and disappointing, and it can get to the point where you blame yourself. And being single and doing this alone would add more stress on top of that I would imagine, not having a partner to share the stress.

    As for the financial situation, well money isn't everything, but in saying that you can't live without it. My first question to you would be, how do you plan on getting pregnant? If you choose to use a donor there is considerable costs with that, and unless you have a diagnosed fertility issue you aren't covered by Medicare so those costs can come to in excess of $1000 a cycle. If you use a known donor you don't have those costs if you DIY but you will have lawyers costs drawing up contracts and protecting yourself legally. I'm certainly not trying to scare you or tell you you shouldn't get pregnant, just being realistic. The costs start well before conception! Then there is making sure you have what you need before the baby arrives (which can of course be done cheaply) and that you can support yourself and a baby and pay all your bills. It can be done when you are receiving Centrelink. Not easily of course, as you'd know these payments barely cover the essentials, but it can be done.

    I think the most important thing here though, is the fact that you're living with your mum. We'd all like to think our family will support us through whatever because they are supposed to love us unconditionally but have you talked to her about this? Does she support your plan to have a baby while single and living under her roof? Will she help support you, emotionally? Is she accepting? Does she know you are a lesbian? You've probably thought of all this, but from someone who has been let down by family I want you to know that with the emotional and physical stress of TTC and being pregnant, and unsupportive family can make it a hundred times worse. And you don't want to face the situation of not having your mum support you, and possibly even ask you to move out when you are really relying on her support.

    Anyway, now I feel like a doom and gloom master! I don't want you to think I am trying to talk you out of it, or tell you that you haven't thought about these things. Theres just a lot that really doesn't get thought about, and if you don't think about it it would be pretty stressful realising them at the last minute.

    P.S. Have added you on MSN so we can chat if you like Say hello if you see me on!
    Last edited by Indadhanu; May 30th, 2008 at 01:24 PM.

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    Hey Shades,
    I just wanted to add my little story and input and opinion in here!
    I absolutely know where you are coming from, I'm a 20 year old single lesbian and I'm now officially on the waiting list for donor sperm at a fertility clinic here in Perth. I've been wanting a baby since I was about 14 and have been in a few different relationships, and also tried to get pregnant before, but I have finally decided to do it through a clinic and I'm really happy! So don't stress too much about being young and wanting to do this, and as heaps of other people have said, probably no one will ever really have enough money to do everything they want to do, including having a child, so as long as you think you are going to be able to manage then I think it's probably ok! Just make sure you do as much reading and thinking about everything as you can, because even now that I've been thinking/reading about getting pregnant/having a baby for the last 6 years I know that there is still so much more for me to learn about it and so much more for me to think about it before it actually happens. So in a way I am glad that I have almost a year of a waiting period before I can get pregnant!
    I have had some "mental issues" as well, perhaps not anything like yours, but I am getting help with that at the moment because I want to make sure I'm totally ok before I get pregnant. My mum also died last year so I've still been dealing with that and I realise how hard it's going to be once I've had the baby to not have her around to help me, but that's something I've got to deal with! Just make sure you have a good support network once you get pregnant and everything...... it will help a lot!
    Anyway.........just wanted to share my little opinion!

  16. #16

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    Thanks heaps Kitty_Kat... I wish you all the best with your ttc and everything! You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders...

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    Hi Shades, heard that you are on the TWW. Congrats Have you worked out a parenting agreement with the donor? Please don't underestimate how important that really is, you need to make sure you're all on the same page for bubs sake. I hope you've worked or are working through the guilt you mentioned in your first post. Good luck with TTC

  18. #18

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    Yeah we have pages and pages of a contract detailing how the donor has NO parental rights or responsibility etc - he won't be named on the certificate etc. My mum was pretty impressed with the thoroughness of it actually. She's really come through for me support-wise - much more than I'd hoped!The guilt is being allayed somewhat by my working through the stuff that made me how I am, and trying to find ways of minimising the risk to my baby in the future, so yeah - it's all coming up roses...
    I really hope this one sticks though because my donor is in Melbourne so it's not really doable to try every month - just when I'm down on holiday... so it could take a while!

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