A Very Big Parenting Challenge – Guest Post by Single Mum Speaks

My Mountain BannerThank you so much to Elizabeth for kicking off the My Mountain series last week, and thanks to all of you for reading and for your lovely, supportive comments. 

This week we have Min from Single Mum Speaks to share her unconventional journey to parenthood.  I love her story because it just shows how all parents are unique and so are the challenges we face, and that’s a wonderful thing. 

The biggest parenting challenge that I have faced was my very first one.

Let’s take it right back to the beginning here. Let’s take it right back to….


I know, TOTES INAPPROPES, right?

Well no, actually. See my child was an immaculate conception.  No wonder his initials are JC.  He wasn’t born in a stable, nor was he visited by wise men bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (THANK GOD.  Who wants myrrh?) but as for his biological father….well, he may as well be the Holy Spirit, for I have never met him.

My son is donor conceived.

For me, the biggest challenge was simply getting the chance to have a child at all.

Many of us face challenges in the course of our parenting journeys (I’m sorry, I just had to use the J word. I know it’s cheesy.  I know I sound like a contestant on a reality show auditioning their dog for a part in a musical version of The Wizard of Oz, where they get to play the starring role of Dorothy’s dog.  This was a real thing, people.  An actual thing).

Anyway, back to the Journey.

Some people find the love of their life, only to find that they cannot conceive; others conceive but cannot carry to term; others face a myriad of challenges once their children are here. I have come to realise that no one has the Happy Ever After so beloved of the classic Disney fairytale.

For me, the challenge was that I never found that great love, the one I wanted to settle down with, to be the father of my hypothetical children. Or maybe he never found me.  Maybe we found each other, but we passed like ships in the night.  Who knows?  I was sick of wondering whether he was out there at all.  If I wanted a job, I applied for one, if I wanted to go somewhere, I went.  Why did having a baby have to be different?  Why did it seem to hang so tenuously on the random hand of fate?

So I made a decision, a decision to cut out the middleman-or rather, to add in quite a few in the form of doctors, nurses and embryologists-and have a baby with donor sperm.

It turns out that choosing a donor is a bit like choosing a Tinder date, but without the sleazy conversation. Swipe right, and you’ll find The One.

Sometimes I look at my son and I wonder about his genetic heritage. Did he get his tendency to throw his toys out of the pram-quite literally-from the donor?  Is this a sign of some sort of familial tendency to violence about which I should be alarmed, or is it just a natural part of being a toddler?  What about his current obsession with football, and JCBs?  Is the donor a mechanical digger-driving footballer, or is this, again, just a typical trait of the average eighteen month old?  Why are his eyes such a beautiful shade of hazel-blue, when I barely knew such a colour existed, in my almost exclusively brown-eyed family?  And what about his many international siblings-some known, and some unknown.  Will they all meet up one day and have some great family reunion on the Equator, or similar neutral location, or will my son shun his genetics and his unusually extended donor family, and see the whole thing as some sort of embarrassment, that’s best left unsaid?

I know that all these challenges are still to come, and I look forward to them with equal amounts of anticipation and anxiety. I can only hope that my son knows how much he was wanted, and how much he is loved.

I also know that I was lucky. I know others who have had long, tortuous journeys to parenthood via this route, encompassing failed IVFs, and plenty of heartache.  My Journey was relatively short.  You can read more about it on my blog.  It was, however, by a long, long way, the best journey I have ever taken.

A challenge that was definitely worth it.

“I am Min, sometime Ancient Egyptian god of fertility and lettuce, and all the time single mother by choice.  In 2012 I decided, after having failed in my original Life Plan to “have a baby by the time of the London Olympics,” to take matters into my own hands and have a baby on my own, and in 2014 my son Piglet (not his real name) was born.  I work full time and live, at the ripe old age of 35, with my mother, sleeping in the bedroom I last shared with my brother in 1985.”  

To read more from Min follow her awesome blog Single Mum Speaks, or find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

*If you would like to contribute to the My Mountain series with a piece about your own biggest parenting challenge please email butterflymum83@gmail.com*


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39 comments on “A Very Big Parenting Challenge – Guest Post by Single Mum Speaks

  1. my brother and sister in law had their twins via egg donation. I honestly am not sure that she fully understands that the babies don’t have a genetic link to her. Its something nobody can figure out how to bring up.

  2. Great post, it’s always interesting to hear other people’s “journey” to parenthood when the traditional method hasn’t quite worked out for them for whatever reason. Parenthood isn’t easy and even more so when you decide to go at it alone, well done for doing that you wanted without waiting for the “right” moment x x x

  3. Another brilliant contribution. Bit nervous about mine being amongst such fine company! I really think Min’s story is a brilliant one that should be shared so that others in the same position can feel more confident about a decision that can make them so happy.
    #justanotherlinky #KCACOLS

  4. I love this story. I found it so fascinating. I like reading about how this IVF works. Well done Min!! Such a fantastic journey so far! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

  5. Wow, this is so interesting and inspiring to read! I’m so glad this Mum got her beautiful child in the end and what an incredible journey to set out on alone. Congrats!! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  6. Congratulations on completing your journey into parenthood! Welcome to the club. It’s an amazing feeling, although it doesn’t always seem that way. My wife and I tried three unsuccessful rounds of IVF before conceiving naturally. Don’t overthink too many traits and habits concerning his behaviour, this is what boys do.

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