Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Lori Pace
Divorce, the death of a partner, unplanned pregnancies, or personal choices may have led you to be a single mother. While it’s a rewarding journey, it has a unique set of challenges. But you may still want to expand your family through surrogacy.
You can gracefully combine single motherhood and surrogacy with the right knowledge and insights. This guide offers actionable tips to help you overcome the typical challenges of this fusion and find harmony in both roles.
Understand the Journey Ahead
Surrogacy isn’t always a walk in the park. The first step involves choosing a suitable surrogate. But it’s not all about the selection. It helps to understand her experience of becoming a surrogate so you can handle her properly.
Once you settle on one willing to bear a child for you, both of you must undergo a rigorous medical examination to ascertain compatibility. It’s typically an emotional stretch, full of anxiety, excitement, and uncertainty.
Being a single mother adds a twist to the plot. Normally, a marriage partner would help you make decisions, but being single means you have to do it alone. Nevertheless, professionals can guide you in doing the right thing and avoiding common pitfalls.
Equipping yourself with knowledge is non-negotiable. Research every surrogacy stage in and out so you have a firm grasp of what’s expected of you. Read books, visit online sites and platforms dedicated to surrogacy, and chat with friends who’ve taken the road before. Being informed makes you feel more in control and confident about your decisions.
Build a Support Network
Friends and family offer a shoulder to lean on in this emotion-filled journey. They’re the ones to open up to in times of joy or sadness. They identify with your struggles and can offer an empathetic ear to whatever you’re going through. So, don’t contemplate stepping into surrogacy alone.
Another excellent option is joining surrogacy-centered support groups. These typically comprise folks who’ve tried surrogacy before or are currently in the process. You can learn a lot from their experiences, enabling you to avoid traps that can negatively impact your life. You’ll also celebrate milestones together. Such a sense of belonging makes the journey more manageable.
Manage Time Wisely
Juggling single motherhood with surrogacy is time-demanding. But you can make it with effective time management. You’ll realize every other week has critical activities begging for your attention. Plan your week in advance. Schedule specific time blocks for surrogacy tasks and motherhood duties. These include doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, kids’ playdates, support group sessions, prenatal classes, and routine child health checkups. This way, you’ll cater to the demands of both, without ignoring any.
Consider using digital tools to organize your schedule. They’re better than paper planning because they eliminate the error of double-scheduling. You can also set reminders to know what you’re supposed to do on any particular day and time.
Prioritize Emotional Well-Being
Surrogacy is characterized by feelings of excitement, mixed with doubt, anticipation, uncertainty, gratitude, impatience, elation, and concern. Such an intricate mix can quickly overwhelm you. Thus, prioritizing your emotional health is crucial.
An excellent starting point is seeking counseling services. Professionals allow you to pour out your feelings and help you develop coping strategies.
Next, incorporate meditation into your routine. Exercises like mindful breathing, guided visualization, observing body sensations from head to toe, repeating mantras, and sending positive wishes to yourself will bring calmness in chaotic moments.
Besides meditation, activities like journaling, physical exercise, and hobby engagement can help you manage your emotions.
Plan Your Finances
Surrogacy comes with costs like medical tests, legal, agency, psychological screening and counseling, travel, and lodging fees, insurance, and surrogate compensation. Knowing these expenses is the first step toward effective planning.
List all expected expenses for the surrogacy’s entire duration. Determine what part of your savings will fund the venture and how much you can set aside each month toward surrogacy. Track your spending so that you don’t exceed your budgeted amounts. It also helps you identify areas where you can save cash.
You’d want to seek monetary support from organizations that help surrogacy efforts. Research online and ask around locally to identify such funding opportunities. Proactively planning your finances ensures you don’t fall into uncalled-for strain along the journey.
Introduce Surrogacy to Your Older Kids
If you have kids old enough to grasp basic concepts of surrogacy, it’d help to introduce the topic wisely. You wouldn’t want to shock them with a newborn, yet they didn’t see you pregnant, as expected of moms. Kids are curious naturally and will bombard you with a million questions. Answer them with age-appropriate language. Something like, ‘Mrs. Lily helped us to get a new baby for our home,’ which may do for younger kids. For teens and above, there’s no harm in getting into finer details.
Furthermore, share with them critical updates on your journey. You can inform them about your surrogate selection, ultrasound results, or baby’s arrival. Also, engage them when selecting baby items and setting up the nursery. They’ll feel valued and offer you the needed support.
Combining single motherhood and surrogacy is the true definition of strength and resilience. The journey has unique hurdles, but you can always maneuver with the requisite know-how. Employ the insights outlined herein. Don’t forget to seek expert advice. There are a lot of professionals you can turn to for guidance on every bit of the journey. Ultimately, you’ll receive your bundle of joy and raise them together with your other kids.