An open letter to single women experiencing FOMOOM (Fear of missing out on motherhood)

Dear single ladies

Most of us have experienced FOMO in some point in our life. The fear of missing out. But how many of us have experienced a fear of missing out on motherhood? The tick tock of that biological clock meaning that we feel time is starting to run out for us to have a baby. It’s something that is becoming more and more common as more women find themselves single at an age where they desire to have a child. 

This has only been heightened over the last few weeks as many women have had their choices taken away from them with treatments being cancelled or postponed. This is causing great anxiety across the community. 

In school we are educated how NOT to get pregnant. No-one ever speaks to us about how to get pregnant. We don’t learn about our fertility and how our cycles work is not well understood. How would we know this stuff? No-one ever really explains it to us until we find ourselves in this situation. 

How many eggs we are born with, when we ovulate, our most fertile time of the month and the age at which we are at our most fertile. Who educated us on this? How are we supposed to know? 

We often spend all of our younger years praying we won’t get pregnant by accident. At this point we don’t for one minute think maybe one day we’ll be wishing we could get pregnant as the options for us to be able to have a baby are maybe looking a bit bleak. 

Dating in our 30s and 40s is tough. We have to contend with ghosting, dick pics, benching, and all sorts of other things. We also have to try to differentiate between finding a partner and looking for a sperm donor. Sometimes we can lose track of which one we are doing. 

People tell us, we are putting our careers first, we are being too fussy, we are using the wrong app, we are not being open enough, we are looking in the wrong place, we don’t love ourselves enough, we are trying too hard, we are not trying hard enough. What the hell are we meant to do or think?!

Historically as a woman, we’ve had to get married for survival. In more recent times it was desirable to get married for social reasons and maybe a more comfortable life. Now, we really can choose whether we want to get married or not. We are educated, we have our careers, we have our independence. Marriage is no longer a necessity.

That being said, many of us would still love to do it if the right person came along.  

I would have loved to have met a man, get married (or not, it’s not of huge importance to me) and try to conceive naturally when the time felt right. I’ve met so many women who have said the same. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way for us.

Most of us don’t want not meeting a suitable partner to be the reason we missed out on motherhood. 

Luckily we are in a time where if we find ourselves socially infertile (unable to have a child due to our relationship status as opposed to medical infertility) then we have options. Many of us may have been in the middle of pursuing these options until this was rudely interrupted by something none of us could have predicted. Covid-19. 

Yet another blow on this already challenging journey. For anyone in this situation I am sending you love and positivity and know that you are not alone. There is a huge community of women in the same situation. We are all here for each other. To listen and to support. 

Mothers Day can be a challenging day where we feel triggered and low. Do whatever works for you to get through the day. Do not feel guilty. Put yourself first and look after you. 

For help and support to get through this time and this day…check out The Stork and I Mum Tribe. 

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