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Gwaeren

The question of kids...

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Gwaeren

So, I’m a female in my twenties and definitely very asexual.

 

The problem is, I do still feel like I want to have kids at some point, not right now but in a few years time.

 

Now I’m aware that sperm banks exist and stuff but I’m not sure if it would be fair to raise a child without a dad. On the other hand, I don’t think I could handle being together and living together with a guy just so my kid can have a dad...

 

Are there any asexual parents here who would share stories? Any advice?

 

Thanks in advance

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Whore*of*Mensa

I can tell you how not to do it...😕

 

Research has shown that single parents can be as effective as two parents, the main factor being support outside the family. Bringing up a child is not easy for one person to do - you need paid support in the form of nursery care, a good childminder etc, if you are going to work (which most people need to do and is also vital in my experience for your own mental health!), and you need support from others who take an interest in the well-being of your child - family, or good friends. I never realised before I was a parent, how much I needed or wanted someone to talk to - someone to bounce ideas off, about how to deal with certain situations, how to discipline, how to teach my child...And to do this you need someone who also knows and cares about the child. It's also good for the child to have others to interact with and learn from - and that doesn't have to be a live-in partner of yours, it can be friends or family members or it can be paid carers! 

 

If you can get into a good financial situation and know that you have some non-judgemental, supportive people around you who you can go to for adult conversation, help with parenting dilemmas, and babysitting...Then there is no reason why you can't make a great success of it. It's worth remembering also, that married couples can run into problems, fight and divorce - and research has shown that conflict is worse for children than being in a single parent family. So, although societal expectations are that children need 2 parents to be living with them in order to thrive, in reality this is not necessarily true. 

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Memento1

I don't think a child needs a dad, but a child needs social support.  They need adult role-models that remain somewhat stable in their life and that they can count on.  Ensure you're not the only adult the child has regular care and interaction with - family or friends that will likely be around over several years.

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Whore*of*Mensa
24 minutes ago, Memento1 said:

I don't think a child needs a dad, but a child needs social support.  They need adult role-models that remain somewhat stable in their life and that they can count on.  Ensure you're not the only adult the child has regular care and interaction with - family or friends that will likely be around over several years.

Definitely true..Though adults can unfortunately become unreliable as things in their life change (same for husbands just as much as friends!) If they are stable over long periods that is definitely a good thing. 

 

If you can enlist grandparents that can be the most stable bond (depending on your relationship) . My daughter has had doting grandparents since very early on in her life (once they got over themselves and adjusted to my situation) - and the relationship has enriched both their life and hers...

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Whore*of*Mensa
1 hour ago, Gwaeren said:

Are there any asexual parents here who would share stories? Any advice?

The one thing I found hardest, was the judgements from others. So I would say that surrounding yourself with people who will not judge you is the biggest thing. Maybe attitudes are changing a little, too, but in very conservative areas you may still struggle socially with disapproving people around you. If you plan it well you can avoid these problems!

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Kharina

I'm in the same situation- feel I am very likely asexual/aromantic but I also think I would like to be a Mum.  I'm considering potentially adoption in the future (I have heard that for some fostered/adopted children depending on background it can be easier for them to be with a single person than a couple).  I might also consider the sperm bank option.  However the social support side could be tricky for me: I'm currently completing a training course for a job and don't know where I will end up working.  If I can be near my parents they would be fantastically supportive, although they are both in their early 60s now, but if I end up elsewhere I might not have people close by that I can depend on for practical help, and while I can try and build connections I know from experience that this takes time, and that's just for ordinary friendships rather than having someone close enough who you can rely on to look after your child if you're ill in hospital or something.

 

Any comments/stories/advice from single parents (ace or not!) would be really appreciated in terms of how they manage things, especially if they live a distance away from family or other social support.  

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Whore*of*Mensa

My friend, who moved away from family to live with her husband, became quite isolated when he left. I know that she used some sort of 'adopt a nana' scheme - her own mother died, and she found an older lady also living far from her own family, who was a sort of adopted grandparent to her kids. I think it worked very well when they were little. 

 

It's good to live in a big city where these schemes are more common, and also I guess you have to force yourself to be a bit extrovert about it. 

 

If you adopt you will undergo extensive assessments, and the social workers look at your social support as part of that assessment. They might also suggest ways to get support. But if you adopt, you have to be aware that the child you adopt will have problems additional to those of a 'normal' child, so they'll need extra support and time from you (sounds as if you know this already..). As a single parent you do have more time to devote to a child, that's a fact... 

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Pan Ficto.

Haha oh my gosh, I'm a single parent but have done everything pretty much the opposite of @Whore*of*Mensas advice :P (though definitely what she says is good advice!!).

 

Honestly the best advice I can give is to try to find financial stability *BEFORE* you have kids. Like heck, if you're rich..  you can do literally anything and it should work out. But failing that (because we can't all pull a million dollars out of our hats), @Whore*of*Mensas advice is good. :)

 

Regarding my own experiences as a single parent, having children was all a bit out of my control and happened to me as a result of the situation I was in.  I have two kids.

 

While pregnant with my second child, I ran away (literally had to run away in secrecy) with my toddler as well, and we lived in a shelter for a few months in hiding until we were able to find a new home.

 

Financially, I live below the poverty line and don't drive, so didn't have much choice in home or location or anything. I live in a smallish fishing town (like 2000 people), and I don't know anyone here except my mum who is sadly an alcoholic so I can't ever rely on her to look after the kids or anything. My brother lives in the city near this town, but he and his wife are also into the alcohol and drugs etc (they're good people! They just also party hard) so really it's just me I can rely on to care for the kids. It's been that way since I had them (after we escaped their dad!).

 

We manage well though considering.

 

The government helps financially due to the situation, I make what money i can from home through writing (I'm very lucky like that!!) and my kids get to socialise with other kids at school. I walk them to the park and around town etc, and we visit my mum (when she's not drinking) for a movie night or whatever.

 

I'm the most introverted person I know, but still seem to be doing okay at raising them!! ^_^ ..I always get a bit shocked when I hear about other mums who have a supportive husband and money etc needing 'time off' from the kids, because like... I don't think I've ever had time off in 9 years and still don't feel overwhelmed or anything, haha. I guess I should just wait until they're teenagers though :P

 

So yeah..  depending on you personally it's totally manageable to be a single parent without money or resources or a social network.. but having all those things would definitely make things easier!!! :)

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Whore*of*Mensa

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) I really really hope I didn't sound like I was saying anyone without financial stability and support shouldn't do it...

 

My advice was how to do it - my own situation is how NOT to do it!!!

 

But, it still has worked out fine, however I would have enjoyed the whole situation more if I hadn't been homeless when I was pregnant, then living in a flat over a shop for the first two years, watching my baby wake up crying with asthma because of the damp air, and not being able to get the rooms warm enough for her tiny hands to warm up...even though I'd swaddled her in fleece and blankets and turned the plug-on heaters on as high as I could, it was still so cold...And crying so much...And nobody helping me, just saying 'well what did you expect' like they wanted to punish this baby for my crime of bringing her into the world...

 

But I have this amazing 17 year old, so warm and bright and funny - I get emotional talking about this, but I am sure your kids are a gift to the world too, and sod anyone who thinks they shouldn't exist just because you're not rich or whatever! I am sure you are an amazing parent and you seem to handle it all way better than I ever did!

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Pan Ficto.
4 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) I really really hope I didn't sound like I was saying anyone without financial stability and support shouldn't do it...

Oh haha I totally know what you meant, it's okay!! I definitely agree with your advice ^_^

 

4 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

...And crying so much...And nobody helping me, just saying 'well what did you expect' like they wanted to punish this baby for my crime of bringing her into the world...

Sorry you had to go through all that :c

 

We had one big bed so me and the two girls all slept in it together to keep warm, and we'd just stay in bed all day reading and drawing and stuff when it got too cold in winter! Our flat was weird because it never *seemed* that cold but there would be thick sheets of ice over the inside of the windows in the morning where the condensation froze :o I found some pics of it in my Google drive the other day, it's weird!! I haven't experienced that in other houses, even in places where it gets a lot colder.

 

The only time I was driven to crying was when guys on AVEN messed with me (I guess I thought I was lonely so spent a fair amount of time on here when the kids were asleep and got a bit too close to some people here). That and some crazy women from the mental health unit (they were 'workers' but should have been patients) started messing with me. Long story though. Actually raising my kids is a piece of cake compared to AVEN men and crazy mental health workers, but damn I'm getting really off topic now sorry OP!! :)

 

your daughter sounds like a really cool young lady, you have clearly done a really good job with raising her ^_^

 

Years ago I used to watch an Australian soap opera called Home and Away and one of the ladies gave some parenting advice to another which has always stood out to me. She said "all a child really needs is to know that they are safe and that they are loved. Everything else is background noise". I know it's lame, but that always stood out to me and I try to live by that rule (safety of course includes food and warmth etc!).  You can be the richest person in the world and give your kids all the most expensive gadgets and toys etc.. but if they don't feel safe or loved they probably won't be happy kids!! 

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Whore*of*Mensa
2 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Sorry you had to go through all that :c

 

It was the fact that people could have helped, that seemed so unbelievable to me. People who now talk about how much they love my daughter - yet could see her living in those conditions as a baby and do nothing about it...Yep, people are strange, and you have to just let go and trust that they mean well eventually...

 

2 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

We had one big bed so me and the two girls all slept in it together to keep warm, and we'd just stay in bed all day reading and drawing and stuff when it got too cold in winter! Our flat was weird because it never *seemed* that cold but there would be thick sheets of ice over the inside of the windows in the morning where the condensation froze :o I found some pics of it in my Google drive the other day, it's weird!! I haven't experienced that in other houses, even in places where it gets a lot colder.

It sounds cosy. Sometimes kids just remember the attention they got from their parent (s), and it sounds as if they got plenty..

 

2 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

The only time I was driven to crying was when guys on AVEN messed with me (I guess I thought I was lonely so spent a fair amount of time on here when the kids were asleep and got a bit too close to some people here). That and some crazy women from the mental health unit (they were 'workers' but should have been patients) started messing with me. Long story though. Actually raising my kids is a piece of cake compared to AVEN men and crazy mental health workers, but damn I'm getting really off topic now sorry OP!! :)

When you are lonely you are vulnerable, also if people think you are - less then them - they will mess with you. But raising kids is important and you should totally respect yourself for doing it well! It's not easy. 

 

2 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

 

your daughter sounds like a really cool young lady, you have clearly done a really good job with raising her ^_^

 

Years ago I used to watch an Australian soap opera called Home and Away and one of the ladies gave some parenting advice to another which has always stood out to me. She said "all a child really needs is to know that they are safe and that they are loved. Everything else is background noise". I know it's lame, but that always stood out to me and I try to live by that rule (safety of course includes food and warmth etc!).  You can be the richest person in the world and give your kids all the most expensive gadgets and toys etc.. but if they don't feel safe or loved they probably won't be happy kids!

Yes, she's pretty cool (I'm biased obvs) - she's my favourite person in the whole world and she knows it!

 

I remember Home and Away 😊!! 

 

Well this will sound like blowing my own trumpet but I am in that kind of a mood...Through her life, my daughter has complained that we have less 'stuff' than others, we don't have holidays, we don't go out for meals, we don't have designer clothes etc etc....I've brought her up to express her feelings! However, she now tells me that I am the best Mum and all her friends are jealous of her (this has been the case for several years now). Her friends say, 'if I was in trouble I would go to your Mum'. 'I feel like I could tell your Mum anything'. 'You're so lucky, your Mum will always help you'.....So, you know - I couldn't give her riches, but I gave her - me. All of me. I'm always here for her and always will be. So yes, you can be rich but making your child feel safe and loved is another thing...It takes some time and effort but it's worth it (and I would help her friends too of course, sometimes I have managed to do so)

 

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Gwaeren

Thank you for sharing your advice, stories, opinions etc. I appreciate all of it! I’m sorry for all the bad things you and your kids had to go through, and I’m glad to hear things are better!

 

I definitely agree that the love and safety are the most important things a child will remember, however, I also agree that I should at least try to provide material stability, which is why I’m definitely not attempting anything while I don’t finish college yet.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to reply!! 💕

Edited by Gwaeren
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thyristor
18 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

there would be thick sheets of ice over the inside of the windows

We had ice on our windowsill when I was young, but I loved this apartment. It was cold in the mornings, but I didn't see that as misery, just as how life was (not saying that afore mentioned situations were not bad; my situation wasn't that bad, it was never generally too cold in our apartment). The apartments I've lived in the past two decades however have been so warm, that all the baby clothes I got that were sweaters or warm pyjamas, they were useless, I never find a place to store flowers that want to be idle through the winter. And I can't understand for the life of me, how people seem to consider it as a step down in living standard when I tell them to buy less consumer goods. We have a MEGA living standard where I live, prior to considering consumer goods.

 

Well, I was raised by a single mum. She was already 42 when she accidentally got pregnant. To be honest, I'm more and more starting to believe that she might have been asexual most her life, since she never had relationships during my life and never mentioned having any before me either; I've heard of only one name beside my dad's and both these connections were very temporary and loose. My mum told me that my grandma suggested that she tell me, my dad is dead. It was a bit of a stigma to get pregnant out of wedlock. But my mum was fine with it and looking forward to having a child. She never lied to me about my dad. She joined a local association of other single parents, so that I would feel normal. There were very various backgrounds, families where the other partner had died, left in friendship, left in bad ways, or never really existed; families with one up to four kids. We'd meet once a month at some church activity center where the kids of all different ages would be able to play and run through the hallways and the parents would meet over coffee and cake. My mum counted her money, not every single penny, but nonetheless. I used to think I was mobbed at school due to wearing my elder cousins' second hand clothes, but nowadays I wonder if it really was the clothes alone. My mum being 15 years older than my classmates' average parents may have been a factor, as well as personality.

 

But that said, I never felt that it was strange or negative not to have a dad.

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Kharina

Thank you sooo much to the parents who shared your stories.  They were really inspirational: it sounds like you have given your children a wonderful start in life despite some really difficult circumstances (and I love that home and away quote @Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)), and makes me feel more confident about my ability to support a child in the future, so thank you so much! :) The idea of schemes like matching 'grans' to children also hadn't occurred to me so another option to consider!

 

@Whore*of*Mensa yes I am aware of a child I adopt almost certainly having more needs due to their background and that there would be an assessment process.  I would also like to help though when there are children out there in need of that.  However not sure exactly what they look at during the assessment in terms of social support etc. so now thinking it might be worth talking to some adoption agencies or going to an event to find out more even though I'm not ready to adopt yet, just to give me a bit more information about it as an option.  Also probably need to find out more about the sperm bank option.  

 

Thanks so much everyone for all your help and suggestions!

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KathyHoh
On 1/15/2020 at 11:00 AM, Whore*of*Mensa said:

I can tell you how not to do it...😕

 

Research has shown that single parents can be as effective as two parents, the main factor being support outside the family. Bringing up a child is not easy for one person to do - you need paid support in the form of nursery care, a good childminder etc, if you are going to work (which most people need to do and is also vital in my experience for your own mental health!), and you need support from others who take an interest in the well-being of your child - family, or good friends. I never realised before I was a parent, how much I needed or wanted someone to talk to - someone to bounce ideas off, about how to deal with certain situations, how to discipline, how to teach my child...And to do this you need someone who also knows and cares about the child. It's also good for the child to have others to interact with and learn from - and that doesn't have to be a live-in partner of yours, it can be friends or family members or it can be paid carers! 

 

If you can get into a good financial situation and know that you have some non-judgemental, supportive people around you who you can go to for adult conversation, help with parenting dilemmas, and babysitting...Then there is no reason why you can't make a great success of it. It's worth remembering also, that married couples can run into problems, fight and divorce - and research has shown that conflict is worse for children than being in a single parent family. So, although societal expectations are that children need 2 parents to be living with them in order to thrive, in reality this is not necessarily true. 

I never intended to be a single parent but it happened somehow. My parents are very positive non judgmental help. So I can work. But I do not advise single parenting. It makes you totally dependent on family, friends etc. I wonder if there are asexual men who want kids?? That would be nice...

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KathyHoh
On 1/15/2020 at 12:58 PM, Kharina said:

I'm in the same situation- feel I am very likely asexual/aromantic but I also think I would like to be a Mum.  I'm considering potentially adoption in the future (I have heard that for some fostered/adopted children depending on background it can be easier for them to be with a single person than a couple).  I might also consider the sperm bank option.  However the social support side could be tricky for me: I'm currently completing a training course for a job and don't know where I will end up working.  If I can be near my parents they would be fantastically supportive, although they are both in their early 60s now, but if I end up elsewhere I might not have people close by that I can depend on for practical help, and while I can try and build connections I know from experience that this takes time, and that's just for ordinary friendships rather than having someone close enough who you can rely on to look after your child if you're ill in hospital or something.

 

Any comments/stories/advice from single parents (ace or not!) would be really appreciated in terms of how they manage things, especially if they live a distance away from family or other social support.  

I ended up working in different continent from my parents. My mum moved in with me for two years. Now taking baby with her for a few years and then we will figure it out. Never easy..

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Silence4now

 Parenting is being there. Do what you can for them but above all else listen. Smile. Even if its only for them. They will watch you far closer than you can ever imagine. Be happy with what you get and try to make the best of whatever that is. You will change and so will they. The one thing that doesn't is being there.   

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