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I was a single mother by choice 47 years ago. But I was arrogant in thinking this. I wanted a child so badly that I thought I could do it alone. For the most part I did, but my son missed a chance of having a primary relationship with a man. Nearly 20 years ago a friend had a child alone, and when that child was an infant, they came over to talk about being a single mother. My son sobered her picture by saying how (despite the fact he's glad he's alive) difficult it was for him to not have a second parent. In the beginning, there was no one to share the beautiful moments with, and no one to take the baby when I was at the end of my tether. I never considered myself poor--to begin with, I lived communally and worked at home, then went to school and became a psychologist. Although I found a partner after six years, he was never as dedicated to my son as I was, and left when my son was 14, without realizing how much he was hurting my son. It was very hard on my son in high school, and in the years when he was becoming a man. Would I do it again? I don't know. I'm glad I did, because I love my son and my years raising him were probably the most joyful of my life, but I now see it as a selfish act, to fulfill a dream of mine to be a mother, without thinking how it would affect my child. No child's life is perfect, but becoming a single mother frontloads it with imperfection.

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