This is a personal story from February 2018 written by Anna.

I have always wanted to be a mother, for as long as I can remember. I am a teacher and since uni, I have worked in schools and nurseries teaching and caring for other people’s children.

When I made the decision to go ahead alone and become a solo mum, using donor sperm and fertility treatment to have a child, I knew it would make that dream come true! And it did… having Eadie was the best (albeit hardest) thing I have done in my whole life! My proudest achievement: a wonderful, confident, funny, strong, clever little human being. She is my partner in crime. Always by my side. She is a hug on a cloudy day and brings sunshine to my life.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. You definitely need a village when you’re a solo mum! I have enjoyed building mine. There are the people I always knew would be in my village: my friends and family. My sister, Sarah, there for so many appointments, my birthing partner, the one to cut the cord, sing in Eadie’s ear as she howled and the first person to hold her and bring her to me. More recently, the one to give her chocolate for breakfast and paint her nails!

But, what I hadn’t prepared for, what I could never have known, was how this decision would affect my wider life! The people, now in my village, that I didn’t yet know! Through treading this path, I have met some amazing women. Some of these women I have only met online, we have never met in person, but it feels like we have always known each other. Some of them have become my closest friends. Friends to share New Year, Christmas celebrations, Sunday lunches, camping holidays, birthdays, births and of course some tears and frustrations too. Friends who know how it feels to juggle all of this on your own. Friends who Eadie loves too and who are an important part of her life as well as mine.

What would I say to anyone thinking about becoming a solo mum? Do it! You won’t look back. Build a support network around you, go to local meet ups, find out if there are other solo mums living nearby, go to a DCN conference or workshop, join a solo mum online support group. You will find great support in others that understand the ins and outs of being a solo mum.

It’s hard, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever done!

Becoming a solo mum has made my dream come true and has enriched my life in more ways than I ever expected.