Young Women Who Seek Sperm Donors Have No Idea How Hard Parenting Is

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screaming babyDating can be rough, no doubt, but increasingly it seems young women are giving up on men to get pregnant, and heading straight to a drama-free source when it comes to their need for a child -- sperm donors. The most surprising thing is just how young they are when they give up and go for it on their own. According to a British report, women as young as 18 are seeking sperm donors, and as many as 25 percent of users on some online sperm-seeking sites are younger than 25.

Maybe it's because my toddler daughter has been sick, and I haven't slept in three days, and my clothes have been soaked with vomit and snot, and I've had to miss work, and I can't imagine not having had my husband to help me during it all, but all I can think is: Are they crazy?

I believe families come in all shapes and sizes, and by no means believe a traditional nuclear family is the only way to go. Some of the best moms I know are single moms, but choosing to be a single parent at such a young age just seems like an impetuous decision clouded by pretty visions of parenthood.

I get the desire to have a baby, and parenting is beautiful and magical and the most incredible thing I've ever done, but it's also hard, oh so hard, and I can't imagine doing it alone. Plenty do -- and do it well -- but I think being a single parent is one of the most difficult jobs there is.

Some days when my husband is traveling, I'm so exhausted -- mentally and physically -- all I can do upon his return is grunt and retreat to my bed while he takes over at last. Never having that source of relief anywhere in sight would be exhausting. Sure there are family members and babysitters, but you can only expect so much from people who aren't a child's parents. And besides the actual work, it's the mental support a good partner provides that is key to making it through the tough times and really soaking up the good.

How young is too young to seek a sperm donor? I don't know, and there's always the whole aging female eggs one has to worry about, but life happens quickly and unexpectedly, and sometimes after a few bad dates, you unexpectedly find a partner. To miss out on that because of a rash choice in your early 20s or before that would be unfortunate. Not that women should spend their whole life searching for "the one," but if children are what they want, then searching a little longer than the teenage years seems advisable.

And yes, there are deadbeat dads and partners that actually make life worse rather than better for kids. Two-parent families are no guaranteed panacea for sure, and parenthood will always be a lot of work no matter what. But to give up at such a very young age that you'll ever be able to find a good partner to share both the joy and pain of raising children is both sad and I fear setting up these young women for extremely challenging parenting experiences.

How young do you think is too young to seek a sperm donor?


Image via N8tr0n/Flickr

baby prep, emotions, fathers, motherhood