single parent

Single Woman Throws Herself A Sperm-Picking Party – Why Not?

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cheers-wine-glassesA woman who is opting to use a sperm donor to have a child on her own wants to throw herself a “sperm-picking party.” She’s going to get her friends and family together to drink some wine and mull over her choices. Her mom is not thrilled. Neither is Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax, to whom she wrote to ask about her soiree:

I’m getting ready to pick a donor for my pursuit of single motherhood and I’m toying with the idea of a Sperm Picking Party. I would screen a list of potential donors and then close friends and family would come over, drink a bunch of wine and narrow us down to the winner.

The letter writer says her mom was immediately dismissive of the idea. When she told her mother she just didn’t want to leave her out, her mother seemed to change her tune a little, but the single woman is still hurt at her immediate dismissive reaction. She feels like it’s just the beginning of a long line of judgments she will receive from others for choosing to go the single mom route. She’s not wrong for feeling this way. The advice columnist’s response proves it. Hax responds:

You do see the irony, I hope, in wanting a more “considered and thoughtful” response to making a game of drunkenly choosing your child’s father?

Hax then makes some blanket statement about navigating judgments by being a good mother, then offers:

You can make this path easier to travel, though, by not inviting criticism with choices that are tone-deaf at best, and at worst cavalier.

You are taking on a sacred responsibility. That doesn’t mean you can’t joke about it, mercifully, or a good percentage of parents would go out of their minds. It just means recognizing the line between joking about that responsibility and making a joke of it.

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