Everyone should be a parent. Let me rephrase that: Everyone who wishes to be a parent should be one, no matter their age, sex, or marital status… What really matters is whether they can love and provide for a child. Now, that’s easy for me to say because I am married with children. But the truth is if I hadn’t found a partner with whom to co-parent, I would have done it on my own.

That’s why I encourage single women who have the resources, to become single mothers by choice. It’s not the easiest road to travel, but the rewards are rich, while the regret of not doing so can be haunting.

Many of my single Latina friends would love to be moms, but they just don’t feel the timing is right, for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They are not married or in a committed relationship.
  • The person they’re dating is not “marriage material.
  • Their families will not accept a child born out of wedlock.
  • They are too scared of artificial insemination or adoption.
  • They are worried about what people might think.
  • They believe that someday, Prince Charming will come and if they already have a child, he will run away.

These are all valid reasons. But the reality is that the longer they wait, the narrower the window of opportunity for them to procreate. I would love for them to go ahead and just do it, simply because they want to be parents. I wish they would stop caring so much about what other people think.

Besides, there are plenty of people who think like them. For example, Single Mothers by Choice is an online community group of like-minded women who share their experiences as single mothers. There’s also a space on the site where children of single moms can share their views and support one another.

Read Related: A Less Than Obvious Choice: My Path to Single

Psychology Today has an insightful article about “social factor infertility“,—essentially the lack of suitable male partners in the modern age, and how this is influencing many women to become mothers by choice.

If you intend to adopt a child, you can wait a bit, as no biological clock impedes you. But a lot of my friends are in their early 40s and if they wish to conceive and their health allows it, they have to start moving quickly. Stop waiting for Mr. Right! Life with children is not easy; in fact, it’s filled with worry and sacrifice and stress. But there is not one day that goes by that I don’t feel blessed and thankful for my two miracles, Ian and Maia. And I know I’d feel the same way, even if I were raising them as a single mother.

If you really have the desire, go for it! Stop wondering about whether you’re normal or whether it’s the right thing to do. If you want to get pregnant, put yourself in the hands of a doctor who will refer you to a fertility clinic or sperm bank if necessary. If you want to adopt, then you don’t need to see a doctor, but it will help to ask other parents about their experience. Check out La Casa de la Madre y el Niño in Bogotá, Colombia, or your state’s department of children and family services—where there are always children waiting for a loving home of their own.

Parenthood is an adventure, a never-ending roller coaster of emotions, some good, some hard to swallow. It requires a lot of love and patience and as long as you have that, you have all the power you need (besides money) to become a good parent. If you wait to be prepared enough, you might never do it.

In the end, whether you’re single or in a relationship, it doesn’t matter. Your kids will grow up secure and resilient as long as you provide the right guidance and support. If you’ve been dreaming about being a parent your entire life, and still have the wish, the love to give, and enough to provide a comfortable life… it’s never too late to change your Facebook status to: I’m a mom!