Lucky Number Two

me and girls oct 2012My twin daughters, Eve and Lily, are 14 months old. I spent the first 12 months of their lives in a state of euphoria. Don’t get get me wrong – I’m a Single Mother of Twins – it was hard, but I felt and continue to feel that for every “part” hard it was at least three parts amazing and awe-inspiring. Toddlerhood has been tougher. I remain in awe and in love, but I also find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared that I suddenly won’t be able to handle the next challenge.

As I look deep inside myself at this past year and forward to the years to come, what I feel more than anything is… lucky. Pure, found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, LUCKY.

I did not ask for twins. Ok, more to the point, I did not want twins. I knew there

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Happy 35th Anniversary to SMC!

733 dSingle Mothers by Choice is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month! 

We’re still going strong, with new members joining us every day. I’m delighted to see that we have not only survived, but thrived, and that we continue to provide the support and information that I hoped we could offer when I held our first meeting in my living room 35 years ago.

Thank you to all of our members who participate in their local chapter and on our online discussion forum. There’s so much sharing of wisdom and experience going on – it’s truly wonderful to see.

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The Power of Yes

If you’re a parent, chances are you’re very familiar with the word “no.” You probably hear it from your kid(s) on a regular basis, and you likely hear it coming out of your own mouth quite frequently as well. Unfortunately, in modern parenting, “no” is hard to avoid. There are little no’s — like when I ask my 8-year-old what he wants for dinner and he says “can I have a cookie?” — and then there are big no’s, like when your toddler reaches for a sharp knife or a hot stove; and most of us have times when it’s hard to tell the difference.”No” is a word that, like many other words, loses potency with too much repetition. Anyone with kids can tell you that after a while they almost seem to stop hearing “no” unless it’s said with special emphasis or in special ways.

I’ve found that at

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The ‘We’ Of Single Motherhood

A few weeks before my 42nd birthday, sitting alone on my houseboat on a foggy morning in Sausalito, I watched a red cross appear on a home pregnancy test and was flooded with a rush of joy, relief, anticipation and fear. I had no husband or boyfriend to tell the news, so I first called my mom who with strange intuition said, “I knew that’s why you were calling!” I then began my usual phone circuit of girlfriends, my inner circle of women to whom I have always reached out for moral support. Whether it’s a career crisis or to commiserate on a bad date, each of them in their own way has always offered a dose of reality or a joke to lighten the fact that my date drank red wine with a straw because he didn’t want to stain his teeth or showed me a Facebook slideshow of

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Busy Single Mother: Black Leather and Oxygen

I spent much of this past weekend in the black leather rocker that was my nearly constant companion before I had kids. I used to spend hours in that chair, rocking and reading, losing myself for days in a Toni Morrison novel or the latest issue of Best American Short Stories or maybe 20 minutes with Alice Munro’s latest fiction in the New Yorker. But that chair and I haven’t spent much time together since my second maternity leave, since Eva’s eight short weeks of exclusive mommy bonding time expired and I returned to work and a routine that rarely affords me time to sit down, let alone read. But last week when a friend created a cash mob for our local independent bookstore, I ventured out without my children and bought two Toni Morrison novels (I’m that far behind) and the 2012 Best American Short Stories and Cheryl

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Pulling Away

JenTate2016I think it’s happening and I’m not ready!!

I’m sensing that Tate is pulling away from me. He’s growing up. He’s finding out that he can have his own opinion. He’s realizing that he can have things in common with his friends that I’m not privy to.

And I don’t like it.  Not one bit.

Over the past two months we’ve had several power struggles. I ask or tell him to do something and he doesn’t respond or do what I’ve asked the first time. That might sound strange, but Tate has been a child who would almost always do what I asked or said the first time. If I said “Come here” he would come here.  If I said “Please walk on the sidewalk” he’d do so with no questions. Now I’m getting, “Why?” “Do I have to?” “Why can’t I do X instead?”  I find myself repeating the

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Made My Decision

womancrossroads copyI think my mom’s illness, and especially her difficult recovery from surgery, has crystallized things for me. In two ways.

The first: I’m so grateful not to be enduring her illness alone. Maybe that’s a terrible reason, but I’m very grateful to have siblings who share (more than their fair share nowadays) the burden. Not just the work, but the worry.

The second, and better reason: I realized, thinking about her mortality, that when I imagine looking back at my life from an older age, having a child is the very best thing I’ve ever done. Nothing else comes close. C. brings me unspeakable joy.

How can I not want to experience this one more time?

Another blogger wrote about her decision not to have a second child, and I completely respect her choice, and her reasons behind it. Namely that she can’t be a good parent to her first

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The Politics of SMCs

iStock_womentalkinggrp-323x215When I first joined the national Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) organization, and my local group, I assumed the other women I would meet – virtually and in person – would be fairly similar to me.  I thought that making such an “unconventional” life choice would be a decision only left-leaning, primarily urban/coastal women would make.  I could not have been more wrong.

What I’ve found instead is an amazingly diverse community of women.  Our political affiliations are all across the spectrum.  We are gay and straight, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and atheist.  We are urban and rural, in the U.S. and Canada and Europe and Southeast Asia, and everywhere in-between.  We are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and of every possible ethnic mix.  We are creative types and scientists who work from home and travel the world and are unemployed.  We are biological and adoptive moms and waiting-to-be-moms and still-thinking-about-becoming-moms. 

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