I Am Thankful For…..

Happy Thanksgiving message with assorted pumpkins on rustic wooden boards

This is a compilation of posts by some of our SMC members. They were posted on our lively online discussion Forum, inspired by the Thanksgiving holiday.  Good Thanksgiving wishes to you all!

I am thankful for:
My two beautiful, healthy, smart, funny girls.
My amazing family, who are supportive, though many miles away.
My job, which was at risk for many months, but is once again mostly stable and secure.
My friends, without whose help some weekends would last months, and who have provided a local family for my family.
The internet, without which I never would have found SMC and the incredible community of women you are.

Parents who, after struggling to accept me, are excited and supportive of my journey.
Friends, past, present and future, some of whom are other SMCs I’ve met through this wonderful community.
I am finally on my way to building the family I’ve

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Hear This Truth

Parenting is hard. I don’t care if you’re a single mom, a partnered mom, a married mom, or something in between. Not one of us is handed a how-to manual when our children enter our lives. And even if you think you have this parenting thing down pat—so much so that you convince yourself to have another, there’s no guarantee that what worked with number one will work with number two.

I’m Nancy, and I’m mom to Marshall, who turned 14 this past May, and believe me when I say we’ve had our ups and downs. I tell people that I always loved Marshall but I didn’t like him till he turned about 4. Sure, I heard some gasps from the crowd, but those first years were difficult for me—trying to figure out how to incorporate this incredible, wonderful, temperamental, opinionated being into my solidly independent life was not easy.

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A Peek Into The Meaning of Life

Ok, so I got a peek into the meaning of life….  .

Yes, that’s a big statement…..on a Monday.  But hey.  It comes in drips….to me….every now and then.

I spent the weekend in NJ – assessing things that need to be done to prepare a house my family owns there for sale.   The house – the house I grew up in – is vacant now.  It has been rented for a number of years.  I spent a few hours cleaning the kitchen cabinets and replacing all the knobs (31 to be exact).  I got on my hands and knees and looked into drawers and under stairs and in the nooks and crannies…  I saw my father’s handy work…here and there.  I flicked light switches that I used to touch every day.  I criticized elements of the house that I always accepted before.  I slept on an air mattress in

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Why I Try Never To Say “Well That Was Dumb”

Mom giving baby a kiss.I had just finished a twelve hour overnight shift in the NICU where I worked as a nurse. I was riding the bus home in the early Saturday morning hours, bone tired. It was sunny, I think, and I was feeling regretful of my need to sleep before the next night’s shift, wishing I could be out in the land of the living, enjoying the beautiful weekend with my boyfriend instead of shut up in a dark room with a white noise machine.

I laid my phone down on the bus seat next to mine.  Just for a moment, I thought.

But when I got home a few minutes later, I realized my phone was gone.


That evening, at a pre-work dinner with my then boyfriend and now dear friend, I confided in him about my lost phone. Although I had a full time job in the NICU, I

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Meditations on Choosing Single Motherhood

I interviewed a parenting expert who has written over 23 books on parenting and appears on shows like Dr. Phil and The Today Show about disciplining the preverbal toddler for an article  when I decided to just go ahead and ask her, the expert, what she thought about women who intentionally choose to have a child on their own, a child who would be brought into the world without a biological father.

I did this, I thought, because I want to write about how children of SMC moms fair compared to the conventional mom-dad household (which is actually pretty non-existent today anyway), but after hearing her response, I was surprised by the way I felt. Basically she iterated what many SMC moms who have written on the subject say. I’m paraphrasing here but she said women who plan to have a child are committed to parenting and any kid with

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Coping with the Growing Up

Pre-kids, I predicted that I would enjoy parenting an infant a lot, and would really love the years from two to five. I expected I might lose interest after that, based on my experience with other kids. I found it easy to talk to toddlers and preschoolers, but found the fads of grade school tough to follow, and always felt like I reverted back to that shy, awkward kid I’d once been, when I tried to engage friends’ school-aged kids.

I wasn’t as much of a “baby person” as I’d expected to be. Maybe that was having two infants at once, but I was exhausted for the whole first year of my daughters’ lives and while I do still sometimes long to do it again (with a singleton!), a large part of me experiences a mild version of PTSD when I see really little babies. It’s fading, but it’s there

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Getting Up

At times you get knocked down.  Life is like that sometimes.  You’re humming along, minding your business, and something or someone knocks you down.  Even those who seem to live the most charmed lives will not escape this.  It’s just the way life goes sometimes.

I can’t help the fact that when I get knocked down, I stay down for longer than I’d like.  I’m built for the initial fight, but not for endurance.  If something knocks the wind out of me it often takes me a long time to heal from it, longer than I am comfortable with.  The one thing that I can say, though, is that I get up.  Eventually, after a protracted amount of time, I do get up again.  Sometimes I am scarred by the experience.  Sometimes, I am left with a deep sense of sadness, resentment, or loss.  Sometimes, I foolishly allow someone’s lack

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Baby Steps

athenareichbaby2.web1“When I grow up…”

As I am typing this, my five-day-old baby boy sleeps soundly, fetal position, curled tight against my body. It’s as if I’m still pregnant, his quiet presence barely there except for the mild ache in my back.

I’m 39 years old, single, and I’ve been out as a lesbian since my teens. I am a performer (actress, singer/songwriter and occasional Lady Gaga impersonator), and I have been longing to be a mother since I was four years old.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“The first female astronaut. And a mommy!” I’d answer, my grin barely contained within my gleeful face.

At age 19, I came out to my mom, and she said, “This is really cliché, but I always pictured you with a white picket fence, a husband and kids.” “Nothing’s changed, Mom,” I replied, “I’m still the same person. I

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How I Made the Decision

I joined the SMC Forum a few months ago and I have been reading every post since then. The first and only time I posted (before now) I shared how I’ve been “thinking” for nearly two years. I was overwhelmed by the support and kind messages everyone wrote in response. But it’s been the posts by everyone else struggling with the same decision, the shared fears and excitement that have truly helped me make the right choice for me. I cannot say thank you enough for letting me, a stranger, into such an important part of your lives.

So this is how I made the decision: I had planned a weekend away with my mother and my goal was to have made a decision – one way or another – by the time we were flying home. We had fun, we enjoyed the vacation and we talked. It was the

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Love (While Being an SMC of Two)

Artwork with loveWhen my daughter (via Donor Insemination) was a baby I had little time or interest in dating. I was loving motherhood, but motherhood and working full time took all my energy. There were many times that I was grateful that I didn’t have to put any energy into a relationship because I didn’t think I could have managed.

When she got to be a toddler and I began to get out of the house occasionally without her I began to think about dating and had a profile up on Match.com. The first thing I noticed is that I got hardly any interest compared to the profile I had up before becoming an SMC. I was now 37-38 yrs old.

About that same time I had a few dates with a former HS classmate and we really liked each other but he lived long distance and was not interested in a

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