It’s hard to express what it feels like to go from being a devoted Single Mother by Choice to being a committed family of four.
I feel a sense of surprise every day of my life, although it is gradually lessening.
It was really, really hard for me to ask for and even expect help. But when the kids were home from school last spring, I had to depend on him so that I could work. To my amazement, they quickly grew to adore mornings out with Sergio. He took the children and his mother to their school campus (no one else was around) to play. After a week, my reserved Sage asked if he could call his mother “Grandma Carmen.” Both children asked if Sergio could stay home with them so I could go out alone on date nights!
When Lorelei fell ill with an ear infection in the middle of the night, Sergio sat with me at her bedside. Do couples do things like this? It had never occurred to me that I might not always have to worry alone. It was mind blowing.
Sergio insists on driving the children to and from school every day so I can take advantage of the time to work. He washes the dinner dishes every single night. He pushes the children — and their friends — in the hammock until they scream with delight. He watched them all afternoon yesterday so I could go to a vineyard with friends.
It is hard to describe the gradually growing sense of safety and security that I feel, especially because I didn’t experience this as a child. I love the sense of comfort and confidence I see in my children.
Conflict — inevitable in any relationship, and guaranteed during COVID lockdowns — was hard and scary for me. My parents had terrible fights that were terrifying to me as a child. So anger is hard for me, whether the anger is mine or his. But we have gradually been practicing how to handle conflict in a healthy way. I have been learning that he needs time to cool off when he is upset, that it’s not a rejection of me. I am also learning that I can ask for what I want or need, but I can’t be mad at him for not automatically knowing my needs and acting accordingly. Likewise, he’s his own person and has his own needs and wants, ones that don’t always match up with mine. He can say “no” to me without it meaning anything about me or our relationship.
Our future together looks rosy. A one or two-year experiment in life in Mexico seems to have become permanent. As much as I miss my friends and family “back home,” I can’t imagine ever returning to the States to live. I am living my personal fairy tale here in Mexico.
I’ll never regret my unique path to motherhood. Becoming a single-mother-by-choice to Sage and Lorelei with the help of donor sperm was the perfect path for my family. If I had chosen to have children with a partner, we wouldn’t have had this perfect space for Sergio to step into. I’m so glad I had such beautiful years alone with them… and now I’m thrilled to be creating our new family together with him.