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 … Continue reading

Keeping Your Sanity and Your Self While Trying to Conceive

How do you keep your sanity during this stressful time? I am past the Trying to Conceive (TTC) stage, so I say this with some perspective.

Some of it is simply that who you are is changing. The version of you who could afford this vacation, and that fancy dinner, and whatever else – – that woman is changing. She is planning for her future differently. So if you were saving for a down payment on a house, or saving vacation time so you could go spend a month in Australia next year, or other major investments of time and/or money, who we are and how we allocate our resources changes.

You may be looking at your social life, realizing that all those dinners out are pretty expensive, and choosing to eat out less to save money. That can happen for lots of reasons, not just TTC. It happens with … Continue reading

Making the Leap

I just purchased my first vials for intrauterine insemination (IUI)! I was terrified to pull the trigger, but I feel surprisingly excited and relieved! After almost 4 years of “thinking” it feels so good to take control and actually move forward. I thought it might make me really sad to actually purchase the vials because it would mean it is all becoming very real that I’m doing it on my own. But it actually made me feel so happy to know it is now becoming real and I am one step closer to having a baby!

After purchasing, I called my mom and announced, “I am now the proud owner of $4000 worth of semen!” We both laughed hysterically. When I told her I joined the “Semen Club” to get special discounts and offers, she almost peed her pants!! I have found that keeping a sense of humor about this … Continue reading

Who Is My Daddy?

I am a single  mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt  semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.

During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t … Continue reading

Wonder Woman

When Jamie’s name appears on the caller ID, I know it can’t be good. I always hold my breath when she calls because I imagine she might be calling to tell me they used the epi-pen and Sam is now on his way to the hospital. I am lying sideways in my Lazy-boy, trying to find a way to feel comfortable when I see her number on my cell. Every muscle and joint in my body aches and I feel much older than my forty-four years. I just brought a pyrex bowl of plain white rice back to the kitchen after sampling a few bites and deciding I wasn’t ready to eat when the phone rang.

Sometimes I call Jamie our “daycare provider” but over the years she has become so much more than that. She is a friend, an advice giver, a consultant, a teacher, a partner in crime, … Continue reading

Why I Am Taking the Leap

iStock_momchild1. I am sick of living my life for myself, i.e. clothes, jewelry, facials, massages etc.

2. I love spending time with my niece and nephew, i.e. playground, zoo, reading books, bathing, feeding etc.

3. I am scared of getting old and being alone

4. I have so much love to give, but no child to give it to

5. I want the mother-child bond; I want to feel needed

6. I hate holidays, get-togethers etc. because I am the only one without a child. I feel weird not having my own family and feel like the perpetual child showing up to family gatherings

7. I feel isolated from the world at age 32 because I have no children; people my age have children. I am finding it harder and harder to connect with people since I am childless. I am already feeling more connected with others because my mind-set … Continue reading

Having an Army of Support

When I began the Trying to Conceive (TTC) process,  I  joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC).  As I lay here, 32 weeks pregnant with twins on bed rest, I didn’t consider how important a community of support would be before my babies arrived.

While I realize that many SMCs choose to be very private about their decision, I decided very early on to be very open with friends and family. I wanted and needed for people to cheer me on, to support me, and to be a part of my exciting journey. Fortunately, almost everyone “got on the bus” very quickly.

I got pregnant on my 5th cycle and was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with twins. I hoped for a smooth pregnancy but knew the risks. I don’t have family nearby. I live on the East Coast, and my family is in Michigan. At 26 weeks, my … Continue reading

Keeping My Future Child Safe

I’m pregnant but don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I have to admit that one little part of me, deep deep inside, has hoped Honey Badger is a boy. Someone to carry on the family “name,” which is an absolutely archaic conceit that I’m ashamed to admit that I even give any credence. But, there it is. And of course, I would love a girl too — any baby is a blessing.

But I’ve just been feeling so much pressure now of what it means to possibly be bringing up a black boy in this world. And I am so pre-emptively afraid. What if I don’t teach this kid about how to act in front of police officers? How do I help him understand that he needs to be compliant around people who would find him “suspicious,” even if he’s done nothing wrong, without breaking his … Continue reading

Setting a Date

I just turned 29. All the time I hear “you’re so young” “wait for Mr. Right” “you’ve got plenty of time” from people I talk to about my choice to become a single mother. I’m not exactly shouting it from the rooftops, but I’m not shy about it either. People think I have plenty of time, but I don’t feel like I have plenty of time. And ultimately, it’s my choice. So the term “thinker” doesn’t seem to fit me anymore. I consider myself a “planner”. I’m making plans, getting things ready.

I want to have an awesome 30th birthday party. I have my girlfriends all ready to do something big. It’s going to be my bachelorette. I think that’s reasonable. I’m going to go from single girl to mother. That’s way more of a commitment of time, energy, and freedom than getting married. I’m settling down, just not with … Continue reading

Keep On Keeping On

A word to everyone out there who is on the Trying to Conceive (TTC) roller-coaster… whether you just got on the ride or you’ve been on the ride for years and you’re desperately ready to get off, and wonder if it’s EVER going to end…  Our SMC discussion Forums can often focus so much on the difficult parts of this journey, and sometimes it helps to have someone say something different, so…

Keep on keeping on. It is frequently a hard and brutal journey, and it is almost always more difficult than we anticipated. It’s often emotionally overwhelming to be SO ready to move forward at the same time that you’re grieving over the fairy tale. And the longer the ride goes on the greater the emotional toll and the more you question yourself. But be strong and just think about how the last mile of a marathon is always … Continue reading

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