Doing It Alone

Looking back, I’ve never really minded the times in my life when I was alone. While I spent a lot of time in long term relationships, unlike many of my close friends, I also liked the times I was single. I enjoyed having space and freedom to come and go as I pleased, never feeling obligated to check in with someone or navigate the give and take of shared decision making.  I suppose that was one of the reasons that led me to becoming a single mother by choice.

My daughter turned one in April of 2020, about six weeks into the pandemic, right about the time I felt I was getting the hang of motherhood. I recall person after person commenting that they couldn’t imagine having a toddler during the pandemic. What they didn’t say, but I felt, was that they couldn’t imagine having a toddler during the pandemic … Continue reading

Grateful For The Strangest Things

This is the season to think about all we are grateful for.  Of course, I am grateful for the kids, having a roof over our heads, our good health, having a career, our pets—all the basics.  *Yawn*

But there are some things I am grateful for that fall outside of the usual realm of gratitude lists.  I would like to share those here:

Most days I can still run faster than my four year old.  That is good because occasionally he still decides to explore “over there” and goes for it at top speed, ears “off”.

I am strangely proud that my son is smart enough to be manipulative.  Talking in his version of his sister’s high pitched voice, telling me that she wants ice cream…and, well, okay, he would take a little, too.

I am continually impressed with the heights my daughter ascends to and that she is strong

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Painting

iStock_000020267151LargeI painted my guest room today. It made me think of all the rooms I have painted in the last 11 years.

The living room of the first home I purchased. I was so excited to own my own home after years of apartment living. I had my first real job after graduate school, and felt single and empowered while picking out paint colors at Home Depot. Of course, I did still hope that Mr. Right would show up sometime soon. He didn’t.

The child’s room for the home study to become a foster parent. I will always remember the name of the light blue color swatch, as it foreshadowed the heartbreak a year later when the judge sent her back to her biological mother. It was called “Salty Tears.” After she left I didn’t open the door to her room for six months. Eventually I repainted it a dark … Continue reading

I Don’t Know How You Do It

Children Welcoming Tired Mother Returning From WorkA phrase that my fellow Single Mothers by Choice (SMCs) and I are quite familiar with is, “I don’t know how you do it.”

Early in my parenting journey, I used to get extremely irritated by this phrase, and spent some time navel-gazing, trying to figure out why it bothered me so much.  I never really came up with a satisfactory explanation.  Was it because I was insecure in my abilities and that insecurity was exacerbated by having someone else point out how difficult single parenting is?  Was it because people who say they don’t know how I do “it” don’t really understand what “it” is, so the statement is meaningless — because it merely exposes a lack of critical thinking on their part?  Was it because I was uncomfortable being made out to be some kind of superwoman?  Was it because making a big deal of my situation seemed … Continue reading

Life Lessons from Klickitat Street

I took Pink and Purple to see Ramona and Beezus at our local discount theater over the weekend. I didn’t expect to spend most of the movie in tears.

In the interest of full disclosure, I tend to cry at most kids’ movies. I don’t know why. I’m a notorious non-weeper in my personal life. Oh, I feel pain and sorrow, no doubt about it. It’s just that I internalize the negative emotions until they settle in the pit of my stomach like a pile of rusty razor blades, or clench them in my jaws like tetanus. But there’s something about movies that makes it ok for me to release all of that. I don’t know whether that’s particularly true of kids’ movies, or if it’s just that kids’ movies are all I seem to see anymore.

Ramona and Beezus was a little bit different, though. Setting aside the fact Continue reading

The Day That Changed Everything

So I had finally made the decision to start trying to get pregnant on my own.  I had found myself a Reproductive Embryologist, a handsome Italian doctor with full-sleeved tattoos on both biceps. I wrote the story in my head of how my doctor would inseminate me and then become my lover, my partner, my child’s father.  It definitely seemed like the rom-com I had been waiting to star in my whole life.

I was sitting at my desk at work, just a few days away from insemination, and all of a sudden, an invisible brick fell out of the sky and hit me on the head. I could almost see the pebbles of concrete rolling down the sides of my hair and the dusty clouds billowing up around me like in a cartoon. Blamo. No way, I thought. No f-ing way.

You can not do this, I thought. I … Continue reading

Images of moms and kidsOur 40th Anniversary Celebration Event was this past weekend! If you purchased a registration, you will be receiving an email in November with a link to the recording.

If you had wanted to attend the 40th Anniversary Celebration but did not register, you can pre-order recordings of the event here: https://www.singlemothersbychoice.org/community/smcs-40th-anniversary-celebration/

 

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SMC 40th Anniversary Celebration Oct. 16 and 17

Images of moms and kidsRegistration for this event is closed. You can pre-order the video of the event panels and speakers here

Panels and speakers included “Grown Children of SMCs: What was it Like?”, “Fertility 101”, “Donor Families”, “The Daddy Questions”, “Choosing a Donor”,  “Dating and Relationships”, “A Day in the Life”, Paths to SMC-hood” and more!

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Registration is Closed. SMC 40th Anniversary Celebration – Agenda

SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE (SMC) 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

OCT. 16-17, 2021

Images of moms and kids

Registration for this event is now closed. Pre-order a full video recording!


AGENDA

All attendees will receive a full recording of the event in case you miss any sessions or wish to watch both exciting sessions of the two-content tracks.
Download a PDF of the full Agenda here

Saturday October 16

1:00 – 1:15 PM Welcome

Jane Mattes, L.C.S.W, Founder of Single Mothers by Choice & her son, Eric Mattes

1:15 – 2:15 PM Adult SMC Children:What was it like growing up?

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