Girls Can Drive Dumptrucks and Boys Can Dance

“I wish our family had two moms,” Sam says, and I am caught by surprise. I am loading the dishes into the dishwasher while Sam puts the head on his new Lego alien minifigure and Eva pulls at my pants leg begging for her bedtime cup of milk.

“Why is that?” I ask. Our family has one parent. One mom. And it’s never going to have two moms.

“Because moms are great, and if there were two moms one could play with me while the other mom puts Eva to bed.”

I’ve recently been talking to Sam about how all families are different. We have books that talk about big families and small families, families that adopt, families with two moms or two dads, families with just one parent. We have books that explain IVF and how a child can come in to the world without a dad.

“That would … Continue reading

The Train is Leaving the Station

It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and I get up to do the obligatory pregnancy test thinking to myself, the sooner I get the bad news, the sooner I can bury myself in my bed for the day and wallow in the fact that my 7th time trying to get pregnant failed. Failed just like I failed to get my promotion, failed just like every dating relationship I have been in. Failed, failed, failed.

It didn’t work. I know it didn’t. I don’t feel any different; I have none of the symptoms that you read about on-line. Just Google “when did you have your first pregnancy symptoms” and all kinds of posts from annoying women come up saying things like, I knew 5 days after I ovulated. I had a twinge in my uterus, I had inexplicable burps, my breasts were incredibly sore” etc. etc. Here I was 14 days Continue reading

From a Mom of a Little One though Anonymous Donor IVF

In the popular media, single mothering by choice is sometimes about these crazy women who go looking for sperm donors like they’re ordering pizza toppings — Tall? Check. Good SAT scores? Check. Mushrooms? Check.

In reality, it’s not about the sperm. It’s not about the donor. It’s not about the turkey baster or the petri dish. It’s about the milky smell of a newborn, the little fingers that clutch mine when we cross the street, the worries about paying for college and whether the plastics and the scented baby shampoo will poison my toddler. It’s about motherhood, not hatred of men. So that’s why I’m leaping to add my voice to this blog. I want people to understand why so many of us are doing this. I’ve always known I was a mother, I just needed a little help to get there. And I thank God — thank God thank Continue reading

A Letter To My Younger Self

I recently read a blog post by someone who has kids and was lamenting her pre-kid single life freedoms. The post was a letter to her young self about how she should enjoy being free, staying out late with friends, traveling and not worry about meeting someone to share her life with—or about whether she has kids; that her life would be just great without them. I love how people who are married with kids always joke about what a pain it is to be married, and tell single people how lucky we are to not have to “deal with” a partner and how hard it is to be tied down to kids.

So I decided to write my own letter to my younger single self:

Dear naive self who thinks she’ll just meet Mr. Right at that perfect age (no need to worry!) and who believes her uterus will … Continue reading

It’s These Moments That Catch Me

momhuggingboy_SmallIt’s these moments that catch me.   This morning before work, way too early for my liking, I walked my three year old son and his bestie Elmo to his car seat and strapped him in. As he often does, he smiled and asked, “Hug, Mommy?” after I fastened his seat belt. I leaned in and hugged him, feeling the strength of his tiny little arms pulling me in.

I then brought my daughter’s infant car seat around and fastened it in place, bending over to kiss her downy head as she slept through the whole process, more beautiful than I have words to describe, cooing softly and smiling.

It’s these moments that catch me. When I am doing everyday Mommy things and I get blown away with how much I love these itty bitty humans that am privileged to call my children.

I loved my life pre-kids, I orchestrated great … Continue reading

Getting Started: Questions to Ask Yourself

You’ve had that incredible moment — the zing of excitement that comes when you realize the child (or children!) you’ve wanted can still be yours, even if you are single. But how do you know that single motherhood is right for you? And what path to motherhood should you take? There are a lot of things to consider before you decide to begin your journey. Here are some to get you started:

What are my options for becoming a mom? How much does each option cost? What options are financially feasible for me?

If you have good health insurance, doing donor insemination via IUI or IVF could be very inexpensive; if not, it can get pretty expensive. Adoption can be very pricey depending on the route you take. If you are open to DCFS adoption, it’s much less expensive, but private adoption generally runs $30K – $40K; international adoption can … Continue reading

Forty Years, One Month & One Day

mombabyWhen I worked at a preschool summer camp, I saw two types of parents:

The 20s – they’d swoop in, looking harried and often exhausted, gather child in one arm and gear in another, and disappear as quickly as they arrived.

The 40s – they’d saunter in, spot their child, and begin a delighted tour of the events of the day, observing artwork and snack remnants with equal and genuine interest.I was nineteen at the time, and learning a lot about parenting observationally. I understood why the 20s were so strung out: their time and resources were over-stretched. They became parents as soon as they were able, and that meant sacrificing self-building and life-building in order to parent at the healthiest point in their lives.

The 40s…well, who knows why they waited. But though their energy levels were lower, their attitudes and resources blew the 20s out of the water. … Continue reading

One Compromise I Couldn’t Make

I have always wanted to be a mother.  By the time I was five, I was hanging out in the church infant nursery with my mother, rocking babies rather than attending my own Sunday school class.  In Girl Scouts my favorite activities were teaching games and songs and such to younger troops.  In elementary school, when my friends were drawing pictures of wedding dresses in school, I was making lists of the names I would give the 16 or so children I wanted.  I babysat in high school because I enjoyed it – I couldn’t have cared less what I was paid for doing it.  I worked at summer camps while in college and LOVED working with children.  When her parents came to pick her up, one of my campers told her mom I wanted to be a Mommy.  I was mortified.  I was afraid I’d said or done something … Continue reading

The Adoption “Gestational Period”

Outstanding EvaluationI’ve spent over a year participating in and listening to the posts on the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Trying to Conceive forum. I even had my own failed attempt at trying to conceive, and then work, school, and dating postponed my plans until a year later.  I began to consider adoption, an option I had explored before but ignored once I found Mr. Perfect Anonymous Donor and built up the courage (and money) to TTC. But once I really delved into the adoption choice again, it seemed very feasible and appropriate for where I am in my life. Plus, I thought it might be “easier” than TTC.

On the SMC Forum, I read other women’s journeys through infertility and fertility treatments and miscarriages to finally bringing home a newborn sometimes years later. Well, now that I’m pursuing adoption, I realize the adoption journey isn’t exactly “easier”, just different than … Continue reading

Love (While Being an SMC of Two)

When 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 … Continue reading

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