The Welcome email from Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) arrived and I was excited to receive it. I made dinner and sat down at my table to read it. I was looking through it, clicking through the links and reading absolutely everything. Then I got to a post and the words that jumped off the page at me completely caught me off guard. It was entitled “Last Call for Motherhood” and right under it said “Calm your panic. You don’t have to decide today.” From somewhere in the depths of my soul came this horribly painful, primal and unrecognizable half gasp, half cry. I immediately covered my mouth with my hand almost in disbelief that the sound had come from inside of me and the tears started to flow.
I was shocked at how hard these words had apparently hit something inside of me so deeply that I, without thought … Continue reading
Recently, I dove back into the dating world. I don’t know why I decided now was the right time. While we’re past diapers, nursing, and the terrible twos around here, we’re also still dealing with occasional clinginess and nearly nightly co-sleeping, and have yet to have a non-family member babysitter. Not an ideal combo for wanting to go out in the world on a weekly basis.
Despite this, something pushed me to give the crazy world of online dating another go, and it might have been fate, because within a matter of days I connected with someone who is quickly becoming quite special to me. And it’s a good thing she feels the same, because dating a mom is no joke.
The biggest challenge is that, well, I’m a mom, and motherhood doesn’t come with an off switch. Being a mother means my kid will always take precedence. His schedule, … Continue reading
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
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
If you are a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), you know the question to which refer. I’ve waited anxiously for my son to ask the Daddy Question. Everything I’ve read says our young children are eager to know more about their unique family structure and origins. As soon as they learn the name for people in their home and for the people in their friends’ homes, children are supposed to ask. So I waited. I prepared. I rehearsed. You wouldn’t think it would take this much planning just to present the truth. I came up with my script. I wrote out the words. I revised them as I practiced the conversation. I bought picture books that other moms said were good for telling and talking. I read those books to Henry. He much preferred The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon. I waited some more. When would he ask? … Continue reading
Or how pursuing my dream of having a child made dating more fun.
As these musings might indicate, my single dating life was often riddled with worry. When dating a man, I was rarely fully present. My mind ran the back story. I’d size him up, then rocket mentally into an imagined future. Is he the right fit for me, and I for him? Is he commitment-phobic? Am I? Are we wasting our time?
Of course, sometimes, there was true hope and love. But the stifling “what-ifs” commanded my attention. Revelations. Then about a year ago, a crossroads moment appeared. My father was in the hospital, in what would turn out to be the last month of his life. I was about six months past the most painful breakup of my life, and about six months away from 40. While chatting with a friend during a business trip to New … Continue reading
I am single by choice. Did you know weird girls in high school who never wanted to get married (and/or have children)? That was me. I had my own philosophy about what marriage does to a woman’s career choice and trajectory, self esteem, independence, you name it. My mother worried I’d never “get a man” with that attitude.
Though I knew I didn’t want to marry, I was on the fence about becoming a parent. I put it that way because I never wanted to birth a baby. I always knew that I wanted to become a parent through adoption. At the age of 40 – two failed marriages later – I recognized I did indeed want to be a mom. So I dated while preparing to begin the adoption process.
Like many of us, I went the online dating route. My criteria were pretty strict: no kids, wanted or … Continue reading
At this time of year, SMC usually sees a pop in new members joining the SMC organization, perhaps due to New Year’s resolutions, or maybe just because it’s the start of a new year. And the biggest question for maybe-SMCs (who we call “Thinkers”) is often, “How can I do this? Or, “Can I do this?”
There’s no question that being an SMC is challenging, as well as incredibly wonderful. So I’ve compiled some good tips written by our members on our lively 24/7 online Forum to help answer those questions. For more good advice, join SMC and discuss your “thinking” questions with our members (either online or in person) who are in the same place and/or have been there. To join, go to: singlemothersbychoice.org/membership
When my budget would allow it, I hired a babysitter for 2 hours every Wednesday from 4-6 pm. It really made a difference for me, … Continue reading
We asked our Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) membershow their friends and family can best help and support them. Below is a sampling of some the answers:
During the trying to conceive phase (TTC), be willing to listen. To the minutia, to the details, to the emotions, to the pendulum of certainty/uncertainty, to the fears, to the arrogance. When I was TTC’ing, I didn’t have a good community of SMC friends yet, and my “regular” friends didn’t really want to hear all about it. They were supportive, but weren’t that interested. Trying to conceive is a very self-centered time, and I would have loved to have a very patient, kind, attentive ear. Because we don’t have a partner who is as invested in this road as we are, it helps to have a good friend. That said, be willing to be shut out without having your feelings hurt. Sometimes the … Continue reading