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
I was a huge fan of The X-Files in the 1990s, and one of the show’s catch phrases was “I want to believe.” I had no idea how that phrase would eventually come home to roost.
I really didn’t expect that my daughters would still believe in Santa Claus by the time they were in 3rd grade. I’d be surprised if all of their Christmas-observing friends still believe, and I find it unlikely that none of the non-believing, worldly-wise 3rd graders has spilled the beans. The right jolly old elf hasn’t come up much in conversation this year, and my hunch was that they had their doubts, but maybe weren’t ready to ask the question outright, for fear of having their suspicions confirmed.
When I imagined having kids I also imagined that bidding the Santa days good-bye would be accompanied by a feeling of loss. I’m all for fostering magical … Continue reading
It’s family month at Norah’s day care and we were asked for family pictures. They make little collages and write the names of family members by them (“Me & Mommy,” that sort of thing). I was so worried about Norah feeling like the odd girl out with our little Single Mother by Choice (SMC) family that I totally overcompensated. I brought in about 6 different pictures — including ones of Norah with me, with 2 different sets of grandparents (my parents are divorced and remarried), and I also included pictures of our dog. I told the teachers that I probably went overboard, and they should just pick a couple to use and give back the rest.
Well, I went in the next day and saw that they made Norah the biggest collage with the most photos and the most family members in it. There were several other kids whose mat … Continue reading
The title of this post could be ‘Disappointment’, but…… Well, you’ll see.
Yesterday Tate and I returned home from my parents’. I had come back to our place on Friday afternoon to clean up, sans small child, and get the Christmas tree and decorations out. I lugged our huge, yes artificial, tree up the stairs and got the boxes all out from under the stairs in the garage. I was so excited to put the tree together and hang the ornaments with Tate on Saturday. I was hoping to start our own tradition of putting our tree up the Saturday of Thanksgiving complete with Christmas music on the CD player, a chill in the air, and children laughing! Yes, my child laughing was part of my tradition picture. My child putting an ornament or two on the tree was part of my tradition picture. The two of us hanging out … Continue reading