Accepting Our Children For Who They Are

emilialeapI have had a really tough month with Emilia over selecting high schools. I realize part of this is my own dream of how I thought it would go. No matter how many people I poll… I know it comes down to can I accept Emilia for who she is?

When I adopted Emilia I didn’t think much about schools because I moved into a neighborhood with good schools and decided she would go there. I did however decide that I wanted her to go to the all girls high catholic high school downtown. So I opened up a little UGM account and put in $100 per month with the sole purpose of funding high school. Fast forward… the girls high school was not for her, I wanted her to at least apply, she was firm it was a no.

We narrowed it down to a private super rigorous, incredible … Continue reading

Mother’s Day as a Single Mom

When you’re a single mom, Mother’s Day looks a little different.

There isn’t any sleeping in. When little man wakes up at 4:10, then again at 5:25, there isn’t anyone else to push out of bed to go get him.

But then when you pick him up and give him a good morning hug and he tells you, “So happy!” you’re pretty damn glad it was you who went in to get him, and you could care less what time it is.

Breakfast in bed is out, too. So you have some fun and make yourself a gourmet version of the frozen Spiderman waffles your toddler son likes. And, hey, they’re not so bad.

Despite the cold and damp, it’s you who takes your kid to toddler soccer, which is basically equivalent to herding baby cheetahs who’d rather run away and pick dandelions on the muddy field than actually touch … Continue reading

No One

IMG_5173As I sit here tonight going through pictures of Tate, ‘checking’ Facebook, deleting some emails, I am overwhelmed by the quiet of my home. Tate has been in bed since 7, and Vincent is still not pleased with me over his visit to the vet yesterday. I looked around and just became insidiously aware of my aloneness. Every. Single. Night. Once Tate is asleep I do have a myriad of things to accomplish before I can rest and just be. I have to clean up the dirty dinner dishes, clean out his lunch bag and backpack and put all those items into the dishwasher or clean them. There’s always laundry to be done, picking up after Tate (and the cat), dishwasher to be emptied, bills to pay and showers to take. But it’s all done alone.

Just me.

No one to share the details of my day with. No one Continue reading

This One Next Step

Smiling womanI’m 35 (and a half) and single. I am established in my career, financially and emotionally stable, have a great support system of family and friends, and I am mostly content and fulfilled with my life. I was diagnosed with PCOS several years ago, and every year, at my annual appointment, I asked my doctor, “When do I need to be thinking about my options?” And every year he would answer “when you’re 35 we’ll talk about your options.” Well…here I am…35…and still single!

Three days before my 35th birthday I had my first appointment at a fertility clinic to get information about freezing my eggs. I wasn’t certain about freezing my eggs at the time, but thought to myself, “I’m committed enough to take this ONE next step” just to get more information. On a whim, when I was at the consultation I asked what other options there were. … Continue reading

My Village

Happy woman at officeJust a few short weeks ago, my aunt died. This was a woman who was among the first to tell me she supported me fully when I told her I wanted to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) … the woman who threw me a baby shower, the first person aside of my mom to come visit my newborn son, and the woman who told me she thought it was “awesome” how I was choosing to live my life. To say her loss has been huge to me would be an understatement.

She was clearly beloved in her community, as evidenced by the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects at her wake and funeral. But I had always known that and admired it about her. And this woman, who I so wanted to emulate for many reasons, had me wonder as she lay dying of cancer, … Continue reading

Have Another

sisterszooThe only question Single Mothers by Choice seem to debate as much as “Should I become a single mother by choice?” is, two or three years later, “Should I have another?” It’s the same questions, the same concern. Can I handle two by myself? Can I afford another? Will it be too hard? Will I ruin what I’ve already got? What if they baby isn’t healthy? What if my pregnancy or adoption journey has risks? What will happen to my first child when a second comes along? The same questions, but entirely different.

I feel like a bit of an exception. I didn’t debate either question much. I always wanted to be a mother. I had few relationships, none of them long-term. I felt strong and capable of doing it alone. My family and friends were supportive. When I was three months pregnant with my first child, I ordered six … Continue reading

Have Another

sisterszooThe only question Single Mothers by Choice seem to debate as much as “Should I become a single mother by choice?” is, two or three years later, “Should I have another?” It’s the same questions, the same concern. Can I handle two by myself? Can I afford another? Will it be too hard? Will I ruin what I’ve already got? What if they baby isn’t healthy? What if my pregnancy or adoption journey has risks? What will happen to my first child when a second comes along? The same questions, but entirely different.

I feel like a bit of an exception. I didn’t debate either question much. I always wanted to be a mother. I had few relationships, none of them long-term. I felt strong and capable of doing it alone. My family and friends were supportive. When I was three months pregnant with my first child, I ordered six … Continue reading

I’m Not Alone!! Oh Great Goddess, I am NOT ALONE!

crowd copyUnless you are nearing or over 40, single and childless, you cannot imagine how I feel and that’s not your fault – we are just living different experiences. I have not been able to express to my friends how it FEELS to be in my situation, but I am now connected with other women who TRULY understand what it’s like to want a child so much that they will do it on her own – even when deep down they really want the whole family package. Seriously, if we were given more time biologically, we would wait for the right relationship, but we don’t have that luxury.

It means so much to me to have access to people who are going through what I am going through and to share their experiences too. The more I read on the SMC Forum, the more convinced I am that I am making Continue reading

Contingency Planning for SMCs

This brief guide is adapted from a paper by SMC member Emily Engel on contingency plans for single mother by choice moms in the UK, which was inspired by the passing of an SMC friend who left a ten-year old daughter. This seems especially relevant in the wake of the coronavirus.

Emily writes, “Mundane things can happen, a sprained ankle, a dose of flu or a stomach bug, or a crisis with another family member may put you in a situation where it’s hard to prioritize the stability and security your child needs. Forward planning may save you a lot of legwork in a crisis, and may defuse some of the underlying anxieties we often push to the back of our mind.”

The Basics:

Start building your family’s “village” before your child is born or comes home.
Make friends with other parents who live nearby and might be able to … Continue reading

The Politics of SMCs

When I first joined the national Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) organization, and my local group, I assumed the other women I would meet – virtually and in person – would be fairly similar to me.  I thought that making such an “unconventional” life choice would be a decision only left-leaning, primarily urban/coastal women would make.  I could not have been more wrong.

What I’ve found instead is an amazingly diverse community of women.  Our political affiliations are all across the spectrum.  We are gay and straight, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and atheist.  We are urban and rural, in the U.S. and Canada and Europe and Southeast Asia, and everywhere in-between.  We are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and of every possible ethnic mix.  We are creative types and scientists who work from home and travel the world and are unemployed.  We are biological and adoptive moms and waiting-to-be-moms and still-thinking-about-becoming-moms.  … Continue reading

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