Top Tips for Coping as an SMC

At this time of year, Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) usually sees a pop in new members joining the organization, perhaps due to New Year’s resolutions, or just because it’s the start of a new year. And the biggest question for new 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 from our members to help answer those questions. For more good advice, join SMC and discuss your questions with our members, either online or in person, who are in the same place and/or have been there.

When my budget would allow, I hired a babysitter for 2 hours every Wednesday from 4-6 pm.  It really made a difference for me, emotionally.

For me, having a somewhat satisfying job is important to … Continue reading

Happy Holidays from SMC

Happy Holidays from SMC!

Thanks to your support and participation, this has been an amazing year for SMC.  

 I hope that the coming year brings you all of the good things you’re wishing for – – and even more.  

Best Regards,

Jane Mattes,  Founder & Director, SMC

If you’re a single woman who is thinking about single motherhood or trying to adopt or conceive, or already a mom. and you’d like to join SMC, we’d love to have you!

Our blog will return next week.

Continue reading

Chanukah Traditions

In my family, Chanukah was (and is) observed primarily as a children’s holiday. No gifts are exchanged from children to adults or between adults. Chanukah, when I was growing up, was about lighting candles (for many years these were the only blessings I could say in Hebrew because I had memorized them), and eating pre-made latkes (potato pancakes). My mother is generally a good cook but she cannot bake and she cannot make “Jewish food”, but we kids got gifts — until we reached college age. After that, it was just candles and latkes.  We were taught that the heart of the holiday was the struggle for religious freedom, which resonated with what I learned about American history in school. Chanukah wasn’t just “the Jewish Christmas.”

When I became an adult, I lit candles in my own home, usually without the latkes and definitely without the gifts.  I fell in … Continue reading

Time to Deck the Halls

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

Mentoring Meeting

2womenchatjpg“I was just thinking last night, ‘I wonder what K will tell me tomorrow?'”

That was my mentor’s response. “What’s new?” asked my mentor. I reared back in my seat to reveal my bump. Her eyes were as big as saucers. I think she immediately knew what I meant, but she had to catch herself and asked, “Are you….?” I confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. She was so happy for me and announced, “Oh, I want to be Aunt L!” She confessed that she was always intrigued by what I would say each month when we met. But, boy, she never expected anything like this! It was nice to see that she was so supportive and offered her help if I needed anything. “Sometimes, you just need to tell people what you need and let them take care of it.” And subtly cautioned me on my ardent independence.

Of … Continue reading

What We Are Thankful For

 Some of our members recently posted about what they are thankful for as we approached the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. These are some of their representative thoughts, and here’s hoping that everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

My great job and the staff I work with
My wonderful sisters and family
My friends
Single Mothers by Choice (SMC)
The donor sibling registry, which connected Shane and I to his half siblings and their families
Our freedom
The natural beauty around me and the glorious pair of eagles I see every day on my way to work
My son’s donor, who gave me the greatest gift in life
And, trumping everything is my precious son. There is no greater joy in life to me than this wonderful, funny, and compassionate child. I am most thankful for being his mother.

Jennifer A.

I’m thankful for my family, who not only didn’t Continue reading

Baby Shower

I had my Baby Shower this past weekend.

It was a dream come true.

I’m not really down with traditional showers. For reasons I won’t get into here, because I will surely offend someone. (Please note: to my friends, especially those who journeyed to my shower… I will gladly attend your showers! With joy and love. Seriously. Please don’t not invite me because of this blog post!)

For me, I wanted something less present oriented and more… I wanted it to focus on the life transition I am making, and not on the stuff I will need for it. Because babies quickly outgrow rattles and cute onesies (and they are cute!) and teddy bears… but parenthood is forever.

Especially because of not having a wedding, I wanted something a bit ceremonial. Something to celebrate a life passage.

My shower was amazing because my sister created a Blessingway ceremony for … Continue reading

Against All Odds

On June 23, 2006, I walked out of the hospital with a five pound baby, a couple of monitors, a bag of medicine, a handful of prescriptions, a list of doctor appointments and a portable O2 tank. The day we left Lenox Hill Hospital was bittersweet since many of the nurses and doctors had become like family to me.  Every single picture of the occasion is blurry since even the friend behind the camera was weeping.

On June 23, 2006, Eliza, my Mom, Dad and I strolled 500 yards to my apartment, an apartment from which I could see the NICU every day and night.

That walk on June 23, 2006 was the first time in her 100 days on this earth that Eliza had seen a blue sky, the sun, a tree, smelled a flower or even saw a good old NYC pigeon. We were brave and took an … Continue reading

One of the Biggest Cliches of Them All

Let’s confront one of the biggest and baddest cliches about single mothers out there – that we all women with all-consuming, high paying, fulfilling careers that just never made time to focus on relationships.


We’re not all straight out of an ’80s movie, wearing boxy suits and one-inch pumps and trying to get ahead at the expense of the evil male coworker who wants to put us in our place. We are regular, ordinary girls who just didn’t find “the one” in time.

As for me – yes, I did become a lawyer in my mid-20s and yes, I had the high paying job at a big law firm. But even then, I knew I wanted the whole package of marriage and children. I was ALWAYS ambivalent about being a lawyer – although I really and truly enjoyed law school, I never wanted to practice law and frankly, once … Continue reading

Being a Motherless Mother

My mom died when I was 19. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 31 and she was only 43 when she died.

I am a Motherless Mother. I know I’m not the only one in Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). I decided to write about this topic when some of the moms talked on our online forum about their mothers doing childcare for them, either regularly or when the child is too sick to go to daycare. I thought, “They don’t know how lucky they are to have a mom who helps out that way”—but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was only one way that I missed having a mom.

My mother passed away when I was 19. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 8 and was ill for most of the next 12 years. Because of our … Continue reading


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