Twisting the Tale

An alternative to the old (and outdated) ‘Once upon a time…’

I never had much interest in princesses, preferring jeans and sneakers to ball gowns and glass slippers even as a young girl. But that’s not to say that I didn’t grow up thinking someday I’d experience my own fairytale romance. When I reached 35 and was still single, though, I started to think that fantasy would never morph into my reality.

In the two years since, my ‘Once upon a time’ has taken some drastic turns. Tired of waiting for my prince to arrive and fed up with unsuccessfully scouring the suburban realms for him, I decided to skip the being-swept-off-my-feet stage, at least for now. Instead I chose to jump right to the chapter of the story entitled Motherhood. As any writer does, I made a few edits and a few errors. And life threw in some plot … Continue reading

Thinking About Becoming An SMC?

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

A New Year

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. I always aimed too high and set myself up for failure. What’s more, I’m making resolutions all year ‘round, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in forcing myself to come up with new ones just because I’m hanging up a new calendar. (Oops, there’s a resolution: upload the new photo calendar to the Costco website before February!)

So, how did I spend New Year’s Eve? We were newly home from having spent Christmas in Phoenix with family, the girls were in bed, and I was enjoying a quiet, cozy evening with a book and a glass of wine. What once would have been considered a New Year’s Eve FAIL —sitting home alone— now felt like bliss.

And I remembered that, several years before I had my kids, I had improvised my own New Year’s Eve ritual. I … Continue reading

I Want To Believe

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

Chanukah and Our Little Miracles

Last year I lit the candles before dinner, and she would sit at the table, look over to the menorah, and sigh out “ohhhhh”. She thought it was pretty. This year she selects the candles each night. And while I have tried to get her to help me light the candles, she gets a little frightened when the time comes, maybe because I am trying to tell her to hold the shamos candle at the bottom, not the top. But she is fascinated watching the flames, and watching the candles melt. The first night we waited till all the candles were out to go up to bed, but last night she needed a bath. And one of the first things she said after we came downstairs this morning was “the candles melted, they’re all gone”. This is the first year I’ve done presents each night, and she is only marginally … 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

Open Source Family

The day after my donor conceived son was born, Abby, my birth partner, who I called my birth maid, told me, she had had a conversation about marriage with my dad in the car on the way back to the houseboat from the hospital. She had asked him why parents are so obsessed with their children getting married. My dad had said that he suspected that it was really about passing along genes and ensuring that the family continued. Did he care whether I got married now that I had given him a grandchild? she asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

My mom stayed with us for the first month after I brought Alexander home, which was a complete blur. The main thing I remember is we got adopted by a seagull that would show up on my dock and literally knock on the door with his beak around the same … Continue reading

Freedom Friday: In Praise of the Single Mother

Last week I was almost on a radio show. I was asked to be the voice of the single mother who celebrates that role and finds the joy in it. I was asked to share things I have learned along the way that make it easier: “What I was hoping you could bring to the conversation were the things that you do (or are discovering), to recharge your showbox batteries, and allow you to find enjoyment, satisfaction and perseverance in this sometimes challenging job of Single Mom. Whether it be mantras you repeat to yourself, physical exercise, time with friends, or anything else be that adds enjoyment to your journey as a single mom, please share your perspective on how you are committed to enjoying your time as a single mom.”

Although, as is often the case in the big world, versus the humble world of the blog, things happen, … Continue reading

Adult Swim: What my sisters in sperm (and a global pandemic ) taught me about modern family values.

When I first moved to California, I bought a bright blue VW beetle and drove up Highway 1, taking in the freedom of the West (Ok, I admit, a bit cliche). I was escaping New York because, on the cusp of forty, I hadn’t yet married and had a baby. I wanted to find a new life and identity outside the social pressures of wifehood and motherhood. Pretty soon, I fell madly in love. Not with a man but with a community on the houseboat docks of Sausalito, California, a place famous for its collectivist values. This romance gave me the courage to conceive my son, on my own, as a single mother by choice because I lived around so many people who supported me. 

So much changed after his conception. A year before the pandemic, on a warm Sunday morning,  my son and I took on a different kind … Continue reading

Choices

I recently got together with some folks, including a single mother by choice (SMC) who is a full-time mom to her delightful 14 month old son. She was clearly relishing being his mom, and he was equally clearly adoring her. When we got to chatting a bit, she confided to me that she was feeling a little bit guilty about how much she was enjoying being a mother. After all, she said, didn’t the women of earlier generations go through a lot in order for women to have the right to be liberated from being “just mothers”? Was it okay for her to WANT to spend her time being a mom? And to enjoy it so much?

Having been one of those women whose consciousness was raised in the tumultuous sixties, I pondered her question for a moment, and then remembered — it was all about CHOICE. We believed that Continue reading

“I felt at home in SMC and being around others who had the same dream was a great help. SMC support gave me confidence and encouragement throughout the process and the benefit of meeting other women who were on the same journey.”

– Anonymous