Motherhood — Part 2

(This is the second half of Motherhood. The first half recently appeared in this space.)

If I decide to become a single mother, I would probably also be deciding that my child would be an only child. Not only would s/he not have a father, but also it would be just the two of us. Going it alone would be hard enough financially and mentally, so thinking about a second on my own is probably not in the cards. Some of my best memories growing up involve my brothers: chasing after each other, inventing games, and having a buffer or distraction when we were stuck with our parents for too long in a confined car on road trips. As adults we’ve bonded in a completely different way and I can’t imagine not having these relationships in my life. Who am I to knowingly deprive my child of that … Continue reading

Skipping Steps to My Happily-Ever-After

Choosing Single Motherhood

Most women’s journey to motherhood begins with a trip to the bedroom. Mine began with a trip to my parents’ basement. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as kinky as that sounds.

While visiting my parents, I spied a pile of nostalgia on a dusty shelf downstairs: old photos, yearbooks, and my senior year psychology project. I think the project was supposed to be a sketch of our lives from birth to death, but hand a bunch of adolescents an assignment like this, and you’re just asking for a suburban girl’s mash-up of Sex in the City meets Cinderella, complete with magazine cut-outs of wedding dresses and beaus-to-be. I didn’t think of myself as overly boy-crazy back then. I certainly didn’t keep bridal clippings in my nightstand like some of my friends, but I was raised on Disney princesses, too. I knew how life was supposed to work out.… Continue reading

Testing The Waters

My mother and I just finished a phone conversation about my plans for the upcoming weekend. We discussed how the guy I’m currently casually dating is not coming to visit (he lives 2.5 hours away) because he has to work tomorrow. In the past month, he and I have backed off a bit, mainly because I’m busy, he’s busy, and yeah, it’s long distance. I really like him and could see myself marrying/having kids with him, but he’s older and already has two teenagers (ages 15 and 13). He has a lot of drama in his life unrelated to me, and while he says he wants to eventually get married and have more kids, part of me doesn’t believe him. The two he has are close to 18, and he’ll then be done paying formal child support. Part of me thinks he’s just telling me he wants more kids because … Continue reading

Motherhood – Part 1

34…single…female…The age keeps changing, but the relationship status does not. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in a long-term relationship. While I desire a partner in life, a best friend to spend my days with, what I yearn for even more is motherhood. It’s not just a yearning from the heart, but I feel it from my ovaries…from the center of my being.

Throughout college and adult life, I have gone back and forth on what type of career I want to have and whether I even want to have a career at all. The one constant has always been that I want to have children. I want to bear at least one child and then possibly adopt. A mother is what I feel I was meant to be above all else..

At some point in my mid to late 20’s I decided that if I hadn’t met … Continue reading

How Will I Know When I’m Ready To Be A Mom?

This is the secret no one tells you when you’re a kid: there’s no magic age when you suddenly become an “adult”, at least not in the ways you think it will happen when you’re a teenager. The reality of being 30 or 40 is just not anything like what the 13 or 16 year old me thought it would be. I still feel like a stupid teenager sometimes but not nearly as often as I did even 10 years ago. And I have teenage nieces, which a) has not deterred me from wanting to be a mom :lol: and b) makes me realize I have grown up and learned a lot since then.

Sometimes I think I should be more mature by now. But I think we’re all always still learning and we all have habits or knee-jerk reactions we’d like to change, buttons we’d like to stop letting people … Continue reading

How I Made the Decision

I joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) a few months ago and I have been reading every post on the members’ Forum since then. The first and only time I posted I shared how I’ve been “thinking” for nearly two years. I was overwhelmed by the support and kind messages everyone wrote in response. But it’s been the posts by everyone else struggling with the same decision, the shared fears and excitement that have truly helped me make the right choice for me. I cannot say thank you enough for letting me, a stranger, into such an important part of your lives.

So this is how I made the decision: I had planned a weekend away with my mother and my goal was to have made a decision – one way or another – by the time we were flying home. We had fun, we enjoyed the vacation and we … Continue reading

Serial Monogamy – A Memoir

One day in 1990, the title of a workshop caught my attention: Last Call for Motherhood:  Are you a woman over 35 that has always thought motherhood would be part of your life, but it has yet to come to pass? Are you willing to contemplate becoming a “single mother by choice” despite the potential disapproval of family and friends? If you would like to devote some time and emotional effort into answering these questions for yourself, join us on Saturday, May 15,1990 for a workshop. Bring a notebook and a willingness to share your deepest thoughts.

I immediately signed up. It was just what I needed to help me figure out if, in fact, single motherhood was the right path for me.

In a small room I sat with five other anxious women as we silently awaited the arrival of the instructor. There was an aura of shame … Continue reading

First Steps

Recently I’ve made the first move into becoming an SMC. I paid a visit to my doctor-it was as simple as that.  Technically there were many unofficial first steps before that, such as the research, the saving, and of course,  joining the SMC organization.  But this, however, is the first concrete action that I could mark on the calendar as the first day, a tangible act that will propel me closer to my goal.

Such a small act to accomplish, yet it took me forever to muster the courage.  Reaching out to my doctor was the first time I had ever vocalized wanting to be a mother to another person. Everyone who knows me has known me by my no-child-having stance that has stood firm for the last 20 or so years. I haven’t really updated anyone on this yet; for now I like keeping the secret to myself, it … Continue reading

Motherhood On My Own Terms

As Mother’s Day comes and goes once again,  I’m left with a strange mixture of longing and apprehension.  Since finding out about Single Mothers by Choice (SMC), the supposition I could be a mother, albeit on my own, is a new development I’ve let take root. Stronger than ever, it’s now an eventuality I’ve accepted is going to happen.  A radical departure from the trajectory I thought I wanted to follow, from the figment of my life I held in my mind’s eye. After  the warm balmy vision of having children fades, however,  I’m reminded of the reality of my situation — my non-existent relationship with my own mother, and how it complicates the matter. 

I wasn’t surprised that when I started my journey toward SMC-hood, I found myself with the familiar affliction of ignoring the influence of my own mother. I’ve endeavoured over a lifetime to not end up … Continue reading

Do I or Don’t I???

With the help of the members of SMC, I have just recently made my decision not to become an SMC. I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.

Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?

All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility … Continue reading

“After I joined SMC, I learned so much! One of the best things was not feeling alone. So many had gone before me, and if they could do it, then so could I! My local group was a great source of support and becoming an SMC was the best decision I've ever made.”

– Joyce Gabbert