Category Archives: women’s movement

Martyrdom?

Smiling womanI was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now teenagers.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading

Open Source Family

infantThe 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

The Fortune Cookies Were Right

Fortune cookiesEarly on the morning of Wednesday, November 6th, I was getting ready to drive to my reproductive endocrinologist nearly two hours away, where I would have a test to determine if there was a blockage in my fallopian tubes causing the problems with my lining development.  I had become incredibly disheartened by the adoption process after what had happened three weeks before (and the year before that, and all of the empty, waiting months in between), and was hoping, desperately, that this procedure would reveal the answer to my infertility issues so that the donor embryos I had on reserve would lead me to my child.

I was about to get in the shower when my phone rang.  I could see from the caller ID that it was my adoption agency, perhaps calling to check up on me after the debacle of the month before.  I answered, keeping my eye … Continue reading

Girls Can Drive Dumptrucks and Boys Can Dance

“I wish our family had two moms,” Sam says, and I am caught by surprise. I am loading the dishes into the dishwasher while Sam puts the head on his new Lego alien minifigure and Eva pulls at my pants leg begging for her bedtime cup of milk.

“Why is that?” I ask. Our family has one parent. One mom. And it’s never going to have two moms.

“Because moms are great, and if there were two moms one could play with me while the other mom puts Eva to bed.”

I’ve recently been talking to Sam about how all families are different. We have books that talk about big families and small families, families that adopt, families with two moms or two dads, families with just one parent. We have books that explain IVF and how a child can come in to the world without a dad.

“That would … Continue reading

Happy 35th Anniversary to SMC!

733 dSingle Mothers by Choice is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month! 

We’re still going strong, with new members joining us every day. I’m delighted to see that we have not only survived, but thrived, and that we continue to provide the support and information that I hoped we could offer when I held our first meeting in my living room 35 years ago.

Thank you to all of our members who participate in their local chapter and on our online discussion forum. There’s so much sharing of wisdom and experience going on – it’s truly wonderful to see.… Continue reading

Girls Can Drive Dumptrucks and Boys Can Dance

“I wish our family had two moms,” Sam says, and I am caught by surprise. I am loading the dishes into the dishwasher while Sam puts the head on his new Lego alien minifigure and Eva pulls at my pants leg begging for her bedtime cup of milk.

“Why is that?” I ask. Our family has one parent. One mom. And it’s never going to have two moms.

“Because moms are great, and if there were two moms one could play with me while the other mom puts Eva to bed.”

I’ve recently been talking to Sam about how all families are different. We have books that talk about big families and small families, families that adopt, families with two moms or two dads, families with just one parent. We have books that explain IVF and how a child can come in to the world without a dad.

“That would … Continue reading

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now eleven.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading

Choices


I recently got together with some folks, including a single mother by choice (SMC) who is a full-time mom and 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

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now almost nine.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. … Continue reading

Money, Money, Money!!

I stumbled into trying to be a being a single mother by choice. A friend of mine was close to 40 and decided she was going to make the leap to be a mother. She enlisted me to do all the necessary research. Research is my thing so I was happy to get the ball rolling. I couldn’t believe all the information I found.

I discovered Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). We went to a meeting and filled in the blanks to many lingering questions.  We met thinkers, tryers and mothers.  What I noticed was these women came from many walks of life.  The common factor was no husband and the desire to have children before the option was taken off the table.

I continued my research and realized I desired the same thing.  I wanted to be a mother. The next question is how to go about it?

What … Continue reading