Table of Contents
From the Editor
This fall marks the 35th Anniversary of SMC!
Happy 35th Anniversary, SMC!
Can you believe we’ve been growing, thriving, and more importantly, learning from and supporting each other, for 35 whole years? We’re so happy and honored to be part of your amazing journeys, through all the ups and downs, and all the joy.
We love hearing your stories, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the community, what we might change, elements you would like to see. Tell us what you think!
While you’re at it, we love pictures. Adorable Halloween pics make the day much sunnier. So please share!
Who Needs a Vacation?
This is the time of year when I start considering family vacations. It would be the first time I’ll be traveling with my twins, and that got me thinking. Going beyond family-friendly, I wondered if any vacation packages existed that are great for single parents? Lo and behold, there are!
Some are still available for this holiday season, while others are perfect for 2017 vacations!
The River Dance Lodge seems like a great place to go be outdoorsy in luxury, hand-crafted log cabins and raft, bike, fish and hike all you want! Check into 2017 dates for the Single Parent’s Mountain & Discovery Deal. Described as “especially for single parent families,” this one is a 5-day/4-night stay, with $200 off the Lodge’s Mountain and Discovery Package.
Heed the call of ocean waves and head to the beach! South Seas Island Resort has a deal that starts December 4 and continues through April 30, 2017. The Winter Getaway includes a stay for 3 nights or longer. You get $25 in resort credits per days, along with a coupon book with at least $250 in savings.
The family-friendly Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers a Single Parents Getaway. The rates start at $400 for adults and $100 for children up to 16 years old. The package includes prices for two kids 4-16 years old.
The resort has a kid’s club for older kids, activities like story time for kids, and beach volleyball, water aerobics and bike tours.
For moms of babies and toddlers, Grand Velas has a Baby Concierge! Wouldn’t you just love a baby concierge in your real life?
Got your heart set on the Caribbean? The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is worth a look. Their Single Parent Package lets kids under 12 “stay, play and eat free,” which could be kind of great. The price for teens 13-17 is only $45 a night. The package includes a family movie night, a weekly pajama party and daily kids activities for kids as young as 3. The package is good if you’re traveling with up to three kids!
These caught my eye. If you know of other single parent-friendly trips, feel free to share!
And if you’re ready to do your own research, check out the Travel and Vacations section of our Forum:
And some additional resources for SMC travel: Single Moms By Choice Travel on FB, SingleParentTravel.net and SingleParentCentral.com.
Learn To Love The Exam Table (Or At Least Hate It Less)
We all know the discomfort of the exam table in the doctor’s office. The mental anxiety is one thing, but it’s also just plain uncomfortable. Leave it to one of our own to discover a fun way to deal with it: Insemisocks!
How did you ease body & soul during your time on the exam table? My friends made me a playlist, and my successful IUIs included a lot of Maroon 5, because according to my BFFs, “if Adam Levine can’t get you pregnant, no one can!”
You Go Girl!
Need a quick pick-me-up? Or even an insight in how others see you? Take look at some excerpts from this gem, published last summer on YourTango.com, then let’s all get together and go cape-shopping!
Some Reasons to be Jealous (yes, jealous!) of Single Moms
They can whip up six dozen cupcakes for the class party just after they replace the lawnmower blade.
I admit it: I cheered back in 1992 when Murphy Brown had her baby. I, along with millions of Americans, cried when the unmarried TV character sang “(I Feel Like A) Natural Woman” to her newborn son, and I called Dan Quayle a total jerk when he pegged that brave woman as a bad parenting example.
But I can’t think of another single mom who has been quite as celebrated since — and I think that’s pretty unfair.
I was raised by a single mother and I have dozens of family and friends who are single moms themselves. I have to tell you: For all they accomplish, put up with and bring to the world, I think single mommies have not been given the props they deserve! After all, many of us wouldn’t be here without them.
Here are some of our favorite reasons why being a single mother (or being the kid of one!) rocks:
1. Single mothers don’t have to negotiate (unless they want to).
All decisions in the house are unilateral, which means no more “good cop vs. bad cop.” What she says, goes. And the only backlash she has to deal with is, “It’s not fair! Woe is me!” and the faint sound of tiny violins somewhere.
Bonus: You can teach your kids how to communicate and express frustration without yelling.
2. Single moms are role models for independence.
When there is no one else there to do the things they’re not skilled at, they learn. I know single moms who have changed tires, hooked up a TV and entertainment system, learned to cook, moved heavy furniture, hung shelves, changed the wax ring on a toilet, even chain-sawed unwanted shrubbery and put together a lawn mower.
Besides these skills being amazingly sexy, sisters doing it for themselves are teaching their children how to be independent too. When the children grow up and start seeking relationships, it will be because they want one, not because they need one to survive.
3. Being single means extra Zzzs.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleeping two to a bed could cause a person to lose 49 minutes of sleep per night. This is unacceptable to any mom, but it’s utterly obscene when tiny people come bounding into your bedroom at 6 a.m. sharp. Single mothers don’t have to suffer the frustration of being woken up when their partner comes to bed after them or by a light being turned on or by someone else’s snoring.
(I’m going to assume that being the only one on deck to handle feeding cries and teething cries and changing cries and just cries is part of No. 10. Keep reading!)
4. Single mothers OWN their bodies.
A Cornell University study found that women generally gain 5 to 8 pounds in the first few years of marriage. And that gets worse if you are unhappily married; the same study found that those miserable women gain 54 pounds within the first 10 years of marriage. Single moms no longer have to make the choice of nixing the gym in favor of snuggle time or hanging out with their partner. They don’t have to forgo the salad for dinner because their spouse is hungry for burgers.
Other body freedoms that come from being single: You get to go to sleep when you want to. In other words, you don’t have to explain your body and your choices about it to anyone.
5. Give these girls a cape! (Yep, single moms are superheroes.)
Their kids think they are awesome. Children of single mothers think it’s incredible when mom can pull together six dozen cupcakes in one night for the bake sale the next day that someone forgot to mention. They also love it when mom can go from teaching them how to throw a curve ball to dressing up for a night on the town with her friends.
Single parent homes call for versatile role shifting, and when moms can pull off both, the kids can feel safe and secure on all sides. They know they can not only trust mom to “get it done” but also as a shoulder for support — no matter what the situation.
6. The fight for survival creates a tight-knit family.
Some might argue that this isn’t good for kids because it makes them grow up too fast, but when the members of a single-parent home have to organize and rely on one another, the closeness that occurs is undeniable. Just as in sports, family teams have to work together. Kids learn the value of teamwork and being dependable.
7. Single moms have a monopoly on the values their children are raised with.
Once they live with one parent full-time, that’s the lifestyle kids tend to adopt. … Single mothers are free to raise their children with the morals, beliefs, character and life skills they choose — with no concern about someone else’s contrasting views undermining them.
8. Single mothers are empowered.
They are able to find their own strength in having to be as much as they can for their children. It is a stretching and growing experience that many parents never get. They are able to feel an intensified sense of satisfaction when their kids succeed against the odds, because they have been the best parent they can be and more; it’s a payoff for all the hard work and sacrifice.
9. Single mothers are super creative and crafty.
A single income can create a bit of burden, but that doesn’t mean a single-parent home can’t be happy and fulfilling. It just pushes mom (or dad) to do a little creative management. Instead of going out and buying a sheep costume for the school play, she and the kids get a pillow case and sew on some cotton balls to make one.
Single mothers are also masterful at “staycations.” They make snow cones at home, construct tents for camping in the living room, roast marshmallows over the grill and tell ghost stories by flashlight. They become brilliant pastry chefs, creating masterpieces with Twinkies and frosting in a can, and a thrift store find easily becomes a specially designed, reworked prom dress.
10. Some single moms don’t have to share their kids with anyone on a daily basis.
This one is a little bit selfish, but understandably so. They get ultimate quality time, and unlike their married counterparts, don’t have to split their attention or time with anyone unless they want to. Single mothers can put all their focus into their kiddos. They get to hog every single “first” and growing process their kids are going through.
11. Single mothers inspire the heck out of us.
They discover and tackle things they didn’t know they had the strength to do. This quietly gives the rest of us permission to try things we’ve secretly always wanted to. We think, “Hey, if Joan can have a job, raise three kids and go back to school, I can try out for the roller derby team, start a couture cupcake company, run a marathon …” They show us where to find our driving force, that power that pushes us to keep going even when things are difficult.
Maybe one of the most amazing things about being a single parent is this: Your kids will always remember who was there helping them with their homework, cooking, cleaning, getting them to soccer practice and rushing from work to be at their recital. They will never forget how their moms gave up an overtime shift to sit with them while they were sick, or who helped them with their college and scholarship applications.
There has always been a stigma that comes along with single motherhood, but in my opinion single mothers are stronger than most people because they have to work their proverbial parenting muscles more. So finally, we can all tuck away our “Oh, that’s a shame there’s no father around” pities and start shouting “I don’t know how you do it. Because as I see it, single mothers are single-handedly taking over the world!”
Ask The Doctor
Have some questions for our next Ask the Doctor column? Send them our way at email@example.com, and we’ll pose them to one of our experts for an upcoming issue.
Harvey J. Stern, MD, PhD, FACMG, FAAP joined GIVF in 1995 and is the Director of Reproductive Genetics and the Fetal Diagnostic Center. He is also the Medical Director for Fairfax Cryobank.
Who should consider First Trimester Screening?
The FTS is recommended for pregnant women of any age who would like early information about the health of a pregnancy without invasive testing. Serious chromosomal abnormalities are more commonly associated with pregnancies in women age 35 and older, but they can occur at any age. In fact, more babies with Down syndrome are born to women under age 35.
What is First Trimester Screening?
The FTS is a non-invasive tool that combines a blood test, a specialized ultrasound, and your age. This information provides a powerful, personalized risk assessment for your current pregnancy. It detects up to:
95% of pregnancies with Down syndrome, and 95% of pregnancies with Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13.
This screening process is significantly more accurate and available earlier in pregnancy than the second trimester blood test (quadruple screen) for Down syndrome and other conditions. However, no screen can assess the risk for every chromosome abnormality, genetic disease, or birth defect.
How is First Trimester Screening performed?
At your FTS appointment, you will have an ultrasound and a blood draw. The blood sample is used to measure the concentration of two proteins, PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protein A), and free ß-hCG (free-beta human chorionic gonadotropin). These proteins are released into the maternal blood in every pregnancy. The ultrasound looks for the presence of the fetal nasal bone and measures the nuchal translucency. The nuchal translucency is a fluid filled area at the back of the fetal neck, present in every pregnancy.
Information from the blood test and ultrasound are combined with your age to generate your result. The personalized results will describe the risks for Down syndrome and for Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13 in your pregnancy.
When should I have my First Trimester Screening?
The FTS ultrasound is performed during a specific window of time based on fetal size. For most women, this begins during the 11th week and continues through the 13th week of pregnancy. The blood work can be done at the same time, or in the two weeks prior to the ultrasound. For convenience, most women will have their ultrasound and blood work completed at the same appointment.
What's the Buzz?
What’s new and exciting with SMC?!
Here by popular request…
We’ve added a new Buy/ Sell/ Trade/ Gift subforum on our SMC Forum!
On this new forum thread, our members are now able to connect and share whatever we want or have. We hope this new opportunity will benefit us all! Please see the board Guidelines for more information.
You can access this thread by logging in to your forum account and following this link: https://forums.singlemothersbychoice.org/viewforum.php?f=86
The Holiday Season in Approaching!
Looking for a way to give back to SMC while you holiday shop? Try shopping with Amazon Smile.
When you shop online using our Amazon Smile link, Amazon will donate to SMC, at no cost to you!
Shop at AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) and Amazon will make a donation to SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE. Get started here:
It’s an easy way to show your support of SMC, helping us to provide more scholarships and resources to those members in need.
We appreciate your support during this holiday season, and throughout the year.
The Things Kids Say!
You just can’t make this stuff up!
A new nickname.
A year-old gives her SMC and little brother new – and clever – names.
This morning Norah decided to give me and Avi new names. Avi was going to be “Iva” (Avi spelled backwards).
As for me? “I am just going to call you Crazy Lady from now on.”
It’s not that bad, I swear!
This one speaks for itself:
Tonight my five year-old asked me if I remembered when he used to nurse, and if I remembered when milk came from my “nursies.” I assured him that I did.
He was silent a moment, then said, “I guess beer or wine would come out of there now.”
He’s just not that into you.
This little guy is not interested in relationship right now.
Half-asleep, complaining about the cat, who for some reason completely adores him:
My four year-old: Get her off, she’s on me.
Me: She loves you and wants to snuggle with you (because seriously, find me the person who can keep a cat from sleeping where it wants to sleep).
My four year-old: [huff] I’m not her girlfriend, I don’t want to snuggle with her.
Find more wise words on our forum, here:https://forums.singlemothersbychoice.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4784&start=1160
One More Thing
So there you have it, girlfriend. You are amazing. Even when you wonder aloud, “How do you not lose it sometimes,” you are still amazing.
Next time we talk, it will be the holiday season, and we know how hectic that can be. Just plan right now to take some deep breaths, ask for help and be kind to yourself!