Who Is My Daddy?

I am a single  mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt  semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.

During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t … Continue reading

My Choices and My Son’s Choices

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, in several different contexts. One significant example is the issues that arise out of the fact that we’ve started getting into more specific details about conception. It was a non-issue for my son to find out, or more accurately, have confirmed that the donor is his biological father, although I will admit that I haven’t emphasized that specific phrase. But I have mentioned it and also do talk at more length about the fact that the donor is the man who gave the sperm that fertilized my egg to create a baby.

I think kids take their cues from us on this sort of thing so I have tried hard to be very matter of fact about it all and present it as neutrally as possible, while still making it clear that I think a mom and kid family is terrific. And … Continue reading

I Want Daddy

“I WANT DADDY!” Cara woke up from a late nap crying and fussing and then she started screaming, wailing, “I WANT DADDY!”

She has never expressed any desire for a dad or concern about not having a dad but there’s been a couple of threads on the private Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Forum recently about other four-year-olds wanting dads who never really had seemed to care before. Still, she’s really shown zero interest so I thought maybe I misunderstood. Do you mean Papa? My dad. You want Papa? “NO! DADDY DADDY!” Still thinking she must be saying something else. Dani? (A good friend and babysitter.) Do you want Dani? “Nooooo! Daddy!” Getting desperate, I start throwing other ideas out: Grammy? Blankie? She gets more ticked off. “NOOOOO! DADDDY! I WANT MY DADDY!”

I give up on translating and start the talk. Ya know the one. Cara, you know we … Continue reading

Why I’m Not (Too) Afraid of Father’s Day

As we approach Father’s Day this year, it occurred to me that no one, aside from the social worker whose job it is to broach such tough questions, has asked me about the “daddy issue.” As a single woman hoping to conceive a child with a donor, there will be no daddy in our family (unless I’m lucky enough to find a husband later in life). I know, despite everyone’s support, at least a few people must have wondered how I feel about raising a child without a dad. The truth? Scared. But also steadfast.

I was raised in a family with two loving parents, a mom and a dad. So were nearly all of my friends. I didn’t even have a friend with divorced parents until high school. So the idea of raising a child in any form of non-traditional family is frightening, but that’s because it’s unknown, not … Continue reading

The Book

Today I finished writing the book, the real book (as some friends would call it). Today I finished the story book I wrote for my wonderful little boy. I call it, “Where did Marco Come From”, in which I try to explain how he was brought into this world. It’s his story, our story.

When I first decided to become a single mother by choice, I knew there would come a time when I would have to explain that not all children have a mom and a dad. I would have to explain, that all children come from love, and that ultimately he came from the most pure, big and wonderful kind of love. He came from the love and dream I had of becoming a mom, of becoming his mom.

At first, writing the story was a bit hard. I had an idea of what I wanted to tell … Continue reading

What Do We Say About Daddy?

Many of our children ask questions about their fathers, and right now, with Father’s Day approaching, we are all thinking and talking more about it. When we made the decision to become an Single Mother by Choice, this subject was, for many of us, the one which we were most concerned about, and rightly so. Deciding to raise a child without a father has a real impact on our children and on us.

Having some understanding of child development can be very helpful in feeling more comfortable in talking with your child about this important subject. For example. toddlers initially get their view of the world from their parents, and take their cues about how to feel about most things in life from them. So if you tell your toddler, when s/he asks about their “daddy”, that some families have a daddy and some don’t, the child will usually be … Continue reading

Unintended Consequences

I have to admit – five years into this game, I’ve gotten pretty blasé about the whole “no father” thing.  So have my kids.  Claire announces it as needed, but in a very “whatevah” way.  “I told her you couldn’t find a dad,” she told me, as an aside, at a recent church lunch.  Evidently the topic had come up with her friend seated on the other side of her.  Or not.  It’s possible she just volunteered it.  We’ve known this girl’s family for years, and I’ve never seen their father, either.  Church is a mom-and-kids thing in their family, as is swimming lessons, evidently – the other place we see them.  Not a big deal, just chatter between the five-year-olds.

We’re busy, we’re happy, life is good.  Gymnastics, skating, swimming, soccer, kindergarten, cardboard-box inventions, baking projects, vacation planning.  It’s all good.  The big conversations have been had, and repeated.  … Continue reading

Dad Questions

I rarely get asked about E’s dad but I did get asked last week by an IT guy I’ve known for many years – he was sitting at my desk working on my computer while I stood next to him. He said something like, “I see pictures of the baby but none of the dad!” Gesturing around smiling, implying that the dad was sorely underrepresented. The right answer was something like, “Oh, that guy? Yeah, it’s all about the baby now.” But instead what came out of my mouth was, “Oh, that’s because he doesn’t have a dad.” Which is what I think we all agreed is NOT what I was intending to say- I wanted to say, “Our family doesn’t have a dad” but I did go on to explain that I chose to have a baby on my own. Maybe the answer was, “That’s because I had him … Continue reading

Father’s Day Thoughts From a Teen SMC Child

Allow me to open by briefly introducing myself. My name is Jocelyn, I was born in San Francisco, California, I live in Florida.

I suppose you could say I was born because of a sperm donor. Biologically, that’s true. But the real REASON I’m here is because my mother wanted a child. To me, that’s all that matters and I could leave it at that. But because I enjoy this topic, I won’t.

So, maybe it’s how I was brought up. I knew my entire life I was the product of a sperm donor. No big deal. I have a vague recollection of my elementary-school Spanish teacher teaching me how to say “donor” in Spanish. My uncle’s a genealogist, so when family tree time came around, everyone was so absolutely stunned by just how far back it went on my mom’s side that they didn’t notice or care that I … Continue reading

I Want Daddy

“I WANT DADDY!” Cara woke up from a late nap crying and fussing and then she started screaming, wailing, “I WANT DADDY!”

She has never expressed any desire for a dad or concern about not having a dad but there’s been a couple of threads on the private Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Forum recently about other four-year-olds wanting dads who never really had seemed to care before. Still, she’s really shown zero interest so I thought maybe I misunderstood. Do you mean Papa? My dad. You want Papa? “NO! DADDY DADDY!” Still thinking she must be saying something else. Dani? (A good friend and babysitter.) Do you want Dani? “Nooooo! Daddy!” Getting desperate, I start throwing other ideas out: Grammy? Blankie? She gets more ticked off. “NOOOOO! DADDDY! I WANT MY DADDY!”

I give up on translating and start the talk. Ya know the one. Cara, you know we … 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