It’s These Moments That Catch Me

It’s these moments that catch me.   This morning before work, way too early for my liking, I walked my three year old son and his bestie Elmo to his car seat and strapped him in. As he often does, he smiled and asked, “Hug, Mommy?” after I fastened his seat belt. I leaned in and hugged him, feeling the strength of his tiny little arms pulling me in.

I then brought my daughter’s infant car seat around and fastened it in place, bending over to kiss her downy head as she slept through the whole process, more beautiful than I have words to describe, cooing softly and smiling.

It’s these moments that catch me. When I am doing everyday Mommy things and I get blown away with how much I love these itty bitty humans that am privileged to call my children.

I loved my life pre-kids, I orchestrated great … Continue reading

A Letter To My Younger Self

I recently read a blog post by someone who has kids and was lamenting her pre-kid single life freedoms. The post was a letter to her young self about how she should enjoy being free, staying out late with friends, traveling and not worry about meeting someone to share her life with—or about whether she has kids; that her life would be just great without them. I love how people who are married with kids always joke about what a pain it is to be married, and tell single people how lucky we are to not have to “deal with” a partner and how hard it is to be tied down to kids.

So I decided to write my own letter to my younger single self:

Dear naive self who thinks she’ll just meet Mr. Right at that perfect age (no need to worry!) and who believes her uterus will … Continue reading

Supermom

As usual, time has gotten away from me and a holiday is fast approaching. I was going to dress up as Supergirl for Halloween; mostly because I have the costume and there’s a television show about her. Then it hit me…why not dress up as myself?

Supermom.

I manage two little lives, taking care of all their needs and many of their wants. I give boo-boo healing kisses. I run our home, which needs a ton of work, but is still standing. I work full-time, plus some each week. I drive long distances so my kids will be with people I trust while I am supporting us. I keep my title of “Mom” by earning it with sweat and diaper-changing equity. I don’t go out “adulting” often because I prefer to spend my time with my babies. I even keep our many pets fed and watered, if not played … Continue reading

Do Children of SMCs Have Psychological Problems?

One of my biggest questions when considering becoming a single mother by  choice was how it would affect my future child. Would I be setting them up for a harder life because of my desire to become a mom? Would they suffer mentally from being raised by only one parent versus two? I knew it was time to do some research to see if I could find the answers to my questions.

The Journal of Family Psychology conducted a study on 51 solo mother families and compared them with 52 two-parent families. The study measured maternal wellbeing, mother–child relationships and the child’s adjustment to mothers, children and teachers.

I was thrilled to read that there were no differences in parenting quality between family types apart from there being lower mother–child conflict in solo mother families. That’s right! There are less conflicts between mother and child in solo mom households. Maybe … Continue reading

On Turning One

You probably won’t remember anything of your first year. Your knowledge of it will come from photos, videos, and stories told to you by family and friends. In other words, you’ll get the highlight reel.

Honestly, I’m not sure my memory will be much different. Already those early hours, days, and weeks have begun to blur into that foggy place we call the past. My clearest memories are those too special—or too scary—to forget.

Waking up from surgery and wanting to meet you so badly it hurt.

Seeing you for the first time, so small, so fragile, so mine.

Watching you find my breast and begin to feed, and feeling overcome with amazement that our bodies worked together so innately to give you just what you needed.

Snuggling skin to skin with you that first night. Secretly enjoying the fact I had no one there to share you with.

The … Continue reading

Our Second “Family Day”

My son’s 2nd adoption anniversary is this month.  It’s so weird that he has only been my “legal” son for 2 years.  It’s almost easy to forget how uncertain things were while I was fostering him and how I lived in fear that something would happen and CPS would take him from me.  Now, he’s almost 4 and he has such a personality!  He’s also starting to understand “adoption” a little more.

I know there’s so much controversy about celebrating Adoption Days. I don’t really look at it as “celebrating,”  I look at it more like “remembering”… talking about how we became a family and reflecting on it.  As my son gets older he will have more say in how and what we do to “commemorate” our adoption.

I actually don’t call it “adoption day” or “gotcha day.”  I don’t really like those phrases.  I refer to it as our … Continue reading

A Letter to J’s Teacher

In a few weeks, J starts “big kid school” and this is the letter I will be giving to her new teacher:

Hi Miss C — I am excited for J to be in your class this year; she’s excited for school to start.

I would like to explain a little bit about our family. We are a mom-and-kid family – I am an SMC –  a single mother by choice. There is no father involved in J’s life, nor has there ever been; there was no divorce, separation or death. Of course, J has an extended family, a Nana and many “aunties” and “uncles” (but no father and no brothers or sisters).

J’s understanding of our family structure is evolving. One of her favorite books is “The Family Book,” which explains that families come in all sizes and configurations.  We also read an age-appropriate story about her unconventional conception.  … Continue reading

My Only Regret is That I Waited So Long

I’ve always wanted to have children, always wanted to mother. I’ve been an au pair to other families, spent time with all of the kids of friends and family. I hoped and assumed, of course, that I would have a family of my own when the time came.

I suppose that’s the tricky part – that time thing. Like many, I’ve been in a series of long relationships that have not withstood the tests of time. A long medical training that I started when I was twenty-eight ended ten years later. And there I was, at thirty-eight, for the first time seriously thinking of having a child on my own.

So many questions came to mind – how could I do it? How could I make it work in time and money and love? And most importantly, would it be, could it be fair to bring in child into the Continue reading

The Cost of Solo Motherhood – Year One

HOW MUCH DOES A BABY REALLY COST IN THE FIRST YEAR? WHAT I AM PLANNING TO SPEND.

BABY EXPENSES FOR MONTH 0 – $2,500

Before your baby is even born, you will need to buy a lot. We’re talking bassinets, clothes, stroller, etc. The cost of what you choose to spend here can vary drastically. Luckily, if you are an SMBC who is having a baby later in life like me, you’ll have friends who are happy to loan you the old baby necessities that they no longer use. Plus, if you have a baby shower you are sure to get a lot of the gear you need. Costs can span a wide range, I’m trying to budget about $2,500 of my own money to get me set up in a functional way for solo motherhood.

MONTH 1 – THE NEWBORN PHASE – AROUND $300

The birth of my baby … 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 father 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

“I've been part of the SMC community since I was thinking about getting pregnant. They always have my back with useful, nuanced advice, trustworthy info, and personal experience. I feel honored to be a member, and to see all the children grow up alongside mine.”

– Sophie Holland