Tag Archives: mothering

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

A Letter to My Donor

Thank You noteDear Donor,

We’ve never met.  In fact, you have no idea of my specific existence, but I think about you a lot.  Sometimes on the subway I’ll see a youngish brown-haired man and wonder if we’re connected.  When an older gentleman or woman passes by, I think about your folks —what they’re like and if they have grandkids.  Other grandkids, that is.

See, I have a son, Isaiah, who’s two and a half, and you, my anonymous sperm donor, made him possible.  For that I thank you with all the gratitude I can summon now and forever.  That sounds like a corny love song lyric, I realize, but the sentiment is true.  I’m so deeply appreciative that something—a little extra cash? some desire to change the life of someone you’ve never met? an inexplicable nudge from the universe?—motivated you to head to a sperm bank some years ago.  With this … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper yesterday morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from NBCs debut of “The New Normal” and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was a … Continue reading

On Motherhood and Mother’s Day

IMG_0576Sitting here in the hospital room, as my newly adopted daughter recovers from her first of what will be several open heart surgeries, I have almost forgotten that this Sunday is Mother’s Day. In the past, Mother’s Day had always been a painful reminder of what I wasn’t yet — a mom. On Facebook, friends would post about spending Mother’s Day with their kids and I tried to focus on the fact that I was lucky I still have a mom at my age, when so many of my friends have already lost theirs. But it was hard.

So you’d think that this Mother’s Day would be foremost in my mind—my first Mother’s Day!!! But it honestly hasn’t been—I’m too busy being a mom and trying to comprehend and digest what I’ve gotten myself into. And I’m tired. So damn tired. I didn’t know a person could be this tired … Continue reading