Twins

My daughters are monozygotic—i.e., “identical”—twins, and they spend a lot of time putting up with people who can’t tell them apart. We do what we can, the three of us. They almost never dress alike, and in fact have different tastes in clothes. Gracie favors dresses, ballet flats, and pink, pink, pink. Isabelle likes jeans, boots, and anything with a peace sign on it. Gracie has long hair; Isabelle wears hers in a chin-length bob. I have them in separate classrooms, so that they have some time to be individuals, and to cultivate their own friendships. I’m trying to minimize the time that they spend being viewed as a single unit. In the wider world, this is enough for most people to figure out who’s who, and it seems to be working out well enough.

At home though, twinhood poses a different set of challenges, and they’re not as easily … Continue reading

Wonder Woman

When Jamie’s name appears on the caller ID, I know it can’t be good. I always hold my breath when she calls because I imagine she might be calling to tell me they used the epi-pen and Sam is now on his way to the hospital. I am lying sideways in my Lazy-boy, trying to find a way to feel comfortable when I see her number on my cell. Every muscle and joint in my body aches and I feel much older than my forty-four years. I just brought a pyrex bowl of plain white rice back to the kitchen after sampling a few bites and deciding I wasn’t ready to eat when the phone rang.

Sometimes I call Jamie our “daycare provider” but over the years she has become so much more than that. She is a friend, an advice giver, a consultant, a teacher, a partner in crime, … Continue reading

Keeping My Future Child Safe

I’m pregnant but don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I have to admit that one little part of me, deep deep inside, has hoped Honey Badger is a boy. Someone to carry on the family “name,” which is an absolutely archaic conceit that I’m ashamed to admit that I even give any credence. But, there it is. And of course, I would love a girl too — any baby is a blessing.

But I’ve just been feeling so much pressure now of what it means to possibly be bringing up a black boy in this world. And I am so pre-emptively afraid. What if I don’t teach this kid about how to act in front of police officers? How do I help him understand that he needs to be compliant around people who would find him “suspicious,” even if he’s done nothing wrong, without breaking his … Continue reading

A New Year

iStock_fireworksI gave up making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. I always aimed too high and set myself up for failure. What’s more, I’m making resolutions all year ‘round, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in forcing myself to come up with new ones just because I’m hanging up a new calendar. (Oops, there’s a resolution: upload the new photo calendar to the Costco website before February!)

So, how did I spend New Year’s Eve? We were newly home from having spent Christmas in Phoenix with family, the girls were in bed, and I was enjoying a quiet, cozy evening with a book and a glass of wine. What once would have been considered a New Year’s Eve FAIL —sitting home alone— now felt like bliss.

And I remembered that, several years before I had my kids, I had improvised my own New Year’s Eve ritual. I … Continue reading

It’s These Moments That Catch Me

momhuggingboy_SmallIt’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

I Am Thankful For…..

Happy Thanksgiving message with assorted pumpkins on rustic wooden boardsThis is a compilation of posts by some of our SMC members. They were posted on our lively online discussion Forum, inspired by the Thanksgiving holiday.  Good Thanksgiving wishes to you all!

I am thankful for:
My two beautiful, healthy, smart, funny girls.
My amazing family, who are supportive, though many miles away.
My job, which was at risk for many months, but is once again mostly stable and secure.
My friends, without whose help some weekends would last months, and who have provided a local family for my family.
The internet, without which I never would have found SMC and the incredible community of women you are.

Parents who, after struggling to accept me, are excited and supportive of my journey.
Friends, past, present and future, some of whom are other SMCs I’ve met through this wonderful community.
I am finally on my way to building the family I’ve Continue reading

Hear This Truth

Parenting is hard. I don’t care if you’re a single mom, a partnered mom, a married mom, or something in between. Not one of us is handed a how-to manual when our children enter our lives. And even if you think you have this parenting thing down pat—so much so that you convince yourself to have another, there’s no guarantee that what worked with number one will work with number two.

I’m Nancy, and I’m mom to Marshall, who turned 14 this past May, and believe me when I say we’ve had our ups and downs. I tell people that I always loved Marshall but I didn’t like him till he turned about 4. Sure, I heard some gasps from the crowd, but those first years were difficult for me — trying to figure out how to incorporate this incredible, wonderful, temperamental, opinionated being into my solidly independent life was … Continue reading

A Peek Into The Meaning of Life

Ok, so I got a peek into the meaning of life….  .

Yes, that’s a big statement…..on a Monday.  But hey.  It comes in drips….to me….every now and then.

I spent the weekend in NJ – assessing things that need to be done to prepare a house my family owns there for sale.   The house – the house I grew up in – is vacant now.  It has been rented for a number of years.  I spent a few hours cleaning the kitchen cabinets and replacing all the knobs (31 to be exact).  I got on my hands and knees and looked into drawers and under stairs and in the nooks and crannies…  I saw my father’s handy work…here and there.  I flicked light switches that I used to touch every day.  I criticized elements of the house that I always accepted before.  I slept on an air mattress in … Continue reading

Meditations on Choosing Single Motherhood

I was interviewing a parenting expert who has written over 23 books on parenting and appears on shows like Dr. Phil and The Today Show about disciplining the preverbal toddler when I decided to just go ahead and ask her, the expert, what she thought about women who intentionally choose to have a child on their own, a child who would be brought into the world without a biological father.

I did this, I thought, because I want to write about how children of SMC moms fair compared to the conventional mom-dad household (which is actually pretty non-existent today anyway), but after hearing her response, I was surprised by the way I felt. Basically she iterated what many SMC moms who have written on the subject say. I’m paraphrasing here but she said women who plan to have a child are committed to parenting and any kid with a parent … Continue reading

Coping with the Growing Up

Pre-kids, I predicted that I would enjoy parenting an infant a lot, and would really love the years from two to five. I expected I might lose interest after that, based on my experience with other kids. I found it easy to talk to toddlers and preschoolers, but found the fads of grade school tough to follow, and always felt like I reverted back to that shy, awkward kid I’d once been, when I tried to engage friends’ school-aged kids.

I wasn’t as much of a “baby person” as I’d expected to be. Maybe that was having two infants at once, but I was exhausted for the whole first year of my daughters’ lives and while I do still sometimes long to do it again (with a singleton!), a large part of me experiences a mild version of PTSD when I see really little babies. It’s fading, but it’s there … Continue reading

“I joined when I was in the Thinking stage. The forum was exactly what I needed to research the SMC experience. I felt more confident with that support and information, and am now a mom to a baby boy!”

– Anonymous