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
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
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
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
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
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
Sitting 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
I called my mother last night. Something I generally do a few times a week, but have done less often in the last month or two. I just don’t feel like talking once I get the kids to bed. But I called her.
My mother was a good mom. I never ever ever doubted her love for me. Even when she told me, in so many words, that “she didn’t really like me right now”. As the oldest of 3, I think I carried a lot of responsibility. Some of it placed on me (mommy’s little helper, type things), and some of it just my internalization of my role in the family. My parents were somewhat free-range, pretty normal for the 70s. I had no actual needs that went unmet, but there also wasn’t lots of extra money, until I was in the middle of high school.
But my mom … Continue reading
Every time someone calls me “Mom” I look behind me, like, “are you speaking to me?”
I mean, I diaper, feed and cuddle my girl all day long, but I still can’t wrap my head around being a mom officially. I saw a documentary called “First Comes Love” about a single woman having a kid, and I remember she had been told that the “mom part” of her would emerge slowly. I totally get that.
I’m keeping my daughter (even saying that is so weird!) off of social media for now, but she’s super, super cute. Like, I walk down the street with her and people stop me to tell me she is beautiful. I say thank you, even though I can’t take credit for her creation.
I feel like I should call her Ms. Tittsina on here for privacy’s sake.
Tonight I have a night sitter– she … Continue reading
It’s been a tough week. Two huge projects at work have left me stressed out and exhausted. And it’s my son’s first week back to school as a newly minted first grader. He seems to be doing ok, but it’s a major adjustment nonetheless, for both of us.
Our rituals soothe us, particularly at night after a long day. And for even more comfort, we’ve retreated into the past. This week’s bedtime selections have been our old standbys, the board books I started reading to my son when he was an infant, the ones I still know by heart. A Color of His Own, The Runaway Bunny, Are You My Mother?, and tonight, Goodnight Moon. Although my son can read these books to me now, we both still enjoy it when I read aloud to him, it’s part of the ritual.
We snuggle in together in his bed, me carefully … Continue reading