With the help of the members of SMC, I have just recently made my decision not to become an SMC. I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.
Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?
All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility … Continue reading
Becoming a single mother by choice goes against society’s script. When you announce that you are planning to start a family on your own, you might be disappointed by the response you receive.
Why don’t your friends and family want you to have a baby on your own? Can’t they see that having a child will be a wonderful and joyful addition to your life?
It’s a new concept to them
I still remember when I got my first tattoo as a teenager and my grandfather saw it. He was shocked, even horrified. In his generation a “good girl” would never dream of getting a tattoo. But you know what? He came around. He just needed a little time to adjust.
A similar pattern can occur when a woman tells members of previous generations that she is considering becoming a single mother by choice (SMC). SMCs are something that older … Continue reading
Taking the Single Mother by Choice (SMC) route has been an amazingly interesting journey so far (which is a little like saying we saw some snow this winter in the Northeast!).
There were a couple of moments that stand out in my memory in particularly sharp focus. One such occasion was a conversation with my therapist before I had even started trying to conceive and was still trying to chase the elusive child-with-partner dream. We were discussing the guy I was involved with who was not stepping up to the plate (in fact he had left the field all together but I wasn’t able to acknowledge that yet). My therapist commented: “He may not be a sure bet but you are”, and it fell into place that I was everything I was looking for in a partner – reliable, dependable, hard working, responsible, thoughtful, caring – and he was none … Continue reading
I never pictured myself as a single mom; but then again, I didn’t always picture myself as a mom, period. Unlike some of my friends who were always talking about having babies during their 20s and 30s, I said things like, “I’ll have kids if I marry a guy who I know will be a great dad, and who really wants to have kids,” but I wasn’t obsessed with being a mother at all. I wasn’t even comfortable around children, and didn’t think they liked me very much. In fact, before I had Jayda, I’d never changed a diaper, and could count on the fingers of one hand how many babies I’d actually held. And yet, as soon as the nurses put my newborn child on my chest, I knew I was put in this world to be Jayda’s mom and care for her.
There was a point in my … Continue reading
Some Single Mothers by Choice say that they are too tired to date, or that their children complete them. I even have a few SMC friends who profess they have no interest in dating. Personally, I have never felt this way. From the day I decided to become a SMC, I knew that because of my ticking biological clock I was simply resorting to plan B: baby first, relationship second. After years of dating dozens of Mr. Wrongs, I realized that I wanted to be a mom, and that I needed to get on with it—on my own.
But as soon as my precious daughter, Jayda, was born (with the help of an anonymous sperm donor), I knew it was only a matter of time before I got back out there and started looking for Mr. Right again; the only difference this time was that he would have to be … Continue reading
As any good English teacher and writer would, when I got to the stage of acting on my decision to have a child, I turned to books, lots of books. One that was touted as a classic for women in my situation, likely because it was one of the first to be written, was Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood by Jane Mattes.
I loved the Single Mothers By Choice organization and had already joined. I found the Forum and the information and support there to be super. But the book was published in 1994. A lot has changed since then. The definition of family has expanded a great deal, and non-traditional (divorced, blended, single parent, and gay couple) families actually outnumber traditional families. (A super cool statistic for a liberal chick looking to join these ranks!) It was … Continue reading
I have always wanted to be a mother. By the time I was five, I was hanging out in the church infant nursery with my mother, rocking babies rather than attending my own Sunday school class. In Girl Scouts my favorite activities were teaching games and songs and such to younger troops. In elementary school, when my friends were drawing pictures of wedding dresses in school, I was making lists of the names I would give the 16 or so children I wanted. I babysat in high school because I enjoyed it – I couldn’t have cared less what I was paid for doing it. I worked at summer camps while in college and LOVED working with children. When her parents came to pick her up, one of my campers told her mom I wanted to be a Mommy. I was mortified. I was afraid I’d said or done something … Continue reading