I’m starting to doubt if I can really handle becoming a single mom. The universe has thrown some tests at me the last few weeks. One of my friends is having a really hard time with her newborn where she isn’t getting any sleep even though she has a supportive partner, I’ve been invited on my dream trip to Greece this summer which I want to go but I don’t know how I will feel if I am pregnant, and I recently went on a few dates that reminded me about the way I always envisioned having a family. In short – the life I will be giving up is being thrown at me. I won’t have my relaxing evenings binging bravo shows, getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, trips exploring new parts of the world won’t exist for a long time, and will I really be able to invest … Continue reading
Women considering the path of single motherhood by choice often experience many fears. One fear is that they will never date again if they start a family without a partner. This fear is most commonly experienced by women who are romantically interested in men.
After all, societal narratives often steer men away from dating single mothers. What man would want to raise another man’s kid? If you listen to all the male “romance gurus” on YouTube who dish out advice (while seemingly never having had a meaningful relationship of their own), you could be forgiven for thinking that only an undesirable “simp” would date a single mom. A man so worthless — with so little self-esteem — that he would stoop to the level of considering his partner’s feelings and sacrificing a certain level of freedom, wild sex, and partying to be in a committed relationship. A man so pathetic … Continue reading
How pursuing my dream of having a child made dating more fun.
I had often assumed that some women, unlike me, were able to date lightheartedly. Unconcerned with a hoped-for long-term outcome, these women could treat a date as just a date. They found a way to relax and have a good time. These women, I further suspected, were free to be themselves with their dates and so were the ones finding the right partner.
As these musings might indicate, my single dating life was often riddled with worry. When dating a man, I was rarely fully present. My mind ran the back-story. I’d size him up, then rocket mentally into an imagined future. Is he the right fit for me, and I for him? Is he commitment-phobic? Am I? Are we wasting our time?
Of course, sometimes, there was true hope and love. But the stifling “what-ifs” commanded my … Continue reading
I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now teenagers.
The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?
I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading
Recently, I dove back into the dating world. I don’t know why I decided now was the right time. While we’re past diapers, nursing, and the terrible twos around here, we’re also still dealing with occasional clinginess and nearly nightly co-sleeping, and have yet to have a non-family member babysitter. Not an ideal combo for wanting to go out in the world on a weekly basis.
Despite this, something pushed me to give the crazy world of online dating another go, and it might have been fate, because within a matter of days I connected with someone who is quickly becoming quite special to me. And it’s a good thing she feels the same, because dating a mom is no joke.
The biggest challenge is that, well, I’m a mom, and motherhood doesn’t come with an off switch. Being a mother means my kid will always take precedence. His schedule, … Continue reading
When my daughter (via donor insemination) was a baby I had little time or interest in dating. I was loving motherhood, but motherhood and working full time took all my energy. There were many times that I was grateful that I didn’t have to put any energy into a relationship because I didn’t think I could have managed.
When she got to be a toddler and I began to get out of the house occasionally without her I began to think about dating and had a profile up on Match.com. The first thing I noticed is that I got hardly any interest compared to the profile I had up before becoming an SMC. I was now 37-38 yrs old.
About that same time I had a few dates with a former HS classmate and we really liked each other but he lived long distance and was not interested in a … Continue reading
Or how pursuing my dream of having a child made dating more fun.
As these musings might indicate, my single dating life was often riddled with worry. When dating a man, I was rarely fully present. My mind ran the back story. I’d size him up, then rocket mentally into an imagined future. Is he the right fit for me, and I for him? Is he commitment-phobic? Am I? Are we wasting our time?
Of course, sometimes, there was true hope and love. But the stifling “what-ifs” commanded my attention. Revelations. Then about a year ago, a crossroads moment appeared. My father was in the hospital, in what would turn out to be the last month of his life. I was about six months past the most painful breakup of my life, and about six months away from 40. While chatting with a friend during a business trip to New … Continue reading
I am single by choice. Did you know weird girls in high school who never wanted to get married (and/or have children)? That was me. I had my own philosophy about what marriage does to a woman’s career choice and trajectory, self esteem, independence, you name it. My mother worried I’d never “get a man” with that attitude.
Though I knew I didn’t want to marry, I was on the fence about becoming a parent. I put it that way because I never wanted to birth a baby. I always knew that I wanted to become a parent through adoption. At the age of 40 – two failed marriages later – I recognized I did indeed want to be a mom. So I dated while preparing to begin the adoption process.
Like many of us, I went the online dating route. My criteria were pretty strict: no kids, wanted or … 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 last 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 feel like I’ve spent the better part of five years trying to decide what to do. After years of hanging on to plan A, marriage and then a family, I gave up after a bad break up and decided to become a single mother by choice. In the middle of trying to conceive, I found myself in a new relationship with a man who supported my efforts and gave me daily encouragement, but said he didn’t want to stay with me if I actually got pregnant. I broke up with him when I realized he had a big commitment problem, having nothing to do with whether or not I got pregnant.
After that my desire to become a mom swung completely to the other direction. The months of trying to conceive had been hard. I’ve always been conservative with money. I felt terrified of my lifestyle changing and feared … Continue reading