For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. I started babysitting when I was just 9 years old and continued to do so through college. I have always loved children and “borrowed” my friends’ children on a regular basis. When I was in my mid-20s, I would often say that if I got to be 35, wasn’t married, and had no prospects for marriage, I was going to go to a sperm bank and use a turkey baster. Fast forward 10 years: Me, at age 35, not married and not involved with anyone. And so my journey to a child began.
Fast forward another 2 years. I had moved back to my hometown so I could be near my family, bought a house, lost weight, and was on the brink of my first donor insemination. I was beyond excited!! The morning of my insemination, … Continue reading
Looking back, I’ve never really minded the times in my life when I was alone. While I spent a lot of time in long term relationships, unlike many of my close friends, I also liked the times I was single. I enjoyed having space and freedom to come and go as I pleased, never feeling obligated to check in with someone or navigate the give and take of shared decision making. I suppose that was one of the reasons that led me to becoming a single mother by choice.
My daughter turned one in April of 2020, about six weeks into the pandemic, right about the time I felt I was getting the hang of motherhood. I recall person after person commenting that they couldn’t imagine having a toddler during the pandemic. What they didn’t say, but I felt, was that they couldn’t imagine having a toddler during the pandemic … Continue reading
I painted my guest room today. It made me think of all the rooms I have painted in the last 11 years.
The living room of the first home I purchased. I was so excited to own my own home after years of apartment living. I had my first real job after graduate school, and felt single and empowered while picking out paint colors at Home Depot. Of course, I did still hope that Mr. Right would show up sometime soon. He didn’t.
The child’s room for the home study to become a foster parent. I will always remember the name of the light blue color swatch, as it foreshadowed the heartbreak a year later when the judge sent her back to her biological mother. It was called “Salty Tears.” After she left I didn’t open the door to her room for six months. Eventually I repainted it a dark … Continue reading
A phrase that my fellow Single Mothers by Choice (SMCs) and I are quite familiar with is, “I don’t know how you do it.”
Early in my parenting journey, I used to get extremely irritated by this phrase, and spent some time navel-gazing, trying to figure out why it bothered me so much. I never really came up with a satisfactory explanation. Was it because I was insecure in my abilities and that insecurity was exacerbated by having someone else point out how difficult single parenting is? Was it because people who say they don’t know how I do “it” don’t really understand what “it” is, so the statement is meaningless — because it merely exposes a lack of critical thinking on their part? Was it because I was uncomfortable being made out to be some kind of superwoman? Was it because making a big deal of my situation seemed … Continue reading
I took Pink and Purple to see Ramona and Beezus at our local discount theater over the weekend. I didn’t expect to spend most of the movie in tears.
In the interest of full disclosure, I tend to cry at most kids’ movies. I don’t know why. I’m a notorious non-weeper in my personal life. Oh, I feel pain and sorrow, no doubt about it. It’s just that I internalize the negative emotions until they settle in the pit of my stomach like a pile of rusty razor blades, or clench them in my jaws like tetanus. But there’s something about movies that makes it ok for me to release all of that. I don’t know whether that’s particularly true of kids’ movies, or if it’s just that kids’ movies are all I seem to see anymore.
Ramona and Beezus was a little bit different, though. Setting aside the fact … 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
I’m putting this out there: why not consider that me becoming a mom IS going to happen, rather than always thinking it ISN’T going to happen?
They say that if you think positively, this attracts positivity. I’ve always felt this is nonsense. I have always believed that if I think positively, then that is exactly the way for something bad to happen. You know how Wile E. Coyote is always running around trying to do things, and the Road Runner always seems to drop an anvil on his head? That’s how I view myself in the world– that an anvil is always about to drop and crush me.
Now that I say it out loud, it seems kind of sad.
Also, let’s analyze this critically. Wile E. Coyote always has dastardly intentions: to kill the Road Runner. So really, it makes sense in the Looney Tunes world that his evil … Continue reading
I know lots of women who always knew they wanted kids. I was never one of them.
We already have enough people in the world, I always thought, so why do I have to go through the bother of having more? Plus, kids seemed like a total pain. They shit in their pants and whine and generally get in the way of you having a good time.
I wasn’t particularly excited when I learned my brother and his wife were pregnant, and when my baby niece came I didn’t care much. She reminded me of all the other babies I had ever seen. I remember my brother bringing this little bundle of boring humanity into the bathroom early in the morning, saying “look! Auntie is brushing her teeth!” It was too early for baby talk, and I barked at him to leave me alone.
I did have to admit she … Continue reading
“What sports did Grandpa Jim like?” my son asks. We are standing in the kitchen and he is pulling the scissors out from the drawer, cutting the plastic wrap off a frozen raspberry fruit bar.
“He liked all sports,” I say. Sam hands me the wrapper and I place it in the can under the sink. “But I think baseball was his favorite. Baseball and basketball and football.”
We have just snuck inside during Eva’s nap after spending an hour outside in the sticky humidity tossing basketballs into the net from different distances, the point values for each shot marked on the driveway with chalk. Sam was upset when he couldn’t make the shots as easily as he had yesterday, and his voice was getting whinier and higher until finally (thank God!) he made a 5-point shot and declared himself the winner.
Later in the evening we lay in bed … Continue reading