It’s These Moments That Catch Me

It’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

A Letter To My Younger Self

I recently read a blog post by someone who has kids and was lamenting her pre-kid single life freedoms. The post was a letter to her young self about how she should enjoy being free, staying out late with friends, traveling and not worry about meeting someone to share her life with—or about whether she has kids; that her life would be just great without them. I love how people who are married with kids always joke about what a pain it is to be married, and tell single people how lucky we are to not have to “deal with” a partner and how hard it is to be tied down to kids.

So I decided to write my own letter to my younger single self:

Dear naive self who thinks she’ll just meet Mr. Right at that perfect age (no need to worry!) and who believes her uterus will … Continue reading

Do Children of SMCs Have Psychological Problems?

One of my biggest questions when considering becoming a single mother by  choice was how it would affect my future child. Would I be setting them up for a harder life because of my desire to become a mom? Would they suffer mentally from being raised by only one parent versus two? I knew it was time to do some research to see if I could find the answers to my questions.

The Journal of Family Psychology conducted a study on 51 solo mother families and compared them with 52 two-parent families. The study measured maternal wellbeing, mother–child relationships and the child’s adjustment to mothers, children and teachers.

I was thrilled to read that there were no differences in parenting quality between family types apart from there being lower mother–child conflict in solo mother families. That’s right! There are less conflicts between mother and child in solo mom households. Maybe … Continue reading

On Turning One

You probably won’t remember anything of your first year. Your knowledge of it will come from photos, videos, and stories told to you by family and friends. In other words, you’ll get the highlight reel.

Honestly, I’m not sure my memory will be much different. Already those early hours, days, and weeks have begun to blur into that foggy place we call the past. My clearest memories are those too special—or too scary—to forget.

Waking up from surgery and wanting to meet you so badly it hurt.

Seeing you for the first time, so small, so fragile, so mine.

Watching you find my breast and begin to feed, and feeling overcome with amazement that our bodies worked together so innately to give you just what you needed.

Snuggling skin to skin with you that first night. Secretly enjoying the fact I had no one there to share you with.

The … Continue reading

Our Second “Family Day”

My son’s 2nd adoption anniversary is this month.  It’s so weird that he has only been my “legal” son for 2 years.  It’s almost easy to forget how uncertain things were while I was fostering him and how I lived in fear that something would happen and CPS would take him from me.  Now, he’s almost 4 and he has such a personality!  He’s also starting to understand “adoption” a little more.

I know there’s so much controversy about celebrating Adoption Days. I don’t really look at it as “celebrating,”  I look at it more like “remembering”… talking about how we became a family and reflecting on it.  As my son gets older he will have more say in how and what we do to “commemorate” our adoption.

I actually don’t call it “adoption day” or “gotcha day.”  I don’t really like those phrases.  I refer to it as our … Continue reading

A Letter to J’s Teacher

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

My Only Regret is That I Waited So Long

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

Why I’m Not (Too) Afraid of Father’s Day

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

A Letter to My Donor

Dear Donor,

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

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

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

“I've been part of the SMC community since I was thinking about getting pregnant. They always have my back with useful, nuanced advice, trustworthy info, and personal experience. I feel honored to be a member, and to see all the children grow up alongside mine.”

– Sophie Holland