Why I Try Never To Say “Well That Was Dumb”

I had just finished a twelve hour overnight shift in the NICU where I worked as a nurse. I was riding the bus home in the early Saturday morning hours, bone tired. It was sunny, I think, and I was feeling regretful of my need to sleep before the next night’s shift, wishing I could be out in the land of the living, enjoying the beautiful weekend with my boyfriend instead of shut up in a dark room with a white noise machine.

I laid my phone down on the bus seat next to mine.  Just for a moment, I thought.

But when I got home a few minutes later, I realized my phone was gone.

Dammit.

That evening, at a pre-work dinner with my then boyfriend and now dear friend, I confided in him about my lost phone. Although I had a full time job in the NICU, I … Continue reading

Twisting the Tale

An alternative to the old (and outdated) ‘Once upon a time…’

I never had much interest in princesses, preferring jeans and sneakers to ball gowns and glass slippers even as a young girl. But that’s not to say that I didn’t grow up thinking someday I’d experience my own fairytale romance. When I reached 35 and was still single, though, I started to think that fantasy would never morph into my reality.

In the two years since, my ‘Once upon a time’ has taken some drastic turns. Tired of waiting for my prince to arrive and fed up with unsuccessfully scouring the suburban realms for him, I decided to skip the being-swept-off-my-feet stage, at least for now. Instead I chose to jump right to the chapter of the story entitled Motherhood. As any writer does, I made a few edits and a few errors. And life threw in some plot … Continue reading

It’s Just A Date

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

A New Year

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. I always aimed too high and set myself up for failure. What’s more, I’m making resolutions all year ‘round, so there doesn’t seem to be much point in forcing myself to come up with new ones just because I’m hanging up a new calendar. (Oops, there’s a resolution: upload the new photo calendar to the Costco website before February!)

So, how did I spend New Year’s Eve? We were newly home from having spent Christmas in Phoenix with family, the girls were in bed, and I was enjoying a quiet, cozy evening with a book and a glass of wine. What once would have been considered a New Year’s Eve FAIL —sitting home alone— now felt like bliss.

And I remembered that, several years before I had my kids, I had improvised my own New Year’s Eve ritual. I … Continue reading

I Want To Believe

I was a huge fan of The X-Files in the 1990s, and one of the show’s catch phrases was “I want to believe.” I had no idea how that phrase would eventually come home to roost.

I really didn’t expect that my daughters would still believe in Santa Claus by the time they were in 3rd grade. I’d be surprised if all of their Christmas-observing friends still believe, and I find it unlikely that none of the non-believing, worldly-wise 3rd graders has spilled the beans. The right jolly old elf hasn’t come up much in conversation this year, and my hunch was that they had their doubts, but maybe weren’t ready to ask the question outright, for fear of having their suspicions confirmed.

When I imagined having kids I also imagined that bidding the Santa days good-bye would be accompanied by a feeling of loss. I’m all for fostering magical … Continue reading

Chanukah and Our Little Miracles

Last year I lit the candles before dinner, and she would sit at the table, look over to the menorah, and sigh out “ohhhhh”. She thought it was pretty. This year she selects the candles each night. And while I have tried to get her to help me light the candles, she gets a little frightened when the time comes, maybe because I am trying to tell her to hold the shamos candle at the bottom, not the top. But she is fascinated watching the flames, and watching the candles melt. The first night we waited till all the candles were out to go up to bed, but last night she needed a bath. And one of the first things she said after we came downstairs this morning was “the candles melted, they’re all gone”. This is the first year I’ve done presents each night, and she is only marginally … Continue reading

Time to Deck the Halls

The title of this post could be ‘Disappointment’, but……  Well, you’ll see.

Yesterday Tate and I returned home from my parents’. I had come back to our place on Friday afternoon to clean up, sans small child, and get the Christmas tree and decorations out. I lugged our huge, yes artificial, tree up the stairs and got the boxes all out from under the stairs in the garage. I was so excited to put the tree together and hang the ornaments with Tate on Saturday. I was hoping to start our own tradition of putting our tree up the Saturday of Thanksgiving complete with Christmas music on the CD player, a chill in the air, and children laughing! Yes, my child laughing was part of my tradition picture. My child putting an ornament or two on the tree was part of my tradition picture. The two of us hanging out … Continue reading

I Am Thankful For…..

This is a compilation of posts by some of our SMC members. They were posted on our lively online discussion Forum, inspired by the Thanksgiving holiday.  Good Thanksgiving wishes to you all!

I am thankful for:
My two beautiful, healthy, smart, funny girls.
My amazing family, who are supportive, though many miles away.
My job, which was at risk for many months, but is once again mostly stable and secure.
My friends, without whose help some weekends would last months, and who have provided a local family for my family.
The internet, without which I never would have found SMC and the incredible community of women you are.

Parents who, after struggling to accept me, are excited and supportive of my journey.
Friends, past, present and future, some of whom are other SMCs I’ve met through this wonderful community.
I am finally on my way to building the family I’ve Continue reading

Freedom Friday: In Praise of the Single Mother

Last week I was almost on a radio show. I was asked to be the voice of the single mother who celebrates that role and finds the joy in it. I was asked to share things I have learned along the way that make it easier: “What I was hoping you could bring to the conversation were the things that you do (or are discovering), to recharge your showbox batteries, and allow you to find enjoyment, satisfaction and perseverance in this sometimes challenging job of Single Mom. Whether it be mantras you repeat to yourself, physical exercise, time with friends, or anything else be that adds enjoyment to your journey as a single mom, please share your perspective on how you are committed to enjoying your time as a single mom.”

Although, as is often the case in the big world, versus the humble world of the blog, things happen, … Continue reading

An SMC via IVF

I waited for a long time to find Mr. Right and start a family but that never happened. Finally, I was at an age where I needed to make a choice.  I investigated adoption and hit many barriers.  So, I decided to see a fertility specialist.  I decided against insemination because of my advanced maternal age (I was 45 at the time), but decided to go the IVF route.  I initially wanted to use my own eggs, and according to my test results, I could have tried.  However, after much research of my own, the percentages I was finding for successful term pregnancies using my own eggs vs. a donor egg were about 5% vs. 50%.

I thought and prayed about it and finally decided that if I was willing to adopt a child, a genetic connection wasn’t all that important to me.  However, knowing that the fetus was well … Continue reading

“To me, being an SMC means taking the courageous step to fulfill your dreams. The support, empowerment, and honest advice I received from other SMCs gave me the courage to take this step, and when I look into my baby's eyes, I know it's the best decision I've ever made.”

– Nikita Parsons