I recently got together with some folks, including a single mother by choice (SMC) who is a full-time mom to her delightful 14 month old son. She was clearly relishing being his mom, and he was equally clearly adoring her. When we got to chatting a bit, she confided to me that she was feeling a little bit guilty about how much she was enjoying being a mother. After all, she said, didn’t the women of earlier generations go through a lot in order for women to have the right to be liberated from being “just mothers”? Was it okay for her to WANT to spend her time being a mom? And to enjoy it so much?
Having been one of those women whose consciousness was raised in the tumultuous sixties, I pondered her question for a moment, and then remembered — it was all about CHOICE. We believed that … Continue reading
When I first began my journey towards becoming a mother, a visit with an infertility counselor was mandatory. It was a mostly predictable conversation for me where I was asked what I would do to cope with parenthood, the stress of treatments, and the potential that the treatments might not work, but then the counselor asked me a question I was not expecting, “What do you think you will do if you succeed…A LOT…as in you become pregnant with twins (or more)”. My response was, “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!”.
Truthfully, before cancer, chemo, surgeries and the impending 4th decade laid waste to my ovaries, I actually had a genetic predisposition towards twins. Growing up, my family would always say “You know, every third generation is twins and guess where you fall?”. I have two sets of second cousin twins and my grandfather was a twin. I don’t know if it is true or … 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
I always knew I wanted to be a mother.
What I didn’t know—not right away—was that I was going to be a Single Mother by Choice.
I first started to think about becoming a Single Mother by Choice around my 30th birthday. I knew that—if I had to choose—I could be happy having a child and never finding a husband, but I would never be truly happy until I had a child.
As I looked into my new path, Jane’s book, Single Mothers By Choice, became my “bible,” and on August 6, 2014 I officially became a member of SMC. I joined as a “Thinker,” which allowed me to connect with other women who were also thinkers as well as those who were “Trying, Pregnant or Mothering.”
Seeing other SMCs confidently navigate the Manhattan transit system and show up for monthly meetings with their little ones in tow … Continue reading
At this time of year, SMC usually sees a pop in new members joining the SMC organization. And the biggest question for maybe-SMCs (who we call “Thinkers”) is often, “How can I do this? Or, “Can I do this?”
There’s no question that being an SMC is challenging, as well as incredibly wonderful. So I’ve compiled some good tips written by our members on our lively 24/7 online Forum to help answer those questions. For more good advice, join SMC and discuss your “thinking” questions with our members (either online or in person) who are in the same place and/or have been there. To join, go to: singlemothersbychoice.org/membership
When my budget would allow it, I hired a babysitter for 2 hours every Wednesday from 4-6 pm. It really made a difference for me, emotionally.
For me, having a somewhat satisfying job is important to my being able to be the … Continue reading
Parenting is hard. I don’t care if you’re a single mom, a partnered mom, a married mom, or something in between. Not one of us is handed a how-to manual when our children enter our lives. And even if you think you have this parenting thing down pat—so much so that you convince yourself to have another, there’s no guarantee that what worked with number one will work with number two.
I’m Nancy, and I’m mom to Marshall, who turned 14 this past May, and believe me when I say we’ve had our ups and downs. I tell people that I always loved Marshall but I didn’t like him till he turned about 4. Sure, I heard some gasps from the crowd, but those first years were difficult for me — trying to figure out how to incorporate this incredible, wonderful, temperamental, opinionated being into my solidly independent life was … Continue reading
To my little man on turning three,
The first letter like this I wrote to you as you turned one. You were teetering into toddlerhood but still firmly my baby. You were learning new things each day but still needed me for just about everything. I had grown to love you more than I had ever expected, but some days it was exhausting. Some days I wanted to speed up time to when you were just a little more independent. A little less baby and a little more boy.
Flash forward two years, and I do mean flash, and you stand on the brink of boyhood. You still need your momma for a lot, but every month, every day, you learn to do one more thing without my assistance. You defiantly declare, “I do it on my own!” if I butt in where you feel I’m not needed. And while … Continue reading
My twin daughters, Eve and Lily, are 14 months old. I spent the first 12 months of their lives in a state of euphoria. Don’t get get me wrong – I’m a Single Mother of Twins – it was hard, but I felt and continue to feel that for every “part” hard it was at least 3 parts amazing and awe-inspiring. Toddlerhood has been tougher. I remain in awe and in love, but I also find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared that I suddenly won’t be able to handle the next challenge.
As I look deep inside myself at this past year and forward to the years to come, what I feel more than anything is… lucky. Pure, found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, LUCKY.
I did not ask for twins. Ok, more to the point, I did not want twins. I knew there … Continue reading
I have to say when I started this journey, I expected there would be times that I would feel lonely or miss not having a partner. And there have definitely been those moments where I felt that.
An Africans proverb that I love is “its takes a village to raise a child.” It shows that when communities are at its best, its a village. A close knit unit that helps, supports, gives feedback, provides structure, brings guidance, and love to all. The African American community has lived off this for so many years. And honestly I grew up this way as well. I have to say that, my village is awesome and has been essential throughout this journey!!!
Let me start from the beginning…. Earlier this week, I found myself in so much pain dealing with what the doctors have determined is sciatica (really sharp pain going from my lower … Continue reading
I am a single mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.
During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t … Continue reading