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

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

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

Hear This Truth

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

A Peek Into The Meaning of Life

Ok, so I got a peek into the meaning of life….  .

Yes, that’s a big statement…..on a Monday.  But hey.  It comes in drips….to me….every now and then.

I spent the weekend in NJ – assessing things that need to be done to prepare a house my family owns there for sale.   The house – the house I grew up in – is vacant now.  It has been rented for a number of years.  I spent a few hours cleaning the kitchen cabinets and replacing all the knobs (31 to be exact).  I got on my hands and knees and looked into drawers and under stairs and in the nooks and crannies…  I saw my father’s handy work…here and there.  I flicked light switches that I used to touch every day.  I criticized elements of the house that I always accepted before.  I slept on an air mattress in … Continue reading

Meditations on Choosing Single Motherhood

I was interviewing a parenting expert who has written over 23 books on parenting and appears on shows like Dr. Phil and The Today Show about disciplining the preverbal toddler when I decided to just go ahead and ask her, the expert, what she thought about women who intentionally choose to have a child on their own, a child who would be brought into the world without a biological father.

I did this, I thought, because I want to write about how children of SMC moms fair compared to the conventional mom-dad household (which is actually pretty non-existent today anyway), but after hearing her response, I was surprised by the way I felt. Basically she iterated what many SMC moms who have written on the subject say. I’m paraphrasing here but she said women who plan to have a child are committed to parenting and any kid with a parent … Continue reading

Coping with the Growing Up

Pre-kids, I predicted that I would enjoy parenting an infant a lot, and would really love the years from two to five. I expected I might lose interest after that, based on my experience with other kids. I found it easy to talk to toddlers and preschoolers, but found the fads of grade school tough to follow, and always felt like I reverted back to that shy, awkward kid I’d once been, when I tried to engage friends’ school-aged kids.

I wasn’t as much of a “baby person” as I’d expected to be. Maybe that was having two infants at once, but I was exhausted for the whole first year of my daughters’ lives and while I do still sometimes long to do it again (with a singleton!), a large part of me experiences a mild version of PTSD when I see really little babies. It’s fading, but it’s there … Continue reading

Getting Up

At times you get knocked down.  Life is like that sometimes.  You’re humming along, minding your business, and something or someone knocks you down.  Even those who seem to live the most charmed lives will not escape this.  It’s just the way life goes sometimes.

I can’t help the fact that when I get knocked down, I stay down for longer than I’d like.  I’m built for the initial fight, but not for endurance.  If something knocks the wind out of me it often takes me a long time to heal from it, longer than I am comfortable with.  The one thing that I can say, though, is that I get up.  Eventually, after a protracted amount of time, I do get up again.  Sometimes I am scarred by the experience.  Sometimes, I am left with a deep sense of sadness, resentment, or loss.  Sometimes, I foolishly allow someone’s lack … Continue reading

Having an Army of Support

When I began the trying to conceive (TTC) process , I  joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC).  As I lay here, 32 weeks pregnant with twins on bed rest, I didn’t consider how important a community of support would be before my babies arrived.

While I realize that many SMCs choose to be very private about their decision, I decided very early on to be very open with friends and family. I wanted and needed for people to cheer me on, to support me, and to be a part of my exciting journey. Fortunately, almost everyone “got on the bus” very quickly.

I got pregnant on my 5th try and was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with twins. I hoped for a smooth pregnancy but knew the risks. I don’t have family near by. I live in DC, and my family is in Michigan. At 26 weeks, my … 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

“I've been a member for 14 years. From deciding to start trying through my child’s high school years. I've found SMC to be a trustworthy, valuable online community. I highly recommend tapping into this brain trust of experienced single moms who chose this path.”

– Anonymous