Every time someone calls me “Mom” I look behind me, like, “are you speaking to me?”
I mean, I diaper, feed and cuddle my girl all day long, but I still can’t wrap my head around being a mom officially. I saw a documentary called “First Comes Love” about a single woman having a kid, and I remember she had been told that the “mom part” of her would emerge slowly. I totally get that.
I’m keeping my daughter (even saying that is so weird!) off of social media for now, but she’s super, super cute. Like, I walk down the street with her and people stop me to tell me she is beautiful. I say thank you, even though I can’t take credit for her creation.
I feel like I should call her Ms. Tittsina on here for privacy’s sake.
Tonight I have a night sitter– she … Continue reading
At this time of year, SMC usually sees a pop in new members joining the SMC organization, perhaps due to New Year’s resolutions, or maybe just because it’s the start of a new year. 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, … Continue reading
We asked our Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) membershow their friends and family can best help and support them. Below is a sampling of some the answers:
During the trying to conceive phase (TTC), be willing to listen. To the minutia, to the details, to the emotions, to the pendulum of certainty/uncertainty, to the fears, to the arrogance. When I was TTC’ing, I didn’t have a good community of SMC friends yet, and my “regular” friends didn’t really want to hear all about it. They were supportive, but weren’t that interested. Trying to conceive is a very self-centered time, and I would have loved to have a very patient, kind, attentive ear. Because we don’t have a partner who is as invested in this road as we are, it helps to have a good friend. That said, be willing to be shut out without having your feelings hurt. Sometimes the … Continue reading
So this is how I made the decision: I had planned a weekend away with my mother and my goal was to have made a decision – one way or another – by the time we were flying home. We had fun, we enjoyed the vacation and we talked. It was the most wonderful experience of my adult life to share everything I thought and everything I felt with my mother without hesitation and without filtering anything. I’m 35yr old (financially stable, professionally successful, home owner) and although she had initially thought I should wait until I was closer to 40, after really sharing with each other, she is the one who helped me decide to start trying. She is now 100% supportive and excited. And has an opinion about everything!
Last weekend I sat down with the rest of my family (which is no easy feat), my father, … Continue reading
I met my friend Rhonda through a local chapter of the national organization Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). She and I both joined around the same time. The first time we met in person I got out of my car, and I was greeted by a tiny woman in a shimmering magenta jogging suit, her eyes hidden behind big round black sunglasses. We nervously shook hands and began talking about who we were and where we came from and how far along we were in our journey as we walked a 3-mile loop that winds along the Mississippi River and back downtown.
The second time we met we sat in a crowded coffee bar, and I drank a decaf latte a week after my second insemination. I played with the lid on my drink and told her that I didn’t want to sound terribly shallow but I was afraid of … Continue reading
When I was pregnant and finally told people (or let my mother tell people), I got the most amazing phone calls. My mom told her sister and I swear within minutes, I got calls from both her sons, my first cousins, telling me that this would be the most amazing journey of my life and the best thing I could do.
When I started to tell my friends, they were uniformly supportive. One friend called her brother who called me and said that of all the people he knew, he knew I would thrive at this because I took such good care of them all in college. (I was the one who routinely held someone’s hair out of the toilet after s/he drank too much.)
So why did I want to have a child? What was that yearning that told me to push forward partnerless?
I wanted to re-experience the … Continue reading
A few days ago, after debating the decision for a long time, I decided to “go public” about my adoption journey on Facebook. A year and a half ago, when the full extent of my infertility was revealed and I found myself facing the possibility of never becoming a mother, I took a long hiatus from social media for my own mental health. I was in a very difficult mental space, and isolating myself in that way was, at the time, necessary to help myself return to a place of balance. I have since been mostly a lurker on Facebook, which contributed to my hesitation.
The response I’ve received since my post has been so overwhelmingly supportive that, despite my initial reservations, I know I made the right decision. Going through this without a partner with whom to commiserate, to buoy me through the turbulence of this emotional process, can … Continue reading
Ten days ago, I attended my first expectant Mom’s subgroup meeting of my SMC group. There were 5 of us there, ranging from 6-weeks pregnant to 39-weeks pregnant. It was amazing connecting with women who are going through the same thing as I am.
We were all thinking that the 39-week woman “A” might not be an “expectant mom” for much longer, although since this was her first baby, she’d probably deliver late. Well, it turns out that she didn’t deliver late… she actually delivered 2 days after our meeting. And, guess what? She showed up with her son “P” in tow at our next SMC meeting 6 days later! Wow, unbelievable that she was able to get herself and her baby out of the house 6 days after giving birth. Not only that, she was walking around breast feeding the baby and taking care of P like she … Continue reading
“I was just thinking last night, ‘I wonder what K will tell me tomorrow?'”
That was my mentor’s response. “What’s new?” asked my mentor. I reared back in my seat to reveal my bump. Her eyes were as big as saucers. I think she immediately knew what I meant, but she had to catch herself and asked, “Are you….?” I confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. She was so happy for me and announced, “Oh, I want to be Aunt L!” She confessed that she was always intrigued by what I would say each month when we met. But, boy, she never expected anything like this! It was nice to see that she was so supportive and offered her help if I needed anything. “Sometimes, you just need to tell people what you need and let them take care of it.” And subtly cautioned me on my ardent independence.
Of … Continue reading
Shortly after announcing my intention to become a single mother, a friend of mine lent me a DVD of The Backup Plan, a far-fetched romantic comedy about a woman who made the same decision to go it alone, only to meet Mr. Right an hour after getting knocked up. Some of the best scenes in the movie take place at a single mothers support group. To maximize the comedic aspect, the film depicts its members as an eclectic, tight-knit group of hippies and man-haters. It was stereotypical but hysterical. It was also the night before my first Single Mothers By Choice (SMC) group meeting, so it was a tad terrifying.
Coming from a family where emotions and serious topics are preferably left unspoken or at least only used as fodder for jokes, the idea of a support group was new and uncomfortable. So walking into the SMC meeting and taking … Continue reading