Vacation?

I am a single mother of 4 (almost 5) year old boy girl twins.  My mother is 71 and she lives with us in the summer and in Arizona for the winter.  My mother thinks that kids today have too many organized activities and need to spend more time with nothing to do.  To further this theory, my mother bought us a 16 foot house trailer (the kind you pull behind a car).   So, we just got back from our first camping trip.  We left on Saturday and got home on Wednesday.

The back story is that when we went to pick up the trailer from the guy who sold it to us he spent about 2 hours explaining to me how to work everything.  He told me that once I was familiar with everything the set up would take about 1.5 hrs.  I took copious notes and promptly came … Continue reading

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now teenagers.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading

Lucky Number 2 – Twins!

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

SMCs With Twins

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

Pregnancy Loneliness

Greetings from the other side of pregnancy! A recent post on the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) members’ online Forum got me reminiscing about my pregnancy. I found being single and pregnant with twins one of the most difficult and lonely periods of my life. I had planned and budgeted for a singleton and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have a multiple pregnancy, but lucky me, I got a two-for-one discount from the sperm bank. I’m actually quite happy about it now, but it was not good news for me at first.

At the time I was definitely excited, but the feelings of excitement were so overwhelmed by intense fear, sadness, and guilt. I was so scared about being a single mom to two infants that if I thought about it for too long I would get the shakes and my eyes would well up. I would just … Continue reading

Vacation?

I am a single mother of 4 (almost 5) year old boy girl twins.  My mother is 71 and she lives with us in the summer and in Arizona for the winter.  My mother thinks that kids today have too many organized activities and need to spend more time with nothing to do.  To further this theory, my mother bought us a 16 foot house trailer (the kind you pull behind a car).   So, we just got back from our first camping trip.  We left on Saturday and got home on Wednesday.

The back story is that when we went to pick up the trailer from the guy who sold it to us he spent about 2 hours explaining to me how to work everything.  He told me that once I was familiar with everything the set up would take about 1.5 hrs.  I took copious notes and promptly came … Continue reading

SMCs With Twins

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

Lucky Number Two

me and girls oct 2012My 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 three 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

Twins

My daughters are monozygotic—i.e., “identical”—twins, and they spend a lot of time putting up with people who can’t tell them apart. We do what we can, the three of us. They almost never dress alike, and in fact have different tastes in clothes. Gracie favors dresses, ballet flats, and pink, pink, pink. Isabelle likes jeans, boots, and anything with a peace sign on it. Gracie has long hair; Isabelle wears hers in a chin-length bob. I have them in separate classrooms, so that they have some time to be individuals, and to cultivate their own friendships. I’m trying to minimize the time that they spend being viewed as a single unit. In the wider world, this is enough for most people to figure out who’s who, and it seems to be working out well enough.

At home though, twinhood poses a different set of challenges, and they’re not as easily … 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