Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Single Mothers by Choice

When I first heard this phrase (after I decided to adopt on my own) I would giggle uncontrollably because it just sounded so politically based.  However, I really do fit the description.  Have you ever heard of the term?  If not, there are some great places to read about it. 

Why mention that you're a single mother by choice or why have site to support independent, financially responsible women who seem to be content with their life?  Well that's just it...because we're not dealing with divorce, custody issues, visitation, alimony etc.  most of the self-help books on single parenting just doesn't really seem to address issues that don't involve grief,  loss of a boyfriend/spouse, self-esteem.  In fact in order to belong to a community like Choicemoms.org you do have to be a parent by choice, not because your significant other left you before the birth but still has visitation, or through divorce or death (if you have previously been divorced and then decided to parent a child on your own that's different).  Of course these communities also look at women who have done and are also considering artificial insemination or IVF through a sperm donor (either known or unknown) as well as adoption.

I've joked about getting together with other single mother's by choice who have Faith in their lives to write a book about it just so it can be available at a Christian bookstore if needed because in my life, I don't need the "woe is me" single parenting book or the "how to get over him leaving me with 2 kids for another woman" single parenting book.  In fact I've spent a few bucks too many on books I thought were going to be great and instead it ended up being a self-help book for divorcees and parenting from a place of grief.  I need the practical single parenting book.  You know the one.  It answers very very important questions such as:

* When is the best time to shower and know your kid is safe?
* How do you finagle groceries into the house when your Toddler is now getting into trouble if your eye isn't on them?  Is it ok to have them in their car seat while you race like a maniac to get the bags in before getting a ticket for bad parenting?
*How do you answer people about the wonderful life you have with your child when for some reason they find it odd that you enjoy being a single parent?
*How do you navigate being really sick and also having to look out for an active preschooler when you're either throwing up or trying not to pass out?
*What are great tips for evolving your support system?
*Answering questions at church and navigating feeling good about your life when people may wonder why on earth would you [as a Christian] would choose to have a single parent household and be chipper about it.

Those are the kind of books needed out there.  Actually I know there are at least two books that deal with single mothers by choice which is great, however, they are more generic and deal with the the 'thinking' and 'how to...information' than daily life. 

So if you're one of those single mothers by choice that reads on here and are living faith based lives, we should seriously think about writing that book!



8 comments:

Lorie K said...

I'm in. Though I'm not sure if I'm doing this by faith or not... (then again, I can't be doing it in my own strength, that's for sure).

DannieA said...

Lorie, I read your blog...you definately have the faith!

Barb said...

Shower when they're sleeping.
Leave them in the carseat while you unload the car.
Tell people that you love being a mother and that your child is not only so much fun that you can hardly stand it but it that having a child makes YOU a better person. And you realize that YOU are a model for this child and you are teaching them through your actions and you enjoy that challenge and that sense of purpose.
Evolve your support system by having a variety of friends... including friends without kids because they are the ones who are most readily available when you need someone in an emergency.

Being a single mom is not for everyone, but being a mom is the most amazing experience... which is why I chose it TWICE.

Love the blog.

Ticia said...

Shower when they're sleeping or they're having time in the play pen or crib.
Leave them in the car seat while you unload the groceries, you won't be a bad mom. That or put her in the high chair and give her a snack.
That's when you break out the videos and you don't feel guilty.
Look for people with common interests and parenting styles. The parenting styles can be key.
Everyone has questions about some decision you make as a person, and you just have to know between you and God that you made the right one.

mamamargie said...

This post made me laugh. All though now a married mom by choice, I so remember those questions (and looks) when I was a single mom. Especially when I had four kiddos! When you're ready to write the book let me know. I'll definitely pitch in! :)

Dan.Eliot said...

As a single dad I am very happy to have what some would perceive to be a “small family”. three children, two dogs, one cat, and yes the pets are part of our family. It’s not the size of the family that counts but the family inside that counts. Have a great day....

help for single Dads

Daphne said...

Love this! Would love to get in on the book. I am 100% happy being a single mom by choice but people can't see that because I'm not married. Sheesh! Here are my answers to your questions:
* When is the best time to shower and know your kid is safe? I stuck Ben in an exersaucer with a portable DVD player in the bathroom with me so I knew he was safe. Now he's big enough that I trust him to watch a show in the other room.
* How do you finagle groceries into the house when your Toddler is now getting into trouble if your eye isn't on them? Leave them in the carseat!!! It's fine!
*How do you answer people about the wonderful life you have with your child when for some reason they find it odd that you enjoy being a single parent? I don't know this answer because our society thinks you can only be happy if you are married. Not true!!
*How do you navigate being really sick and also having to look out for an active preschooler when you're either throwing up or trying not to pass out? Last time this happened, Ben was in the bathroom laughing at me every time I threw up. Apparently it was very entertaining!
*What are great tips for evolving your support system? Finding other single mom's by choice...no one else gets it!
*Answering questions at church and navigating feeling good about your life when people may wonder why on earth would you [as a Christian] would choose to have a single parent household and be chipper about it.....When you get the answer to this one let me know!

Anonymous said...

"I've joked about getting together with other single mother's by choice who have Faith in their lives to write a book about it just so it can be available at a Christian bookstore if needed ..."

Please write this book! I've been loving your blog; just saw a link for it on adoptionforum. I would love for you to write more about how your faith played a role in this journey. I worry about how my church community will react to an adoption if I continue on this path. I feel like some would (sadly) almost view it as a sin! :-/

ellouai