Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Did you know we have an amazing e-book on the website this week....the best insights, expert tips and stories of the new-and-improved in 2010.

Check it out here


Monday, May 24, 2010


Note that in February 2010 the website moved to a more dynamic format that enables us to add daily blogs to the website itself in each category of the Choice Mom journey -- with even more bells and whistles that includes audio clips, sponsor deals, event details and more.

Visit the Becoming section there at:


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Meeting half-siblings

A woman with two young children recently wrote me to indicate that a half-sibling of her kids was coming all the way from another country to the U.S., and while here wanted to meet her kids, since they shared the same sperm donor.

The mother was concerned because she didn't feel prepared to talk to her kids about how they were connected, yet didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet.

In addition to checking the wisdom you can find on Donor Sibling Registry, I recommended the following:

I'd start here. Some of the LISTEN audios on the website should be helpful (including the one with Ryan Kramer, and the one with a donor who has met offspring).

This is about answering the daddy question, but also simply about having the "donor" conversations.

I always recommend Donor Conception Network for their Telling and Talking series, which you'll find in Resources. A recent radio show, posted on, is with the founder of this organization, about telling the #17.

Also in Resources is the story and compilation of books about donor conception.

Have fun with this place! I've just started talking with my five-year-old (have been talking about "family" definitions with my 10-year-old for a while now). It's a great bonding experience. And just the beginning of lifelong exploration of who is important to us, and we consciously build connections, or not, with the people around us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quick reading and listening for new moms

If you need a quick reminder, in your sleep deprived haze of newborn baby boot camp, that you have made a legitimate choice in becoming a mother on your own....note that "Choice Mom," a term coined only five years ago in the book "Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide," was 2009 contender for word of the year by Oxford New American Dictionary.

And if you didn't already listen, find the time for online radio show #12 of "Choosing Single Motherhood," which is about surviving Newborn Baby Boot Camp as a single parent.

This too shall pass. You are becoming a great mother, surrounded by a wonderful community of like-minded Choice Moms.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby boot camp

A woman on the Choice Mom discussion board wrote with a common issue: dealing with the exhaustion of single parenting a newborn. Women have been responding with wonderful insight and tips, which will be featured on an upcoming "Choosing Single Motherhood" radio show. But here's the query that precipitated the advice. Please respond to it here as well.

Hi ladies. My little one is now 1 week and 5 days old. I know the newborn weeks are tough, but I am struggling. She is the most precious baby ever, but she is wearing me out! During the day I feel like I don't know what to do with her. I end up holding her most of the day which I am afraid is making her sore and I know is keeping me from doing anything. The last few nights she has refused to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time and by about 3 am I am usually in tears thinking I may have gotten in over my head.

So, my questions for you guys are:
How do you function during the day with a baby?
What do you do with them when you need to take a shower or make lunch? I have tried to get her to sleep so she can nap while I shower, but she doesn't want to sleep. If I get her to sleep she wakes up when I put her down.
Also, when they are awake during the day, what do you do with them? I feel like I should be entertaining her somehow but I end up just holding her and staring at her.
Lastly, breastfeeding is getting hard too. My nipples are so sore. I have been working with great lactation consultants and she seems to be latching well, but I am still in so much pain for the first few minutes she nurses. Will this go away soon? If so, when?
Also, after nursing her at night she is awake and I spend the next hour or so rocking her back to sleep. By the time she is close to sleep its time to feed her again!!

I have to go back to work in 6 weeks and I am very worried. I can't possibly work all day and be up all night - I will literally never sleep! I am enamored of her and love her more than anything. Everyone keeps saying it will get better and I believe them, but when? In a matter of weeks or months?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Help after baby arrives

A Choice Mom-in-the-making asked what kind of help she should try to line up before her child was born. Experienced moms on the Choice Mom discussion board responded with a unanimous "ask for all the help you can get." This insight from Lily was especially helpful.

You will need help especially for the first week at home. After that, you will need a human to talk to. A lot will depend on what you can get to easily. I can walk to all basic shops and the baby's doctor. I had a c-section, stayed in the hospital for three days (my doctor is mean and wouldn't let me stay the fourth). My mother stayed with me for five days. So I was totally on my own eight days after birth. It was kind of weird, but not that bad (except when the power went out in my high-rise; when it stayed off after several hours I had to organize up a group of people to come get me, the baby, and our stuff down nine flights of stairs and to someone else's house for the evening. Thankfully the power came back on right as I finished organizing who was doing what).

When my parents came back for another week, they were here during the day. For the most part, I could take care of the baby on my own, but not anything else. Once I was up and about, then I could cook/clean when he was sleeping, which they do a lot for the first few weeks.

I would suggest scheduling the helpers for the beginning, and the visitors after about two weeks.

In terms of having people get you stuff -- if you feel weird about taking their money, then get a bunch of gift cards from grocery stores, Target, etc., and give them the card so they don't have to pay for it themselves.

Also, something I found helpful (and it took me a mental change to do it) is to not be afraid to ask for specific things. Most people, when they say "if you need anything, just ask," do mean it, but the help doesn't materialize because the helpee feels funny asking.

I have learned that if someone is in a position to need help, I offer something specific. "I'm going to the grocery store/cleaners/drugstore..." Or, "can I bring dinner tonight?" Or, "I have three free hours this afternoon, do you want me to babysit?" Rather than tossing out a generic offer.

I also hired a post-partum doula to come after the second week, to come a few times a week to help do things, show me how to bathe the baby, cut his nails, and just give me a break. Friends are cheaper, but doulas can be great (and show up during the work week).

You will also need some kind of backup plan in case you have to have a c-section. There will be restrictions on driving and you'll have a harder time doing things like lifting anything for longer (especially if it's an emergency c after labor). You will need someone who can take you and the baby to the pediatrician (they make you go back right after you get home), is on call in case you need to get back to a hospital, and someone to do the heavy lifting.

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I've learned about motherhood so far

submitted by Denise

Hey Ladies,

After 10 months of motherhood, these are just a few of the things that I have learned.

1. Your baby will stick their fingers up your nose and pry open your mouth while you are trying to sleep.

2. Bodily fluids become normal and natural, even something to be celebrated. "Yay, she pooped!"

3. You will have to count the amount of wet diapers that your baby produces everyday and tell your pediatrician or Doctor.

4. You will never, ever be able to sleep in again. Or at least not for a very very long time.

5. It is a good idea to go to your local police/fire station to see if you have installed your car seat correctly. I went to the local fire station and guess what? I had not installed mine properly and they fixed it for me. It was also a bonus to see the hunky fire fighters that were there. Is it a prerequisite for the job to be a hunk?

6. You can buy nursing pads that are re-usable and washable. They are fantastic!!

7. Your support system is essential.

8. It is a strength to be able to ask for help when you need it, not a weakness. We are all humans and we all need one another.

9. At some point after you have your first, you will consider having another one.

10. You may or may not grieve your SMC status. I think that you will be more at peace with your decision to be an SMC if you are divorced as opposed to never married. However, I may be wrong on this. I will let you know in a few years.

11. The love that you have for your child/children is not like any love that you have ever experienced or that you will ever experience. It is unique, special, unconditional and lifelong. I am 41 and mom STILL worries about me.

12. It is possible to be really really tired but really really happy at the same time.

13. You won't resent the fact that you can no longer go to bars and dance the night away till 5 am. And even if you get a babysitter, it is unlikely that you will do that.

14. Separation anxiety is very real and a bit troubling even though it is very normal.

15. Unless you really love your job (and even if) you probably won't want to go back to work after your 1 year mat leave (I am speaking to my fellow Canadians here, I frankly cannot even fathom only getting 6 weeks or so. I feel for the American SMC's).

16. Having your own baby will probably bring you close(r) to your own mom/parents. Again, I could be wrong here but it definitely brought me closer to my mom and we were already VERY close.

17. The only truly "free" time that you will have is when your child naps and sleeps at night. Yahoo for that. Use that time wisely.

18. Every time that your baby smiles at you or laughs with you, your heart will melt.

Well, I guess that is all for now. Just thought I would share. Feel free to add on.