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One and done…

I always wanted to be a mother. As a young child I was a mother’s helper and insisted on witnessing my younger sister’s birth. I enjoyed every moment, not realizing this was an innate calling of my spirit. Arriving at motherhood was unconventional for me and not at all how I imagined it. I was 24 and had my dream job as a shoe designer in New York City. I was with someone I didn’t want to marry and had just quit my job to follow him cross country. I was naive and didn’t know much about my body or relationships and I was insecure.

I left my son’s father when Hunter was almost 2 years old. It was a toxic and abusive situation and choosing to be single was the best for all of us. We lived bi-coastal while sorting through two court systems.

Since, it’s been a lot of rebuilding filled with the pressure of being a sole provider. I kicked my career back into gear after staying very focused on Hunter for his first 3 years. I lived and breathed motherhood and had a chance to define what modern motherhood meant to me.

Creating and sustaining a community of close friends and loved ones has been integral in us collectively raising my son. I am eternally grateful for our village. I think it’s a challenge whether you have one person, two people, three people…it’s hard to raise a child. I never heard my parents talk about parenting challenges. They just did it. But now, with social pressure to do things a certain way or not, it’s important we talk about the reality of what goes into raising a child. It’s the hardest and most rewarding part of my journey. I always feel so comforted when I speak to another parent and they are able to empathize.

Creating and sustaining a community of close friends and loved ones has been integral in us collectively raising my son. I am eternally grateful for our village.

Baby #2? The more the merrier.

Once at a work dinner, my boss at my side, the buyer we were entertaining asked me, “Do you plan on having more kids?” I froze. I was very single and not sure if I’d partner up, EVER. It stung. My best response, “I’d love to have more. I am just not sure it’s in my cards.”

My son has asked for a sibling, since he was 5 to the present. I explained honestly about the need to have a partner to create a baby biologically and the support necessary, on many levels. It gave me an opportunity to explain to him how there are other ways to have a baby through adoption, becoming a foster care parent and working with a doctor. His reaction, “Great! Let’s do it!”

I had to come to terms with how my life was unfolding as a single parent to an only child and the desire to have more. We had to shelf the conversation. It was painful for me. He wasn’t alone in the desire to have our family grow.

I love, I mean really love, anything birth, babies, family, sister and mama-hood. To me, it’s the sweet nectar of being a woman to be on this journey together, even though it’s challenging. I loved being pregnant, having a natural birth, going to pre/post-natal yoga, having a mother’s group, and being a part of the fabric of a community.

As a single mother, I often felt like the odd one out. Our past held a lot of shame for me. I slowly and consciously worked on healing myself and holding space for Hunter to prosper. I began to think I’d partner back up and do it “right.” Do it better. Be wiser. Get married. Buy a house. Have more children.

I fantasized, even romanticized about bringing a child into the world under different circumstances. To have the opportunity to give my son a sibling and a traditional family structure. Coming from a large family, being an only child always seemed less appealing.

I just turned 34. Tick tock. Tick tock.

I’ve been with my new partner for about 2 years on and off plus a year of serious commitment. It’s not your average situation but the commitment my partner has made to us as a family is big. I acknowledge it’s not for everyone and the dating world is tough, especially when you know what you want and are serious. It’s a process.

 

This is where knowing my bandwidth has come in. I know what I want most and accept my limitations; as a mother, a modern woman, a caregiver, a partner, a friend, a business owner and as a single human being doing their best.

I often feel I have to choose between risk taking career moves and being a stable force at home financially and as a matriarch who is nurturing. Now that Hunter is 9 years old, I feel more flexible and free. I can work from home and he can quietly, or not so quietly be doing his own activities in another room. I can also take a girls trip to the desert and know he’s happy and safe while I’m gone.

My new partner and I have a soulful relationship. A dream come true. He also has a meaningful connection with my son. Another dream coming to fruition. Our family expanded in a new way. Just not in baby form. I’ve wanted this most of all. For my son to have a positive male role model and for our family to expand into a unit.

I think about where we are collectively in 2018. My heart is broken. Broken open and active, excited for the infinite possibilities of creating a more balance positive world for us all and the planet. We have our work cut out for us. Being present and active is a lot of work and raising a son is a serious responsibility, now more than ever. I want to give my all to Hunter and to leave our world in a better place for him and generations to come.

This is where knowing my bandwidth has come in. I know what I want most and accept my limitations; as a mother, a modern woman, a caregiver, a partner, a friend, a business owner and as a single human being doing their best.

So for now, I am saying, “One and done.”

 

Photo by Hilary Katzen

1 comment

Daniela
I can't tell you how infinitely meaningful it has been to read this. I have a 7 month old baby boy, i'm single and the only provider... just about to enter the court process and rethinking my future personal relationships and career choices. Everything you talk about strikes a chord. I want my son to have a sibling but I am learning to accept it might not happen for us. Thank you for sharing.

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