Tag: single mother

May Chat with a Mum: Lindsay of Solo Mama

It’s the first of May and time for another lovely chat with a mum.

Long before meeting my husband, my fellow single-friends and I used to talk a lot about how we could all be single mothers by choice and that all we needed to do was find sperm donors.  It was all talk, none of us followed-through, though two of us did end up mothers, but did it the traditional way.  Our featured mother for this month’s Chat with a Mum, did it all on her own.

I am in awe of women who parent on their own whether it’s by choice or because of circumstances.  Let’s hear more from this solo mama and how she did it:

Tell us something about yourself and your little one.

I am a lesbian single mom by choice to my daughter, Evelyn, who just turned 2 in February. We live in Toronto, Canada. I work as a Communications Specialist (fancy term for writer!) at a University, and Evelyn spends her weekdays at preschool. Together, we enjoy reading books, colouring, throwing dance parties in our livingroom, playing outside and eating macaroni & cheese.

What was your child’s birth story like?

Having planned a homebirth, Evelyn was born in the bedroom in our former home, here in Toronto. We were surrounded by my midwives, best friend and mom when Evelyn joined us at 1:11 am. Her birth was truly the most incredible moment of my life, and if I could, I’d go back and live it again and again, to re-experience that rush of love and pure bliss.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

There is so much I can wish I had known, but honestly, pre-motherhood, I probably wouldn’t have believed it or listened. I had so many notions of what I thought motherhood was, what it would be like, what it should feel like. And most of those ideas were just plain wrong! I thought I knew how all-encompassing maternal love was, but what I thought it wasn’t hadn’t even scratched the surface of what it truly is.

If I could know one thing about motherhood before embarking on it, I wish someone had told me that sleep issues can extend well beyond infancy. My toddler still wakes up in the middle of the night. I had no idea this could happen – I honestly thought children slept. How naïve!

How do you manage your “me-time”?

Poorly – haha. As a single mom, my “me time” is quite rare. I walk to and from work (20 minutes each way), so that is a guaranteed “me” time each day. When I feel desperate for a break, I’ll hire a babysitter to come play with Evelyn while I go out and run errands/write in a coffee shop/walk around the city. I find myself continually wishing I had more time for myself, while also knowing the time during which Evelyn is this little and needs me so intensely is going to fly by, and some day, I’ll long for just one more moment that we’re living now. When Evelyn goes to bed for the night, I knit & write – my two cheap therapies!

Do you have a favourite anecdote of your little one?

I have so many stories about Evelyn, and here I am drawing a blank now that I’m being asked! Life with a child is always providing opportunities for laughter, even through the exhaustion. Now that Evelyn is starting to speak a little more, she cracks me up on a daily basis, mostly because the way she pronounces things is so funny. I remember for the longest time, I was having a hard time figuring out what she meant when she was asking for a “cock”. Turns out, she was talking about socks!

The thing I love the most about Evelyn is her sensitivity – she is so in tune with the way I and others around her are feeling. She often approaches people if they’re sad and strokes their cheek saying, “‘kay?” Heart melting.

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love about?

It sounds so cliché, but here it is: the love. The love a mother feels for her child is unrivaled, and it’s incredible. Just when I think I can’t love her more, I do.

I also really love rediscovering the world through my daughter’s eyes. Life really slows down when you go at a toddler’s pace, and that is sometimes frustrating. But when I really take a moment to see things the way she does, life feels more exciting somehow, I can see and appreciate the beauty in the little things.

If there is anything about motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

The lack of sleep! Also, the lack of freedom. I sometimes daydream about what it would be like to have an entire day to myself. I’d lay in my bed until I felt like getting up (past 7 am!), go have a leisurely brunch, lay in the park and read a book, maybe go out for a drink or two with friends. I miss my freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

What’s a typical day like for you and your little one?

Weekdays and weekends vary. Weekdays, we’re up by 6 am and out the door for daycare and work by 7:30. I work 8-4, and pick Evelyn up from preschool/daycare by 4:30. Come out, have dinner, and play outside until it’s time to come in for bed around 7 pm.

Our weekends are full of adventures and never predictable. Evelyn played soccer for a while, she’s in gymnastics. We visit the multitude of parks in our neighbourhood, visit the farm in the city, have play dates – lots of fun things!

Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?

Listen to your intuition. The best advice anyone gave me wasn’t a piece of “wisdom” that worked for them. It was them telling me – reminding me – that I know best. My intuition will never steer me wrong, and when I listen to it in life & motherhood, I never regret it.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

Build that village – it really does take a village to raise a child. Build your village. Cultivate it. Make friends with other moms, or moms to be. These are your people, even if they aren’t right now – they are going to become your people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I struggle a lot with asking for assistance from friends and family. If I could go back to new mom me, I’d tell her to reach out and say “Hey – I need help,” more often.

How do you manage your time between work and your little one?

Work never, ever comes home with me. Work time is work time, and family time is family time. Work will never be important enough to cut into my precious family time. 40 hours of my week is plenty enough. Balancing a full-time job with motherhood and managing everyone on my own as a single mom is absolutely exhausting. But it has shown me just how strong I am, and I’m damn proud of myself, if I do say so myself!

Thank you so much Lindsay!

Now head over to her blog for more of this lovely solo Mama and her beautiful darling daughter.

Click here to read if you’ve missed last month’s Chat with a Dad.

December Chat with a Mom: Mom Solo

When I was single and in my early 30s, I thought “This is it, I’m going to be single forever” and I was fine with that.  What I wasn’t okay with though was the idea that I will never be a mother. I definitely wasn’t okay with that.  My best friend friend who was also single then (who by the way, is also a mother now), used to talk about how to get pregnant without a partner.  But didn’t do anything about it, instead we just allowed life to happen and it did. We are both mothers now.

Mom Solo though did what we didn’t have the guts to do.  She went on and had her son – alone.  I’ve been reading her blog for the longest time now and enjoy hearing about her adventures as a single mother.  Read on and be inspired with this woman’s journey as a solo mom …

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

I’m a Mom Solo which is what I call a single woman who chooses to be a single mom. I’m in my 40’s. I’ve been an actress for many years and now I’m a producer and writer. I blog about being a single mom and I’ve written a middle reader novel. My son is 2 and 9 months and his name is Spenser.

What was your child’s birth story like?

Spenser was breech so I had to have a C section. My OB announced from the other side of the curtain “He’s a redhead!” Then she said “He just peed on Dr. Hamilton!” (I was secretly pleased about the pee because I’d had a check up with Dr. Hamilton and he had asked me if I was eating lots of desserts because I’d reached my weight gain limit.)Then my OB lifted my baby over the blue curtain so we could see him and he wiggled out of her hands!!! He slipped down fell and his head bumped mine as the OB caught his legs! I was splattered with my own uterine blood! An exciting entrance for sure!

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

I wish I knew not to have expectations about the actual birth – I’d taken a few birthing classes that told me about the glory of childbirth and the precious first moment the baby is placed on your chest – skin to skin and how that moment is the most joyful of your life and I wanted that. When I found out my son was breech and I’d have to get a C section I was devastated. I tried a few gentle things to turn him, but I ended up just accepting the C section. Eventually, I realised that it wasn’t about how he got to me… just that he got to me.

I had made a fuss about wanting to hold him as soon as he was born but when they offered him to me, I was getting sewn up and I was super drugged up and felt sick – I was too scared to hold him. When they were wheeling me into recovery the nurse tucked him in my arms and that’s where we began… well after the head butting/blood splatter introduction.

How do you manage your “me-time”?

My me-time is during his two hour day nap and two hour window between his bedtime and mine. So that’s 4 whole hours. It’s actually a lot. Me-time usually includes writing, reading, eating, computering, showering, resting and sometimes cleaning. But lately I’m finding that my night me-time is just lying on the bed watching TV as I tell myself I’m going to get up and do something important like brush my teeth, at the next commercial.

Do you have a favourite anecdote of your little one?

It changes all the time, of course. My latest is from Halloween. While we were trick or treating (which he LOVED) he kept asking to eat more candy. Eventually I said that’s all for tonight and he said, “Ma, my mouth goes like this (deep voice) I hungry, I need candy.”

What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love about?

Can I say everything? As someone who had a baby as a single woman in her 40’s, I am aware everyday that I very easily could have missed the chance to have Spenser. Every day I feel happy to wake up and be with my son. I love the snuggles and the struggles, the discoveries, the funny things he says. I love that he is my main job and I’m good at it. I love that being his mom makes everything else in my life make sense. It really is the thing in my life that’s made me the happiest. Ever.

Specifically, right now I especially adore how my son hugs me so tightly and gives me real puckered-lips kisses. It makes me melt.

If there is anything about Motherhood you dislike about, what would it be?

I dislike stepping on legos and other small toys in my bare feet!!

I dislike the worry and the fear that runs in my mind… mostly at night, as I try to sleep. I’ve never been like this. Most other moms I talk to have the same thing – so I know I’m not crazy. Sometimes they are irrational worries and sometimes they are realistic. I try to push them out of my head so I can sleep. But I think it’s just part of being a parent.

 What’s a typical day like for you and your Little One?

We wake up at 6am and I bring Spenser into bed with me. We snuggle and chat and watch a show together. Then we have breakfast and play (and I clean up and pay a bill or two) then we go to a class – music, gym, swimming… then lunch and his nap. Then a visit with Grandpa or a play date or venture to out somewhere like visiting a friend, trains, mall or going to eat. Dinner, bath, books, bed. Then me-time. And go to bed as early as I can.

Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?

Having a messy house is not the worst thing and it certainly doesn’t mean you are a bad mom. Spend your time being with your child.

As a single parent without help, I take this advice every day

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

Remember patience. Life isn’t always a rush. Let your child take the time to explore rocks on the sidewalk, make up games, pretend to drive the car, etc. I try to never say “hurry up.” Explain things calmly. Also have patience with questions. Spenser asks “What we doing now?” about 1000 times a day. I answer him with respect every time because… he’s two.  Everything is new to him. If it gets annoying I try to turn it into something funny, so I can just laugh. I try to challenge myself to make the explanation sound new, even though I’ve said the same thing 1000 times!

 How do you manage your time between work and your little one?

 I work a lot from home which means that I work during me-time. I try so hard not to do work when I’m hanging out with Spenser. If I have to, then I’m grateful for PBS Kids. Also, I’m so lucky that my sister and her husband live very close to us and Spenser adores them. My sister has been able to help me so much, when I’m working.

Thank you so much Mom Solo!

Do head over to her blog to read more about her life with her adorable little boy.

You can also connect with Mom Solo over at twitter

and don’t forget to like her FB page too.

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