Saturday, February 25, 2012

Don't Feel Sorry For Me


Mel over at Stirrup Queens posted recently about a new site called Modamily & it really rubbed me the wrong way…not Mel’s post but this new site. Admittedly, I haven’t followed any of the links she provided so I am writing this solely based on the quotes in her post.

I am not against the concept of the site. Basically, it’s a social network matching site bringing people together who want to co-parent as opposed to using an anonymous donor etc. I believe it’s a fabulous option that could work for many people.

What I take exception to is this: (copied from Mel’s post who copied it from the site)

“In most cases, when using a sperm donor, a mother is resigned to being a single parent. We feel that co-parenting provides more support to the child because it involves two parents that are physically, financially, and emotionally committed. Healthy, happy, and balanced children are what we are trying to achieve and statistically, having both a mother and father within a child’s life dramatically improves chances for a happy and balanced upbringing.”


I found this offensive on so many levels. Firstly, I am not, nor ever have been, resigned to be a single mother, hence the choice part of Single Mom by Choice. I am beyond grateful to live in an era, society, culture that allows me this choice as an option. I have had many feelings throughout this process; resignation was never one of them.

Secondly, I find it hard to accept that I could have more support from a co-parenting situation, at least the type this site promotes, than I do now. I guess essentially I am co-parenting Elena with my Mom since we live in the same household & my Mom will be caring for Elena while I work. On top of that support, I have numerous family & friends who are more than willing to look after Elena if I need. And if we’re talking emotional support (for me or Elena), again I don’t see how their situation is any more supportive than the one I’m in.

Which brings me to thirdly, I am thoroughly offended at the implication made that my daughter will be a less healthy, happy & balanced child based on my choice. I would never judge anyone for the choices they make so am extremely insulted by the judgment implied here. I don’t know how my daughter could be more loved or cherished by myself or the people who surround & support us. Elena has her fair share of male influence & a deep commitment from me & my family to ensure she never feels lacking by not having a father.

Lastly, I resent the implication that my choice is a consolation prize. “Poor Tiara, she wasn’t good enough to snag a husband so had to resort to sperm donation.” Admittedly this wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out, not because Choice Motherhood is a second choice, but because it wasn’t an option I was ever aware of before a few years ago. I, like many of my generation, grew up with the notion that you have to meet Mr. Right (or Mr. Good Enough) in order to get married & have children. So I spent copious amounts of my time, effort, emotions, meeting men, developing relationships & working hard to make relationships work that were destined to fail, all for the deep desire to have children & be a mother. If someone had sat me down when I was eighteen years old & said, “Look Tiara, there are more ways to become a mother than getting married.” If I had been made aware of the options that would be available to me, I don’t believe I would have devoted my twenties to trying to find Mr. Right. I don’t believe I would have spent the first part of my thirties in such a deep depression, convincing myself I must be worthless & unlovable because I hadn’t been able meet Mr. Right.

When I choose Single Motherhood, I didn’t give up on love. I took the desperation out of meeting Mr. Right. I finally learned that one wasn’t dependant on the other & I could be a mother, fulfill that dream & still hold hope that I’ll meet a life partner someday. The most important part of this lesson I learned? Before, I believed my happiness & the completeness of my life was contingent on this elusive Mr. Right. I now know that my happiness solely rests in my hands & becoming a mother has made me feel complete.

The fact that this site diminishes my choices to promote their own is why it completely loses credibility with me. Which is sad since I think the option of co-parenting is a great alternative that many could benefit from.

There are many other issues that come up regarding this site, so please, if you haven’t already, click over to Mel’s post. She is far more eloquent that me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blogoversary


2 Years!! Wow! How the time flies…2 years ago today I was just embarking on this new choice of Single Motherhood…1 year ago today I was 38 weeks pregnant & so close to meeting my daughter…& now today, as she sleeps beside me, I’m about to enter yet another chapter, Working Single Mother…

14 days until I go back to work…I am excited…I really am for the most part. I am very fortunate that my Mom lives with me & will be looking after Elena while I’m at work…I am grateful I don’t have to go thru the emotions of leaving her with strangers or worry about her adjusting to a new environment. I also don’t have to get her ready in the mornings, which is a bonus.

Elena will benefit so much from spending days with my Mom…you see, due to social anxieties, I’m not good at taking her to play groups & due to phobias, I’m not good at getting Elena outside to play…My Mom on the other hand is awesome at that stuff…once the weather is nice, she’ll be taking Elena to the park everyday & to play group at her church on Wednesdays & she’ll continue taking her to swimming & the story time at the library...I can’t express enough how grateful I am that Elena will have such a deep & special relationship with my Mom.

There are 2 things that worry me about going back to work…1st, I worry about how Elena will feel with me gone so much. I wonder if she’ll act out or become withdrawn…my other concern is that Elena will pull away from me, forget that I’m her Mama…that she’ll become more attached to my Mom than to me…I know, in the grand scheme, there are worse worries to have.

Elena is really starting to show her little personality…she amazes me with how much she’s understanding now & learning so much…she’s like a little sponge. She’s got her own language made up of grunts & babble & with this language she talks A LOT so I think we’re in for it when she does start talking…she clear says “All Done” & uses it appropriately…it’s funny at the dinner table as people finish eating she’ll chime in, “All done”…she also seems to say, “What’s That” though not a clearly so it’s hard to catch sometimes but it is obvious she is questioning, like she’ll hold up a shoe & say, “Whas da?” so I’m trying to identify everything for her. She still says Mama but not always directly to me & continues to look at me & say Dada & now she’ll say, “Mama blah blah blah” I truly believe this is her sense of humour beginning to show!

And oh boy, she’s got herself a temper and she can become very frustrated…these behaviors really test my patience but then she’ll come over & wrap her little arms around my neck & give me a big sloppy kiss & all that tension melts away. There are so many little moments where this girl can just melt my heart I think she throws in the tantrums just to keep me grounded!

Eating is going really well now…we are breastfeeding at bedtime & in the morning…She still doesn’t drink much milk but we’re offering it regularly & she’s taking more & more all the time…she loves her cheese (just like Mama) & eats yogurt daily so I’m not too worried about her dairy intake. Besides, I’ve been mixing milk in with her veggies too. I’ve also started giving her thinly sliced deli meats & she loves these. She loves her ice cream too (just like Mama) so I bought frozen yogurt for a treat for us to share. She hasn’t refused a fruit yet so she gets lots of that too…basically, she’s finally become a great little eater & I couldn’t be more relieved!

Elena’s 1st birthday party plans are in full swing…lucky for us, her birthday is on a Sunday so we are celebrating on that day. My initial plan was to have a Storybook themed party (which I think I totally stole from Gille J) but I couldn’t find any decorations…so ended up with more of a Baby Rocker theme. The reason I wanted a Storybook party was because I wanted to request that her guests give her books instead of toys. She has a TON of toys she hardly shows much interest in so I really didn’t want to get a bunch more…also, I wanted her guests to inscribe each book with a message so that she would have them to look back on. Well even though I went a different direction with her d├ęcor, I still put the request on her invitations to please bring her books instead of toys…we’ll see how it all turns out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mumble-Jumble


I’ve had a lot swirling around in my head lately it’s been hard to organize any of it into any kind of coherent post…so I’m gonna do a bit of thought vomit here & hopefully make some sense!

I just noticed I now have 50 Followers!!! Wow! It’s amazing to me that even a few people would want to read my blog…to know that there are 50 of you is a huge compliment! Thank you all & from now on I expect 50 comments on each post…lol! Just kidding!! J Sincerely thank you, tho…

With 50 followers, I’ve made the effort to try to make sure I’m following along with every follower who has their own blog…as you can imagine, my Reader has been filling up plus I’m trying to read the archives of these new blogs I’m following as I like to get a little back story…I admit, I’m having trouble keeping up but I’m commenting as much as possible…that is when Blogger allows me to…I have been very frustrated that I haven’t been able to comment on some posts! There’s so much going on with y’all!

Along with all this blog reading, my Book Club assigned The Hunger Games as our next book…I haven’t read a novel, well, since Elena was born…but this one! I couldn’t put it down!! I even read parts aloud to Elena just to keep her occupied so I could read it (she enjoyed it too!) Well, upon finishing it, I just HAD to get the other 2 books in the series! The whole trilogy was A.Maz.Ing!!!!! I then went right into reading The Help which was also great!

As for Elena…she is growing & changing by leaps & bounds!!! The girl amazes me daily!! She said Mama!!! For 2 days…& hasn’t said it since!! It made my heart melt to hear it & now she won’t…she just looks at me with this mischievous smile! She does however seem to call me Dada! I swear she knows the irony of that & does it on purpose!!!

The girl is honing the fine art of the Temper Tantrum…sometimes it’s quite comical but most often it’s frustrating & testing my patience. The worst part about them is that she will just fling herself down which results in her banging her head or hurting herself, bringing on real tears.

We’ve come a long way with Elena’s eating too…I’ve weaned her off of both daytime breast feedings so she only nurses in the morning & at bed time & we’re going to leave it that way until I dry up…

Elena turned 11 months old yesterday & I have 32 days until I go back to work…I’m taking the wise advice of numerous moms & going back on a Thursday. I have been leaving Elena with my Mom for longer stretches to get her use to me being gone…Elena is very clingy…thankfully, since she sees my Mom everyday (my Mom lives with us) she’s clingy with her too. If you give her time to warm up to people, she does just fine but if people get in her face too quickly & try to pick her up too soon, she gets very upset. With people she sees all the time tho, she’s just fine, it’s new people she’s leery of.

Elena’s a little water baby! We started swimming lessons back in August & have been going weekly since then & she loves it! She now walks down the ramp into the water by herself! That is one of the things I’m going to miss most when I go back to work. My Mom is going to continue to take her but I’ll miss being able to.

Well, there’s a hundred other things I wanted to write but I can’t think of them now…plus I’m distracted by hearing Elena upstairs squealing, giggling & having fun & I want to join in…