PODCAST: Choice Mom Stories

Over the years I have talked with many single women about their Choice Mom journeys for the Choice Chat podcast and/or radio show. Here are some of these Choice Mom stories.


LORI GOTTLIEB: Settle for Mr. Good Enough?

After Choice Mom Lori Gottlieb wrote in Atlantic Monthly that perhaps settling for Mr. Good Enough might have been the smart choice, it created a firestorm of debate in the community. After she interviewed marriage and dating experts, neurologists, and married and single men and women — and applied what she learned into her own dating life — she returned with the full report in her book “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.” We talked in this interview about, among other things, the penchant many Choice Moms might have for the “alpha male” pre-motherhood, and how much things change in time. She talks about the platonic friend she wishes she’d married. And the “hot date” material she’s glad she didn’t meet until she was 10 years wiser.

In this original interview with Lori, soon after she wrote her article about the merits of settling for Mr. Good Enough (Atlantic Monthly, March 2008), we talked about the strong response she got from people on both sides of the discussion.

I also talked openly with Choice Mom Lily about the sometimes shamed viewpoint, even within our own community, that single parenting can be incredibly rewarding but also can be a lonely path.


CHRISTINE COPPA: Accidental Pregnancy

In this radio show, I talked with Christine Coppa, of Glamour, who gave up a kind of “Sex in the City” Carrie Bradshaw life after she unexpectedly conceived. She talked about her life as a single parent compared to the freedom of her pre-mom years.


DATING AS A SINGLE MOM

In this radio show I talked with two single moms about how they managed to include dating into their lives. First I talked with my friend Darla about how she juggled Choice Motherhood with a long-term relationship, including her experience and insight about when to introduce a boyfriend to her child…and how to tell a new man in her life that she is attempting to have a second child through donor insemination.

Second I talked with Rachel Sarah, author of “Single Mom Seeking,” about the fact that many women grieve not being in a permanent relationship after they have a child, what she’s learned about how to introduce her child to someone, and how her screening process and needs have changed since becoming a mom.


COPING WITH CHOICE MOM FEARS

Recorded at a San Francisco Bay Area networking event for Choice Moms, this radio show features my experience as Choice Moms founder, the humor of author Mary Pols (“Accidentally on Purpose”) and the insight of Choice Mom and therapist Felicia Shamma, as well as audience members, to discuss our fears and coping strategies. A focus of the discussion was about finding partners in the journey — friends, male role models, colleagues — and the strengths, and weaknesses, we find in ourselves after we become mothers.


JENNIFER: FINDING SUPPORT

This episode features Jennifer, 8 months pregnant, who was part of a Choice Moms conversation circle that included six women talking about how we got to this stage of our journey, concerns we have for our children, how men play a role in our lives, and more. It is a great example of the kinds of honest discussions we can and do have with each other, the thought that goes behind our decisions, and the plans we make for building the best world we can for our children.

The Choice Mom community is vast and varied and worldwide, and as this podcast allows us to hear, when we consciously reach out to each other we can be our own best support network.


LOUISE SLOAN: BEING A CHOICE MOM

In this show, recorded at a New York City networking event for Choice Moms, I talked with Louise Sloan about our respective Choice Mom journeys. What has been harder than we expected? What has been easier? What advice do we have for other single mothers by choice? What have we learned from interviewing Choice Moms and from our own personal experiences?

It also includes insight from mental health therapists Patricia Mendell and Joann Paley Galst about the rights to complain and to ask for support.

I also talked to Louise, author of “No Man? No Problem. Knock Yourself Up,” about what the actual message of her book is, the humor she found in her 14 attempts to conceive before her son was born, and how the lesbian single woman journey might differ from the straight single woman’s journey to Choice Motherhood.


MARY POLS: ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE

This honest conversation with Mary Pols, author of Accidentally on Purpose,  explores the emotions of a 39-year-old woman who unexpectedly found herself pregnant from a one-night stand. We talk about the reasons she had never wanted to become a Choice Mom — and how grateful she is that it happened that way, despite her lack of planning, her lack of savings, and her formerly deep-seated belief that she needed a partner to complete her. We also discussed the co-parenting role she worked out with her son’s father.

We also explored why Choice Moms need more role models in the public eye to help women realize that having a child can become a role even more fulfilling than being a wife.


FELICIA: TAKING THE LEAP, AND MISCARRIAGE

In this conversation with Felicia, a therapist and Choice Mom, we get up close and personal about a common issue that isn’t talked about much: coping with miscarriage. In her case, twice. We also discussed the leap of faith it takes to make this decision. And the vulnerability she felt after she brought her newborn home.


CATHI: FINDING HUMOR IN FERTILITY

Cathi managed to find the humor in the ups and downs of her Choice Motherhood journey. From figuring out when (and how) to do home insemination and using the sperm of a gay roommate, to dealing multiple times with the agony of the two-week wait (2ww), to moving when she was 33 weeks pregnant, Cathi is an upbeat inspiration.


SHELLY: THE ADOPTION JOURNEY

I talked with my good Choice Mom friend Shelly, whose second child became family through open domestic adoption. She explains why she chose that route, and offers thoughts on raising a multiracial family.


JANE MATTES: MORE THAN 25 YEARS

I talked with Jane Mattes, the matriarch of the Single Mothers by Choice network, then a 25-year-old organization that offers support networks for Choice Moms. We talked about how society’s views of this movement have changed, what women making this choice need to know, why our kids seem to be turning out well, and coping with the leap of faith this decision requires.

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