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New Blog for Choice Moms
a blog by mikki, Jan. 14, 2010
I am a Choice Mom.
Depending on who you talk to, that might mean I’m selfish, cocky, or something akin to a tasty piece of beef. But what I mean by the term is how I defined it in my Choosing Single Motherhood book in 2005: I am a single woman who consciously and proactively decided to become a responsible mother on my own.
In fact, in 2009 New Oxford’s New American dictionary considered “Choice Mom” a contender for word of the year. Whether that is a true mark of legitimacy I cannot say, but the new term is increasingly popular. I created it as an alternative to its older sister (created by Jane Mattes more than 25 years ago), “single mother by choice,” to put the emphasis on Choice, not Single, in our motherhood journey. Most of us did not choose to become single mothers. Rather, we chose to become mothers, even though we are single.
I estimate about 50,000 of us make this decision each year in the U.S. alone. That’s based on a U.S census report indicating that more than 100,000 single women aged 30-44 give birth each year. Roughly half of those women have a partner but are not married, which means they are not a Choice Mom. But if you add in the fact that many single women choose to adopt rather than conceive, and the certainty that many single women each year are actively trying to conceive, I think my estimate is pretty sound.
Some of those women accidentally conceived, of course, which might seem like a blessing to those of us struggling to consciously do the same. But in my view, any single woman who proactively decides to build a family on her own – whether she’s had two years or eight months to ponder and prepare – is a Choice Mom facing enormous challenges and joys, with a strong and growing community around her.
In this blog I will speak to and for these single women. It is not an easy step. Especially if you are attempting to conceive without a sperm partner lying next to you in bed every 28 days. Especially if you are over the age of 35, as most of us are. Especially if this is NOT how you dreamed of creating a family.
As moderator of the Choice Moms discussion board, which has more than 1,200 members, and the ChoiceMoms.org website, I have a decent sense of the concerns we face in making this decision and living this life.
But I welcome your questions and comments here as we begin to take the Choice Mom journey together.