Monday, July 26, 2010

Working my Way Toward Becoming an SMC

So, here I am, working my way toward becoming a single mother by choice – reading books and articles, taking advantage of a great local SMC group, haunting the national SMC listserv for insights and information, surfing cryobank donor lists. I’m dotting all the “i"s and crossing all the “t”s, taking a pre-natal vitamins, trying to eat better and get more sleep. I’m making lists and generally trying to stay in control of everything I can.

And I’m laughing.
Because if there’s anything I’ve learned from my friends who are parents, my own parents and the kids in my family, it’s that being a good (and not insane) parent has a lot less to do with how in control you are and a lot more to do with how well you deal with all the things you can’t control. And, wow, is this process a test of those skills. I can control which donor I choose; but not his honesty in his profile, or diseases that haven’t manifested yet in his family (come on, his parents are barely older than I am!), or how he’ll feel in 18 years about being an “open” donor. I can’t control what the mix of genetics will be, or what that means for my child. But I can remember that my own mother often jokingly “apologizes” for the traits I’ve inherited, like “sorry you got the fussy-about-how-the-dishwasher-is-loaded gene” or “you come by that low-threshold-for-idiots thing honestly”. Even with two parents, or a known donor, you can't control which things, good or bad, shine through.

I can do my best to not worry about all those things I can’t control. I can listen to music that centers me and makes me feel strong. I can seek out the people in my life who support and encourage me and avoid the ones who don’t. And on the days all that doesn’t work, I can have a glass of wine and try again tomorrow. I’m working on keeping my sense of humor; on embracing the crazy, wonderful absurdity of this journey; on not letting my usual mantra of “but what if…” get in the way of the joy. And I’m still laughing.

Robyn, 39, getting ready to TTC


  1. Great post. Great attitude. Good luck, Robyn!

  2. LOL! we must be related because i, too, have the "fussy about how the dishwasher is loaded gene" and the "low threshold for idiots gene."
    kate, smc in ny

  3. Thanks, this has helped me so much. I am learning to accept all that I can't control too. My new mantra: "I can't do anything about what I can't do anything about." I am taking the same steps and you make me feel better.