Rebranding the Single Mom℠: Lindsay Curtis
I can’t clearly remember how I came across Lindsay’s work, but I do know I have thoroughly enjoyed her writing and her perspective on solo parenting. Reading her reflections on single motherhood reminds me that single mothers are as diverse as married mothers, and that there is a commonality that exists as well.
I don’t know about you, but I love nothing more than knowing that I am not alone…and with that in mind…hope you enjoy Lindsay’s story.
Name: Lindsay Curtis
Occupation: Communications Specialist
Bio: Lindsay is a lesbian single mom by choice. She’s a writer, voracious reader, knitter, cross-stitcher and coffee consumer. Lindsay is an ex-pat American living in Toronto, Canada.
Website: Solo Mama Life
Facebook: The Daily Awe
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a 34-year-old American living in Toronto, Canada. I began my journey in 2011 and became pregnant using a known sperm donor in May 2012. My daughter, Evelyn Jean, was born at home on February 8, 2013.
I am a single mom by choice – I’ve had relationships. Even a couple of really good ones that were full of love, laughter and learning. But none of them panned out and I’ve always wanted to be a mom, more than anything. I never prescribed to the theory that we have to wait for “right person” to come along in order to have kids. Do I think I’ll be alone forever? Definitely not. But for now I am, and I’m okay with that.
In what little spare time I have, I enjoy writing (including for my blog), reiki/energy healing, yoga, knitting and Netflix binging way too late into the night.
How many children do you have?
One daughter, Evelyn, who turned 2 in February 2015. I was a traditional surrogate in my early 20s to two little girls who are my biological daughters. But I don’t raise them – only occasional visits – so I have one daughter I raise, and 3 biological daughters.
What has changed the most since you became a single mom?
My entire life! I mean, what hasn’t changed since becoming a mom? For me, I never “became” a single mom. I chose to embark on this parenting journey on my own, so my world turned upside down in the best way the day I became a (solo) parent.
When you have one of those days…you know the kind I am talking about…and you have to dig down deep…what is it exactly that helps you pull through?
A good cry is always therapeutic. A venting session with my best friend always helps keep me sane, too. On the really rough days, I remind myself of what my grandma always used to say, “This too shall pass.” It’s so hard to remember when you’re in the thick of a difficult day (or days or weeks or months!), but it’s really true.
Who are your role models in life?
My own mom is one of my role models. When my sister and I were just 6 & 3, our father died, leaving my mom a single mom. She fortunately had family nearby and a wonderful network of loving friends, but she showed me that even in the thickest grief, a mother’s love trumps all. You really can rebuild your life/yourself after devastating loss. She taught me so much about resiliency and love.
My other role model – and this is going to sound a little crazy – is my future self. I’m always working towards the mother I want to be, the woman I aim to be. I do my best to work to be the best version of myself.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about single mothers?
That we’re all poor, down on our luck and can’t keep a man. Nothing could be further for the truth for me. For one, I’m gay and don’t want or need a man. I’m not poor, I’m not struggling. I chose this life, and I love my little family. Not every single mom is down on her luck and in an unfortunate situation.
And…ugh…what is the worst thing someone has said to you about being an unmarried parent?
I’ve been discriminated against when searching for housing – one landlord went so far as to tell me he wouldn’t ever rent to a single mom because he wanted to ensure the rent got paid. Yeah. He actually said that. I never quite understood just how deep these perceptions of single moms run, and the obstacles single moms face. It’s not right, and that’s why I’m proud to share my story and help rebrand the single mom.
This may sound petty, but one of the things I loathe hearing is, “Oh! I’m a single mom this weekend just like you!” If your partner is going out of town for business or working late one night, you are not a single mom. Not even a little bit. If your partner comes home to relieve you of your mom duties eventually, or helps pay the bills, or provides emotional support, then you are not a single mom. That one really chaps my ass, can ya tell?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about (single) motherhood?
To follow your intuition. I think this is universal for all mothers. Advice is all good and fine, and sometimes it is actually helpful! But you know your life, your situation and your child best. Listen to your inner whispers and follow them, always. It’ll never steer you wrong. You don’t have to follow the mainstream way of thinking if it doesn’t jive well with you. You do you. You’re the mother your child needs.
What makes your heart sing?
The sound of my daughter’s laughter. Seeing joy spread across her face in her happy moments. And – (drum roll please) – alone time! I love those rare moments when my daughter is at daycare or out with a friend, and I can just do whatever I want on my own for an hour or two. That usually involves cleaning, but something about the very rare kid-free time I get really boosts my energy and does a world of good for my mental health.
What perspective is missing in the broader single mom narrative that exists in this country?
I’m continually shocked by just how negatively others think of single moms. When I embarked on this journey on my own, I knew some single moms had a bad “rap”, but didn’t realize just how pervasive that perception was. It hurts me to my core that people assume we’re all poor or in a situation we desperately need help to get out of. It isn’t true. There are a growing number of single moms who choose this path on their own. There are others who didn’t necessarily choose it, but aren’t poor and suffering.
And how are you #RebrandingTheSingleMom?
I share my story on my blog, Solo Mama Life. I work to share my perspective as a single/solo mom who chose this life. I break all stereotypes of single moms: I’m gay, I’m financially secure, I am not hard up or working to get out of a situation. I like my life. I’m happy (most days). I share my life and my story because I want people to know that single moms are brave, strong, smart, and have lives & goals that are outside of their “mom” label.
What is the single biggest surprise you learned about being a single mom AFTER you became one yourself?
Just how much harder the little things would be. When you have a little one (baby or toddler) and you’re the only one at home, it’s harder to find opportunities to do things like take the garbage out or lug the laundry up from the basement. There’s no one else there to watch your little one while you do these so-called “quick” chores.
If you are interested in sharing how you are Rebranding the Single Mom – drop me a line!