Cara Lemieux had her first child at age 30; she was single and the pregnancy unplanned. But after working “to rebrand the single mom in my head and in the world around me,” she realized she loved motherhood. Seven years later, she decided to do it again, and once more she’s doing it on her own.
Cara Lemieux is up before her six-and-a-half-year-old daughter, getting in a few work e-mails and maybe a quick workout. Then it’s breakfast, getting her daughter off to school, and tucking herself into her home office, where she works as a senior communications strategist.
By 8:45 a.m., Cara Lemieux has gotten up, made coffee, read and sent a few e-mails, and started writing or editing, all before getting her daughter up and dressed, fed, and out the door. When six-year-old Ellie is on the bus to school, Lemieux has hit the pavement—literally—getting in a morning run or a walk with her neighbor before she tucks herself into her home office for the day.
My daughter and I were interviewed for an AllState series about firsts, and I shared our experience buying our first home and my thoughts on letting go of the life I thought that I should have so that I could fall in love with the life that I do have.
For the most part, they're bone-tired of the pervasive myth that new parenthood represents a restorative time with a delightful newborn. But it's more than merely annoying: This portrayal of new parenthood creates an escape hatch on doing anything to meaningfully support new parents in America.
One afternoon when I was doing research on gender and income inequality, I came across the name Cara Lemieux, digital media strategist for The Shriver Report–“a nonpartisan initiative that raises awareness, ignites conversations and inspires impact around the deﬁning issues and fundamental changes facing modern women and their families.”
I am very close to turning 35. I can see it, just over there on the horizon, a little less than a month away. You know, that age when you go from seemingly fabulously fertile to barren, overnight. Biological clock aside, 35 is one of those milestone ages when you find yourself doing some sort of life assessment.
Cara Lemieux, managing editor of the ShriverReport, wishes someone would make dinner every night so that she can give her daughter a bath without stressing about dinner and the mess that needs to be cleaned up after.“When you are a single parent, all work is linear, so there is no dividing and conquering the management of the house,” discloses Lemieux.
Single moms are no more the picture that is painted of them in the media, than today's wives are a reflection of what was depicted of them in the 1950s. But changing that external image, in my opinion, starts by changing the internal dialogue.
When I got pregnant, I knew very early on that my child was going to be raised in a single-mother household. As most of you may know, statistics show that children raised by single mothers (rich or poor, educated or not) typically have lower grades and are at higher risk of becoming pregnant at an early age, doing drugs and all of the other things we don't want our children doing.
As a single parent to a toddler, there are times when I have found myself steering clear of certain activities for either emotional or logistical reasons, or both. And I must admit that a recent weekend trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., almost fell into that category, until I remembered that Disney World is one of the most child-friendly places on earth, and navigating it would not be much different than navigating my everyday life.
As a single mom with a blog, and what some have referred to as a bold personality, I am used to being asked a lot of questions that border on brash. Everything from the older woman in the elevator looking at her watch… and then looking at my toddler…and then me, and saying, “My, my, my…isn’t coming home from preschool at 5:30 a mighty long day for such a little girl?” to the well-intentioned yet always insulting, “Why are you still single?!?”
I recently wrapped up lecturing to my first college class, which:A) Sounds really funny to sayB) Is something I have always wanted to do, mainly because I was what you would call – reluctant to enter the “real” world. And since graduating in 2002…I’ve really never stopped trying to find my way back to college.
Q: Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions? A: My job is not the same as it was before I had children…which is sometimes really hard for me to accept. There are two main reasons that I left broadcast news and headed in the direction of digital media.
Two things happened today that confirmed all of the rumors I heard stating that in parenthood, the days are long and the years are short…and that they do, in fact, grow up.
My nephew turned five today. A fact that may or may not cue a mental “…awwww…” on your end. And for our family it is awwww-worthy for sure…but it’s also more than that.
So here we are…or should I say, here I am…on the precipice of trading in my love affair with New York City in for a life in the Connecticut suburbs (beyond what I would call daily commuting distance to NYC). I love New York City in a way that so many of my fellow New Yorkers do…This city is addictive. It’s the muse of many online opuses, it’s the birthplace of incredible ideas, the fuel for non-stop energy, the canvas for amazing diversity..Read More ›
Do you ever have one of those days that isn’t terrible or tragic…it’s just one where…you want to stop about halfway through and hit – do-over? Please. Say yes. And tell me I am not the only one.Read More ›
It usually happens at bath or bed time…the parental ponderances…you know…the…“Am I screwing her up? Why is she whining AGAIN about NOTHING? Am I a good parent? Is she growing up to be a good person? How do you teach your child to be a good person? What the hell am I even trying to […]Read More ›
I have often said that there are life events that truly change the core of who you are…that rock you so completely that, although your outer shell may look and sound the same, your insides have been changed forver. For me, unanticipated complete and total single motherhood is certainly one of those life events. […]Read More ›
I don’t do death. I mean, few us really do, aside from the most saintly among us, who provide end of life peace and care to those who are moving on. But aside from them, I think the majority of us fall into the “Eh…I’m not so into death” camp, that I am in. That […]Read More ›
I’ve always had a mild fascination with resilience…and perhaps I have even written about it before. When I volunteered in a pediatric oncology ward, I was constantly perplexed by the fact that some families were able to weather the terrible turbulence that they were being confronted with, and others were clearly crumbling. Was it family? […]Read More ›
I’m not sure if you have caught the Proctor & Gamble “Thank You Mom” ad for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, but if you haven’t, and you either have a mother or are a mother, you will probably want to take 2 minutes and watch it (and if you are anything like me, and then watch it again, and again, and again)Read More ›