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.
I recently had lunch with a close friend and former coworker and as he sat down at the table, he looked up at me and said, “You look…You look…so…so…happy.” And without pause I said, “I am! At least much more so than when we were working together at this time last year. God, I was […]Read More ›
My sister warned me. She told me this would happen. A few days before I gave birth to Ellie, my sister called me, sounding slightly frantic that she hadn’t mentioned two VERY important facts earlier on in my pregnancy (and hers, given that our due dates were 3 days apart). “Car, two things…one, you need […]Read More ›
After I graduated college, I frequently wondered when I would feel like an adult.
…After I got my first real job…nope…no adult-y feelings here.
…I got my first promotion and raise and a contract…nope. Still felt like an over grown kid. Who was now making almost enough money to afford living in New York City.
In the past few weeks, a number of people have asked for my advice or insight into pretty large life matters…which is…interesting…especially considering the fact that I ran this morning and have not yet showered (even though it is 11pm) and I can not tell you for the life of me where my keys are right now. I also spent all day Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday.Read More ›
Kenny Rogers may have said it best when he said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away… know when to run.” Perhaps he was talking about gambling…perhaps he was talking about love…or perhaps he was talking about parenting a toddler. I’m gonna go with […]Read More ›
Have you ever felt like you are standing still? Treading water? Not making much progress in this lovely little thing we call life? Yea…I can relate. Um…a lot. No, this is not the beginning of a script for an informercial or a self help book. But I did inadvertently came across the perfect solution for you […]Read More ›
I can’t lie to save my life. And if I manage to tell a falsehood, anyone that even sort of knows me, know that all you have to do is ask me twice to get the real answer out of me. Friend: “Do you like this paint color?” Me: “Yes!” (said in really high pitched […]Read More ›
There is one topic that I have deliberately avoided writing about on this lovely little blog, and that is romantic love. Yea, I know, I discuss it in the distant, vague, “god wouldn’t that be nice sense”…but I’ve avoided it because, for the most part, there really hasn’t been anything to talk about. Aaaaand I’ve avoided […]Read More ›
I woke up this morning wondering when are we old enough to stop pretending that we either like a certain thing, or are a certain way, or that we don’t abhor doing very unpleasant things, like, oh, I don’t know, wearing high heels. One of my long-time friends gave me this awesome little plaque last […]Read More ›