Рубрика: Choice

The Study

This is an in-depth, audiotaped, interview study of sixty-hve single mothers who were over the age of twenty when they had their first child and were economi­cally self-sufficient at the time of the interview.1 Initially, I was interested in the decision-making processes that led to older women becoming single mothers and whether or not fathers […]


This study was triggered by a small but intriguing advertisement in a Brookline, Massachusetts, community newspaper. The headline read “SINGLE ISSUES.” It went on: Is single motherhood for me? 9 sessions on decision-making for women whose biological clock is ticking. Explore single parenting options vs. childfree living. Call Jane Smith at. . . The ad […]


Below are short summaries of women featured in the book. This appendix is meant to connect featured women with basic demographic information, details too cumbersome to include in the body of the book. All women have been given pseudonyms, and I have changed certain details for some women to protect their identity, such as sex […]

Reflecting Back

These women’s stories had changed much, much more than I ever expected. Hearing the new ways women explained their lives and choices today made them alive for me once again, not simply subjects with paper transcripts. It is no secret that life does not always turn out as planned, and in many ways, this reality […]

Diluting the Mother-Child Family

Joy McFadden, whose story opens the book, had reorganized her life to better accommodate the growing number of baseball, basketball, and soccer games that occupied a substantial portion of her children’s time. One of the few women to have two children when first interviewed, she preferred to be in the cheering sec­tion at those games […]

Does This Marginalize Men?

High-tech science, such as parthenogenesis, may be slow to reach the masses, but families created without dads are here now. As this book has discussed, the place of men is already being questioned by these women, and the best conclusion many can muster is that men are a luxury item. For children without dads, mothers […]


Middle-class single mothers are here to stay. However, the future is less about women who chanced pregnancy or chose adoption and more about donor-assisted families. These women are challenging norms of both family and reproduction. While it is news that single motherhood has moved into the middle class, and important legally that these women are […]

What Does It Mean to Be a Good Mother?

How better to circumvent the power of the new women than with the idea of mothering not as care but as creation. Every moment for children is a teachable moment—and every moment missed is the measure of a lousy mom. —Anna Quindlen No woman in this study wants to be called a “lousy mom,” especially […]