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Lusty Lady

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

More on Mary F. Pols

Well, just a snippet I found on her website:

One of the things I loved about Lamott, and her book, was the fact that she seemed so un-phased by her status as a single mother, as though it fit with her rather bohemian lifestyle. But I wasn't that cool. I was terrified. I had craved the traditional and was aghast, constantly, by what I'd gotten myself into.

By the time I sat down to write my own memoir, I'd come to terms with my situation—almost—and wanted to speak to women who might be like me: older, desirous of children, but not exactly open-minded to an alternative life as a mother. My brain had always shut down when someone encouraged me to "Do it on your own!" "Easy for you to say," I'd growled inwardly. My goal in telling my own story was to encourage women to reach beyond the familiar parameters of American life and parenting culture. It's all hard, no matter how you slice it, or what it looks like.

One of my friends had said to me, in the early weeks of my pregnancy, that I should remember I'd be "alone in this emotional landscape." I was crushed at the thought. And ultimately, I found that wasn't true, at all. My son's school is filled with examples of non-traditional families. But my friend's perspective was telling; that is indeed what many people believe about single motherhood. My belief is that modern women could use more support in making these kinds of untraditional decisions. I myself was pushed into it by circumstance. I'd never, ever, have made this decision without that twist of fate. In retrospect, I'd go there willingly, a hundred times over.


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