S2E1 - How I Spent Three Days Without Kids & Updates

Episode 1 September 27, 2023 00:27:00
S2E1 - How I Spent Three Days Without Kids & Updates
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S2E1 - How I Spent Three Days Without Kids & Updates

Sep 27 2023 | 00:27:00


Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In the season two opener, Aisha reflects on her journey from a reluctant podcaster to a passionate storyteller. She discusses the joy of podcasting, sharing stories, and connecting with listeners as a "friend in someone's head." The upcoming season promises a diverse range of episodes, including conversations with authors, discussions on adoption, and more. Aisha also shares personal experiences from her busy summer, raising her kids, and navigating the dating world. As she enters a new phase with her children growing up, she acknowledges the challenges of transitions but is leaning into each moment. The season will also feature a Frequently Asked Questions episode, so listeners are encouraged to send in their queries. Stay tuned for an exciting and insightful Season Two!

Submit your frequently asked questions here so they can be answered on a future episode and via personal email from the host of Start to Finish Motherhood.

Interested in learning more about summers as an SMC checkout this video on YouTube click here. 

Read about our summer here. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Welcome to Start to Finish Motherhood, a podcast for those thinking or already single mothers by choice. Just looking for practical advice for navigating life's relationships. When you decide to have children on your own, it doesn't mean that you're completely alone. I'm Aisha Jenkins and I'm partnering with you every step of your journey. Hi. Hi, everybody. I'm so happy to be here. I've missed you all. This is season two. I'm so excited to catch you all up on what's been happening with the podcast, what's been happening with me and the girls. So let's go ahead and get started. So I may have mentioned back in season one that I initially started out as a reluctant podcaster. I am typically a behind the scenes person and I don't really share a whole lot about myself. So podcasting was a real welcome surprise to me. I mean, I've always enjoyed audiobooks and so it kind of makes sense that I enjoy podcasting as well. I enjoy listening to people's stories as much as I enjoy telling and sharing a little bit about myself and other people's stories here on Start to Finish Motherhood. So I think the voice is a wonderful tool and you get a unique opportunity to be the voice or the friend in someone's head. And that's one of the things that I thoroughly enjoy about podcasting. I enjoy listening to friends in my head, but also I like sometimes being able to impart knowledge and being the friend in your head as well. Okay, so the other thing that I really enjoy about podcasting is that I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and interesting people and a lot of them have been guests here on the podcast. So season two is going to be awesome. I feel like I've hit my stride. I really had to come out of my shell a bit to invite people to be on the podcast and to really listen for the stories that I thought would resonate with you all. And so I'm excited to be able to share a lot of those stories and different voices here in season two. Okay, so switching from a co hosted podcast to a solo one wasn't exactly easy. Like, I had to find a way to talk to you all without you actually being here and without you conversing with me while I am in the moment. I mean, I get your feedback and I get your emails and I appreciate them dearly, so thank you and keep them coming. But I really had to find a way to get the humor and to get the stories to come across to you the way that they occur in my mind or the way that they occur, like in the moment if it's something funny with one of the kids. And so that is a unique skill. And so I had to really listen to different podcasts, recommended podcasts to see where my actual lane was. Okay, so let me catch you up on my summer. To my surprise, it was a busy summer, and I don't know why. Well, okay, I do know why, because we start planning summer sometime around January. And so it is almost like you're playing Tetris with the dates and your calendars and your family and trying to line things up and kind of project into the future where you're going to be, how you're going to feel. And so I thought I was spacing things out enough to give the kids a variety in their summer and to give me a little bit of breathing room or a little bit of a break, but that just was not the case. The summer was like, whiplash, and I need to reevaluate my planning for next year. So anyway, the kids are doing great. I have a little person who turned four and is really coming into her own and is setting boundaries and body rules and just her thought process. I love talking to her and hearing her tell her sister, nobody's checking for you, Otis, or Mind your business, or I said, no. And it's just like she is a fully formed person who's just, like, running around and forming her thoughts and her words. And then I had another little person who turned nine, and so she's fun because we're working on money conversations. So lots of money conversations about where does money go? It goes in your wallet. How you plan for a shopping trip, that you have to have a plan for the money before you spend it. And also, like, a respect for money, because right now, she balls the money up and she puts it in her purse. I find dollar bills here. And, I mean, it's like I was a kid again, like I'm finding money in the washing machine. And so I finally had to sit her down and tell her, there's a certain respect that we have to have for cash tender, right? We don't just ball it up. We put it in a wallet. We carry it in a purse when we go out to spend it. We don't put it all out on the counter in little balls. Like, you count out your money, you count your change when they give it back. So lots of money conversations and lots of conversations around responsibility. She wants a family pet, and I do not want a family pet if I'm going to be taking care of that pet. And so we're having lots of conversations about individual responsibility and what that would look like if she had a pet. And so she slowed her role a little bit on that. But I think it's a personal motivation of hers to execute her morning tasks and her routines and show that she's responsible with her little sphere of influence, which I love watching. And again, the conversations just keep getting better. She makes me think she is a critical thinker. She asks good questions and I absolutely adore her and I enjoy my time with both of them where they are developmentally. Okay, so the kids are good. The podcast. The podcast is going so well. As I mentioned, this is season two. We're rolling out a good number of episodes in this season. I've recorded episodes with book authors. I've recorded episodes with young 20 somethings who are thinkers and movers and shakers in the world. I've recorded episodes about adoption journeys, about interracial adoption. I've recorded stories loop back with some people from season one to see how they're doing. So we just have a whole smorgasborg of episodes that are coming down the pike and I think that you'll really enjoy them. So I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback. So I really thought that this summer I would have enough time to put together a conversation workshop. If that's something that you think you'll be interested in, let me know by sending me an email so that I can get a count of how many people might be interested in doing a workshop with me. And this would be a workshop where it might be good to bring a family member or someone who will be a part of your village to help support you. Because we can do some Q A and talk through some of the more challenging conversations that we will have as single mothers by choice. I've been having quite a few conversations around donor conception. So now the kids are getting into more details about donor conception and asking more meaningful questions. And so just navigating that and up, I guess, making the language more in line with where they are developmentally. Now my daughter is having more outings with friends and their family. My oldest and So is asking questions about her dad, her upbringing. The baby is still asking questions about my mom and my dad who are both deceased and so just kind of talking them and answering their questions. So I'm following their leads. So if you're interested in doing conversation workshops, just let me know. Send me an email, send me a smoke signal, reach out to me on Instagram, and then I can get one of those scheduled. I just ran out of time this summer and just really ran low on energy. Like my August was just crazy. Okay, so I've been really blessed to be on both sides of the mic over this past summer. So I've been recording with other podcasters, appearing on their podcast. So if you're not already following my link tree, it's linktree.com start to finish motherhood, I will put those in the show notes as well. So I've been on a number of different podcasts. I talked about gardening. I talked about being this wonderful space of being a mom. I am appearing on a podcast where I talk about fertility. I'm planning a podcast where we talk about more fertility and we just kind of go on tips and tricks for IVF if you're doing IVF or considering fertility treatments domestically and abroad. So just a lot of stuff that I sat down and really thought about what you would like and what you would appreciate hearing about and listening to and so hopefully it's both education and entertaining as well and hits the spot and resonates with you. Okay, so I've also spent part of the summer focusing on creating some YouTube resources for those of you who follow the podcast on YouTube or those of you who just follow A Day in a Life on YouTube. I also have some gardening stuff there as well. I'm a gardening nerd, but I really wanted to think through the questions and concerns that I had when I was just getting started. And then as my trying to conceive hit the skids, what things would have been helpful for me to know? What were some techniques and methods that I tried? I plan to do one around financing because trying to conceive as a solo person can be expensive. And I may have mentioned this in the past where I'm not a materialistic person. So when I started trying to conceive and was running low on funds, I had an opportunity to sell, sell all the things that I wasn't using, all the jewelry that I'd gotten from dating and being married, and I just got rid of all of that. I'm not really a materials person, I'm more of a spend time with me, hang out kind of person. And so it gave me an opportunity to really clean house and clear out all of the stuff that was taking up space. But I used those funds to help finance my trying to conceive journey for my second child. So all of these resources can be found on my YouTube channel. I talk a little bit about what led me to become a single mother by choice. I talk about the five stages of being a single mother by choice. Many people and some of your family members might think that you got up one day and decided, I'm going to become a single mother by choice. What a lot of people don't know is that it is sometimes multiple weeks, multiple months or multiple years of thinking and planning and scheduling and testing. And it was a few years for me. I think I started thinking at 31 or 32 and I didn't start actively trying until about 36, 37 with my diagnostics. And luckily I did because I did have a fibroid. And so it gave me an opportunity to think through what that would mean and get the fibroid removed and all of those different things. So start early, there's a lot of thought that goes into it and so don't minimize it and don't let other people minimize that for you. And so, yeah, the five stages now I'm in the stage of parenting and also adulting. So I took a stab at trying to date over the summer and you have to have a sense of humor is all I'm going to say. So do check out my YouTube channel subscribe and turn on notifications and then you'll be up to date on whenever I release new videos and I try to release a new video at least once or twice a month just because it's a nice change of pace while I am going through and listening to the season two of my podcast. Okay, I will link to my YouTube channel in the show notes as well. Let's see also, if you are a black woman or a person of color and you're interested in getting deeper into community, feel free to join my Melanated Single Mothers by Choice Facebook group. It's growing. People are really making intimate connections, which I appreciate. I think that having a single mother by choice community is just as important as having your own village that you're born into. Single Mothers by choice can offer both you and your kids a perspective, an extra layer of support. In person or virtual. I do have both in person and virtual communities. I'm in the melanated single mothers by choice community. That's the community that I run, and you'll hear my voice most often in that community. But I also participate in other single mother by choice communities. So if you do not identify as a black woman or a woman of color, there is a Single mother by choice community for people who are 35 and over. I can send you the link to that. There's a Single Mother by choice community for women, people who are in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. So if you are looking for a virtual community, reach out to me, send me an email at [email protected]. And I'll happily recommend a community for you. I like to be in safe spaces that's not the Wah West, where we treat people with kindness and respect and a healthy dose of healthy, loving honesty. And so those are the communities that I would recommend. Okay, so one of the fun things that happened this summer, now that the children are getting bigger and I feel comfortable that they can fend for themselves, one of my godmother, my Godmother, the children's godmother offered to take them for a few days this summer. So I had three nights and four days all to myself. And let me tell you, you become a changed person after you have kids. I was feral day one. The kids missed me. I missed their little faces. I was happy that they were in a safe place, and I was happy to just come home and just veg. But I really missed their little faces and their hugs and kisses. My four year old called me and she was just like, Mommy, I like it here, but I really miss you. I really miss you. [00:15:45] Come get me. Come stay with us. And so it's just like, yes, honey, no, okay, so day one, it was during the work week. So I had my standard nine to five job, but I didn't have to get up at 06:00 in the morning. I was able to just get up and roll out of bed. However, I roll out of bed and I'm hybrid now. So some days we're in the office, some days we're at home. So I did all of that. I thought that by trying to start dating in May, by August, I would have built up some momentum to actually have an adult play date. And the dating pool is just horrible. But funny, that did not happen. It's quite interesting. I had one guy who lived in Virginia, same as me, was just like, oh, it's going to take me 2 hours to get to you. Two and a half hours at least. And I was just I mean, I guess I wasn't invested enough to even ask the question why. I think the point is that once he gave me a graceful out, I was like, oh, okay. And then there was another guy who well, let's just say he said that he was sending me PG pictures and they were not PG. I was not pleased. And so there ended my escapades at trying to date over the summer. So anyway, what I ended up doing was doing a lot of laundry. I treated myself out to dinner. I had dinner with some coworker friends, which was wonderful. Night of enjoyable adult conversation. I slept in. I recorded podcast episodes. I did the kids laundry and put their laundry away. And so, let's see, I spoke to the kids, I had some wine. The introvert in me was strong. Aside from going out with my coworkers and really connecting that way, it was in the middle of the week. And then when Saturday rolled around, I really just did not want to do anything. I just wanted to Netflix and chill with myself. And so that's what I ended up doing. And so that was how I spent the three days away from my kids. I was feral. I did get up and shower and brush my teeth, but the rest was just I ate whatever. When the kids are here, you try to pretend to put together healthy meals. But really if I felt like eating cereal, I ate cereal. I took an opportunity to have Ethiopian food because my kids are just like, no. And I'm just like, yes. And so I ate what I wanted, I slept when I wanted. It was awesome. And then I got to see their little faces. So that was great as well. So it was a nice balance and a nice reprieve from a crazy summer. Let's see. So here's the thing. Trying to conceive with my second child, it was not easy. But I'm now on year four and I'm almost out of the mandatory daycare stages. And I think it is throwing me for a loop. I feel like I am quite emotional about it. They say that when you're a parent, the years go by quickly, but the days seem long. And I look at my nine year old and I just see her being a preteen and a teenager and I'm just like, oh my gosh, she's already like, mom, like, chill. And I'm looking at her like, who are you? I look at the four year old and before I know it, she's going to be nine. And I'm just like, oh my gosh, I'm not ready. When you plan on being a parent and you plan for as long as I did, for some reason it goes by really slow in your head. Like I fantasized that I would get down and play with them. I would read all of these wonderful books, but it's just like the time goes by so quick. They have to go to bed at a certain time and they have to get up at a certain time and it just goes by so quick. And I'm looking at them and I just hug them and I kiss on them and I snuggle them. And I am just this big marshmallow with an edge, but still a marshmallow. [00:20:07] I'm going through a bit of an emotional transition. [00:20:12] It almost feels like there's comfort in the struggle. There's comfort in always being tired and trying to find a way to make ends meet. I mean, financially, next year it will be kind of what it was pre trying to conceive. And I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. And I mean, who's not ready for that? But I really had to sit down and come up with a plan of what I would do differently. The different ways that I would self care, the different way that I would build in some breathing room for me to release. And so I am going to be taking advantage of a regular babysitter now that both kids are big and they can fend for themselves and they have ideas of the things that they want to do without me, that I'm just like, okay, so I can carve out three or 4 hours on the weekend to just pamper and take care of mom. I've already been trying to prepare the kids and letting them know and keeping it real that mommy needs a break, mommy needs some me time, or just give me 2 hours to take a nap. You all go and play and they do it. And so I appreciate them for being so cooperative. [00:21:29] I'm going through that transition. And so the other transition that I'm going through is that some people will say that once the daycare years are done, that doesn't mean that the spending ends at that point. So for me, one of the things I tried to do to balance it all as a mom and to keep the kids sane because I never wanted to have them running rushing, rushing, rushing, doing all these different kinds of things because I think when you do that, kids don't always articulate their stress levels well. So I try to balance out what we do. Like on the weekends, we do one thing per weekend and then the other day is just for us to veg and connect as a family and do whatever we want to do. I try to limit the number of birthday parties to the ones that they ask for when they're able to ask for birthday parties. So I really try to balance what we do in terms of activities because I don't want to be that person who's tied to the car while I'm driving and dropping the kids off. I really wanted to be able to connect with the kids. And so you pick the one or two things that you want to do and we'll focus on those things and then everything else will kind of wait until we get past that phase and we hit another opportunity to decide what it is that we want to do. Now that works for me, but I say all this to say sometimes we get caught up in the activity creep, right? And it's just like you don't have to do everything that other people are doing. You can stay the course because what's important for you and your family. So for us, daycare is mandatory. All of the other activities are not necessarily mandatory, they're optional. And it's optional based on whether I want to do it or the kids want to do it and are enthusiastic about doing it. So I relieve that pressure from myself and from them. If they're going to do sports, they can do it in middle school, they could do it in high school. My job is just to expose them to different opportunities. But it doesn't all have to be at the same time. I don't want to be tied to a car on weekends. I need time to veg. That's the introvert in me and that's the part of me that gets to exist in the family as well. But all that to say, if you're curious about all that we got into over the summer, for me, the garden was my happy place. And so it was a nice balance for a good portion of the summer until it got hella hot. And then things started just not functioning well and we had extreme heat and then extreme rain, and so it was really hard for me to get out into the garden and really fertilize consistently. So at some point I just stopped. I think in August I just so but if you are curious about what we did over the summer, I try to kind of capture what summer is like as a single mother by choice, in case you are on the brink and you're wondering. So check out my YouTube channel. And then I tried to capture the progress of the garden over the summer as well. So that's also on my YouTube channel. Okay, so transitions have always been hard for me. I'm going through a transition. I'm not exactly sure what to do with all of the emotions, but they'll probably come out in this season's episodes. There were times where I got choked up as well, but there you'll have it. [00:25:00] I think. There you have it. That was a total brain dump of everything that has happened since the end of season one. I am looking forward to getting season two out there for you all, but until next time, connect with me on Instagram. Consider joining the Melanated single mothers by choice group. If you are a black woman or identify as a person of color, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. And then also, if you're interested in a conversation workshop where you can bring a family member or a loved one and your questions, feel free to do that. Oh, and speaking of questions, I am going to have a Frequently Asked Questions episode toward the end of the season. So if you have questions that you have been getting as someone who's either a single mother by choice or are along any of the stages in your single mother by choice journey, or if you are getting questions from family members or just commonly asked questions or questions that you might have, send them to me at [email protected] and I'll happily answer them for you personally in your email. And then also as part of the Frequently Asked Questions episode for season two. All right, until next time. Thank you. [00:26:23] Thanks for listening. To Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha, if you want to keep the conversation going, follow Start To Finish Motherhood on Instagram or email me at [email protected]. If you love this episode, please share it with anyone who's thinking of becoming a single mother by choice, anyone who's already parenting as a single mother by choice and just looking for advice on navigating it all, or a friend or family member who's looking to support someone else's single mother by choice journey. Until next time. Bye now.

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