Plan B: Marriage
Written by
Sheana Ochoa
July 2011
Written by
Sheana Ochoa
July 2011

Plan B: Marriage



After getting married I knew my status as The Next Family blogger would have to change from a “single mother by choice (SMC).”  I told my editor going from a SMC to an urban dweller didn’t sound as sexy.  I wondered how an urban dweller is representative of a modern family, the audience to which The Next Family caters?  Haven’t there been urban dwelling families for centuries?  Sure the fact that I had my two year old on my own by anonymous donor, and then married the man who would become his father makes this urban-dwelling-family different.  So different that I have new worries I hadn’t considered before:


v Since Noah won’t be asking why he doesn’t have a family he will assume my husband is his bio father.  When and how do we tell him he is not?


v If we have another child, how will Noah feel that s/he is daddy’s biological child and Noah is not, that Noah is different?


v How will daddy’s feelings about his “real” son or daughter be different from those of Noah?


There’s no doubt that having a father around is a good thing.  But although I knew Noah might encounter feeling different among his peers at school, I didn’t anticipate he might feel different in his own home with his own family. 


Among the SMC community, we mothers have predecessors to help us answer certain questions.  “Why don’t I have a daddy?” being the primary one.  When the day came, I knew I would tell Noah: “There’s lots of different families.  Some kids are raised by their grandparents, others just their moms or two moms or two dads.  You have one mom and everyone else that loves you from your aunt to grandma.” And depending on his age when he asks, I might be able to add: “I wanted you so much that I had to actually plan to bring you into this world.  I had to save money and have long serious talks with grandma and wait a year until I felt healthy enough and I had to make a lot of doctor’s visits even before I got pregnant.  It was the biggest decision of my life. Do you know why?  Because I knew that I would love you so much that I couldn’t stand living without you.  And now here you are because Mommy wanted you so badly.” 


I am grateful that Noah is young enough to not be aware that my husband isn’t his “real” father.  Experts say that kids learn their most important social/emotional coping skills by seven years old.  So, if Noah gets to seven feeling secure and confident, I think he’ll be able to deal with “the truth.”  For instance, if he sees our wedding photos and notices he is the ring bearer, he’s too young to ask why we were married after his birth.  But I’m sure there will be many other “clues” along the way that will prompt him to ask questions and I want to be prepared to answer them.  Presently, I’m not. 


When I decided to have a baby on my own, I didn’t have to think about this turn of events.  I never thought plan B would be marriage.



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  • Bridget Straub

    I have 3 kids, each born just as Noah was, only when I did it few others were. My son is now twenty five, and I have two girls, thirteen and eleven. When I had my son I was sure I'd be married and was only wishing to get started on the large family my future husband and I would have. Only he never showed. Ten years after my son was born my clock was ticking loudly. I wanted more kids, but having raised my son as an only child I knew another baby would benifit from a close in age sibling, so I went for two more.

    I have always told my kids families come in a million different ways, and I'm happy to report that not having a dad has never become a huge issue. My son has said he doesn't know that having a dad would have made a big difference. My middle child has never expressed any concern and my youngest has said it would be nice, (as have I) but so far it hasn't been in the cards.

    Noah is lucky and that's how I would present it. He was wanted by you as any future children will be and your husband loved you both enough to make you a part of his life. Congratulations on having grabbed the brass ring!