We’re building a diverse group of up to 8 Advisory Board members: NotMoms from America and around the world. Members share talents in website and content development, marketing, sales, events and more. Their contributions shape strategies to help this site grow in size and service to our community.
If you’d like to be considered for a 3-month term, contact TheNotMom@gmail.com.
Just hearing the idea of TheNotMom.com gave me breathing space. How good to know that I was not alone. I always assumed family and children were in my future, although I was never actually sure that I wanted children. And I really didn’t…until I did.
As a single woman I was a NotMom by choice. As a married woman I became a NotMom by chance. When I was single, I spent time as a Big Sister and as a mentor, and during my marriage I was a summer stepmother to my now-ex’s children. There weren’t children in my immediate or local family…no opportunity to be “the good aunt”. And, I spent a long time feeling the childless void.
But, in a weird spin of the universe, years after my divorce, my (former?) now adult stepdaughter and I connected and have developed a wonderfully close, albeit long-distance, relationship. She’s a wonderful woman and I adore her…and I do fervently (but silently) hope she has children (shhhh….).
After more than 35 years as a TV producer/director and manager in Washington, D.C., life has relocated me to my hometown outside Philadelphia. Opportunities abound on this new leg of the journey…I’m honing my skills in hands-on video and photography, dipping my toes into E-Bay sales, reconnecting with friends and family, pursuing my baking passion and finding ways to share my spiritual gift of hospitality. Oh…and enjoying the guilty pleasures of Pinterest!
I’ve had a lengthy, and some would say, distinguished career in journalism, covering politics and political campaigns. I compare the latter to the labor of a Hebrew working for the Pharaoh! I’ve covered the White House and national politics for The New York Times, and foreign affairs and the White House for USA TODAY where I also worked as an assistant managing editor.
I switched to TV as a senior producer for ABC’s Nightline, where I wrote and produced an award-winning show about the digitization of 1930s and 1940s interviews with former slaves. Later, I returned to newspapers as Washington editor for the Examiner. I eventually left and worked on local political campaigns and as communications director for a national civil rights organization and a major utility.
Right now, I manage communications for The Sentencing Project which works to reform sentencing and the criminal justice system. I’m also a columnist for the Baltimore Post-Examiner online newspaper and a frequent contributor to The Root and a food blog on the Peace Corps website called I Don’t Speak Cuisine.
I always assumed that I’d be a mother, but my marriage didn’t work out and I didn’t feel the maternal instinct enough to have children on my own. The last time I thought about the possibility was in my late 40s with a man I loved. Didn’t happen. I’m a second mom to several former students, and I’ve got 27 godchildren. My youngest godchild graduated from college in 2012, so I’m hanging up my madrina hat. Would have loved to have had children as part of a husband-wife team, but that ship sailed and I don’t regret it.
I am a by-chance NotMom and at peace with that status. I have replaced that NotMom title with ROCKSTAR. Divorced after 17 years, I spent over 10 years trying to conceive knowing full well it was not a healthy relationship. I thought, “It’s OK, because once I have a baby I can care for it and provide for it and it will fill this void.”
Today, I am finally living my LIFE. I have a great job with a Fortune 100 company that pays the bills and allows me to follow my passions of cooking, travel, and spirituality. And, I’m a rockstar among my Momfriends since I come and go as I please, including sweaters without stains, a clean house and car that doesn’t have fries and cleats spread throughout it.
I’ve met an amazing man who delivers me coffee in bed every morning, and I’m the best Auntie around (real and to friends’ kids). I show up for babysitting gigs with supersized slurpees and candybars, and I will to teaching them phrases like “Ain’t No Shame in My Game” and the words to Sir Mix a Lot’s Baby Got Back. I get the best of both worlds: love, hugs and kisses and freedom from pukey nights.
Growing up on a dairy farm, I was taught at a very early age that the main job of the female in any species is to breed. When faced with infertility, I felt like the ultimate failure. It wasn’t until I decided to stop trying that I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I faced all the same comments and shame that many by-chance NotMoms face, the guilt of thinking there is something we must have done wrong in this life or a past one to be punished so harshly.
Now, I truly look at my NotMom status as a blessing, though some days I do feel that familiar tug at my heart. Most often, my life is so full and busy, the words of Aerosmith (“I don’t want to miss a thing“) ring true. ROCK on ladies!
Alice Ann Hengesbach
Having children is something I took for granted until at the age of 17, I was told that it was physically impossible for me to have my own. That piece of information, directly delivered by a matter-of-fact OB/GYN, has colored my life ever since … in diverse and ultimately wonderful ways.
I was born in 1949. I am single and I share my home with a Labrador retriever named Banks. My professional adventures cover the gamut from professional responsibilities at Fortune 500 companies to working in a factory. I have discovered along the way that if I keep my soul open to possibilities, I will see opportunities all around me to enjoy life, and children, too. It is my hope that as an aunt, a friend, and a role model, my life will be a positive in the eyes of a child. I also hope that through the dialogue offered on this site, other women will feel welcomed as they explore their own NotMom experience.