The Mother of All Dilemmas: Dreams of Motherhood and the Internship That Changed Everything
“You really should have kids.” Hurtling toward 40—and still single and longing for children of her own—Kathleen doesn’t need to be reminded that time is running out for her to turn her dreams for a family into reality. So she starts to consider a Plan B: becoming a single parent. But can she do it all on her own? And does she really want to? If only I could try it out, she thinks. For wouldn’t an internship as a single mommy help her make major life decisions? And then….
In an open, thoughtful, and sometimes hilarious memoir, Kathleen shares what she learns while caring for her 15-month-old nephew, Jake, while his parents travel. With Jake, she experiences the realities of single parenthood, including a taste of the loving affection she craves, fierce tantrums that test her best aunting skills, moments of bliss amidst exploding poopy diapers and ongoing sleep deprivation, and ah-hahs that have her questioning whether she has wasted her life.
And that’s just the start of her journey. Back at home, she unpacks and examines the societal baggage that led her to believe a woman’s only true value is as a mother. Empowered by her experience, research, and introspection, she learns to embrace the different paths women choose, including the one she ultimately chooses for herself.
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“This book…offers information and solace to a great many single, childless women struggling to move forward either with pursuing the hope of solo parenthood or making peace with not doing so. This is the first time I’ve seen the dilemma of whether to have a baby, or not, as a single woman so well-articulated, and Guthrie Woods has done future generations of women facing this difficult choice a great service with her painstaking honesty and emotional generosity.” —Jody Day, psychotherapist, author of “Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children,” and founder of Gateway Women
“Kathleen Guthrie Woods takes readers on a journey of hope, determination, and resilience, ultimately to discover what matters most. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘You should have a baby,’ you should definitely read this book.” —Melanie Notkin, founder, SAVVY AUNTIE®, and author of “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness”
Early reviews on Goodreads:
“Guthrie Woods gifts the world with her personal journey, one that will touch the hearts and minds of many, and, for some, be the voice in the wilderness they’d been searching for. “
“Funny and introspective, thoughtful and courageous.”
“The true beauty of the book is that she adeptly weaves in her compassion and empathy for women in ALL circumstances, with AND without children. She bravely looks at all sides of this multi-faceted issue of “to be or not to be” a mother with humor, candor, and deep insight.”
About the Author
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a San Francisco–based freelance writer whose columns “It Got Me Thinking…” and “Our Stories” appeared weekly on Life Without Baby. In her day job she writes feature articles and advertising/marketing materials for a wide range of clients. Her essays and articles have been published in Full Grown People, San Francisco Attorney, Westways, Diablo, and 805 Living.
With Lisa Manterfield, she co-authored Life Without Baby: Holiday Companion, a compilation of humorous, healing, and thought-provoking posts designed to help other childless women get through the holidays. Childless-by-circumstance, Kathleen is also the author of The Mother of All Dilemmas: Dreams of Motherhood and the Internship that Changed Everything, a memoir with a message that chronicles her journey to making peace with and embracing life without children of her own.
Kathleen shares her world with her handsome husband, delightfully rambunctious dogs, and a much-loved family of choice that includes nieces, nephews, and godsons.
Check out her blog, 52Nudges, for which she takes weekly “risks” to push her out of her sometimes-too-comfortable nest, and find out about her latest creative endeavors at www.facebook.com/KathleenInk.