25 episodes

The Motherhood Reimagined Podcast, hosted by Sarah Kowalski, celebrates all paths to motherhood. Whether you're contemplating whether to become a single mother by choice, still trying to conceive, or already raising kids, this is the place to be to hear from single moms by choice who didn't follow the rules as they share the heartache and joys of their paths. Each week we interview a choice mom about her journey, or an expert on fertility, donor conception, sperm donation, adoption and more. Get inspiration and support about being a solo mom.

Motherhood Reimagined Podcast Sarah Kowalski

    • Health & Fitness

The Motherhood Reimagined Podcast, hosted by Sarah Kowalski, celebrates all paths to motherhood. Whether you're contemplating whether to become a single mother by choice, still trying to conceive, or already raising kids, this is the place to be to hear from single moms by choice who didn't follow the rules as they share the heartache and joys of their paths. Each week we interview a choice mom about her journey, or an expert on fertility, donor conception, sperm donation, adoption and more. Get inspiration and support about being a solo mom.

    024: Sige 2: Grateful to Be a Parent Despite a Rocky First Year of Motherhood

    024: Sige 2: Grateful to Be a Parent Despite a Rocky First Year of Motherhood

    Welcome to the last episode of season one of Motherhood Reimagined. To mark the end of this season I have invited a return guest to the show. Sige was my guest for the second episode of the first season. During that interview, Sige was pregnant with her son and told us she would come back to tell us how she felt about the single-mother-by-choice path.
    It has been thirteen months since our last conversation and she is very honest and raw about the first year with her child. She shares her struggle with me and reflects on how her feelings have changed since our first episode together. Sige has an unusual living arrangement that she recommends to other single parents. We also discuss dating and how parenthood changes your expectations of a partner.
    I was really glad to have Sige back on the show and I feel her point-of-view is important for anyone curious about the single-mother-by-choice option.
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    Welcome back Sige to the show.
    The arch Sige experienced during her son’s first year.
    The struggle with resentment and sleep deprivation.
    Sige’s emotional roller coaster over the last year.
    How she has dealt with going back to work.
    Sige’s support system and feelings of isolation.
    Why mindset is the most important part of parenthood.
    The unique co-living arrangement Sige has and why it is great.
    The qualities she is looking for in a partner now.
    Sige’s opinion on single parenthood.
    A revisit of our first conversation and Sige’s answers now.
    The “secret club of parenthood.”
    The single mom stigma and how Sige copes with it.
    Sige’s advice to women considering the single mother path.

    Resources
    Sign up to be a podcast guest
    Motherhood Reimagined Website
    Motherhood Reimagined Tribe
    Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming a Mother Doesn’t Go As Planned: A Memoir by Sarah Kowalski
    Sarah’s email
    Thank you for joining me for the end of season one. In a few weeks, I will begin a second season. Please feel free to share your feedback with me and take a look at my other content.

    • 35 min
    023: Katerina: Making Single Motherhood an Empowered Choice at Age 23

    023: Katerina: Making Single Motherhood an Empowered Choice at Age 23

    My guest today is slightly different than the others. Katerina decided to be a single-mother-by-choice at the age of 23. Katerina tells me why the single-mother path was her first option and why she found it empowering.
    Katerina conceived her son via a sperm donor. She tells me about the donor selection process and the things she had to consider to make her plans reality. We discuss her support system and the early years with her son. Including the loneliness that comes with motherhood.
    She is now married with a second child and living in Mexico with her family. We explore how she and her family wound up in Mexico and how it has changed their lives for the better. Katerina is also very candid about the adjustment of going from single parenting to a partnered relationship. She shares what it was like to date with a child and how it gave her a more grounded experience during the process.
    Katherina also runs a company called the Non-Toxic Unicorn. She tells me about her passion to help others make healthier choices for themselves and their families. So if you are looking for natural alternatives in your daily life, check out the Non-Toxic Unicorn.
    Today’s episode is a wonderful reminder that single motherhood is a legitimate path.  It was so nice to hear that this path to motherhood is so much more than a “last resort.”
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    Katerina’s early expectations of motherhood.
    Why she made the decision to be a single mother so young.
    How she chose her sperm donor and the qualities she wanted.
    Her family’s reaction to her decision and how they supported her.
    Katerina’s unique work arrangement and coping with leaving her infant at home.
    How Katerina “grew up with her son.”
    Why motherhood can be so lonely.
    Katerina’s “journey box” and her plans for the donor conversation.
    How Katerina met her husband and added to their family.
    The adjustment of solo-parenting to co-parenting.
    Why Katerina and her family now live in Mexico.
    The benefits of raising children in Mexico.
    Motherhood is surrendering, not sacrifice.
    How insurance can be an option for someone considering the single-mother-by-choice path.
    The Non-Toxic Unicorn
    Katerina’s final thoughts.

    Resources
    The Non-Toxic Unicorn

    • 39 min
    022: Jackie Abby and Sarah: Margaritas and Childcare: Why We Decided To Move To México

    022: Jackie Abby and Sarah: Margaritas and Childcare: Why We Decided To Move To México

    In today’s episode, we’ll be doing something a little bit different from the usual format. I’m interviewing my two friends, Jackie and Abby, who also live here in Mexico. We’ve received questions about how we ended up here and why, so we wanted to talk about how we met, why we moved here, and what’s different about living in Mexico versus living in the states.
    Jackie, Abby, and I met in a single-moms-by-choice travel group online in a thread discussing the idea of moving abroad to save money. In today’s episodes, we talk about what our lives were like before moving to Mexico. Abby describes being frequently stressed and rushed, with little time for a social life. Though she had a strong support system, childcare was very expensive. Jackie also talks about how her long commute ate into her day and how childcare was more expensive than she’d originally counted on, due to her son’s heart condition. She took a pay cut in order to work remotely from home, but still couldn’t find much time to go out due to the expense of childcare.
    In Mexico, their lives are very different. Abby describes having around seven and a half hours to herself while her children are in school. She has time to train as a pediatric sleep consultant, with an eye to opening her own remote business, while also taking a Spanish course, volunteering at a midwifery clinic, and working part-time. And she still also finds time to do yoga, exercise, and have coffee or lunch with friends. Jackie says that her job keeps her busy during the week, but she enjoys the beautiful views and delicious foods available in Mexico. She describes how much more affordable life is in Mexico – she can afford to have a standing babysitter, go for a massage or pedicure, and generally enjoy a more balanced life with more social activity than she was able to have in the states.
    Abby, Jackie, and I also talk about the differences between healthcare cost and access in Mexico as opposed to what they were accustomed to in the US. Jackie and Abby talk about when they first started thinking about moving abroad and what the process was like for them. We discuss how satisfied we are with our lives in Mexico, as well as some of the harder things about making such a big move and adjusting to life in a new country, and Abby and Jackie share some tips that they’d give to others thinking about moving abroad with kids, as well as discuss when the best time is to make a big move when you have children.
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    How Jackie, Abby, and Sarah met
    What Jackie’s, Abby’s, and Sarah’s lives were like before moving abroad
    What Jackie’s, Abby’s, and Sarah’s lives are like in Mexico
    How healthcare is different in Mexico than in the US
    When Jackie and Abby first started thinking about moving abroad
    What the process of moving abroad was like
    Advice that Abby and Jackie would give to others thinking of making a similar move
    How satisfied Jackie and Abby feel with their decision to move to Mexico

    • 1 hr 12 min
    021: Brenda: Double Donors, Finding Your Tribe and Juggling A Career

    021: Brenda: Double Donors, Finding Your Tribe and Juggling A Career

    My guest today is Brenda, a single-mom-by-choice who had a difficult 4-year journey to motherhood and has made it her mission to help women feel empowered about their reproduction options. She shares her shock at the realization that her OBGYN never mentioned the finite window of fertility. Brenda believes that it is an important conversation to have and encourages women to be proactive in the conversation.
    Brenda tried IUI (Intrauterine insemination) with no results and ultimately decided to switch to donor egg IVF (In vitro fertilization). Using both a sperm and an egg donor, was difficult and quite mentally taxing decision. We discuss how she conquered her bias toward the double donor path and why she considers it one of the greatest gifts anyone has given her.
    Sadly, Brenda’s first two pregnancies with donor eggs ended in miscarriage. It was discovered that she had a problem with her immune system that had to be medically treated through shots and a doctor’s watchful eye. She tells me about these painful moments and explains why she kept pressing on to her goal, even when it seemed everything was against her.
    Brenda says that one of the things that got her through the grueling process was a support group who became a second family for her. She explains how their ups and downs helped put her own struggles in perspective and kept her on the path.
    Brenda’s story is very similar to my own and I feel a deep connection to her thoughts and feelings. If you are considering the single-mother-by-choice path just remember that education is key to preparing yourself for the journey. That’s why Motherhood Reimagined was created and I want to help you make informed decisions about having your own family.
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    The pressure Brenda felt when the prospect of marriage was not on the horizon.
    How a conversation with her OBGYN changed her life plan.
    The 4-year journey that led to many setbacks but ultimately ended with a child.
    The misconception that pregnancy is an easy process.
    The fears that arise when telling your family about your plans.
    The statistics that pushed Brenda into the double donor path.
    The immune system issue that led to specialists and difficult treatment.
    What the road looked like for Brenda after the miscarriages and how she carried on.
    The support group that kept her going.
    What Brenda considered in her donors and why she hopes to meet the sperm donor someday.
    How Brenda approaches the donor-conceived conversation with her son.
    How her journey has changed her perspective on family and the world around her.
    Why women need to take more control of their fertility.

    • 55 min
    020: Vivian: Finally Owning the Desire to Be a Mother and the Joys of Motherhood

    020: Vivian: Finally Owning the Desire to Be a Mother and the Joys of Motherhood

    Vivian began her path to motherhood with a plan to conceive a child with a close friend. Sadly, she miscarried and a new plan was in order. She chose a sperm donor and moved forward on her journey. We discuss the difficulty of changing “the plan” and what it taught Vivian about herself.
    She has also made the decision to have a second child via a sperm donor. She explains why she felt now was the time and her hopes for a larger family. We explore the excitement of finding half-siblings and how it fleshes out the family experience for both the mother and child.
    Vivian is very candid about her ideas of motherhood and how it has evolved over time. Specifically, she discusses the shame she felt during her dating years around admitting that she wanted a family. Unfortunately, this shame is very common with career women and Vivian is very honest about her reasons and mental hurdles she had to conquer to ultimately choose the single-mother-by-choice path.
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    Vivian’s romantic notion of marriage and family.
    The shame of admitting out loud the desire for a family.
    The original baby plan that failed.
    How Vivian switched her thinking from a personal agreement with a friend to using a sperm donor.
    The factors she considered to select her sperm donor.
    Vivian's plan for a second child and where that stands currently.
    Connecting with half-sibling families and how it helps everyone involved.
    Why Vivian decided to try for a second child.
    The pros and cons of raising a toddler.
    The irrational fears using a donor brings to the surface and how to combat them.
    How Vivian’s view on her donor has changed.
    Vivian’s support team and learning to ask for help.
    How motherhood has changed Vivian’s approach to life.
    Why you need a plan for your child in the event of your death.

    Resources
    Sign up to be a podcast guest
    Motherhood Reimagined Website
    Motherhood Reimagined Tribe
    Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming a Mother Doesn’t Go As Planned: A Memoir by Sarah Kowalski
    Sarah’s email
    Thank you for joining me fo

    • 55 min
    019: Tammy: Double Donors Abroad and Not Being Scared to Pivot

    019: Tammy: Double Donors Abroad and Not Being Scared to Pivot

    Tammy is a single-mother-by-choice who used both an egg and a sperm donor to conceive her son. She went to Panama for donor egg IVF with sperm she had shipped from California Cryobank. We discuss the decision to leave the U.S. to have her fertility treatments and IVF (In vitro fertilization) process. She became pregnant on her second try and came back to the U.S. to deliver her child.
    The pregnancy was difficult for Tammy, she had gestational diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia. As a result, her son was six weeks early. The premature birth completely wrecked her home return plans. Tammy does express gratitude to the NICU for preparing her role as a mother. She also celebrates postpartum doulas and why she found hers indispensable.
    Tammy is very open about how motherhood has changed her, including her decision to leave the U.S. and make some lifestyle changes for herself and her son. That opens the door to the conversations about the benefits of being a solo mother and how this path has a lot fewer complications than coupled parents. We both agree that the single-mother-by-choice-path needs to be more accepted as a plan A, not just a plan B. Don’t get hung up on the definition of family, the concept is changing and that’s a wonderful thing!
    Some highlights of today’s conversation:

    Tammy’s expectations of love, marriage, and family.
    Why she waited till 47 to pursue motherhood.
    Why Tammy went to Panama to pursue egg donor IVF and why it was a good experience.
    How she managed to find a doctor in the US to liaise with the doctors in Panama.
    The challenge of seeking fertility options overseas and working with the U.S. as well.
    Tammy’s difficult pregnancy and premature birth.
    How premature birth ruined any support system plans.
    Why it can be hard to ask for help.
    The benefits of hiring a postpartum doula.
    Tammy’s health issues and why she has made some major life changes.
    Why single-motherhood is great!
    The importance of separating marriage and romance from parenthood.
    Why dating isn’t a priority for Tammy.
    How to create your own support system.
    The cohabitation trend within the single-mother-by-choice community.
    How the new generation is redefining the meaning of family.

    Resources
    California Cryobank
    Sign up to be a podcast guest

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

saraw12 ,

non-white guests??

Love the show — find it helpful, and feel very fortunate to have found this podcast so I don’t feel so alone.
However, each episode is so overwhelmingly about ONLY white women - culminating in the most recent episode, “Sige 2”
- which was one of the most insulting podcasts I’ve heard in a LONG time. She (in my opinion) tried to suggest that because she is a single mom, she now knows what it’s like to be a black person in the United States (she used the word ‘minority’ but I understood that to mean ‘black’) REALLY??? Is she sure she wants to say that??? So embarrassingly ignorant and arrogant - at the same time.
And, worse, stated in the a flippant, condescending tone of voice. As though she had a deep, life-changing epiphany.

Anyway, despite that particular show — I still am very pleased to be able to listen to you. Just wish you might consider representing a more inclusive point of view.
I realize white women may be the majority going through this, but that doesn’t mean that infertility doesn’t affect people of other ethnic backgrounds as well.
For instance, what is it like to choose a donor if you aren’t white?? Especially a double donor?? And what if you are biracial?? How many donors would you have to choose from, exactly? How does that work??
That is something (one tiny tiny point) that I have never heard addressed anywhere at all. It seems that someone could highlight the universal experience we’re in, and not 100% exclusively the white person’s experience - especially when it’s under the guise of being inclusive.

Jenny Lee B ,

Amazing Resource

I enjoy these podcasts immensely. Each one is consistently informative and reassuring. I’ve been on this TTC path for a realllly long time. You give me hope and help me think through and push through my fears. Thank you!

TammyDenver ,

Love hearing these stories!!!

As a fellow solo parent (mother) by choice I’m constantly amazed by how touched I am by each episode. Sarah has done a great job of building a resource for anyone considering or already walking this path. Thank you and keep up the good work!!!

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