Plan B: Marriage

By: Sheana Ochoa

After getting married I knew my status as a blogger for The Next Family would have to change from “single mother by choice” to “urban dweller”, which, I told my editor, 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:

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

-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?

-How will Daddy’s feelings about his biological son or daughter be different from those he has for 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 father.

Among the SMC community, we mothers have predecessors to help us answer certain questions, with “Why don’t I have a daddy?” being the primary one.  When the day came, I knew I would tell Noah: “There are 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.”


  1. says

    Sheana, so many worries. I think it will all make sense to Noah when he needs to know the answers. He will assume Jordan is his dad and you just had him before getting married. If Jordan adopts him he will be his dad. This will all play out when it becomes necessary and the questions are asked. Stop worrying and enjoy married life (plan B) which you didn’t think would ever happen. :) How is Plan B working out? Love your thought process.

  2. Sheana Ochoa says

    Thanks Madge and Shannon, I guess I thought it was all figured out. “You make plans, God laughs.”

  3. Julie says

    Congratulations! That’s so wonderful! I know you will process it beautifully with Noah when the time comes.

  4. Marian says

    Truth from the start, is my opinion. If you tell him while he is young, it won’t be a big deal to him and you won’t have awkward questions/moments later. Just don’t make a big deal about it. The bare facts, plus how much your husband (his daddy now) loves him!

    Congratulations – I’m very happy for you!

  5. Rachel says

    Things will work out Sheana. Noah couldn’t ask for a better mom
    you will know when the time is right to have the
    discussion. Love your work!

  6. says

    So happy for you… and happy to hear I’m not the only who has had these same thoughts! I’m not married, but if I ever do decide to tie the knot, I wonder what it will be like to have a mixed family – half siblings for my son, and a step-family. Although you are now techinically an “urban dweller”, you represent so many families where blood doesn’t really mean “family” at all. Congrats!

  7. Lydda Ochoa says

    It doesn’t matter who our ” biological ” family is. All that matters is that we are loved. Noah will know this, just as many other people, myself included, know. Families these days are so blended and diverse, it will probably be no big deal to Noah. He’ll just be part of the norm. You’ll be fine, you’ve always known the right things to say with me. Love you!

  8. Lara says

    I think that if Noah ever is told that he was chosen just for Mommy, that he was that special that Mommy went to such feats to have him, it will make him feel more special than other children who were not chosen. In many ways he is more precious for this reason. Also your husband not only chose you but Noah as well, thereby making is a conscious choice.All in all he was a chosen special baby.

  9. Sheana Ochoa says

    Thank you everyone, but especially you Lara, your post made me cry. Chosen. That is the “mot juste.” and that is what I’ll tell Noah. He was chosen. Thank you.

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