Christine Coppa of Glamour.com’s Storked! recently finished her memoir on becoming a single mother and the title? Rattled! Very appropriate, don’t you think?
Like me, Christine, was 26 when she found out she was pregnant. Three months later her boyfriend made it clear he didn’t want to be a part of their lives.
I hope you enjoy these interviews.
MSM: After JD’s father left you have said you were bitter, but have since let that go. What helped you forgive and move on?
Christine: There’s no point to live life bitter. Life, mine in particular, is beautiful. I have a healthy, happy, thriving child, an awesome career and loving family and friends. I’ve been through a lot in my twenty-seven years (things I examine in my book, Rattled!) and those experiences have aged me far beyond 27. I know what’s important. Spending time being pissed off–not important. Feeding ducks with your toddler–important.
MSM: Your new book, Rattled! is set for release in April. Why do you think every single mother should own a copy? Don’t be modest, I want you to brag because I’m just in awe that you managed to write it in the first place and I personally can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Christine: I don’t know how I wrote it either. I can’t believe it’s done and that JD is 14-months old wearing size 24-months clothes. It’s pretty rad to have done this. For one thing, Rattled! doesn’t glorify being a single mother. My book is a lot darker and more raw than my Storked! readers are used to. I spare no one–especially myself. Going through my pregnancy alone, wearing a belly under my sweater and not a ring on my finger was a huge, life-changing experience. I cried more than I smiled in those nine months–it wasn’t until JD was born that I realized for the rest of my life, I am the luckiest woman on the planet, because I have my JD. He saved me. Completely. Rattled! is many things. I hope it’s a cautionary tale for 20-something women. You have sex sans protection, the threat of pregnancy is real. And whether you keep the baby, your life is changed forever. My advice. Be safer than I was. It’s also pretty laugh and cry out loud.
I have to say, I was reading the final manuscript the other day and I tried really hard to remove myself as the author. I was cheering for Christine in those 25 chapters. But what I really want the readers to take away is that life does happen. In a way this book isn’t even about getting pregnant. It’s about catching a curve ball, learning from it…moving on…not being so afraid of the unknown, but rather excited by it. Life holds many secrets. It’s kind of awesome. What’s next for me? I can hardly wait to find out.
MSM: Have you started dating yet? If so, how has it been? If not, why not and when do you think you’ll be ready?
Christine: I’ve been asked out several times, but no, I’m not dating. The past year of my life was a whirlwind–I had three babies: JD, Storked!, and Rattled! Some haters on my blog labeled me desperate and I have to laugh. Wouldn’t a desperate single mom actually date or beg her ex to come back? I know life will unfold, organically…I’m not a huge planner and dating, well, it’s not a priority right now, but now that my book is done and some of the pressure is off, I think I might take a certain someone up.
That said, I don’t really intend to write about my dating life on Storked! Or anywhere for that matter
MSM: You have called yourself the real life version of that girl in the Knocked Up movie. I hated that movie – just because of the cheesy, and completely unrealistic happy ending. Did you feel the same way? What message do you think that movie sends to young single women?
Christine: Have I? Oh God. Something new I can regret writing. Sometimes I look back on Storked! and I’m like, why did I write that? But, I guess that means I’m changing. I’m not Allison at all. I was in a relationship. I didn’t get pregnant on a one-night-stand. JD’s “father” was practically living out of a suitcase in my apartment. But, Hooray for Hollywood, right?
The movie made me laugh at a time when I thought I was the only single, pregnant woman around. It’s funny, Knocked Up, Waitress and Juno all seemed to come out when I was pregnant. Ya know, the movie was cheesy, but I’d like to believe some women are as lucky as Allison. And thanks to the movie I know it’s okay to play fetch with my kid.
MSM: I ask everyone this one – why do you love being a single mother?
Christine: I don’t love being a single mother. I love being a mother. I love my child. I love the life we have created together. I love snack time when JD shares whatever he’s eating with me (even chewed up cheese), by popping it into my mouth. I do not actually like being single. I’m comfortable being single (and have actually always been the loner-type). For now it is how things are. Single and mother…I wish the two weren’t married like they are. Two, completely different words.
MSM: You’ve written on your blog about suddenly being labeled as a single mother and said that you weren’t really comfortable with that title. Because when it comes down to it – you are a writer. Now that the book is finished, has your attitude changed any?
Christine: Storked! made me a single mother. Not JD. To JD I am just his “mum.” To myself I am JD’s “mum” and a writer…and for the time being single. I am not the poster child for single mothers. I am not a single mother that woke up one day and decided to try her hand at writing. I will not be defined by “single mother”…changed, sure.
MSM: And finally, what is the most valuable piece of advice you would pass on to single mothers?
Christine: Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Still there? You’re fine. Now go play on the swings with your kid and feel the sun on your face. You’re blessed.
Christine M. Coppa is the author of Storked! on Glamour.com. Rattled! is her first book and comes out in April ’09. She lives in North Jersey with her son JD and thinks nap time is better than Manolos.
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