Single Parenting

Single Mom?

A year or so ago, a celebrity gave an interview to a trashy tabloid news magazine, (for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the celebrity, suffice to say, I have T-shirts older than her) and in that interview, she referred to herself as a single mother because her NHL Hockey player husband was away for weeks at a time.

The internet exploded.  Single mothers everywhere saw red…..then purple……then pretty much every other color of the spectrum as they threw fits of rage and spewed venom. 

It was spectacular.

Then came the “us” against “them” brigades, trying to dictate who had the right to call themselves a single mother and who didn’t.

I read quietly from the cheap seats and bit my tongue.

There were even memes on Facebook, cataloguing just how hard it was when married women (or men) had a spouse that travelled extensively, again citing the fact that they felt like they were single parents and how difficult it was to hold everything together.

Some of the people who shared these memes are people I consider good friends and whom I respect deeply, so it didn’t bother me.

The thing that did bother me was the fact that yet again, woman was turning against woman, trying to shame, explain, ridicule and devalue someone else’s experience because it wasn’t the same as theirs.

It really saddened me.

Through out millennia, women have been oppressed.  We have been beaten, branded, stoned, burned, subjugated, brushed aside, marginalized and exploited. Every inch of progress we have gained as a gender we owe to the women who have gone before and have suffered so much and sacrificed all.

And yet, it took one question to put us back at each other’s throats.

Where does this come from?

I have an eight-year-old daughter, and with her, it started in Junior Kindergarten.  For two years she had a frenemy that was, in turns, kind one day, and sneaky and cruel unkind the next.

My daughter was ostracized and excluded to the point where she suffered from anxiety which manifested itself in physical symptoms.  She didn’t want to go to school and was in pain EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Why are young girls conditioned to be cruel to each other? Is it because we don’t have the physical strength of men, so instinctively we realize we must utilize covert means to get what we want?

If so, why does it manifest so early in our young women? I wish I had the answers.  If you go online you will find a plethora of information, papers, and theories that will attempt to explain the phenomenon of girl-on-girl crime, but nothing will really give any concrete way to solve the problem.

Either way, the “single mom” debate inspired some real animosity from both sides.

And I don’t get it.

I’m a single mom.  I’m the type of single mom that does it all.  My babydaddy child’s father lives across the country, and although he is a good man, we don’t see him much.  When I was pregnant, I saw him even less, and had to go through the whole process alone.

My experience as a single mom has been one of bone deep weariness, gut wrenching anxiety, loneliness, crushing responsibility, and endless….and I do mean endless amounts of guilt…that I am continuously fucking messing up.

But it’s also the experience of raising a beautiful, bright, funny, awesome little human who is, in SO many ways a gift from the Universe.  Every single day, I have moments where I know it was all worth it because she is the greatest love I will ever know.

So, just because I define my “single mommyhood” with these parameters, does that give me the right to judge others who call themselves single mothers?

I don’t think so.  After all, isn’t it about perspective?

  • To the mother in a loving marriage who must hold down the fort while her husband is away for weeks at a time, YES, you are a single mom.
  • To the mother that has 50/50 custody of their children who works like a fiend when her children are at her ex’s because she doesn’t want to be still long enough to realize how much she misses them, YES you are a single mom.
  • To the mother that has to drive her children two hours to their spouse’s house every other weekend, so they can get quality time with their father, because even though the round-trip drive is exhausting, you know how important it is for them to have time with their father, YES, you are a single mom.

We are all single moms. 

There is room enough on that pedestal for all of us.

P.S.  There’s also room for all of you single dads too.

Got any single mom stories? Share in the comments below, let’s support each other!

And do me a favor, help me reach more people by sharing my site with your friends (only if you like it, of course.)

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