Have any of you read the article “Single Moms are Crazy!”?  I read it (you should too). 

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/10/shaming_the_single_mom_do_we_all_secretly_think_single_moms_are_.html

I will admit it, before having HJ I did not understand how a women could let herself become pregnant without meaning to.  There are so many things out there…birth control, condoms, plan B, abortions.  People don’t become parents without making that choice.

And that is true.  I was on the pill.  Once I became pregnant, I knew abortion was not an option for me.  I made the choice to bring my child into the world as a single parent.   I also knew what people would think.  That I am a slut, that I deserved it, that I was essentially ruining my child’s life.  That a child deserves both a mother and father and I was not giving them that option. 

The article even states “…that a large majority of Americans still view single motherhood as unacceptable and, in the colorful words of the poll, “bad for society.”.  Even with more and more children being born outside of marriages, the country still sees it as bad.  I think they picture the single parent to be living on welfare (taking their money), getting unemployment, sitting at home drinking and not taking care of their child.  They don’t realize that these are also college educated, professional working adults.

I remember the looks I got when I told people I was pregnant.  And the responses.  Not the squeals and cheers the rest of my friends got.  I received pity.  And the “how did this happen”…which I would eagerly respond with a sex talk…I mean really, what do you mean how did this happen?

I also get the statement “I don’t know how you do it.”  Really?  Do people expect that I will just curl up in a ball until I wither away?  No, life goes on.  I don’t know how you put up with a jerk of a husband in a loveless marriage.  I don’t know why you think raising a child in a non-loving environment is better.  I don’t know why you think your life is superior to mine and I don’t know why you think I don’t see your looks of pity.

When I meet new people or run into people I haven’t seen in a while, I introduce them to my son.  Then I get asked, “So what does your husband do?”  I let them know I am not married.  Then I watch the “oh crap” look go across their face.  Sometimes it frustrates me.  Other times it makes me laugh.

I also hate when someone’s spouse is out-of-town for a few days and they say, “guess I am being a single parent this weekend.”

Really?  You have to figure out how to pay all your bills on one income?  You have to figure out how to explain to your child why your family is different?  You have to figure out how to maintain a household, a job, a social life and child rearing all on your own?  Oh wait no, you just have 2 days of no spouse around, my bad.

When I became pregnant, I read a book on becoming a single mom.  The thing that stood out the most to me said that as a single mom, I will be judged more critically than other moms.  That any misstep I take will be taken 10 times worse than if I was married.  And, that when going out in public I should take an extra 5 minutes to throw on a nice outfit and put on some makeup. 

As much as I wanted to write the author a “screw you bitch” letter, I find myself thinking of those words often.  I feel like I do have to look presentable, have a clean house and act like the perfect mom.  And it is hard.  Heartbreaking.  Overwhelming.

There are days when I do want to curl up in that ball and wish the world away.  But there are more days where I realize how truly lucky I am to have been given such a wonderful gift, my son.

So as much as I actually do care what other people think, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that my son is happy.

6 Thoughts on “Single Parenting

  1. I just read the article. Did you read some of the comments posted under it??! One lady even wrote:
    (Choosing single parenthood, is choosing to cheat your child out of seeing a functioning couple at work as they grow up. If you can’t provide that, give it for adoption to a couple who can. SIngle mothers and deadbeat dads breed single mothers and deadbeat dads. This is not opinion – it is statistical fact.
    It’s NOT good for society.)

    I’m so angry I’m boiling inside. Okay I need to step away from my computer and take deep breaths before I start writing nasty things on her page.

  2. Oh my goodness, yes! I stopped reading them because of the ridiculous ignorance some of the responders had. Are all these commenters telling me they would rather see the child in a household with parents who yell at each other then with one loving parent? And do they honestly think that single mothers and dads breed the same thing? I know people raised in single parent households who have done amazing things (like the frikken president of the USA) and on the other side I know people who have lived in married parent households whos children trun out awful. Ugh, clearly, don’t get me started on this…

  3. I can’t read the article, I have a feeling I’ll get to angry. But I hear everything you’re saying up there. I hate that people misuse the term “single parent”, they treat it as an emotion, like, ” I feel like a single parent”. UM, what? I don’t say I feel like I have cancer. I don’t know what that feels like. Oftentimes people only see the realm of single parent in physical or financial terms. What they don’t realize is how hard it is emotionally to have no support, and no one to talk to but a 2 year old. Great post girl, you’re a great Mama and HJ is lucky to have you!

  4. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I feel more pressure to be “perfect” because I’m a single mom. Especially when it comes to dating/social life. If I was away from my child for a night with my husband I think it would be viewed differently than if I go out with friends or am on a date. But you know what? I do my best to not let it get to me. I’m a good mom and I know that you are too. That’s all that matters. Not the judgements of others who have virtually no idea what we go through or have been through.

  5. Thank you for writing this. I am a single mom too – I followed you over from Hellobee (I’m Ms. Fairy Wings there). When I read this it felt so good to know that I’m not alone. I hate when people ask me about my husband. I feel completely self conscious about getting pregnant without planning on it but also feeling like it really isn’t anyone’s business. Completely relate that having my son is the best thing I’ve ever done, but also the toughest and sometimes the loneliest. My little guy is 9 months, so it’s inspiring to know you’ve paved the way through the first few years. Looking forward to following your blog.

    • I was almost in tears reading your post the other day, thinking “I know how you feel!” Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, frustrations, venting, etc! It gets easier 🙂

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