Why I hate being called a “Single Mom”
At first, it terrified me. I couldn’t even speak the words myself. I was scared, unprepared and frankly, a bit embarrassed. I recently shared a quote on my social media pages that read, “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like & celebrating it for everything that it is.” A quote by Mandy Hale from www.livelifehappy.com. It resonates with me but not like it would have back then.
I was subconsciously stereotyping myself before anyone else even could. I was going to be a young, single, mother. That’s why it took me so long to leave his dad in the first place. I was so worried that my family would never look like this fairy tale I had envisioned in my mind. The picture I had created to escape reality for a while. I had no idea how we (my unborn baby and I) would make it on our own. Could I even do this parenting thing? There is so much to learn and no one to make decisions with… How would I survive breastfeeding through the night with no support? How would I manage returning to work and juggling all of this? Even more real than my fears were my insecurities, the ones reminding me that “I did this” and somehow I was “at fault for something.”
I cringed when someone said the words, “single mother.” My mind was tricking me into thinking they were judging me when in reality, most just felt for me. I could tell people wanted to support me but I wasn’t sure if the thought of them judging me or feeling sorry for me felt worse than the other.
Fast forward through some of the hardest days of my life… Once I was able to alter and take control over my own mindset, I was able to conquer my fears and insecurities. I began to feel like I could conquer the world, my son and I. I didn’t even realize it at the time… Sure, I was overjoyed to be a mother and my new baby? He was the sole reason, I held it together. But once, I was really, truly, free of the negativity, I opened up a whole new world of happiness for the two of us.
I must tell you a secret… Listen close…. When you’re happy, people notice. Someone I never thought would notice, did. He asked me out. And I said no. Because I had become somewhat cynical about men and truthfully, I was afraid…. I hadn’t really thought about dating until my son was in college or maybe at least done breastfeeding…
He finally told me, “I’m not asking you to marry me, I’m just asking you out to dinner…”
And well, I think I sort of replied with something like, “eh, why not?”
So, as I saw it, I survived being a single mom and falling upon true love. Now, the rest is history 😉
But, why does it still bother me so much? Being referred to as a “single mom?” I’m certainly not scared and far more prepared… I don’t parent alone anymore. I have an equal partner on my team now. Sure, it’s still hard sometimes, parenting always is. But what’s so different now is that, I have someone to confide in and make decisions with. Someone who takes turns getting up in the middle of the night and who like me, doesn’t get to clock out. Loving my son is our full time job and I’m so blessed to have someone to share that with.
So yeah, it kinda “erks me” if you will, when someone still calls me a single mom. Someone who sees me everyday, has some insight to my life, even a friend… Someone who still goes on to say how hard it must be, how tired I must be and how much work it is…
I kind of want to yell at them, honestly. Not in a mean way. But in a “HELLO, WAKE THE HECK UP!”, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THE LAST TWO YEARS?!” kind of way… I want to tell them that they should save that pity and sympathy for a mom who really needs it. Cause’ at one point I did. At one point, I did need the people closest to me to tell me, it is so hard, but you’re not alone.
Today, I want to scream from the mountain tops, how incredibly blessed I am! I am NOT alone in this. I have someone by my side at the very start of every day and at the sleepless ends of every night. Someone who is constantly learning everyday how and what it means to be a parent, just as I am. I want to tell the whole world about how lucky I am to not have it hard. How “single mothers” don’t always fall in love as quickly as I did or find a man with an endless amount of patience, love and gracefulness to accept this life with his whole heart and soul. I want to tell them that I try not to take this life for granted. How blended families come with different challenges but no more than the rest of us. How some nights I get breaks even when I don’t want them. Single mothers don’t get breaks…
I want to tell you how full my heart is. How lucky my boy is to have so many people that love him. One mom, two dads, 8 grandparents, 5 great grandparents and endless amounts of hugs and kisses from aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Blended families come with no shortage of love.
So, no, I am not a single mother. I am a Mother. I am also; a life partner, a friend, a sister, a daughter and so much more but single, alone, scared, helpless or pitiful are things I am not.
Be happy with me. Be happy for me.
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