Friday, January 03, 2014

Scary Mommy

Today I read this post about a woman with three boys who often says she's "single-mommin' it."

As a single mom with no single mom friends, it's hard to find someone who really gets it when it comes to how hard it really is.  

I started reading her post and got to the part about how her husband is a surgeon and I wanted to throw something at her.  I literally pictured picking up a heavy ashtray (if I had one) and zinging it like a Frisbee at her head.  She has financial support and a soft place to fall and because she's on her own while her husband's making rounds, she thinks that's the equivalent of being a single mom?!  Go fuck have no idea.

I kept reading as I formed my response in my head.  I was going to let this woman have it.  A person can't truly know of the sacrifices and struggles when you have financial help and a soft place to fall.  

Then her post took a different tone.  She acknowledges that having financial support and someone she can call when something happens and just knowing that person is there means she has no idea what single-mommin' it is really like.

Instead I need to happily thank her for the acknowledgment.  

I've been on my own with mine for 15 years.  I tried relationships early on but everyone tries to parent your kid (she already has two, thankyouverymuch) or the non-parents feel the need to judge how you parent.  And, frankly, my partner picker is out of whack.   I made a conscious decision to go it alone.  I didn't want her to see someone in my bed only to find out later it didn't work out as I search for the next.  I had to think 10 years into the future and take the steps necessary to prevent her being a hormonal teen and thinking sex with various partners was normal.  

Overall in life it is normal to some degree, but I couldn't set the tone for her teenage years.  I knew if I had a teen who was having random sex with everyone she "thinks" she likes or loves, that had the potential for disaster.  Plus I'd be sitting in prison for running someone over with my car.

Instead I hope my daughter sees a strong woman who did everything she could to ensure her daughter had everything she needed.  Maybe not everything she wanted when she wanted it, but who loved and encouraged her even when the wind had been knocked out of her Mom's sails the way life does sometimes.  I showed her that no matter what, you can get back on your feet and go it alone and be just fine.

I had to weigh the possibility that I might not be able to show her what a healthy adult relationship looks like - she has nothing to model it after.  But I taught her how to be in a healthy relationship with herself and with family.  I've taught her self-respect.  I've showed her that even in the worst of times when you're crying and think you're at the end of your rope, you still get up and take life on one day at a time.

I won't know until she's 30 and has kids of her own if I did it right.  But this single mom is okay with the decisions she made and while not everyone will understand or agree with my choices, they're mine.  And until you are one, you don't get flap your jibs.  

Single-mommin' it?  Scary Mommy has no idea.


Anonymous said...

There's no simple/easy way is it? I've been with my partner for almost 7 years now (she has 3 kids) and it's still hard as hell at times!

The kids were pre-teens/teens then, now they're teens/young adults.

I totally get it when you say how difficult it is to have someone in your live without them being a parent.

It's hard to be told that you're someone, but to the kids you're nothing since they already have a mom and a dad. also very hard to make any kind of comment about the kids without my partner taking it as me criticizing her parenting. (then mamma bear comes out! so better watch out! lol)

Though I'm very happy to say I have an awesome relationship with 2 out of the 3 kids (not too bad an average ;))

But yeah, I totally respect your approach. I don't believe there's one way that is guaranteed to work every single time. so whatever works right? :)

Anonymous said...

It's funny how I owe meeting my partner to you. No, you haven't introduced her to me but it's finding your blog and getting to know you that made me realize that single parents don't have to stay celibate until their kids move out!

To my defense I was much younger and naive back then while now I'm less young and hopefully not as naive lol.

So thank you for waking me up! :)

auburnpisces said...

Anonymous, I wish I knew who you are... I can't tell by your comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm the French Canadian weirdo who texted you from Australia! ;)

Anonymous said...

Here's to hoping you moderate the comments on your blog yourself!

It's been way too long so feel free to tell me to fuck off, but I've missed talking to you. As my luck would have it, I had just deleted a bunch of old emails from my gmail account before finding your blog. So I don't have your email address anymore :(

You know I was thinking about planning a trip to Portland when I got back from Australia. I wasnt jerking you around. I really enjoyed getting to know you and was looking forward to meeting you in person. All I remember is I made a probably ill-timed joke after your text and then nothing...

So if you're willing to talk to me again, you can email me at

If I don't hear from you I will leave you be.

Take care


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