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 yourself...you 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.