Defining who is a single mom has to be one of the worst Mommy Wars. Not only does it pit single mothers against married mothers but it pits single mothers against each other. You think I’m exaggerating? When I was searching for single mom images to include in this post I happened upon ones talking about being a “real single mom.” As if there’s a thing as being a fake single mom?
The other big thing I see when people talk about single moms is bitterness and pity involved and sometimes even a little shaming. It’s as if all single mothers are expected to be bitter. We’re all supposed to be angry. We’re all supposed to hate our children’s fathers and all men in general. We’re also supposed to accept people’s pity and be willing to be their token single mom story. We are to speak for all single moms. And we are supposed to be ashamed to be raising our children as single moms.
Newsflash, every single mom doesn’t have the same story. And our story doesn’t make us more or less of a single mom. I’m a single mom to JustaBXgirl. I’ve never been married. Her father and I didn’t have a huge breakup because we were never a couple. He does not play a major role in her life and I do not receive child support.
I have a friend that was in a relationship for a number of years that turned abusive. They had a son together and one day she realized that she didn’t want her son growing up in that type of environment. Her son’s father pays child support and has visitation with their son. He doesn’t always keep the visits but always pays the child support.
I have a friend that had a daughter with one man. Broke up with him. Found love with another and got married. Her daughter’s father sees their daughter every other weekend and does not pay child support.
I know a woman that had artificial insemination. Her child will never know the father and the woman will never receive a penny in support.
Then there are women who are in wonderful relationships, living and loving their children’s fathers and one day he dies. They are made widows and are now raising their children alone.
And don’t forget the moms that split their time with their children with the child’s father. Three days one week and four the next. Every other holiday and school break. Sometimes they even go to family events together. Co-parenting at it’s best.
These are just some of the stories that make a single mom. There are many other stories that can lead to being a single mother. Are any of us more of a single mom that the others? In my opinion? No. Are there times when I feel like my struggle is more difficult than another mom’s? Definitely. And I’m betting there are times when you feel the same (regardless of your marital status).
I want to let people know that yes, I am raising my child alone but that doesn’t mean that either one of us are missing out on anything life has to offer. I bet most single moms feel the same. We don’t want your pity. We want your respect. We want each other’s respect. And just like you married moms we want to go to the bathroom alone!
My daughter is my inspiration. She make me yearn to be a better person daily. I want to one day be as great as I am in her eyes. It is because of her that I have raised my standards and now make better life choices.
I am writing this to inspire you. Next time you meet a single mom don’t judge her. Don’t pity her. Don’t be surprised that her child is so articulate, well dressed or well rounded. Or that she is. Challenge yourself as to why you expect any less from a single mom.
And single moms? Please stop trying to prove you are more of a single mom than another. It does nothing but divide us from being a community of support to each other. And if there is one thing I need as a single mom is a community to support me. I am blessed with an amazing village in real life and online. If you do not have a village then connect with me.