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#1 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So I was talking with a friend and I said something about the struggles of being a single parent - and she looked shocked. She said that because my ex has EOW (no over-nights yet though) and pays child support that I'm not a single parent, I'm a co-parent. I dont think so, and really the terms dont mean much to me - because I do everything and make every decision and then tell ex the costs and he decides if and how much he wants to contribute... that's pretty single in my book.
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#2 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 11:57 AM
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She's wrong.
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#3 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 12:03 PM
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Umm...You're a single parent. You're single, and a parent.
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#4 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 12:05 PM
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well that's her personal opinion. you are getting breaks. you are getting money. so what's the big deal. life is sweet. that's her attitude.

obviously there are various levels of singlehood. and even how mama's relate to it. there are plenty of single parents here on MDC who never come to this forum to write or share. i know some IRL who dont talk about it or even really call themselves one. they coparent in a great situation where both parents are talking, they are financially well off, may or may not have family support - but they are people who have essentially separate residences.

so there are all kinds of single parents.

but come on technically you ARE a single parent.

she has a v. limited view of the world. she has never experienced or heard about what you must be going through.

so its about time to air your emotions a little more openly.

however i can see where she is coming from and i can relate to what she is saying. and that's where she is defining the various types of single parents. in a sense i do the same thing myself. rather than single mom i call myself a coparent. to let others know ex is still in dd's life. and for someone who has no no no family here that is a HUUUUUGE help. that i get breaks 3 nights a week. i also feel soo fortunate that ex pays for all of dd's things. so while i dont get CS i dont have to worry about getting her what she needs like clothes, uniforms, school supplies....

that is a pretty sweet deal compared to solo moms. who have no coparenting and no CS. just simple coparenting IS hard.

so yes compared to some single moms, actually even to some partnered moms i do feel pretty fortunate.

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#5 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 12:27 PM
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there's a difference between a single parent and a solo parent, in my opinion. she is talking about solo parents in her (weirdly judgemental) comment. i'm a single parent, since my kids' dad is still around and in our lives. others here are solo parents.
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#6 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 03:37 PM
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I was very much a solo parent to my daughter- I did not get breaks, I did not get child support. Her bio-dad was completely out of the picture when we separated.

From that point of view (and in that overwhelming time) I often wondered why single parents who actually had the support of the other parent in one way or another complained about things being difficult. As time passed, I saw that while I didn't have that support, we also didn't have that struggle in our lives, and things were easier in other ways.

Finally, I learned to focus on similarities and simply supporting people where they were rather than worrying about who was struggling more. It took me a while (and a little therapy to work through some bitterness) to get there.
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#7 of 12 Old 10-22-2010, 02:08 AM
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I agree that the definition of "single" is pretty subjective. The fact is that non-traditional families are commonplace nowadays.

I was raised by a solo mom and my grandmother who parented me completely. She paid for school, housing and a ton of other costs, she picked me up from school and was part of the conversation involving everything to do with raising me. When I think about my childhood, I always think about my 2 parents who just happened to be a mom and a grandma instead of a dad. We actually celebrated my grandma on mother's day and my mom on father's day.

In my case, my stbx makes enough so that I can continue to SAH if I want. He is very involved in the kids' lives and my life is not so different on a basic level with him here or not here. One of the reasons for our separation was his total lack of involvement with the family except for his financial contributions, which he could do while married to me or not. He actually became a better co-parent once we decided to separate. So, on a weird level, I was more of a "single mom" before.

Meh, I wouldn't get too hung up on definitions.

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#8 of 12 Old 10-22-2010, 03:58 AM
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That was kind of an annoying, "You don't have it so bad" kind of comment, wasn't it?

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#9 of 12 Old 11-04-2012, 06:05 AM
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I have a son whos father is trying to give up parental rights and our son is only a year old, i dont receive child support, he hasnt seen his son once and last time we spoke i was 5 weeks pregnant. I think that even if you receive child support you are the one waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, feeding and doing everything. Just bc you receive child support it doesnt mean your a co parent it means the father is financially helping but not physically. 

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#10 of 12 Old 11-09-2012, 04:59 AM
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She's wrong.  And don't expect her to get that. 


I would just ignore her when starts spouting off on how you are not a single parent.  She's obvioulsy clueless. 

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#11 of 12 Old 11-09-2012, 05:20 PM
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I agree with PPs... there's a difference between solo and single, but one isn't harder than the other. I parent solo and it's better in some ways, harder in others. I will say that when I'm feeling resentful of single moms who complain about their lives it's only because I'm not loving my own situation... maybe tell her how much you envy certain aspects of her situation (i.e. not having to negotiate, etc.), offer to help her out by buying the coffee once in a while, or offering to babysit? You'll find common ground again once she's in a better place, especially if her friendship has been otherwise solid. I've found that when we are feeling resentful it's usually just because we need a little love and support to be reminded that we're all in this together. If that doesn't work, dump her. Everyone is human, but consistently selfish emotional vampires waste too much time and energy.


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#12 of 12 Old 11-24-2012, 03:31 PM
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I think it's really hard to compare different "burdens" based on simple things like whether the other parent is in the picture or not.   What's the point?  No-one wins any medals.  We all just raise our kid or kids as best we can, and get through whatever we have to with as much grace and tenacity as we can muster.  I do feel like my life as mom is super hard in some ways, that few really understand, and I also know that I am blessedly spared some of the challenges some other moms on here post about.  I think that the more we can have compassion for ourselves (non self-pitying, drama-free kindness and compassion) the less triggered we are by such comparisons/comments, and the more we can offer non-judgemental kindness to other moms regardless of their situations/arrangements.

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