Need to vent about this "I FEEL like a single mother" - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Single Parenting > Need to vent about this "I FEEL like a single mother"
kittn's Avatar kittn 11:57 PM 04-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy VanPelt View Post
When I was married, I used this think this sort of thing, but didn't say it out loud or on message boards, as far as I can recall.

HOWEVER, I'd like to say that it does not peeve me, b/c I've been there and I completely understand. It also doesn't peeve me b/c being a single mother is INFINITELY easier than being married was for me. I completely understand the sentiment and I have no problem with women saying that.
I thought the same way when I was married the first time. An honestly, it was harder being married: to the man then it was being single with just me and the kids. One less person to clean up for and one less person to make me feel guilty for what I didnt do.

BrooklynDoula's Avatar BrooklynDoula 02:42 AM 04-02-2007
I am not a single mother, I have a very equal co-parenting situation so besides being raised by a single mother, I have zero personal experience with this. That said, I wanted to add to the list of phrases I find annoying to talk about single moms. I have friends who will say things like "I am doing the single mom thing" in reference to having their child alone for the whole day or the whole weekend or whatnot but who have an otherwise active co-parent. It bugs me, as though being a single mom could be reduced to how it feels to spend 24 hours or 48 hours or whatnot alone with your child (neglecting all the other finacial issues, emotional support, and regular parenting help that they don't have to deal with because they are not actually single mothers).
MaWhit's Avatar MaWhit 03:05 AM 04-02-2007
I hear this most often from wives with traveling husbands. Their DH is gone for a trip and they tell everyone that they are a single mom for a weekend/week/month. Life with traveling spouses clearly has it's own challenges, but when you know he plans to return and you get his income, then you aren't a single mom. I'm not saying either is harder or easier; I'm just saying they are not equivalent.
calleo's Avatar calleo 07:56 AM 04-02-2007
I'm just hijacking the thread for a second.

I am seven months pregnant, and my boyfriend of seven years just told me that he is leaving me(us?) for good. It isn't coming as a complete surprise, and the two of us are going to remain on good terms to the best of our ability, but I came on these message boards today to just read up on some of the single mamas' thoughts.

I find this thread so reassuring. So many of you have written that it's actually easier in some ways to go at this alone than in a bad relationship. While I wouldn't describe my relationship with my SO as toxic, it does have its flaws. So maybe once I get over sleeping alone and the other sadnesses, I'll come out on the other side and be thankful things have turned out this way.

Thanks mamas!
TAC's Avatar TAC 09:01 AM 04-02-2007
I used to say I understood what it was like to be a single mom. I was one of those guilty parties.... so sorry. I thought because I did everything myself that I truly understood. Ummmm, I was wrong. I guess I would just chalk up the comment to ignorance. Maybe just pat the person on the head, smile, and move along. Truth is they don't get it, and we could never ever explain single motherhood and the journey.
Lucy VanPelt's Avatar Lucy VanPelt 10:17 AM 04-02-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSAX View Post
I have friends who will say things like "I am doing the single mom thing" in reference to having their child alone for the whole day or the whole weekend or whatnot but who have an otherwise active co-parent.
Now, see...that I would rear my head back at. That's pretty disgusting. I'd have to call a woman out for saying that crap. :
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 10:26 AM 04-02-2007


I was thinking it (DH works in another country) but you're right. I will stop thinking that now. So, that's one less idiotic thought to contend with for you.
izandleo's Avatar izandleo 01:42 AM 04-03-2007
I have always been a single mother, so how am I supposed to "feel?" That is annoying! As if anyones (single or not) experience is the same anyway.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 02:23 AM 04-03-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by calleo View Post
I'm just hijacking the thread for a second.

I am seven months pregnant, and my boyfriend of seven years just told me that he is leaving me(us?) for good. It isn't coming as a complete surprise, and the two of us are going to remain on good terms to the best of our ability, but I came on these message boards today to just read up on some of the single mamas' thoughts.

I find this thread so reassuring. So many of you have written that it's actually easier in some ways to go at this alone than in a bad relationship. While I wouldn't describe my relationship with my SO as toxic, it does have its flaws. So maybe once I get over sleeping alone and the other sadnesses, I'll come out on the other side and be thankful things have turned out this way.

Thanks mamas!
I'm really glad you found some reassurance here! It is such a challenging, rewarding, and unique journey.

(and you don't have to sleep alone if you snuggle up with your little baby )
ButterflyStarburst's Avatar ButterflyStarburst 01:33 PM 04-03-2007
This phrase bothered me years ago, when i wasn't even married. So, it holds special disdain for me in most cases, when i hear it.

But not only because of the base level "well you DO have that other parent, even if it's not a constant. I have nothing, at least you have something." But also because of the underlying stereotypes and assumptions it makes, lumping all 'single mothers' together.

The thing is, if it's a close friend of mine who says to me, while their husband/sig.other is away, or extra busy lately "Wow, i think i'm getting an idea of what singlemotherhood must be like for you." Then i am happy to commiserate with them, and pat them on the back. They will have their partner back soon, but it's nice to sometimes have my friends recognize how truly incredibly difficult this life is.

BUT, if i'm just hearing it said by someone else (most especially when they don't realize that i AM a single mother in the largest sense of the word possible) it makes my blood boil. It's often because they want pity. I, as a single mother, do NOT want anyone's pity! The speaker may want someone to offer their help, mostly in the 'i'll watch the kids why don't you have a spa day' variety. While this would be nice, i know it would never be offerred to me, and really the speakers DH will be back in a week!! I will never have my DH back. And finally, the speaker usually just wants to whine about how hard their life is, and isn't it horrible that they have to take care of the kids and the house alone for 2 weeks? And i'm sorry but that attitude is gonna get you nowhere when 2 weeks turns into 2 months turns into 2 years,.... this is not something any respectable single mother would do. We know that sometimes, our lives get put on hold. We know that it's tough raising children, but we also know that it's so incredibly rewarding, if you put the energy and effort into your DC.

It just makes me cringe.

I'm not saying that there aren't days when, if a close friend asks me how i'm doing, i don't admit that i'm having a rough time right then. But to proclaim that somehow your life is awful because your sig. other is gone for a little while (even though you still get their paycheck, their emotional support, etc etc etc) and woe is you for being a single mom,.. well that's just not fair.

Truly, you have no idea what it's like. And i pray you never do. Because obviously you couldn't handle it.


It just,.. offends me because really, as difficult as this is, and as lonely as i am often, and as much as i do desperately miss my DH, my house, my friends, and my life,...... i still have my DS. And he's all mine. It's rough, i can't afford to give him all the things i wish i could, but at least we have each other.

I am not a single mother by choice, but i'd like to think that i'm not just some stereotype either.
MaWhit's Avatar MaWhit 09:43 PM 04-03-2007
Well said, Butterfly!
jdedmom's Avatar jdedmom 10:43 PM 04-03-2007
I am a SAHM and my DH doesn't come home during the week. I have been known to comment on "being a single parent" on weekdays.: I really didn't consider how disrespectful it is to say. You can be sure I will not say this again. All you single mama's deserve my respect.
wemoon's Avatar wemoon 08:58 AM 04-04-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
It really bothers me too.
I think for me it bothers me because it's usually in complaint-form. And that's kinda mean to us single moms who have gone through our share of heartache and headaches in order to get to a place that's smooth and working. Only to have someone throw it out there like it's *the worst thing in the world*.


ETA: It's like 'being a single mother' is the litmus test for how crappy your coparenting experience is. I feel more full and more capable than I ever did with my kids' dad.
(Bolding mine)

Yes, I TOTALLY agree with what you wrote, mamajama! Right now, my parenting experience isn't crappy nor the *worst thing in the world* and whenever I hear someone use "I feel like a single mother," it is ALWAYS coinciding with something bad going on in their life.

It is very stereotypical to assume that single parenting life is bad. I think I'm having the best years of my life thus far. Maybe when you're having the best time of your life you should say "I feel like a single mother!"
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 12:55 PM 04-04-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by wemoon View Post
Maybe when you're having the best time of your life you should say "I feel like a single mother!"
:
When you're figuring out you and feeling the freedom to experience your own thoughts and feelings. When you start thinking about your sexuality on a deeper level than ever and find ways to put your thoughts to action. When you feel really free in your beliefs and in your abilities to be an amazing parent and also stay true to your own needs.
Those can all be experienced when in a relationship. Maybe at those moments, people could say they feel like single mothers
cpinker's Avatar cpinker 07:31 PM 04-04-2007
I feel like all you mamas are reading my mind! There is this SAHM who lives next door to me and she complains all the time about everything. I work part-time and home-school 3 DC and want to scream when she complains. I know her frustration is valid but I have 3 DC and have to work so hard everyday with no help. My DC are wonderful and I am so happy that they came into my life so I am not complaining...but sometimes I get frustrated when this mama complains!
forthebest's Avatar forthebest 08:13 PM 04-04-2007
I've brought my dc up alone and would rather do that than be in a crap relationship like I was. Most of the hassle is pure exhaustion, which you get used to but wears you down, I mean I slipped a disc and my back will never be ok again and I still have to do heavy labour jobs cos thats me. I've just spent a week with a pick, heavy work. Our cupboard is pretty bare at the end of each week and I work a job or 2 as well. I'm surrounded by 4x4's with fancy number plates owned by married women I know who work 12 hours a week, less than I do, get paid seriously more than I do for what I consider fairly easy jobs, single mothers are something crazy like 95% more likely than married moms to be living below the poverty line in uk, as I do, and like I say I work longer hours. I am well used to being on my own, I like it, heck I love it!! I hate the way single-motherdom is seen in such a negative light, mostly I think it's to do with socio-economics, we are mostly skint and money's a biggie for most people. I work to live not live to work, and get more stuff and have more social status, big cars bla bla, I guess married women have sometimes the phychological aspect of some security,their partners may not actually be much help with dc but just having them there seems to help and if they are bringing in a wage...I could not/would not pick up after a guy, I could not live with one, answer to one etc abusive relationships made me escape and question the whole structure of married family life,actually I wasn't into it long before, I never wanted it, I wanted my own life and finances and this never seemed compatible with being with a man to me. It was never offered me by a man either I was someone to freeload off. Many married women must feel very alone cos theres a lot of duff husbands out there who don't help ( I know some very good husbands who fully support their wives and families and that is heartening, but I also know too many who should just be booted out) unless you are totally a single-mom you will have no real idea about the crap the state and society will throw at you never mind the practical aspects of raising dc alone.
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