Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: the heartland of America
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[QUOTE=That Is To me, single mother means you do the majority of parenting yourself because you are the single/only parent.
Where does that leave someone like me? I'm not partnered, but I do effectively co-parent with DD's father. I am happy and supported, I have as much time to take care of myself as a "typical" partnered parent, etc. But I'm still surely single by virtue of, well, not being partnered anymore, right?
Doing the majority of parenting alone can be a hallmark of *solo* parenting (whether by circumstance or by choice). It can also happen in ineffective partnerships/marriages. But a single mama can equally (or nearly equally) share parenting time with her children's father without giving up her single mama status. There are challenges, both financial and emotional, unique to single motherhood. But most challenges we face as mothers (single or partnered) can strike any of us.
That's why the "I feel like a single mom" comments are somewhat hurtful to someone like me. You're saying that you feel unsupported, frustrated, overwhelmed, whatever. I'm not saying I never feel that way -- who doesn't? -- but to categorize up the emotional welfare of all single mamas in that manner is a little bit insulting, you know? I feel... well... like any other mama. I don't feel like my wellbeing is in some sort of mama subcategory that's automatically distinguished by feeling MORE unsupported, MORE frustrated, MORE overwhelmed. I may not have a partner but other than that, I'm just the same as any other mama who is happy with her life.
I realize how fortunate I am, trust me. But again, fortunate doesn't only befall the partnered. There are plenty of examples of single mamas who are actually happy with their lives. That's all we're trying to illustrate.
Robin, strong and happy single mama to Anna (7/06)
"Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été."