no your husband working long hours is not like you being a single mother-vent - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 66 Old 11-04-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
see all I hea in that statemnt is "I feel like i might as well be doing this all alone because I am not getting any help".
I agree. I'm single now. Before I was in a marriage like Alpine describes. I was without a partner then in all but a legal and sharing-address sense, and am without a partner now. I never said "I feel like I'm single," but I frequently thought to myself, "I SHOULD be single, who am I trying to fool."

I had none of the benefits of a good partnership, but had all the downsides of a horrid one. While it was a difficult & momentous decision, in my musings, I thought of single motherhood as positive from where I was standing.
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#62 of 66 Old 11-04-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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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.
[/QUOTE]

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."
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#63 of 66 Old 11-12-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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I agree with you, and I have been guilty of using this unfortunate expression myself. My dh works very long hours for six months every other year, and I used to compare it to being a single parent. How ridiculous. I do not have to worry about him dating other women, or being broke, or sleeping alone, or dating myself. It was a similar thread on MDC that really opened my eyes to what I was doing -- really, there is no comparison to a dh working long hours and being single.
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#64 of 66 Old 11-12-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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I think it depends on the semantics.

I always thought of "single mother" as single parent meaning one, solo parent.

I guess single also means (of course) unmarried or unpartnered.

So, perhaps saying one feels like a solo parent conveys the idea better. I feel like a solo parent, even though I am married.

Single I guess refers more to marital status anyway. And can have a positive connotation a la Sex in the City. Single and fabulous. Or something. I also don't like the negative connotation often stereotyped to single mothers. But I don't think of it as a negative...just that a single parent is often doing a lot of solo parenting (not always, but often).
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#65 of 66 Old 11-13-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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If you have no one to help you anyway, it's usually best to also not have someone to bother you while not helping you.



That EXACTLY!
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#66 of 66 Old 11-13-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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I just said to my dad (with whom ds and I live, rent free, does that make me not a single mom?) that the only thing more emotionally draining than going to work all day and coming home to be a parent would be going to work all day and coming home to be a wife. I was thinking specifically of my own ex, I'm sure there are lots of guys who are a pleasure to come home to. I also don't go to work all day, for the record, dad and I were talking about commuters at the time.

As we've said before, "single parent" is so broadly defined, and marriages vary so widely I don't think "I'm like a single parent" really means much out of the context of who's saying it. The person who says it probably has something else they're trying to express but doesn't have the words, or doesn't feel comfortable saying, "I feel lonely," "I miss my dh," "Taking care of a house and family 24/7 with no breaks is exhausting," etc. It's sloppy use of language and inconsiderate, but I think it's forgivable.

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