Single Parent Martyrs: Stop.
I was having a lovely conversation with an acquaintance when I happened to mention my blog. She asked me what it was about and I replied, “Divorce and Being a Single Mom.”
Then she made a statement; one that left me at a loss for words.
“But you’re not a single mom, he’s involved and pays child support, right?”
I was offended. I felt like I had to defend my right to call myself a single mom. It was ludicrous. She left and I was feeling confused, so I did a little research…. thanks Google!
Apparently there is war on what actually makes a single mom a “single mom.” WTF? Seriously. This is absurd. You can only call yourself a single mom if there isn’t another parent in the picture at all. Because the mom who gets a break every other weekend just has no idea what it’s like to be physically and emotionally exhausted? Because the mom who gets child support has no idea what it’s like to bear the financial burden?
It’s like saying, “I’m sorry, I know you have cervical cancer, but I have lung cancer. I go through more chemo and radiation than you. I’m more tired than you. My medical bills are more expensive than yours. So you don’t really get to say you have cancer because you just don’t know what it’s REALLY like. You don’t have to go through what I go through. How dare you?!” Not that we should compare single parenting to cancer, but as a nurse it was the first fucking analogy I could come up with.
Anyway, see my point? Instead of embracing our similarities and struggles, and supporting and uplifting one another, we’re arguing about who has it worse.
This is what’s wrong with society today. Everyone worried about what makes them different; what makes them special; what makes them unique. Becoming offensive and arguing just to validate a claim to your existence.
What about what makes us similar? What about using those similarities to inspire, encourage and empower one another?
Stop being a Single Parent Martyr and start being a Single Parent Supporter.
Jackie Ferguson is an RN and mom(ish) blogger. She is a single mom who is trying to thrive through anxiety, depression and chronic illness through intentional living and mindfulness.