Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to figure out who I am as I’m (hopefully) entering the final stage of post grad unemployment, and I keep thinking about the reaction from others that discover I’m a single mom.
“I couldn’t imagine!”
“I could never do that.”
“How do you do it?”
And the list could go on forever, but honestly it’s not a disease there are worse things. Know what I couldn’t do? Kill myself to maintain a loveless relationship just because I have a child. I couldn’t ever see myself giving up on graduating college, and having nice things just so I could say I’m still with my child’s father. I could not ever see myself living the life I used to live and being able to be a good mother to my son.
What’s worse than having a baby and not having a ring on your finger? Spending every day feeling like no matter what you are not good enough no matter how hard your work. It’s a terrible feeling, and it still happens even though we’re no longer together. Snide remarks like “if you were a good mother..” or “because that’s what a good mother does.” still happen, but guess what? It’s easier to shut them down when you’re not desperately trying to keep a jerk around. Does it suck to have to share custody and put up with all the extras I have to deal with? Of course. But I’d rather my son see my happy in my own home with someone who loves me than see me suffer with someone that thinks I’m not enough every day. His future is worth the time away, not matter how much I hate it (and I do).
The way I see it, children know absolutely nothing in the world when they get here–they learn from you. They get their work ethic, ideals, and their first understanding of love (for themselves and others) from you. No matter what, you can not tell your child to do something if you have not shown them yourself. Do as I say, not as I do is ineffective. I couldn’t ever forgive myself for allowing my son to be raised believing the woman does all the work while the man does nothing because “that’s fatherhood”–it’s not. I couldn’t let him see me be a shell of a person because I loved him or his father. That is not love. Love is fulfilling. It should make you bigger and better and happier. That’s what my son will see. He won’t ever think that his life was less than because he had a single mother, hopefully he will understand how strong your heart has to be to willingly turn down a road you can’t see the end of.
So for all you people that develop a head spin when you see a single mother (I’m looking at you old lady in Walmart), get that sometimes it’s best that way. Want to know what’s worse than being single and being a parent, I’ll tell you; being in a relationship and feeling alone.
P.S. Why are people in Walmart always judging others when they’re usually in their pajamas?