“Oh, I just can’t do it! My hubby’s away on a boys’ fishing trip this weekend and I’m a single mom. It’s just too much work.”
When I hear a married woman say this, it makes me want to kick her in the baby maker.
You see, I am a single mom. I am divorced. My kids are with me 70% of the time and I have neither hired help nor family nearby. I am a single mom. You, my dear, are not. Being a single mom is twice the work, twice the stress & twice the tears. And there’s just one of me.
True story: a friend once sent around an email to several moms asking for help with childcare on a weekend when her husband was away. It started “Help a poor single mom this weekend? I’m committed to a 30-day yoga challenge and can’t miss a day, so can anyone take care of my kids for 1 1/2 hours this Saturday?” Needless to say, this did not go over well with the single moms on her distribution list.
When your husband goes to Vegas with the boys and you are on deck for the weekend, you are NOT a single mom. He will arrive home Sunday evening, hungover as hell, contrite and willing to do your bidding for weeks to come. Ninety percent of the time, he is there to help you with picking up the kids from school, meal preparation, taking out the garbage, unplugging the toilet, coaching soccer, burying dead pets, changing lightbulbs, reading bedtime stories, paying bills, letting you sleep in when you are hungover as hell because book club turned into wine club, bringing you breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day, holding you close after a long day.
I’m not looking for your pity, but please realize that when you “jokingly” refer to yourself as a single mom, you belittle those of us who are truly on our own every day. No one is going to walk through the door at the end of the work day, pour us a glass of wine, help with the dinner/bathing/bedtime. To snuggle with us after the kids have *finally* gone to bed. To hold us when the day has knocked us on our ass.
I have a great ex-husband who is devoted to our children. He supports us and never shirks his commitment to our children. If I need him in an emergency, he is 20 minutes away. But the day-to-day parenting duties and night time bullshit that exasperates all mothers from time to time? All me. Same thing when the kids are with him. He recently took the kids on a vacation to Mexico and ended up suffering from Montezuma’s Revenge. Luckily they were travelling with other families that could lend a hand with the kids, but that is not always the case.
I should say that the only time a married woman may claim single mom status is when she is a military wife. My best friend is married to a man in the military and has endured more than her share of parenting hardships while her husband was away for 3-6 month – or longer – tours. I tip my single mom hat to her and all Military Wives.
But for the rest of you faux single moms? Suck it up. He’ll be home soon.