Now that I’m divorced I suppose I could be called a “single mom.”
While I am single and I am a mom, I don’t really enjoy the title “single mom.”
Mainly because it’s not fair to real single moms. By which I mean the women out there who have no co-parent. The mothers who are doing the job singly. The ones who have no one to take their kid to a ball game, the ones who have no one to come get the kids every other weekend to give them some personal time, the ones who can’t just say, “you’ll have to ask your dad.”
There are moms who are doing it on their own. Their baby’s daddy skipped out, their ex-husband disappeared, the fathers of their children died. Whatever the reason, they are parenting alone. Without help.
I have help. I have a co-parent. I have a person who comes and takes the children to his house every other weekend. This gives me a break. I have someone who comes twice during the week to hang out with them.
I have someone who can back me up when it’s Back to School Night and I have unexpected tickets to see Barack Obama live. Someone who I can call and say, “hey I have a thing on Friday night, can you take the kids?” And the odds are good that he’ll say yes. Because they are his kids. Because he wants to see them.
The truth is that I have more free time now than I have since I had my first baby. I have more help. A true co-parent now. Someone who’s actually parenting and participating. Not, just someone who is sort of there but in the background while I handle the heavy lifting. He’s more available now that we are divorced than he ever was. (It’s a shame we had to get divorced to make it happen, but that’s what we created.)
The point is, my job got easier, not harder. A true single mother, now her job is hard. Her job is to be the everything parent. Without relief. Without backup. Without someone else sharing the responsibility.
No, I’m not really a single mom. I’m a co-parent.