Tonight, I started reading a book I had forgotten I had been gifted months ago. It’s a book about how to be a content and happy single woman amid your married, middle-aged counterparts. It was part of a going-away gift from a dear friend who happens to be single and fabulous! I was leaving Tennessee to move back home to Kentucky. I wasn’t dating anyone in particular at the time. And most of my friends were, and still are, the luckiest, strongest, smartest, well-traveled women I know.
I love getting together and sharing our stories on dating, updates on family and friends, and usually drinking and making more memories. I love these women for their strength, their devotion to themselves and their willingness not to settle or conform. And so I thought this book would be a good read.
I am in a relationship, although I don’t feel like I am, honestly. We text almost daily, see each other weekly, when his schedule permits, and usually date monthly when I get a sitter. I’m not married. Have been. I might do it again one day. Probably will if I lucky upon someone I’m willing to put up with and vice versa. Yes, I’m a mother. But I’m single and female. So I thought I still qualified for reading this book.
I wanted to read it until I read the above photographed paragraph. I took umbrage to the author’s pity on the single mom.
The first two sentences. Her sister and mother were “blessed” to have husbands around to help carry the load. Well, fuck me! Because I divorced an addict who later died of an overdose and now raise children alone, I’m not blessed. I had a husband at one time with children. Trust me, I wasn’t blessed to have one then either. But she assumes a mother is only blessed when she has a husband to help her. I beg her pardon. I am blessed. I have two healthy, happy boys! I have help from other family members and friends. I’m blessed to be enough to raise these boys on my own. My boyfriend doesn’t even have much to do with them. He sees them on occasion in the morning or on a weekend. Still, he’s my boyfriend. Not a father-figure to them. Do I wish he was? Maybe I do, a little. No one else is carrying the load. Do I wish I had help? That would be nice But some of us don’t get it. But I’m not going to settle with someone for the sake of sharing a burden…which brings me to the second part of the paragraph that offended me.
“So I can’t imagine how much more of a burden single moms must carry around on a daily basis…” She salutes us, says we need a standing ovation, blah, blah, blah, but now not only am I unblessed, I’m now “burdened” by my children. Clearly this is not a book for single moms. I’ve never considered my children a burden. Most mothers wouldn’t. I can see how a single woman would think this. Mothering is selfless, at times difficult, and requires a tremendous amount of love for someone other than yourself. Sure, I could be living a totally different life, dressing a totally different way, have a lot (a lot) more money to spend on myself but I didn’t choose that life.
I chose to believe in love and wanted a family. I chose to have children. The man I married wanted the same. My marriage didn’t go as I once thought it would. My life hasn’t gone as I thought it would. But never would I consider myself unblessed and burdened by being a single mom. I do have more responsibilities and less help than most moms. I can’t change that right now. I could if I wanted to settle but no one has been deserving of us thus far. Right now the best thing for me to do is count my blessings, and blog about my disappointment in the book and resist the urge to shove its pretty pink, hardcovered self up the author’s ass.