Single Parents

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This one may be a touchy subject but I have to say what I feel.  Remember, this MY OPINION!

Morocco and I were discussing a situation and during our conversation the topic of single parents came up.

Let me go back to my childhood.  I considered my mom to be a single parent, although I know my father.  He was married to my mother until I was 11.  They were separated for a few years before that.  He met a woman, married her and then was not in my life.  Yeah I saw him sporadically.  But he did NOTHING to help my mother raise me and my brother.  Oh he would make many promises but that was all he offered.  I am 34 years old and he still owes my mom child support!  And I still do not see him or hear from him often.  Like I said before my dealings with him are sporadic.

So for a major part of my life I had no father.  He did not attend any of my school functions.  He did not call.  He did not come to see us.  Nothing!  When I was about 17 he and his wife had a daughter.  Then he wanted to show up and show off.  I was not feeling it.  My brother went to visit but I kept my distance for awhile. 

Curiousity won the battle.  I wanted to see how he lived.  His wife had two boys from previous relationships.  They called my father Dad.  I was so hurt by this.  Not because they referred to him as Dad but because they knew him as Dad–if that makes sense? 

What exactly is a single parent?  I hear a lot of women say they are single parents and that they do everything by themselves.  I have a HUGE problem with this statement.  When I think of a single parent I picture a person doing Everything on their own.  Whether it be a mom or dad.

Maybe mom or dad is deceased.  Maybe the mom or dad just took off and never looked back.  Maybe the dad doesn’t know that he even has a child.  Maybe the mom made darn sure the father is not in the child’s life.

There could be a number of reasons why a person could be considered a single parent.  But I feel as though if both parents ARE in the child’s life (not together) and supporting the child, financially and emotionally, that they are NOT single parents! 

Anyway back to my rant…

My mom worked hard to make sure we had necessities, with no help from my father.  So I feel as though she has a right to say that she was a single parent.  Although I have not heard her refer to herself as a single parent.  She did what she had to do to raise us.

Then I hear women (like Christine and Eliza) rant and rave as if they are the ONLY ones doing and helping raise their children when there is a father in the picture.  One that goes above and beyond child support for thier kids.  I’m sorry but I don’t see that being single parenting.

Again, this is my opinion!

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9 responses »

  1. You go girl! I don’t recall my mom ever referring to herself as a “single parent”, and neither did I even though my situation was much like your mother’s. My husband is a fantastic dad and I’ll have to admit that I’m a darn good mother, but regardless of our personal opinions of our children’s “other parent”, they still have 4 parents, and have at least always had 2! I completely agree with your opinion.

  2. I agree as well. It really bothers me that Eliza, a self-imposed “single mom” loves tossing this label about loosely. However, she fails to acknowledge the steady child support she has received over the years and most importantly, how she decided that she did not want her boys to have a father. She intentionally cut them from his life when he divorced her.

    I call women like these “martyr mommas.” They love the sympathy and recognition that single parents receive. I don’t see the glory in bestowing this title upon one’s self. It is an insult to the true single parents–the ones that have lost a coparent due to death or disappearance.

  3. I, agree, Morocco, and I am currently dealing with a martyr momma. I used to think that all father’s who were absent from their child’s life were just deadbeat dads, but now I know different. There are some women who are bitter after a divorce; purposely keep their children away from their father; and then complain about him not being in their lives – crazy! So now, I find myself less sympathetic to the so called single mom, but wondering what she did to run or keep dad away. It also leaves me to ask this same question every time I hear a product (child or adult) of these types of situations say, “My father chose his family over me, or my mother always did everything for us, but my father didn’t.” Because all the children know is that dad is not around, but they seldom know WHY. If some of them did know the real reason, I wonder if how their opinions would change.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’d like to delve into this topic a bit more on my blog. Keep talking sistahs. Dialogue promotes change.

  4. When you’re a true “single parent” you don’t think about the label. It’s everyone else who wants to label you. “That’s the ‘single mom’ “. I have raised my kids by myself for over 10 years now. They’re dad moved on and never looked back. We have not seen a phone number/phone call/Christmas card/or birthday card since he walked away and child support would be a thing of my imagination. So, those of us who are truly “single parents” really find the ones who claim to be single while dad would like to be or is actively involved really offensive. And the ones who you would call “martyr mommas” really need to get a life. They are clueless and are just looking for sympathy. They will find none with me.

    I think you’re right- women who have children where dad is or would like to be actively involved in the kids lives are NOT single parents.

  5. I considered myself a single parent before I married for the second time because I received no child support (still don’t) from my ex and I was doing ALL of the driving, homework help, parent teacher conferences, etc. without his help or support. He did take the kids every other weekend, but that was it. So, do I still count as a single parent during that period of time? It sure felt like it.

  6. K~

    You are what I call an “independent parent.” You did what you needed to do independent of him to make sure your kids were provided for. Their father was in the picture although his contribution was nil. But at least it forced him to do something EOW, even if it was simply providing food for their short stay and giving you the break that I’m sure you needed and deserved.

  7. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I have been thinking this same thing for soooo long now. I get so sick and tired of hearing woman complain of being a “single parent” when in fact they are not. I single parent is just that – single, alone, doing it themselves. When you have another parent that has joint custody with you, sees their child 40-60% of the time, pays child support or splits the costs associated with raising the child equally….you are not a single parent!!!!!

    I also am bothered by parents who do consider themselves single parents because they do everything in their power to alienate, ruin any kind of relationship between their child and the other parent.

  8. So true!!!! I always felt weird using the phrase “Single Mom” because I am not (of course not now since I am married). When I was single I was still not a single mom, I was a mom whose son would go to his dad’s house every Tuesday and every other weekend and I would get child support (not consistant but it was there). I would feel weird even saying that phrase in my head.

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