Some have it harder than others – that’s not to discount any mother’s journey, it’s just the truth.
When I think of the term “single mother,” it literally means to me a woman who is single and is a mother. Single, meaning her relationship status only, and not the essence of her parenting journey. The term doesn’t really say enough, or provide enough context.
Let me explain a bit further –
Some single mothers have help. Help in the form of money, help in the form of time, help in form of reliability. These mothers can depend on the father of their child. He is involved, active, willing and able to be a part of his child’s life. These mothers are able to take a breather, relax, and experience some “me” time. They are still able to be a part of the world. Their stress level is mitigated by the fact that they don’t have to do it all alone, and though they may be single in terms of their relationship status, they are far from single when it comes to raising their child.
I call this the co-op mom – she has an uncontentious partnership with the father of her child, for the benefit of their child.
The co-op mom is a little less stressed. She is a lot more carefree and able to move in the world with a little more energy.
Then you have the single mothers who receive little-to-no help and must fight to get support for a child they did not create on their own. The financial help is next to none, they get no “me” time, and the responsibility for the rearing of their child falls solely on them. The sense of scarcity is prominent, and worry becomes a daily demon. These mothers are exhausted, drained, and need an uninterrupted nap. They put their dreams on the back burner and have to make some of the hardest choices in the world for the benefit of their child, all by themselves. They sometimes feel unworthy, beaten down, and like they’ve done a disservice to their child.
I call this the M.A.D mom – she is MOM AND DAD.
The M.A.D mom is normally a quiet sufferer. She wants a better life for her and her child, but finds the climb a little steep since she alone is carrying the load of what was meant for two – a mom and a dad.
I’ve had the experience of both these types of “momdoms”. With my oldest son, I couldn’t have a better situation, as I discuss here. His father is exactly that…a father, and he doesn’t take it lightly. So up until my twins were born I was strictly a co-op mom. When my twins were born I became M.A.D mom in addition to being a co-op mom, and with the birth of my youngest son I became a M.A.D mom twice over.
I live these momdoms daily.
I say all this because I find it unfair and rather ignorant to assume we all have the same struggle. Not all single moms are created equal. Sometimes we need to be rather blunt with the differences in order to gain perspective.