I’ve been divorced since 2007. For most of those years, I rejected the term single mom, instead opting to be labeled a divorced mom. In the past, the term single mom has held such negative connotations to me that I couldn’t stand it. Matter of fact, I wrote about it two years ago and I believe my exact words were, “If there is one term I despise, it is the term “single mom.”
My previous writings went on to say “my life is difficult to manage with three kids…but whose isn’t? There is an African Proverb that says, It takes a village to raise a child. That statement is for everyone. Married, single, gay, straight…everyone who has children needs to understand that.” But the fact still remains that my marital status is single and I am a mom — thus the fitting term being, I am a single mom. Even if it sometimes makes my skin crawl.
Years ago I thought that single parenting suggested my kids don’t have a father, don’t know their father, never see their father. While I would like the visits to be a bit more frequent, my kids do know their father, they talk to their father, and they love their father greatly.
But you know what? The simple fact remains that he is not around enough for me to be able to honestly say that we co-parent. Because we don’t. We talk here and there, and when we do I often find myself racking my brain to remember everything I need to tell him because I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to talk again.
I also used to think that single parenting suggested my kids have less financial resources than others. The truth was that I was worried that others would judge our family’s financial situation based on my marital status. I have had my share of instances where some people have that thought If we don’t have something, it’s because we are the poor little family without a man in the house. But for the most part, those who are in my circle and close to me know and understand the truth that we are not struggling — but we are sustained by my income and mine alone. Single income from a single mom.
I thought that if I referred to myself as a single mom that I was slighting those close to us who have helped and poured so much in to the livelihood of our family. I’ve now realized that using a title does not negate the love and support we’ve been given by those in our village. I’ve also realized that not using the term single mom can slight those sisters whose children have absolutely no contact with their father. Instead of saying we are all in this together, I was choosing to lessen their reality and distance myself from it.
I am a firm believer that having three kids and experiencing a divorce was not a coincidence. I think this is part of my calling. However it’s time to move past the divorce and focus on the calling of motherhood, as a single woman. And while that calling can still be difficult and sometimes frustrating, I’m able to seek guidance from God, live it, and embrace it — single mom title and all.
If you would like to receive blog posts via email, please subscribe here.