Being a single parent isn’t a novelty. It isn’t a choice jumped into lightly. This life choice comes with tons of careful thought and often with no support whatsoever. Like jumping out of a plane sans parachute. And that is why it irks me when people who have chosen to leave their partners choose to toss around the term single parent like it’s some sort of Golden Ticket. I honestly did not win a Chocolate Factory or Johnny Depp in a creepy wig for that matter when I became an honest to goodness upside down single Mama.
I know I have written about this before…but bear with me.
Lately it seems as though being a single parent is becoming a trendy thing to do. Like the Hipsters who have swooped in and claimed vintage cardigans and trimmed beards for their own. Damn I used to love a nice vintage cardigan with a cute dress. I digress. These Mama’s and Papa’s are taking words that I carry with me on my shoulders and trotting about with them like the Hipster with his fixie. It would seem that these are probably the same people who got married cause it seemed like the right thing to do.
When these people muck about complaining about how tough it is to be a single parent, I think about all the Moms and Dads who have experienced abuse, degradation and abandonment and have therefore taken up in the name of protecting their children for better or for worse. There are so many analogies running through my brain that I can’t even pick just one. It is a disgrace to the badge of courage that single parents earn by stepping up and doing whatever they must to ensure our kids have as normal a life as possible. Not just the ones who have found a right to bear arms and muddle through the swamp that is being single parent, but the ones who have split and not bothered to talk crap about their exes. I’ve got a friend in mind who has openly admitted at BlogHer that she and her Ex work together for the good of their daughter. You should check out her blog here…LTripleR. Grown-up shit. I dig that.
The people I respect as single parents are the men and women who have done it their way, not looked at someone and said, ‘Wow that looks cool. I wanna try it’ and copied some scattered version of it.
I am the first to admit that my road to this place I am at now, was not nearly as difficult as those of my supportive counterparts like CC who writes Not Your Average Single Mama, and who is an inspiration to me on so many levels. But every day she brings it, so the PIT can have a life with at least one parent who knows she’s worth fighting the good fight. Hers was one of the first blogs I found when I started to yank myself out of the rut of doubt and sorrow and reading her words gave me hope.
Living life on your own terms is key, which I am of course a huge promoter of when it comes to anyone, but for me my own terms didn’t mean being unhappy in suburbia with my hubby who played golf too much or liked sports and drank beer (yay beer!) . Terms and conditions may vary, but I will be damned if I will let anyone look me in the eye and tell me how rough they have it when they are already in a working co-parenting situation, financial support and a place to live before the ink is even dry. Not while I sit here banging my head against the wall as to why the Bio hasn’t bothered to find a job in eight months and now can’t pay for our sons health insurance. Serious shit.
Everyone is different. Everyone’s story has it’s own bumps and bruises and sometimes some internal bleeding others can’t see. But damn, if I won’t call bullshit on the parents who jump ship because they think I’ve got it made, when I’ve spent the last five years counting my blessings that I made it out with the Monkey and the clothes on my back.
There is nothing cool or trendy about doing what I do. But I do it because I love my son and I chose to take us out of a bad situation. Shit we were saved.
What I would like to say to all those peeps who run around in their emo hipster suburban pseudo single parent clouds blabbering about how rough their lives are…suck it and wear someone’s shoes that have struggled through days with no groceries, no money in the bank and no health insurance and not a break in sight and see how well you might fare.