Becoming a Sometimes Single Mom
It all started innocently enough. I was having a casual conversation with a friend who lamented that since her husband rarely made it home before 8PM each night, she was pretty much “like a single mom.” The relationship between my child’s father and I had fallen apart months earlier, and I had been single handedly caring for our son during that time. All I could think about were all the single mothers out there who did this for six months, a year…a decade! How dare she compare her situation to the plight of a single mother. Their stories were nothing alike and she was most definitely not a single mom by any set of standards.
But it set my wheels in motion and I began to ponder the stories of all the millennial mommies out there (like me) who aren’t married, but aren’t necessarily single either. What about these (sometimes) single parents? What about the ones have been married (or dating) for a few years but are now facing single parenthood due to a separation? Or those who have a husband/partner who works 80-100 hour work weeks? Or those who live in different cities due to complicated work circumstances? Or how about the military mommies whose other halves are serving our country over seas for months (years) at a time? Every one has a story, and like fingerprints, snowflakes, and unicorns, no two are exactly the same.
Regardless of your definition of what constitutes a single mom, or a (sometimes) single mom, I believe there are struggles and sacrifices across the board for millennial parents. And even though major strides have been made over the past decade in terms of gender roles and career opportunities, women are still underpaid and largely responsible for child rearing. With more millennials having children before getting married than ever before, this means more of us are pulling double duty as working woman + mom.
So how is this changing the concept of what “family” means to millennials? Are we pining to get married because we are mothers? What does this mean for careers and our independent aspirations? How do we blend new relationships with children, and more importantly, where/how do we find the time to even date in the first place? How important are the ideals and traditions of previous generations to us? How important is ‘choice’ to a generation founded in the age of the Internet, where options appear limitless? And as millennials, are we afraid to break the mold and let our passions (rather than our conscience) be our guide?
These are the topics I aim to explore as writer. I am a millennial mother. One who has never been married, but hopes to cross that bridge… someday… maybe. I have navigated serious relationships, tricky relationships and single parenthood. My son is biracial and is just now picking up on differences in skin color and is asking questions like “…why can’t I have blue eyes like you?” He is beautiful, spunky, and as strong-willed as they come. He is his dad. I have learned too many lessons to count over the years on what not-to-do, and consequently, I have conquered a few “yay, that worked, let’s do that again” lessons.
Learn to laugh at yourself often and to cry when you need to. It’s life. You figure it out and you keep going.
If you are a (sometimes) single mom or just someone who merely wishes to understand what being a millennial parent is all about, I invite you to join me on this journey. We won’t always agree, in fact, some of us will rarely see eye to eye. But my goal is to simply point out another perspective and another point of view.
I believe in working your ass off; defining your passions and chasing them with all you have. I believe in being a present parent and also taking nights off. I believe that moms who want it bad enough CAN have it all.
If you’re interested in knowing more about who I am or what I’m about (or seeing super cute pictures of my son – totally mommy-biased, I know), check out my personal blog at www.thesometimessinglemom.com.
Feel free to send me a note if there is a topic you’re dying to read more about. I am so excited for the adventures that lie ahead!
And hey, let’s face it. We’re all busy. Be sure to sign up for the Suburban Misfit Mom newsletter so you never miss a beat. ( http://suburbanmisfitmom.com/join-us/ )