Last night while half listening to my girls sing the songs and talk about what was coming next as their favorite movie played and half listening to the show playing in my room, I encountered utter generalizations and myths about single moms that just pissed me off. Now you know that I never, ever curse (online – LOL) so for this post to be generated, I had to be mad.
The story on my show revolved around a single mom who had fallen hard for the ‘perfect’ man. Though my eyes rolled that any human is ‘perfect’ and argued in my head that setting that standard with those words was the reason people are constantly searching for the impossible, that was not the moment that angered me so.
See, the voice over of an ‘expert’ on relationships was talking about why this woman had fallen so hard and was so blind to this man’s flaws because Single Moms are always trying to find that man, that father for her children, that stability in her life and she will do anything to find it.
Jaw dropped, mouth agape, I actually said out loud ‘BULLS**T’!
And I never, ever cuss when my kids are in the house and rarely otherwise. I just think there are so many better words in the English language to explain my feelings.
But this one… oh this one got me mad!
As a PROUD SINGLE MOM, and a better mom overall since my divorce, this stereotypical comment was insulting to my confidence level, my intelligence and degrading to a fault. I know a LOT of single moms who are single by choice and thrive in the roll much better than they did in a bad relationship or marriage! I have a dear friend who purposely raised her son since he was 2 because she was so much of a better parent as a single parent. She did not need a man to take care of her, a man to rescue her or a man to make her feel special. She had her son.
I am where she was. I raise my kids on my own and I like it that way. I have an enormous amount of confidence in my ability to do this and figure it out as I go. Do I always get it right? Absolutely not! Do I get burned out and need a break. Heck yea – I am human. But do I need a man to come in, parent my kids with me and do I make a concerted effort to date any man out there just because I want one? HA! I scoff at the insult!
The second part of the episode was a total generalization about divorced moms that made me mad too. The story was about a woman who was recently divorced who frequented bars to meet men. ‘A woman who is recently divorced wants to look her best and dress up so that she can attract another man who will fulfill all of the things the ex can’t.‘
Really? So a woman’s desire after a divorce is to immediately go out and find a man so that she can be right back where she started? I don’t think so. How about the reality that she is feeling better about herself and is caring for herself better because she realizes that she can make it on her own. She didn’t need to be in a situation that was bad for her and her children. And the painstaking decision to leave – the probably took years to make – left a confidence that she always knew she had but buried in her stressful relationship?
I know a lot of women who divorce for various reasons. Some find relationships and are happier than they were before that were not looking for one, some find a passion that they pursue that supersede relationships and some throw themselves into discovering who they are in order to be a better person should they meet someone some day.
But to say that all divorced women get dressed up and look their best for the sole purpose of attracting a new man is ridiculous.
Generalizations stem from society’s comfort zones. We create them so that we can identify with people on some level that we might understand. The problem with them, however, is that not everyone needs to be categorized, judged or ridiculed because they don’ fit into them.
Some of us are very happy as single moms with no significant other to help us out. We work hard, we work with pride and we keep our eyes on the job at hand. Some of us make the decision to do it on our own because we are better on our own. Some of us sit quietly while people tell us that we need to be open to new love, open to accepting someone in and being just like them even when we know it is not for us. Some of us are tired of defending ourselves to those who think we need to be like them to be happy. I am perfectly happy in all facets of my life. I am not lonely, I am not scared, I am not ashamed that I did not have the best marriage… I am tired of hearing that I can not raise strong, confident girls without a man in the house.
Make a bet?
My kids have everything they need. Love, admiration, boundaries, rules, praise, life lessons and more. They have them all from a mom who works tirelessly to give it to them. A mom who would rather use her energy to raise them to than to find something that everyone else thinks she needs.
I have what I need.
In my case, three little girls who need a mom to show them that they have no limits if they believe in themselves.
What myths about single mom irritate you?