A Mom – Who Happens to Be Single.
So forgive me for venting a bit, but I need to get this one off my chest. I’ve been encountering an unexpectedly irritating response as of late that I must share, or I can not fall asleep.
As most of you know, I am having a girl. Which excites me mainly because I can picture the baby more now than I did before I knew what I was having AND knowing the sex helps me plan. And I. Love. To. Plan. (It’s ok, insert laughter here about how unplanned the past six months have been and the next 60 years or so will be).
When I tell you that I will have a daughter in the winter, most of you get all excited, some have even gotten tears in your eyes, and others start telling me what kind of clothes they want to put her in. But there have been a select few people that have just pissed me off. And I know anger and stress are not good for the baby, so let me have my moment please.
When I say I am having a girl and the response is, in a soft tone, “Oh, that is good. Being a single mom to a girl will be easier” I immediately get irritated. And it isn’t so much what is said, it is HOW it is said. Listen, I know some of you have said this and I do know exactly what you mean – the baby and I automatically have something in common and in a lot of ways we will experience the world in a similar way, although I hope that MANY things in this world continue to improve to make her life better than mine.
Potty training will be much easier because I can demonstrate, however if I had a boy I would recruit my brother-in-law or father for a week of intense potty training classes. Dad got off way too easy when mom had to teach all four of us anyway. And yes, my poor son would be teaching me about sports. I was at basketball game tonight and a friend called me out on looking at everything but the court. My son would probably role his eyes and say, “Mom, god, (sigh) don’t you know anything?” when I asked a stupid question about football or basketball or soccer.
So yes, maybe there will be a SLIGHTLY smaller learning curve with my daughter than there would be with my son. But that would be the case if I was a married mom. Or a rich mom. Or a famous mom. Or whatever adjective you would like to put in front of the word. For some reason, the sex of my baby gives a handful of people a reason to pause and talk to me like I am a charity case. So I want to put this in print.
I am a mom. Maybe the circumstances surrounding my motherhood are not ideal, but I would bet if you polled all of the moms you know you would find they would say that they thought the same thing when they got pregnant. I know my parents were both working very hard, my mom an Emergency Room nurse working overnights and weekends, and my dad an accountant trying to earn his CPA. I was born 2 weeks before the end of tax season, something I am pretty sure his bosses weren’t jubilant about. And we lived in a condo in Bridgeport, CT. Ideal? No. Perfect? Probably not in their eyes at the time. I am sure mom worried just as much about everything as I do. Would she change a thing? I know for a fact she wouldn’t. Every year on March 31st she tells me that the day I was born was the best day of her life. And I believe her.
And as for my dad…on my 30th birthday this year he sent me a simple email that had “DADDY” in the subject and the body said, “30 years ago you gave me the best name in the world.”
Those are the details that matter.
The details they stressed about are not even in my memory, I only know about them because they have shared what they worried about with me over the years.
Growing up, all I knew was love. Because even though their life wasn’t in perfect order, and everything wasn’t ideal, they showed me what love is. And then they gave me three sisters that I care about more than anything in this world and who make me wonder if I can possibly love my daughter as much as I love them.
Is everything perfect right now? NO. Do I wish I had a partner to help with everything? Yes. Do I still plan to find that partner? ABSOLUTELY. So I am not a single mom. I am a mom, that happens to be single right now. The baby and I did just did things out of order. And ask my parents, I was never one for convention anyway.
So when people speak to me with that overly sympathetic look I want to stop them and say:
I did not just lose my legs in an accident, I do not have cancer, and I did not lose loved ones in a fire. I AM GAINING ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS IN THE WORLD – A DAUGHTER.
See pic of me and my mommy.