You’re Not a Real Single Mom

Originally posted at Mommy My Way and again on Huffington Post.

circle nikkiby Nikki Stephens, blog owner and writer at Mommy My Way  is a 25 year old single working mom to baby boy Zaylen. She believes that just because her way is a little hard it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Find Nikki on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

I was recently “mansplained” how there are real single moms and then there are single moms who claim the title. Ya know the type of single mom I’m referring to? No, you don’t? That’s OK because I didn’t either. I am a single mom. I have never been married and my son’s father is not in the picture at all. I don’t receive child support and I do it all on my own. I bare all of the financial responsibility and am the sole provider for my family. I am a real single mom, at least that’s what I’m told.

What Is A “Real” Single Mom?

Apparently women who:
1. Are not currently in a relationship with the father of their child, but who have an involved and supportive baby daddy, are not allowed to call themselves single mothers.
2. Are not in a relationship with the father of their child and receive child support are not allowed to call themselves single mothers.
3. Have a positive relationship with the father of their child, regardless of his level of involvement, are not allowed to call themselves single mothers.
4. Chose to conceive without a father or significant other are not allowed to call themselves single mothers.

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I guess I wasn’t aware that ‘single mother’ was synonymous with ‘struggling alone.’ I didn’t realize that being a single mom meant I had to be struggling at all.

This explains quite a bit though really. I was wondering why the first thing out of people’s mouths is, “I’m so sorry to hear that” after they find out I’m a solo parent. I was wondering why I received the sad, pity-filled looks as I spoke about my life. I now understand that this is all because I’m a real single mom and being a single mom equals pain.

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Newsflash! I’m pretty freaking happy with my life. I didn’t think I needed to shout it from the roof tops, but I guess I should at least once for people to truly see I’m good with my circumstances.

But what’s most concerning is not that I’m looked at with pity, no the real concern is that all of these single mothers out here are being treated like trash for claiming a title that other people don’t think they have the right to hold.

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I’m sorry but when did being a single mother become some medal of honor that women are jumping at the opportunity to call themselves such? If a woman is single and also a mother, then I truly hate to break it to you, but she is a really real single mom and she doesn’t need your approval to say so.

I don’t care if she splits her parenting time right down the middle and shares all of the responsibility: financial, emotional or otherwise. If she is single and raising a child she can refer to herself as a single mom.

I don’t care if she gets $2,000 or more a month in child support and treats herself to a pedicure every other week. If she is single and raising a child, she is a single mom.

I am so incredibly tired of the stereotypes women are placed into relating to the type of mother they are. You are not HER so stop judging her.

And if you need anymore proof that being a real single mom comes in all forms and fashions… here are just a few real life, real single moms:

OTHER REAL SINGLE MOMS

ROSE is a single mom to a 16 month old. She has a great friendly relationship with her daughter’s father and he helps out financially whenever he can.

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Photo submitted by Rose Evans

 

STACY is a single mom. She is a widow of Correctional Officer Joel Ramos.  They have three beautiful children Joel Jr. 10, Natalie 8, and Alexis 2.

Photo submitted by Nicole Diele with permission by Stacy Ramos. Photo taken by Kayla Tapley of Merced, CA.
Photo submitted by Nicole Diele with permission by Stacy Ramos. Photo taken by Kayla Tapley of Merced, CA.

 

JENNIFER is a single mom. Her son’s father is on active duty in Korea and has never met his son nor does he wish to.

Photo submitted by Jennifer North
Photo submitted by Jennifer North

Are you convinced yet? We are all real single moms and no man (or woman) is going to tell me we aren’t. All moms rule whether they have a good man helping them raise their children or not.

 

 

 

 

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