Because I’m new to this whole blog thing I’m not sure if this is a blog or a rant. I suppose it could be both. Now I’m writing this understanding that this isn’t going to be a popular topic with some people. Some won’t agree. Some may be angered. A few may just see where I’m going with this.
This is something that bothers me, but is not my current situation and has nothing to do with me. It’s more common in women than with men. Still, I let it bother me anyway. That’s something I need to work on.
Marriages don’t always work out. In fact, the divorce ratio is 50/50 really. I always say 50% of marriages end in divorce, 50% of marriages end in death. There’s no good ending.
When there are kids involved in the divorce, let’s face it, they end up with the mother as the primary care giver, most of the time. Another popular option is true joint custody where the children are with the mother a week and the father a week. Splitting it all down the middle. Some divorcing parents come up with their own schedule.
Having been through a divorce, I understand the custody schedule from the court is a minimum schedule. It’s basically like saying “at a minimum if no one can agree to something better, then follow this schedule”. If you can’t agree on what time to exchange or where to exchange the kids, just look and see what the paper work says. If the mother/father that receives custody wants to share the children more than the minimum guideline then go ahead. There’s nothing stopping you but maybe your own pride and spite.
But here’s my point. Here’s what it’s all coming down to. If you are awarded primary custody, wether you are male or female, and your ex-spouse is in the children’s lives, supports financially, is involved in extracurricular activities, always has the children when it’s their turn, and doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing then you are NOT a single parent.
Nothing grinds my gears worse than seeing a post on Facebook, or hearing someone say they are a single mother or single father when in fact, they are not.
Does your child spend time with the father? Does he pay child support? Is he a good father just like he was when you were married? Is he teaching the child to play sports, ride a bike, how to read, how to be a good person, etc? If so, you are NOT a single mother. You are a single woman. There is a difference.
The same goes for you!
We have taken the single mother/single father phrase that has so much meaning behind it and just started throwing it around.
BREAKING NEWS: There are single women out there who haven’t received a dime and the fathers are 1500 miles away with no plans to ever return. Mothers who are working 2 jobs or more to provide. Mothers who are dedicated to their children knowing that the future of their children is 100% weighing on their shoulders. Mothers who have zero help raising a child. That, is a single mother. That is a person who has found themselves in the worst situation, fighting an unfair fight.
The term single mother or single father isn’t a term to be thrown around for attention, to gain pity or to throw shade, as the kids would say, towards your ex.
Mothers and Fathers, if you are feeling overwhelmed, if you feel like the kids are with you more so you have to do more laundry, more homework, more cooking… find a better way to make things work for you. Share the kids more. That doesn’t make you a single mother or a single father. You may just be a single woman or a single man.