This was an anonymous comment left in response to yesterday's post:
"I'm curious as to why a comment such as "I'm a single mom this weekend" gets you all so riled up? You CHOSE to be a single mom. I CHOSE to get married and have kids and not be a single mother. I respect your choice completely, but it was YOUR choice. My husband is a very present father but there are times when he is traveling that I complain "I'm tired of being a single mom" or "This single mom gig is tough." I complain, because I didn't choose to be a single mom and when I am one for a few days not by choice, I feel the pressure. I appreciate having my hubby as my co-parent. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a single parent, I think you are being way over-sensitive and judgmental toward those of us who are not single parents. We still get exhausted by parenthood too - especially when we are used to having a partner to help and he's not around for a few days."
So here is my response:
First of all, why are you anonymous? Why don't you own your comments and sign your name to them? I'll never understand why some people choose to comment anonymously. To me it's a sign of...at best, insecurity, at worst, cowardice.
You are absolutely right that I CHOSE (your capital letters) to be a single mom. I don't regret my choice for a single moment, especially when I look at my much-loved, amazing daughter and I feel proud that I made my dream come true. But the point of my last post--one of very few vent posts I have written, by the way, in the nearly three years I've been blogging--was not about the choices you and I have made. As you stated, you respect my choice, and I definitely respect yours. With no judgment or hostility about it whatsoever. Unlike you, I know that it's not an "us versus them" kind of situation. Our goal is exactly the same: to raise happy, healthy, thriving children.
You claim that I am "being way oversensitive and judgmental" towards people who are not single parents, which could not be further from the truth. I have many, many friends and family members who are happily married and are fantastic parents, and yes, they do feel exhausted at times, just as single parents do. Every parent, regardless of how he or she became a parent, has the right to feel exhausted. I wouldn't dream of saying otherwise.
But there are also some core differences between being a married parent and being a single parent--not just exhaustion--which was the point of my post and apparently the part that you missed. For you to flippantly refer to yourself as a "single" parent just because your partner wasn't around for a few days (oh! the horror!) does a disservice to every single parent out there, whether by choice or by circumstance, who is living the reality of not having a partner indefinitely, not just for a few days. You are absolutely right that I CHOSE to be a single mom, but don't equate your reality with mine, choice or not. It's simply not the same. As I said in my post, you still have emotional support from a partner, financial support and resources, input for making important parenting decisions, and even just simple company after the kids are in bed. These are HUGE differences. And just because I chose to be a single parent doesn't mean that I don't have the right to miss those things. Given the choice between having a child and never becoming a parent, yes, it's still completely worth it to me, no question. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. But even though we share the same goal of raising happy, healthy kids, our day-to-day reality is not the same. This doesn't mean that I resent married parents, because I don't. It just means that flippantly referring to yourself as a "single mom" just because your partner is away for a few days is patently untrue and offensive.
The other aspect of my frustration with my FB friend, which my post may not have made clear and which has been building up a bit over time, is the intensity and duration of her complaining about her pregnancy. I feel a strong affinity towards those in the infertility community, and I don't have much patience with someone who doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that she's able to easily get pregnant in the first place. Does that mean that I am "being way oversensitive and judgmental" towards all pregnant women? Not even close.
Is this a big deal, in the grand scheme of things? Nope, not at all. It was just a vent post, about one person on Face.book. Best case scenario, Anonymous, you'll understand a little more about how many single moms--not just me--feel about privileged married moms casually tossing around the phrase "Oh, I'm a single mom!" at the least provocation. Just read the other comments--written by people who actually signed their names--and perhaps you'll understand a bit better.