10 Things I Don’t Say

I recently read an interesting blog article,

10 th

You can find the original article here. I found it thought provoking, mainly because my own experience is much different from the author’s.

(Spoiler: It’s never crossed my mind to say (or think) most of these – fear of judgment or not.)

1. “Your words hurt.” I have never experienced a person saying something to me in regard to my single parent state that was intentionally mean or hurtful. I have been saddened and hurt by words, but the intention behind the words was never hurtful. Words that hurt, hurt because they touch an open wound. A “Daddy-Daughter Dance” is a lovely thing, but when your daughter doesn’t have a Daddy to attend with, those words hurt, even though the words themselves were never ever intended for that purpose.

2. “We will freak out if you ever refer to our kids as ‘baggage.’”   No one has ever referred to my children as “baggage.” Ever. People really say that to single parents?

However, I do agree with the dating piece of the author’s point, and I would/will say this. Don’t date me if you are unsure of the “whole kids thing. Just. Don’t.

3. “We’re not rich.” Ha! I doubt that anyone even assumes that we are. And I do not receive child support.

4. “There will always be some “drama” with our kid’s other parent, if they’re around.” My children’s other parent is not around, so our drama level is way low.

5. “We feel isolated and lonely.” This is a hard one. Yes, absolutely, Single Moms are in a world of their own. I agree that connecting with like moms, single or married is key. News flash, there are married  moms out there who feel isolated and lonely. I’m thankful to work in an office with my parents and brother; if I didn’t, I would definitely feel more isolated and lonelier. But, I also believe isolation and loneliness are situations that, under most circumstances, we can change. Conclusion: Occasionally, on a cold, dark night I have felt isolated and lonely, but in the warm light of day, it rarely crosses my mind.

6. “We worry constantly that we aren’t doing a good enough job.” Absolutely not. I don’t worry, and definitely not about this. The reason: I have Christ in my life and He loves my children even more than I do. How could I worry about my  job of raising them when I have the God of the Universe sticking it out and walking with me? I trust Him. Worry is futile.

7. “We aren’t very much fun.” Huh. How many married people with children are super fun? Really. Come on, be honest. By our mid-thirties we’re already falling asleep on the couch in the middle of our favorite show. We can’t go out for coffee because it keeps us awake and we can’t drink wine because it knocks us out. This is not a single parent thing. This is a parent thing. Kids wear us out and it doesn’t matter if there are 1 or 2 or 10 parents. You know it’s true. However, I’m definitely still fun.

8. “We don’t have a strong sense of ‘self'” Yes, I do. I’m a Mother. 😉  I think I covered this in my recent post 1%. Or 5.

9. “Long before our kids could understand adult conversation, we talked to them like they could.”  I have no idea if this is true. How would I? I have no way of knowing whether I would talk in the same manner to my children if I were still married or not. I’m kind of at a loss here.

10. “Someone complimenting our kid means the world to us.” Yes. Yes. And YES! Wait, doesn’t every  parent feel this way?

Yet, In all honestly, I think it does mean more to single parents. On this point, I agree whole-heartedly with the author of the article. I think #10 is a gauge with which we can measure how well things are going in #6 . When nice things are relayed to us about our children we get a sense that:

They really are turning out OK.

Being raised by only one parent isn’t scarring them for life.

They are well-adjusted and kind and happy.

joy l

I suppose every parenting journey, married, single or other, is unique. The paths of our lives rarely lead where we expected. I latch on to the joy that is found in the brief moments that build our days. Eventually, they will build a lifetime.

cwj 3Isn’t that exactly what this blog is all about?

I’ve been a single parent of four children for three & a half years.

 

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8 thoughts on “10 Things I Don’t Say

  1. I was extremely active in my church. Grew up there. On committees, work groups, led Bible studies. When my abusive husband left me i was hysterical and barely left the house. No one helped me. I got one meal for my kids. No one called to take them to youth group or Sunday School, shich we never missed. I did still get calls to bake for funerals, i said no. I wasn’t even cooking for my kids. I went to a counselor immediately. I stopped going to church. I was treated like a leper. My girlfriend’s husband died suddenly and she had so mucg support and meals, we often joked anout it. Divorce in a conservative church was just not gonna work.

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    • I’m thankful for your honesty in your response. I’m saddened that you experienced this and I’m angry as well. But most of all I’m hopeful that your comment spurs me on toward greater kindness toward others, specifically those in broken families. To see and to love them. It is oh so easy to turn our faces away from hurting people and judge them. I hope it spurs everyone who reads it on to not be so quick to judge and to be reminded that hurting people are found even in the most unexpected of places.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Yeah, I have absolutely the opposite experience as well. I do know that some poor souls think they’re better because of having the mate. It’s just not a pageant. I wish they knew that. Meanwhile, I’m very happy raising mine alone, chasing my dreams, and enjoying my life along with many other single parents. Now, it isn’t easy, but we aren’t doing as bad across the board. God help us all to be more kind. I’m working on building a support system. I’ll keep you posted. Good post!

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  3. I was raised by a single parent for half my childhood, and my sister and I didn’t suffer for it. My mom probably did give up a lot of things (she never remarried, for one), but it was important for her to be there for us. Since she was raised by her grandparents, I think that she was very intent on raising us herself. Luckily, when my dad passed away after a short bout with cancer, their finances were in good order, and she didn’t struggle in that manner. She had cancer twice and fought it and always says that we were the impetus for her to beat it. And, frankly, I know people who grew up with two parents who dealt with more troubles and discord in their homes. Who knows what family structure is best? Probably different for everyone. You made some excellent points — especially in #5. I think I’d rather not be married if it’s that unhappy a situation.

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  4. I feel like that a lot of the things the author talks about could be applied to ALL mothers. I agree with you Becky that a mother that is married can feel isolated as well, and mothers as a whole always worry about their children, not just single mothers. I just don’t agree with all of this seperation. We all have our struggles, we all sacrifice, and we all love our children. We are mothers. Period.

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