Recently, Kristin Cavallari said in an interview that while her husband was away for the next five months playing football – she’d be a single parent.
As you can imagine the sancti-mommys, mom bullies and all the judgmental people of the world cheered as they had found another thing to make into a much bigger deal than it is. I am positive that she did not mean it as seriously as everyone took it. Obviously him being away does not make her a single parent in the way that other people are single parents. She still has the financial support of her husband, but she DOES work and do many things for herself as well. His income is not the only one they have.
Most of the comments under this article consisted of angry, aggressive women stating that she had NO IDEA what she was talking about. She is OBVIOUSLY not a single parent because she has a husband, he financially supports them, he is there the other eight months of the year, etc. They continued by saying that they in fact have to work full time, take care of their children, pay all the bills + pay for whatever their children’s needs, and don’t have anyone around to help take care of the child. This is what I have to say to them.
Not every single parent operates on one income, supporting their family themselves. Many of the single parents I know receive child/financial support (whether voluntary or court ordered) from their children’s other parent. Meaning they are not solely financially responsible for their children.
Not every single parent takes care of their children alone. Many of the single parents I know work full time which has their child with a guardian, babysitter, nanny, daycare, full time school, whatever it is that cares for them during the time in which they are away. This sort of means that they DO have some sort of help in taking care of their child and the entire burden is in fact not on their shoulders alone. Plus many parents share custody, which gives the single parent a period of time in which they are child free and get a break from the hectic life that is parenting.
Not every single parent is really alone. Many people commented rudely to her stating that she IS NOT a single parent because she has a husband. A husband that they said offers her emotional support that they do not receive since they are single parents. But, I know lots of single parents that have boyfriends or girlfriends that have not taken on any responsibility of the child. But the single parent is still not alone, they have a partner to receive emotional support from.
I also recently read an article in which a woman referred to herself as a married single mom because her husband is not around often and she takes of the children herself. I think her story relates to that of Kristin Cavallaris for this reason – they are both parenting alone. All that was meant by BOTH of these women in their stories/interviews was they would in fact be alone in the parenting game for a period of time. By definition, single parenting.
To tell you the truth, I am writing this blog because it hits close to home for me. I am the wife of a Regional Sales Director for an automotive group. He runs six car dealerships and all of their day to day workings. He works six days a week. Sunday is the only day a week he is home, with an occasional Saturday off. He is typically gone about 30 minutes after the kids wake up in the morning and comes home after they have gone to bed at night. What does this mean for me? Every meal of the day, every diaper, every outfit change, every meltdown, every new word, every first, every bath time, every bed time is on my shoulders. Good and bad, it is all me. I am in no way complaining, but I can in fact relate to the women saying they are single parenting because 70 hours a week, I am too. And on the day that my husband IS home – it is not as if they suddenly forget me, I am still the go to parent for them based on habit. I don’t refer to myself as a married single mom, but I could because I single parent more often than not.
I cook and clean up dinner, give the kids a bath, get them ready, and put them to bed every night. Maybe your husband comes home at 5pm, gives the kids a bath and puts them to bed every night. Maybe you work late every night because you’re a single mom so your mom/sister/babysitter/nanny feeds the kids, bathes them, and puts them to bed every night before you get home. That doesn’t make anyones life easier or harder than anyone else. There is no such thing as a normal way of doing things. There is a saying..
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
I don’t know how much chaos you can handle and you don’t know how much I can handle. Maybe you don’t handle stress as well as I do, so thinking about living my life makes you crazy. I honestly don’t know what I would do if my husband was home every night to put the kids to bed, because THIS is our normal.
At the end of the day, instead of everyone jumping down Kristins throat – the ‘married single mom’ writers throat – or my throat, maybe we should all just recognize that parenting is hard. Whether you have a husband, a significant other that is not your children’s parent, or you’re alone – it is hard. Instead of getting in these women’s faces and having a “my life is harder than yours, stop complaining” fight – why can’t we build each other up? Offer advice? Lend a hand? This ‘woe is me’ game that the world seems to always want to play has divided up so many of us instead of bringing us together during one of the most difficult, challenging, confusing, yet rewarding times of our lives.
I do not think less of Kristin for saying she will be a single parent for the next five months because in my eyes, she will be. She will be parenting three young children, the only parent figure in their lives. It will be exhausting. I do not think less of the writer the said she’s a married single mom because if her husband is gone a lot, she is a single mom during that time. There is not another parent there to help take the burden off of her shoulders. Just as I wouldn’t think less of a military spouse to bares the weight of their family on their own during a deployment – and neither would you. So stop hating on these women.
I support you single parents, separated parents, divorced parents, widowed parents, happily married parents, hell even the unhappily married parents because at the end of the day – we’re all doing the most important work no matter what our situations are.