Many mom’s and dad’s are the sole parent to their child for a variety of circumstances. I, however, have the opportunity to co-parent quite effectively with the father of my children.
I am not single, alone or abandoned in my parenthood.
Yet why does society seek to attach that word as an adjective to my motherhood? Single Mom.
Should you also be seeking to attach that word to woman as a way to define my marital status, single woman, I would ask that you refrain from that as well.
Please do not use that adjective to define my womanhood.
Define me by my pursuits, my job, my religion, my community work, my motherhood.
But whatever you do please don’t introduce me as your “single friend”, the “single mom”, the “single co-worker”.
I love your desire to show your admiration for how hard it is to parent from the space of divorce by attaching the word single to my status as a mom. Many nights as I struggle to put three girls to bed and give each the attention they need, I feel alone in my job. But defining me as a single mom would do a huge disservice to their Dad, who in his on right, tries his hardest to parent alone when I am not present.
My children have two loving and engaged parents. Please don’t refer to either of us as single parents.
I also admire your attempt to set me up with a partner whenever you see a chance by attaching the word single as a descriptor to my status as a woman. Whether it be at the coffee shop when you want to introduce me to your “single neighbor” we just ran into or casually over lunch when you offer to set me up with other “single friends”. I love your enthusiasm for being a matchmaker but single is just not how I think of myself.
I love words. I love the good they can do when used in the appropriate ways.
So please, regardless of how good your intention is behind labeling me as single, I ask you rethink that word and its applicability to my life.
When forced to come up with an adjective to describe me, may I suggest that you substitute the word single for extraordinary.
“Can I set you up with my extraordinary friend Heather?”
“Have you met this extraordinary mom I know?”
That my friends is putting real power behind a word.