Dear Reason Seekers,
I’m a single mom and you might be shocked to hear that it’s because the father of my children sucks.
Sometimes fathers (or mothers) suck so much that they willingly resign themselves from their parenting status and in their wake, leave a single mother (or father) behind. It happened with the father of my children. He sucked really hard at parenting and that’s pretty much the short answer to a very long story.
I’m a writer (obviously) and have been doing this gig for a little while now. Even after writing countless articles on this topic – sorry, you’re not a single mom just because your husband works – and reading countless comment sections, it always astounds me when I read the comments that are left on some of the articles that I write about being a single mother. Here’s just a few of my favorites:
“She shouldn’t have slept with someone if she wasn’t prepared for the possibility of single motherhood; she has no one to blame but herself.”
“She shouldn’t have had a baby with someone who wasn’t ready.”
“She probably chased her baby’s father away.”
“She’s the one who opened her legs and that was poor planning on her part.”
Sigh. I know enough single moms to tell you that this societal finger pointing doesn’t just happen to me because of my job; this finger-pointing runs rampant in our society.
Why is “he left” such an unacceptable and unfathomable answer to why someone is a single mother? Why do so many people feel the need to find a reason why the single mother must be at fault for her situation? Is it because loving your own child is such a primal instinct that people simply can’t wrap their heads around the fact that maybe some fathers actually don’t have that instinct? Does labeling my parenting status as “her fault” somehow right the world for you?
I don’t get it.
Things happen, people change, and sometimes those same people let you down in ways that prove nothing other than the fact that they suck. I’m certainly not saying that that every single mother has a suck-ass father for her kids and I’m certainly not saying that every father who doesn’t have custody of his kids sucks. In my case, I trusted the wrong person. I married a man who was not who I thought he was and I had kids in a situation that was out of my control. No matter how hard I tried, he consistently changed for the worse and in the end decided that family life was not for him and he left.
Am I at a fault for that? Sure, in some aspects, but the big difference is that I’m here and I’m raising the kids that took two people to create.
I am first and foremost a single mother not because of the circumstances that led to my single mom status, but I am a single mother because the father of my children decided that he did not want to be their father anymore.
People can hate me all they want, speculate on why my situation is my fault and find blame in me, but the fact remains that I am a single mother because I am still here, raising my kids, all by myself. And despite the jaded tone of this article, I love them more than life itself and despite what this article may imply, I don’t talk negatively about my children’s father to them (by the time they are old enough to read this they will have figured out that he sucks all by themselves). I just have a particularly vile feeling when it comes to the blame game in dissecting a single mom’s status.
So please, people, leave us alone. We are busy raising the kids that another person left behind.
We are here, because we didn’t walk away.
We are single mothers, because someone else did.
We are single mothers because sometimes fathers just suck.
So stop judging.
Seriously, just stop.
Eden Strong, A single mother to two amazing kids who have a sucky father.