While snuggling on the couch with Gary, I was re-reading some of my posts for Milwaukee Mom. One of my posts mentioned a worry because, “I am a single mom.” His eyes are soft, yet a twinge of pain when he asked, “Do you still feel like you are a single mom?”
Friends, it hit me like a ton of bricks … I’m no longer a single mom.
My claim to single motherhood is my warrior title. It’s something I’m proud of. It hasn’t been easy and often times I feel like it’s my scarlet letter. I’ve grown proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish on my own.
Being a single mom defined me.
It’s what has separated me from the “other moms.” I wasn’t like them. I didn’t have help at home. I paid for, furnished, and maintained my home. I made every meal, did every bedtime and all the homework, all on my own. Even though single motherhood was never something I wanted to do, I had learned to love it.
My title of single mom made me proud.
Yet, with an innocent question I realized I was no longer that mom. I no longer deserve that title. I have someone at home who helps me. He may work third shift, but he’s here for dinner and he’s here for bedtime. I have someone paying the bills with me. I have someone who is committed to the same life I am.
I’m no longer a single mom.
Out of respect for single mamas, I relinquish my title.
It used to give me such rage when my married friends would claim they were “single moms” for the weekend. Dear friend, you have someone who is doing life with you, your partner is just gone for the weekend.
Out of respect and honor for the title “single mom,” I am no longer a single mom.
I am grateful for my co parent.
Having someone who would live this life with me is something I’ve always wanted. That’s why the underlying sadness of giving up my title surprised me. I didn’t realize how proud or how badass I felt when I could give my boys the world and also claim how I did it all as a single mom.
I’m so grateful for the smiling man who sits on the other side of the couch. I suppose having wore the single mom title for so many years has given me a true appreciation for what he brings to our family. I know just how hard it be all on your own.
To my sisters who still face child raising on their own – I see you. Your loneliness is familiar to me. Keep on keeping on. You’ve got this!