No one ever said parenting is easy, and things can be even more difficult when you’re a single parent. Not only do you have to work to keep food on the table, but you also have to somehow make time to be there for your kids. However, some parents have gotten into the bad habit of calling themselves single parents—despite not being single. Unsurprisingly, this trend has been rubbing actual single parents the wrong way. But here, one single mother is calling these people out via an open letter. What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us in the comments below!
Single moms. Clare Elsworth writes an open letter via Australian website Mamamia declaring that all non-single mothers stop referring to themselves as such. For some reason, certain mothers who may have working or non-supportive partners have begun to call themselves “single moms” while their partners are away.
Offensive. While it’s true that a lot of these women may feel alone in their parenting, that still doesn’t give them a right to call themselves a single mom when so many women out there actually are physically alone. According to Elsworth, referring to yourself as a single mom when you’re not is offensive to actual single moms out there.
Pity. “Are you looking for pity because your partner is at work while you’re at home with your child/ren? You won’t get it from single mums. Do you know how many single mums would love the luxury of being at home with their children but can’t be because they carry the financial responsibilities for their family?” Elsworth asks in her open letter.
Moms. Elsworth continues to explain how some women have chosen to be single moms because they’ve left unhealthy relationships and want to focus on their families as opposed to finding “The One.” Meanwhile, other single moms have been left alone because their partners walked out or passed away.
Alone. “Many single mums rarely get a break, if ever. There is no one to share the financial stress, or decision making. There is no one to help make decisions on care with, or share the emotional load. There is no one to get up even once to a crying baby, day or night. We are on our own,” writes Elsworth.ne. “Many single mums rarely get a break, if ever. There is no one to share the financial stress, or decision making. There is no one to help make decisions on care with, or share the emotional load. There is no one to get up even once to a crying baby, day or night. We are on our own,” writes Elsworth.
Supportive. Despite being alone themselves, single moms don’t hesitate to be there for their friends, who may be going through a similar situation. The are willing to put aside their own troubles and worries in order to give you a shoulder to cry on.
Tough. “While you are complaining to your single mum friends that you feel like a ‘single mum’ she likely comforts you, knowing you are doing it tough right now, & whatever your tough looks like, your pain is real. She acknowledges that. She just really wished you’d chosen your words differently,” writes Elsworth.
Badge. Elsworth continues to explain how calling yourself a single mother isn’t something you can take on and off, as if it were a hat or a badge. Actual single mothers don’t have the option of deciding what days they’ll be single moms and what days they won’t.
Insensitive. “When you complain about your partner and say things like ‘it would just be easier if I was a single mum’ you are being incredibly insensitive & offensive. Please stop throwing the ‘single mum’ title around. Please, just stop,” writes Elsworth.
Not an easy job. Elsworth says she doesn’t mean to undermine working moms who also care for their children. At the end of the day, the job of being a mother isn’t easy, no matter the circumstances.
Responsibility. “I have friends whose husbands work very long hours, and/or are away. A lot. I see them taking on enormous responsibility at home. I see them juggling their jobs with the needs of their family at home, mostly on their own. I see them. I see you,” writes Elsworth.
Appreciation. So yes, being a parent is hard. But that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the fact that you have a partner who is willing to help, even if it’s only every so often. At least you have that.
Drama. “You don’t need to dramatise your life by saying you’re a ‘single mum’, for whatever extent of time it is this time. Can’t you just be on your own with the kid/s for that time? You are not single,” writes Elsworth.
Be a good friend. Elsworth ends her open letter by suggesting that the next time you’re out with a friend who actually is a single mother, you give her the recognition she deserve. After all, what are friends for?
You. What do you think of Elsworth’s open letter? Do you know any single moms that need to be recognized for their efforts more often? Be sure to let us know!