Single mother shaming = slut shaming?

I’ll admit it. In my lifetime I never thought twice (or even once) about what it must be like to be a single mom before I became one. I thought a lot about what it would be like to be pregnant, give birth and make decisions about how to raise the child. Over the years that I was a nanny there was plenty of time to think about how I would do things the same or differently from the families I worked for. I can now say it was much easier to know how I would raise a child prior to actually having one. Now with one before my eyes – it’s a whole new ball game.

To be fair, I never really thought about what it would be like to become a parent alongside a partner either though. In my mind I guess it was just a given: a baby would come with a partner and vice versa. Right? Wrong. At this point anyway, I am a single parent. Not even a co-parent. A very single singular solo parent. And now, that’s all I know. I don’t know what it’s like to juggle a relationship with a partner along with everything else. I don’t know what it is like to share the emotional burden and joy – and the financial burden – with an even minimally involved co-parent. I have no idea. I can only guess that new motherhood is a lot of upheaval any way you slice it. That’s the best word I can think of: upheaval. You are the same person you were before. And at the same time you are very much not. It has been a real identity crisis for me at times. Probably especially because things were smooth sailing/hitting my stride just before someone took up camp in my uterus.

All that said, there are many articles and sound bytes swirling out there about how single mothers are basically the scourge of the earth. Some are loosely research based, and some even more loosely research based. Being a scientist, I find some of the statistics questionable. But it’s still disheartening to be working so hard to be a good mom and raise a good person and do a good job either everything else…and then come across these killjoys in the news and through the wormholes of the internet. I do my best not to wrap myself up in those thoughts at the end of another long day. One way I try to manage my way through these landmines (and also on the heels of a single mom friend being harassed out of her corporate job due to her single mom status) – I find myself searching out single-mother-pep-talks online. Here are a few good ones:

Shaming the Single Mom

Respect my Motherhood

Let’s Talk About Shaming Poor Single Black Mothers, shall we?

Six Things You Can Do Instead of Shaming Unmarried Woman for Having Children

I’m SICK of Single Mom Shaming

What Not to Say to a Single Mom

Putting Down Single Mothers Does Nothing…

The Sometimey Guilt of Single Motherhood

How Unwed Mothers Feel About Being Unwed Mothers

And what about good old fashioned any-and-all-mothers mother shaming? I never knew this was a thing until recently. Nuts.

Mother Shaming. At a Supermarket Near You

When Feminists Catch Fleas

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Single mother shaming = slut shaming?

  1. Amazing Single Mama,
    You GOT This. In fact, your ability to stay positive, yet point out the distinctive differences and (sometimes, discrimination) single mothers face, is rare. I promise you, you’ll be a good mom simply because you love your child and you are recognizing that while the shame against single mothers exists, it does NOT define you. Thanks for linking to my post about Joe Soucheray’s awful comments. (There’s a special place in writer’s purgatory for Joe’s columns.) Please reach out if you’re job searching. I’m well-connected in the recruiter world and would LOVE to help. Viva la single revolution!
    >> Kate-Madonna (GirlmeetsGeek)

    Like

  2. Thank you Kate-Madonna! I really appreciate your kind words. I’m still new at this (mothering and blogging) and trying to figure out which way is up…and talk (or write) my way out of it. I’m really enjoying your blog – your writing and the content you choose to write about are excellent. Keep up the awesome work! I will be in touch via email!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Intergenerational Aspects of Shame – The Legacy of the Greatest Generation | Winston Scrooge

  4. The blaming the woman for being a single mom and ruining the country is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! How about all the 2 parent families with an abusive dad, an absent dad, a disappointing dad, a bad influence dad, a withholding love dad…. I could go on and on. How are 2 parent families just automatically better? Don’t forget the fighting angry parents who are miserable together! Is just such a male driven “issue”

    Like

    • It’s nuts. It especially blows my mind when it’s other women doing the blaming. I really don’t get it. It’s one of those things that probably has an element of self-fulfilling-propecy to it – people set such a low expectation of another human being often enough – well…it gets harder and harder to fend that off. Every parent deserves support – not just the ones who did it the “right” way. I could go on and on, too.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s