In my last post, I talked about how much harder parenting gets for me when my husband is out of town. Yes. It is harder. But it is in no way as hard as my single mom friends have it. I'm here taking care of the home front while my husband goes off to bring home the bacon. My single mom friends do both and then some. Every. Dang. Day. Two of my single mom friends don't even have an ex that is remotely in the picture. They are driving this mommy bus completely solo. Tough broads, those gals.
They go from 5am to 10pm+ non stop. They do breakfasts, shoe tying, teeth brushing, carpool lanes, clock punching, diaper changing, bill paying, potty training, snot wiping, lunch packing, doctor appointments, floor de-stickifying, laundry washing, grocery schlepping, dinner making, bathing, bedtime stories, lullabies, boo boos, tantrums, meltdowns, and so much more with no one else's help. Ever.
No one else is invested in raising their tiny humans. No one is waiting for them when they walk in the door with their young'ns after an impossibly long day. No one ever takes a turn getting dinner together to give them a break. No one else is responsible for the type of human they raise. No one else is contributing to that college fund. No one else is contributing to that child's sense of self worth. No one else is there to help in discipline. No one else is lying next to them in bed wondering if their kids are happy enough. No one is there to hold them when they're crying and feeling that one person can't give their kids everything they need and deserve. No one shares the burden of wondering how to make their account balance work. There's no one else to explain to their tear stained child why they don't have two parents like everyone else. There is no one there to take a turn taking care of a sick kid so they don't lose any hourly pay. There is no one there to hash out how to troubleshoot parenting dilemmas. They can't leave the dishes in the sink and just save them for hubby when he gets home. No one else is helping make sure the kids are having fun despite all the all encompassing to-do list.
They don't have a significant other to watch the kids so they can go get a haircut, get a mani pedi, get dinner with girlfriends, or even go to the doctor. Childless time is expensive for them, both in time and in money. They don't have the luxury of having the time or money to do anything selfish.
If I get in such a tizzy from reading stuff like this, I can't begin to imagine how offended my single mom friends are when they read it. "Single mom" isn't some cutesy title you temporarily claim for yourself. It's a badge of honor that is earned by real single moms who work their tails off, and in my mind, are the closest thing to real life superheroes.
If you're not a single mom, I'm not saying that your life is stress free. You're maxed out, stressed out, and more. Momming is hard, y'all. But for the love of everything, please stop telling them that you "get" their struggles in "single momming it" because of your temporary extra load of exhaustion due to having a traveling spouse, a two career household, or being overwhelmed. If you do that, I think any single mom is totally justified to just #BYEFELICIA on you. Because it's not even kind of the same thing.