It’s a rainy fall day. It’s the kind of day that I am totally into when I have the day off, and I can cuddle up with someone I love and watch TV all day. I haven’t had a day like that in years. I don’t have someone to cuddle up with. I am a happy and positive person most of the time, but today is just one of those days when I’m feeling a little pouty. I’ve been thinking a lot about how single moms are perceived. Assumptions are made by people who are unable or unwilling understand. I actually used to be one of those people before my divorce, so today I want to debunk these myths about us.
Myth No. 1: It’s Super Fun to Be Dating Again
Truth: It was fun for the first 30 minutes of the first date I went on. The fact is, dating is exhausting. Wearing yoga pants and a hoodie isn’t an option when meeting new men. Now I have to balance taking care of my children all the while making sure I feel and look desirable. Not only that, but sorting through men and trying to figure out which ones are the good ones is also super difficult. Any and all insecurities you have from your past relationship are magnified because you now have to get a man to love you and your children. He has to love all the curves and ripples that carrying and delivering babies that are not his own have put on your body. He has to be willing to sacrifice time with you when you need to be there for your kids. So, no, it is not fun.
Myth No. 2: You Must Have a Ton of Alone Time Now
Truth: As a single mom, I am basically functioning as both parents most of the time, so there is very little opportunity for being alone. I actually rarely shower or go to the bathroom in privacy just like when I was a married mom. Yes, my ex has the kids sometimes, but I often have chores or errands to catch up on because I can’t efficiently get them done when I have my kids (all of us moms know the miracle of shopping alone). And in case you’ve forgotten myth No. 1, some of my precious alone time is spent on dating. This is a gamble and many times, part way through the date, I just want some Calgon to take me away to a hot bath and some binge watching alone in the dark.
Myth No. 3: You Want to Steal My Husband
Truth: We just either got dumped or we dumped our husbands. We really don’t want yours, I promise. Half the time I don’t even know if I want to be in a relationship or get married again. So, please, for Pete’s sake, stop thinking we are on the prowl for married men, especially yours. Girl code, hello.
Myth No. 4: You Are a Bad Person Because Your Marriage Is Over
Truth: I can’t speak for all single moms, but I know I am a great mom (or I’m trying to be), a loyal friend, a loving daughter, and that my marriage ending doesn’t take away from that. Please remember we are people and moms too. We struggle with balancing life with children just like married moms do. We already feel like we are walking around with scarlet Ds branded on us at times, so we don’t need anyone making us feel worse about it.
Myth No. 5: You Aren’t That Great of a Mom Anymore
Truth: This is the most insulting and upsetting myth in my opinion. Has my world been rocked? Are there aspects of my life that are different now? Have I changed a bit or a lot from how I was when I was married in some ways? Yes, yes, and yes. However, my love and devotion to my children has not changed. Their well-being is at the top of my priority list and always will be. I do not make irresponsible choices when they are in my care, and I don’t sacrifice their safety simply because my marriage failed.
There are more myths, I’m certain, but these are the ones that have impacted me the most since my divorce. I need support, love and friends who genuinely care about me. The next time you meet someone who has gone through or is going through a divorce, try to remember that while you may not be able to empathize, you can sympathize with her. She is a person likely going through one of the hardest things she has ever experienced, and the struggle is real. Please cut her some slack and get to know her. We aren’t as scary as you might think.