Back when I was buying a condo as an unmarried woman about a decade back, I was confronted with the term “spinster” in the legal documentation declaring that I *gasp* had no husband in the process of buying this home. Get your fainting couches ready. I think it would have been far less jarring had I been confronted with the term THORNBACK, though. What’s a thornback you ask? Come with me on this journey of fantastic singlehood, friends…
Why over a decade of holiday seasons have come and gone without a Christmas card from us is complicated.
Actually it’s not! It’s because of shame; plain and simple.
I ended up feeling like I didn’t have a “right,” or we weren’t “enough of a family” to send one out. Like it was a feeling that we weren’t complete. Like somehow we were less of a family because there wasn’t a second parent, or even another child. Just me and her. Just. Only.
My soon-to-be ex-husband and I have shared custody of our son, which means he is with me about half of the month. In addition to being a mother, I work full time and am studying full time as well. (Read: I’m poor.) I’m living with a family member at the moment but I’m trying to relocate closer to school and work.
I’ve had many friends and family and acquaintances exclaim, “I don’t know how you do it!” when I mention the kids and work and school and all my various activities. I have a LOT on my plate, but in the throes of it, I just… do it. I manage. Somehow. Here’s the thing, though. I think the term “single mom” is kind of misleading. Yes, I am single. “Single” in the strictly relationship-status-definition of the word. I do not have a boyfriend or significant other who helps me with housework and rubs my feet at night and shares the day-to-day responsibility of caring for my children.
These photos of Athalia and her daughter, Lailah, were recently sent over to us from California photographer Whittaker Portraits. Athalia is a single mom, and wanted to capture this time in her five-year-old’s life. Athalia plans to give these to her daughter when she grows up along with poems, letters, and quotes she’s kept in a journal, which I love!
Most days as I push our stroller up a hill loaded with my son and a week’s supply of groceries and feel the muscles in my arms and legs working, I am reminded of the total body workouts I used to enjoy at my local gym. Not that long ago I lived a very different life — one that included a husband, a charming little house that we owned on a tree-lined street, a fulﬁlling full time job, a fun fashion part time job, volunteer work as a board of director for two companies, four weekly gym workouts and a circle of friends for dinner parties or BBQs and occasional travel.
I am a single mother with a rapidly evolving career. My three-year-old and I have been living with my parents for almost two-and-a-half years now, and it’s time to leave. I found a decent (read: not dangerous) apartment complex, and we will be moving in about a month.
What I’ve been considering a lot lately, and what has been upsetting me, is that marriage seems to = babies according to common logic. I find myself not just frustrated as a woman that is simply not damn ready to have a baby yet, but also insulted for pretty much any family that has done things differently.