I have a soft spot in my heart for single moms. The real ones.
Admittedly, there was a short time where I tried the single mom status on for size and it just didn’t fit over my inflated sense of self. I met mothers who truly did it all by themselves, and I felt so ashamed for ever pretending for a moment that we were equals. The real single mothers? They’re saints.
When Freddy broke his arm, I phoned Jason and he left work to meet me at the hospital so that I could pick the other kids up from school. When Kylah and Ethan have soccer games at two separate parks, Wendy and Andrew work together to to get them to each field. We are so fortunate to have each other.
Real single moms don’t have that luxury.
The rest of us have shared custody with the other fully functional, loving and devoted parent so while we have our kids on our days, we are “on” and when the kids go to the other parent’s house, we get a bit of a break.
On our off days, we can do whatever we want, more or less, without the responsibility of being a parent in that moment. We can hang out with girlfriends at a pub, go on dates, run ultra marathons, the list goes on. Hell, we can do taxidermy voodoo in our basements or walk around naked sticking mini garlic pickles up our bums and nobody would be around to know. We’d have a WHOLE ENTIRE FIFTY PERCENT OF OUR LIVES TO FUCK RIGHT OFF.
You know what real single moms do? They don’t sleep. If they collect any child support it’s to bank in case their ex spouse ends up in jail after the upcoming court date. They don’t eat much, or, if they do it’s no-name ice cream consumed in the middle of the night while they’re crying and scared about how they’re going to make it through the next month and said ice cream usually comes back up in an anxiety-induced puke spray. They work, a lot. They worry. They carry their children’s pain and struggles on their chest ALONE. No sharesies. The dump truck of responsibility is parked on top of their blessed hearts for eternity.
I lamely brought one of these saintly single mothers a coffee last weekend on her moving day. A stupid coffee. That’s it. And I sat there beside her on her couch and stared at the strongest woman I have ever known and felt so pathetic in comparison and silently prayed that the coffee I brought her would be a winning cup. And if not, then hopefully she’d know that I’m here to carry a rock or two out of the back of the dump truck parked on her heart.