Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Am I getting penalized for NOT being a single mom?

Before I get started let's make one thing clear:  I have a lot of respect for single mothers.  It's hard enough being a parent but I couldn't imagine raising Garrett by myself.

Lately I seem to have found that being married has become a sort of obstacle when it comes to my son.  We're looking into Early Intervention and I was on the phone with them.  They asked my marital status and if I was married to Garrett's father, if we lived together.  I responded yes and got this disappointed "oh".  It sounded as if we would suddenly be less qualified for EI because we are a 2 parent home.
I had something similar happen at a play group.  While chatting with the woman I said something about my husband and she seemed disappointed that I wasn't a single mom.  I do understand that you want people who will understand what you are dealing with but I don't understand the reaction from most people.  Does my being married mean I can't have friends who aren't married?

I have single friends, married friends, divorced friends, child free friends, single mom friends.  Never at any point when I was meeting them did it ever even occur to base my friendship on their marital status (or what choice they wanted to make long term).

In a society that swears it prides itself on diversity there seem to be a lot of people who only want to surround themselves with people just like them. 
Even Ben gets the short stick in this.  So few men's restrooms have changing tables, and he often gets looks from people who ask him why his wife doesn't change the diapers.  And really why does it matter if there even is a wife or not, we share the work.   He's wondered if I'd make more friends if I went to some play groups on my own.  Probably not because I'm not going to pretend to be a single mother and I don't think having or lacking a spouse should really change anything when it comes to making friends.


Anonymous said...

single moms are extremely likely to live in poverty, usually have very little support or even time with other adults. you have a supportive partner who seems to be sharing the work with you, and a two-parent household for your son. seems like a pretty good consolation prize for feeling like you don't belong sometimes.

TeawithFrodo said...

I think you missed a lot of the point. My son is less likely to qualify for any sort of help even if he needs it way more. People make the assumption that parenting is suddenly easier because you are married . No one should be treated differently because of marital status

TeawithFrodo said...
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