This weekend, I went to a meetup group for newly single moms. You know, trying to meet people in my same situation and all.
While I was there, I realized three things:
1) I do not feel emotionally damaged;
2) I have no doubt that, with the exception of things I cannot control, my future is very bright;
3) being a single mom is hard and people judge you.
One of the moms at the group confessed that she judged single moms before she became one. She said to herself, "wow, you couldn't make it work, huh?" and "just didn't try hard enough, did ya? Couldn't keep your man?" At first I was a little shocked, as I have never judged single mothers. People who voted for Prop 8, yes, but single moms? Never.
By contrast, I always had a deep respect for single mothers. I felt that their lives must be extremely hard, and always visualized a woman who had to work two jobs for her child(ren). Sacrifice. That's what I thought of.
But then I started thinking about some of the comments I've heard from strangers: "well, it always takes two to tango," and "XYZ probably happened because he was feeling ABC," and "well, isn't that true of ALL men?" The answer, strangers-who-think-they-know-
So yes, people judge single moms. Why, I'm not sure. In some ways, this goes back to my last post -- perhaps people are insecure or hold a strong opinion about the effects of divorce. As I've gotten older (and ostensibly more mature), I've come to realize that most people have a good reason for being in the situation they're in. It's never as black and white as it may appear, and there are always parts to the story that you haven't heard. I just don't think it's wise to judge others.
I don't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. I try not to consume myself with thoughts of who might be judging me. And I don't tell people how hard it is to be a single mom, which it is (what I wouldn't give for a dishwasher! And I would be willing to give up many things for a cleaning lady. And could someone please tell C that she can go ahead and like daycare already, so I don't cry every morning before work?). I simply don't see a point in dwelling on all the negatives.
Instead, let's focus on the positives: I have a comfortable apartment in a nice neighborhood. My baby sleeps with me every night. And I feel free.
What about you? Do you or have you judged single moms? How do you feel about being judged yourself?Comment
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