Hmmm… as a single mother to two pre-pubescent boys, I tend to get a lot of what I’d call ‘judgement’ statements about ‘how’ I should raise them, ‘where’ my priorities lie, ‘who’ I should affiliate myself with and ‘what’ I am doing wrong. Do you hear me single parents? And do you find it mainly comes from married people who have absolutely no idea how to be a single parent? It’s exhausting. It’s demoralising. It weakens your soul because the more you hear it, the more you feel you’re not doing the right thing by your children and you are torn between what you believe is the right thing to do for them, and what’s the right thing to do for yourself to maintain your sanity.
I’m not suggesting that it’s every married person that I’ve come across as most of my friends are wonderfully supportive, but if you divvy the field, you’ll find that single parents out there haven’t the time to be telling you want you should or shouldn’t be doing because they too are overwhelmed with the plate that life has dealt them themselves.
So here is my rebuttal… no one, unless you have been in the shoes of being a single parent – where you have to earn every dollar to survive, where you have no consistent help from the other parent or grandparents, aunts and uncles, where you have to be a domestic goddess, be a homework genius, a taxi driver and a disciplinarian and where you have to deal with every psychological, educational, medical, social, practical, moral and rearing issue ON YOUR OWN, no one can ever give advice to a single parent.
Why is it that married people dress their judgement up as ‘concern?’ Do you hear single people being concerned about married people? Only unless there is domestic violence, an extra-marital affair going on or other issues like alcoholism or gambling… Really, what are married people ‘concerned’ about with a single person – that they don’t have anyone to share their life with? That they haven’t got anything to do? That they don’t believe that they are happier now than they were in a horrible marriage because ‘belonging’ to someone is ‘their’ version of happiness?
One thing I have learnt though this ordeal is that everyone has their own wants, desires, goals, ideals and code of ethics… Just because mine are different to yours doesn’t mean that you need to cast your opinion of disapproval. If I’m happy, be happy for me. If I’m sad, console me. As I would for you… We can’t afford to place our own individual ideals on other’s lives as in this ever-changing world, we must change our traditions to make life a more pleasant and enjoyable experience. And in any way, if you could see the smiles on my boys’ faces, I know I’m a good mum and I’m doing the right thing for and by them.