On Being a Single Parent and the differences…

Posted: June 13, 2013 in children, parenting, relationships
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I have 4 children; 2 are biological (ages 8 and 9) and 2 are step-children (ages 11 and 13). You could almost group them into pairs, but the most obvious pair wouldn’t work. During the course 9.875 years of being a parent I have had the luxury , unfortuante opportunity to be a single parent. HOLY CRAP. As I looked through the recently pressed page, I saw hundreds of single moms. Not one single dad. I’m not sure if there are any or that they choose to write about other things. I skimmed a few blogs as I was brainstorming for this one. I also didn’t have to look very far to see my very own case study. My Alicia has been a single mom even when married as many ladies noted (“It felt that way because Mr. X was never around or participated.”) She was a single mom between her first marriage and me, and often was a single mom with me. I used to travel A LOT out of the country, sometimes for a month or two. We also had our bumps in the road and she felt like she was alone in the parenting gig as did I. (Look, it ain’t easy adding 3 and 3 and expecting 1.)

Rarely did I ever hear My Alicia complain. I often think of this other lady when I think of My Alicia: superwoman

SAUCY and TOUGH. Sorry, dear. thats the only image I googled, promise ;-). My Alicia is superwoman in every way possible :-0

Until she started blogging – her “new therapy” I really only had a small clue as to what she thought and felt. Now I have a better understanding of her internal challenges. And, as I said, I read some others on here to gain their perspective. i see a lot of these type folks – we can do it, a lot of angry folks and a lot of sad ones who sound like the moving van just pulled out of the driveway loaded down with all their hopes and dreams as they sit on the steps and wave goodbye while sobbing.

I wanted to add my take on it since I have been on the “other team.” I was a single dad while married to my first wife (“C”). We had two infants and she was in med school full time. She was basically out of the house 6 days a week for 16 hours and 1 day a week for 12 hours. I was cool with it at the time ans I loved being a parent and having control over the kids. (control freak alert). Maybe I latched on to them because the kids reciprocated my love and I was not getting it else where. I have no idea and thought of that before typing this. Three years later came the divorce and I was “single” officially. Alicia and I married 2 years later.

Back to the main topic: Let me share the “advantages” about single parenting (and those tailored to Moms):

1. “C” and I are completely opposite when it comes to parenting. I’m the drill sergeant she is the “friend.” She fought my style tooth and nail ever since we separated in 2007 up until she moved out-of-state last summer. (Oddly enough, I have been told by here twice in the past year that the kids are doing great and I have done a great job). Obviously, I have them full time now and since moving away, she doesn’t interfere any longer – AWESOME! If the two “parents” aren’t on the same page, it will only cause repeated problems. If you re-marry, you better pick someone close to your ideals. (no one is going to be exactly like you and you (me) ain’t the perfect parent, either) Less hassle from ex = more peace

2. If you are a woman (sure as hell don’t offer these for single dads), you get “free” things such as Mom’s Morning Out, Free Oil Changes, Free House or Lawn Maintenance, and Quite often you hear “She’s a Single Parent” which usually tows a feeling of sympathy. Also, you get child support. If if that “lazy, no-good asshole” doesn’t pay, the Courts send out the deputies to pick his ass up and drag him to Court to face the wrath of the Judge and the angry stares from his ex. free babysitting, house care, lawn care, car care, and overzealous judges who have jail power who have your back.

3. You are acknowledged. Do you know how many times I have been at a PTA meeting, awards day, field trip, sporting event, or church event and while standing their with the kids, the speaker begins the message with “Alright, MOMS….” Respect

4. Children acceptance. I bet if there was a study performed, you’d find that it is easier for a woman to find a man who will love and care for her preexisting children than it is for a guy to find the same. If you don’t find someone who will genuinely love your children – good luck to you. Easier for women to transition.

5. Single Moms have “bro” help. Quite often you have friends that will come chill with you at home or go places with kids and almost always a girl will help with something. Not dudes! I can see calling up a bro now: “Hey man, wanna come hang ouy? I have some laundry to do and then we can hang out.” (Dail tone) “Hello? Hello? Dude?” social interactions

Do you know what “benefits” single Dads get? JACK SHIT! If there is 1 slip up with the kids, its because they need their mother. Certainly not a pat-on-the-back-he’s-a-single-parent. No one offered to come clean my house, or give me a break to go fishing, or service my car or lawn, and don’t get me started on child support in arrears. Nope, single dads are expected to do everything a single mom does, AND the husband/daddy chores, too. And as I said one slip up and its because they are with the Dad as if Father’s have no business having full custody.

Well, some of us do deserve it. And stop patting guys on the back for “doing the right thing” which usually entails paying child support on time and picking up the kids when they are supposed to. Single parent or not, dad or mom, it doesn’t matter. YOU are a parent. Its your damn job anyway. You signed up for it when you consented to sex. Deal with it. And no parents (mostly Dads) its not babysitting when your wife goes out for a few hours. You don’t babysit you own damn kids.

  1. ebbenton says:

    I prefer co-parenting with saucy Superwoman.

  2. aliciabenton says:

    Good post, but I differ with your thoughts on # 4. I definitely think it’s easier for a man to find a woman who will love and care for him and his kids than vice versa. In general, women are often more loving, caring, and nurturing, and they often finds kids “cute.”

    • ebbenton says:

      He said she said? 🙂 . Yeah but its like the fawn that loses its mom. A lot of woman don’t want some other woman’s child almost shun them because of that (Cinderella). Guys, I feel look at the step-kid dynamic differently.

      • aliciabenton says:

        Just because you may be the exception to the rule doesn’t mean that’s how “most guys” think. It may depend on whether the kids are boys or girls, also.

        Also, no he said, she said on this. Hopefully, neither of us has enough experience to write fully-informed on it. :/

  3. ebbenton says:

    Very true. Meaning general public opinion. #sillygirl

    • urjustamom says:

      Well, I don’t know where you live but I don’t know why child support should be different man or woman. I know in my state their are procedures and it doesn’t matter your sex. It does take work though.
      I also being a single mom have not seen any of those free things you talk about for me.
      I haven’t gotten any man, or even woman to come to my rescue. I actually lost people because they don’t want to be involved. I learned that is common for men or women.
      I am glad things are better for you. I am sorry for what you went through. I think the most stigmatism I have learned that comes from being a single dad is when you have full custody. Most are surprise that a woman could walk out on her children.
      My best friend was raised only by her dad and he was wonderful. He did have help from church and others you do need to ask. Anything that says single mom. Will usually help a single dad, I was told.
      Good luck and am glad you are such a strong loving man.

  4. Cordelia says:

    Funny, I think it’s the opposite really… when have you ever heard some Fox News commentator talking about how the downfall of society is because of single dads? I feel the media and society demeans single moms, yet dads are put on a pedestal if they stay in the picture or pay their support. Even the single dad I’ve been dating puts himself on a pedestal for sticking around and paying for the kids he helped make! And yeah, where is this magical place that you live where single moms get free stuff?? The only free stuff I get is dirty looks or looks of pity!

  5. ebbenton says:

    Oh Damn. Not sure where you live. I live in SC and there are a lot of civic organizations and churches that do the things I described above.

  6. […] On Being a Single Parent and the differences… (eugenebbenton.wordpress.com) […]

  7. One of the qualities that first caught my eye about my *now* husband was his relationship with his daughter as a single parent. As far as I know he’s still the only Marine Corps stud I know who routinely joined his preteen baby girl for manicures at the mall (minus the pink fingernail polish)! He made it a point to be a part of HER world, not just make her a part of his and I LOVE that about him. Now he’s doing the same with our other five kiddos!

  8. Good blog. I agree with you that men often get the shaft. On a lot of things. I was re-reading my own blogs thinking I do a lot of “cmon gals, give the guy a break” I admire your gumption to take on the kids and how wonderful you found someone who loves your kids as much as you do. 🙂 It’s easier to do so when you have custody than it is when you only have visitation. I know this from experience. I was a stepmother at 17. My husband is 12 years older than I am. He had visitation. the girls were out of control every time we had them and I asked him why do you not discipline them when they are with us. He said it was because he only gets so much time with them and he’s not going to spend it being the bad guy. I told him, while I do understand and empathize with you, they need to understand there are certain rules at our house.

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