Why I Don’t Refer to Myself as a Single Mom

 

I can count the number of times I have said the words, “I’m a single mom”. One time when trying to update my Instagram profile with keywords I wrote, “single mom”. Then I immediately deleted it. It just felt wrong. I did an interview once on being a single mom, which I actually was kind of proud of. After that, I thought maybe I should step out more into the “single mom” arena and was going to write a guest post for a single mommy blog. But, when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel right about it.

Now, before I go any further, I want to say there is nothing wrong with women referring to themselves as single moms. I just don’t prefer to do it myself.

Why? I’m glad you asked!

Why I Don't Refer to Myself As a Single Mom - Diary of a New Mommy

  • A mom by any other name is still a momMarried moms don’t go around saying “I’m a married mom”. Or engaged moms, “I’m an engaged mom”. If they did, I’m sorry but I would probably giggle. I don’t like to label myself a single mom because my marital status has nothing to do with my  role as “mom”. If I had a husband, I would still be a mom. I would just also be a wife. I don’t want to separate myself from other moms by wearing the “single mom” badge. Because, at the end of the day, we are all moms.
  • I would rather not talk about it. I distinctly remember a conversation I had once at church. Another mom and I were swapping c-section recovery stories. I joked that God must have had mercy on me since I had no one to pull my pants down for me to go the restroom or put me in the shower. At this point, another person who was involved in the conversation, said, “I didn’t know you were a single mother.” Suddenly, this funny conversation turned serious. At least, in my mind, it did. Though, I know that was not at all the intent. I felt bad. I was even a little embarrassed. I feared that this lighthearted conversation would suddenly turn into questions about my situation. I will say, that since then, this person and I have become good friends and she has been thoroughly filled in on my situation. Also, as far as I can recall, no one bombarded me with questions that day at church. But it has happened. A lot. People want to know details. They wonder how I ended up as a single mom, I suppose, especially since I was single throughout my pregnancy. For the most part, though, I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to be a mom, like all the other moms.
  • Every mom has challenges. Sure, there are some challenges to being a single mom but… what mom doesn’t have challenges? Perhaps being “single” is my challenge  but for some women, it’s being married that’s the challenge. Ok, I’m kind of kidding, but kind of not. There are some things that I don’t have to do deal with, like arguing over how much I spend on baby clothes! Also, being the sole person responsible for the day to day care of my son is my life – I just do it. I don’t have the challenge of managing my frustrations over someone else not helping me enough… or at all. Moms with spouses have financial problems, family problems… we all have problems. Being single doesn’t make my life any harder than anyone else’s. It’s just different.
  • It may paint an inaccurate picture of what my life is really like.  I am extremely fortunate. My parents have opened up their home for us to live with them and I pay a fraction of the price I would pay in rent anywhere else. My son has his own room (full of toys!). We live in an extremely nice and safe neighborhood (which is a big relief, because we live in a city that is notoriously “bad”). I receive financial support from my son’s dad’s family which covers all of my son’s regular needs. This allows me to use me to use my income for rent, my own needs and other extras that come up. And, the really big one… I get to stay home with my son.  While I don’t have a lot of the luxuries I used to have and sharing living space is challenging, I don’t come even close to struggling the way many single moms do.
  • In many ways, I don’t feel singleMy marital status box might check off “single” but I don’t feel single. In fact, I frequently refer to the time before I had my son as “when I was single”. I may not be married but I am far from single, as in alone.

I’m not saying I try to hide the fact that I’m a single mom or that I don’t ever reference it, I definitely have and I’m sure I will again.  It’s just not a label I carry around. Being “single” does not define me as a woman or a mom.

 

34 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Refer to Myself as a Single Mom

  1. Matilda Togiai May 25, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    I love that you are so in tune with who and what you are, that labels are just that and they do not define anyone, not unless they want them to. You are a strong woman and mother. Kudos to you! By the way, I’m giggling at the thought of going around saying “I’m a married mom” lol. That would be funny hehe.

    • inezbayardo May 25, 2016 / 11:52 pm

      Haha. Yeah, that would be kind of funny. Thanks so much for reading, Matilda, and for your kind words!

  2. Ali May 25, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    I agree fully with everything you have said here. Single mom is such a misnomer. I’ve never felt that my single status defines me as a mom. It’s how others define me. Great way of stating everything!

    • inezbayardo May 25, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      Thanks, Ali! Good to hear from you. I feel like I haven’t “seen” you in awhile. 🙂 Hope you are doing well!

  3. Kristen May 25, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    I love this Inez. You are such a strong woman and you are so much more than a “single” mom. Every mom is different and we shouldn’t be defined by anything but the fact were mom’s. Thank you for sharing.

    • inezbayardo May 25, 2016 / 11:22 pm

      Thanks, Kristen! Yep, a mom is a mom is a mom. 🙂

  4. Kate Shelby May 25, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    I somewhat agree. I recently removed it from a lot of my bios across the web. It’s not really relative to what I write about anyway. If anything its personal and I may “mention” ocassionally that I’m a single mum because its relative to that particular conversation. But I leave it at that.

    • inezbayardo May 25, 2016 / 11:21 pm

      Yeah, I don’t mention it in bios or profiles or anything like that. But I will mention it, if it’s relevant. Thanks for reading!

  5. Dalba May 26, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I have been a single mom, and now I am married and have had more children. My situation now is still the same- I’m still a mom! I like you pointed out had difficulties as a single mom, but being married and a mom also comes with its own set of things to deal with (I’m not complaining I would have it not other way!). Thanks for being so candid in your post.

    • inezbayardo May 26, 2016 / 11:41 am

      Thank you, Dalba! Best wishes to you and your family. 🙂

  6. Sahvana Stapleton May 26, 2016 / 10:20 am

    I absolutely love your views on this. We are all moms just wanting the best for our kiddos. Every mom is unique. I get questions about my life too because people “just don’t know how I do it.” My husband travels for work… A LOT. He is home every weekend, but usually on the road Monday through Friday. You adapt as parents to whatever your situation is, but it shouldn’t define you. “Single” or anything else shouldn’t be your master status… MOM is the most important status for sure!

    • inezbayardo May 26, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Yeah, I get that a lot, too. I’ve actually started catching myself from saying it to other moms about their situations. You’re right, we all just adapt to whatever our situation is. And at the end of the day, we all have the same status… mom. Thanks so much for your comments. 🙂

  7. Kristen May 26, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    You are such a strong woman and such a great momma. Every momma is different but we are all moms nonetheless. Thank you for sharing and joining us for some #mommatime!

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Thank you! I love being a part of #mommatime

  8. Laughing Mum May 26, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    this is great! what a positive view, and true! your writing is brilliant! and i really enjoyed reading this post! #mommatime

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate the compliment. I’ll be heading to #mommatime at some point, hopefully soon. Looking forward to seeing your post!

  9. Mihaela Echols May 26, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    I really like the points you make in this post. Yournot alone shoot your a mom. Your don’t have to explain your self to people and your a mom that’s what counts!

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you!

  10. Lauren Gnapi May 26, 2016 / 4:03 pm

    You are right, it is no one’s business. The extra label of “single” is irrelevant because we are all moms regardless of our relationship status! And it does not mean you are alone, everyone has a network of loved ones and friends who they can rely on and depend on in life. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. Allison Lancater May 26, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    I love this! You are so right-moms are just…moms! There doesn’t need to be another label and we don’t label ‘married or engaged moms’, so why single moms? I love your insight on this!

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      Thank you, Allison! I appreciate it!

  12. Caroline May 26, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    Thanks for being so honest and vulnerable. You are so right. No one goes around saying “I am a married mom” I never thought of it that way

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      I know, right? haha.

  13. Tara May 27, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Thanks for sharing your unique perspective. It makes perfect sense. My husband and I refer to the time before we had children as our “single days.” We were not single then, but when you have kids with you all the time, you truly are never alone!

    • Inez May 28, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Haha. That’s pretty funny. It’s true, though, you really are NEVER alone. haha. But I”m OK with that!

  14. Pamela May 27, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    What a sweet picture of you two! A good support system is a blessing. I mom is a mom — and you’re a good one!

  15. Inez May 28, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Yes, a good support system is a HUGE blessing! I don’t (or try not to) take that for granted.

  16. Marissa May 29, 2016 / 9:34 am

    This is such a wonderful sharing of your life, and the realities of motherhood – it’s different and yet it’s the same… a great paradox. You are right, we often get caught up in labels and then demand “rights” because of the labels. I’m really glad you shared this. Thank you!

  17. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) May 31, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    I think sometimes there is so much pressure on people to label themselves when, really, it’s a label that doesn’t mean that much to us. I want to be known for the things that do define me, not the things which only matter on a form. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing over at #FridayFrivolity!

    • inezbayardo May 31, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      I love #FridayFrivolty. I hope I remember to link up every week! haha. And, yes, I think there is a lot of pressure to label ourselves. I love how you say you don’t want to be known for things that only matter on a form. SO TRUE!

  18. Julie S. @ Fab Working Mom Life August 2, 2016 / 5:48 am

    I love this because labels are just labels. You are in a wonderful situation where your family is your village and you are able to give your boy a full experience of being surrounded by people. It isn’t just you and your son in a bubble. You’re a mom first, no matter the other details.

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