I Am Not Both

So I very rarely will utter the phrase “single mom”. It comes with a host of connotations, not any of them I identify with. If you’re not sure what connotations I mean, think: “his defense lawyer offered evidence of his client being raised by a single mother” connotations.

Or someone saying, “I never had <insert item here> because I had a single mom.” I just don’t like this idea that somehow me not being married to their dad created lack.

Any lack has nothing to do with my marital status. In fact, if we had the time (and I the inclination) I could make a pretty good case that the lack would be much worse had I stayed married. I could also go on that “lack” has a lot to do with perception, not reality.

As a single mom (oops), I take particular pride in making sure my kids will not invoke my single status as an explanation for anything. If they don’t have something, it isn’t because I am single. It’s because that’s just how it worked out in our house. You don’t get to claim a victim status because of my marital status.

It’s not to say this is how I envisioned it or wanted it. It’s to say we’re not going to claim special status because life went in a different direction.

The other phrase I don’t like is this idea that I’m “both Mom & Dad.”

I’m not both. I am the mom. That’s it.

To say I am both “mom and dad” is to suggest I’m covering a gap the kids won’t notice.

Whatever their other parent may be lacking in his skill set and delivery, I do not make up for it.

I am not both. I am the mom. That’s it.

Today is Father’s Day. And Dads of all types will be celebrated, grieved or ignored. Today is not my day. And I do not want it to be.

I am not both. I am the mom.  That’s it.

If I assemble the toys, take my kids fishing, and lead the prayer at the dinner table it’s because I know how to use tools, I like fishing, and we’re going to pray in our house regardless of gender stereo-types.

No matter how much I may strive and try to do things I imagine a Dad might do– I’m still the Mom. And my kids won’t remember they had both a mom and dad in the house.

They may remember me being pretty handy with a toolbox or shushing them at the fishing spot or holding their hands during prayer…but.

I am not both. I am the mom. That’s it.

And that’s a lot. And that’s enough.