I don't know if you've noticed but moms love to label themselves. OK, so, maybe it's not just a mom thing, perhaps it's a social media thing. Hashtags make it easy, trendy even, to label ourselves. If you took a look at my Instagram posts, you would see all kinds of labels - #boymom, #toddlermom, #wahm, #momblogger but one thing you won't see is #singlemom.
So, why is it that I will proudly wear the label of work at home mom but not single mom? Is it because I feel guilty or embarrassed? While I have certainly felt these things about my situation, they are not feelings that I live in and are not at all my reasons for not touting the single mom label.
So, why is it? Why don't I like being called a single mother?
Yes, we do label ourselves as moms. However, we don't generally use labels associated with our marital status unless we are single moms. Married 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 that would just be weird.
I don't like to label myself a single mom because my marital status (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with my role as "mom". With or without a husband, I am still a mom. That does not and will not change. The only role that would change if I had a husband is that I would also be a #wifey.
My marital status box might check off "single" but I am far from being single, as in alone. In fact, I frequently refer to the time before I had my son as "when I was single". As a mom, I am the antithesis of "alone". There is no such thing as alone.
Not only that, but, I don't have the same liberties that I had as a single person. There are many things from the single life that I no longer do. That I no longer can do. In fact, there is very little about my life that is the same as before I had my son. Just like every other mom.
Whether we want to admit it or not there is a certain stigma that goes with being a single mom. A stigma of being incomplete, of brokenness. People praise single moms for being "strong" and "brave". Why? Because they're doing it "alone", without a significant piece to the puzzle. Perhaps this is the biggest reason of why I don't like being called a single mom or why it just doesn't feel right to me.
I don't feel like something is missing. I don't feel broken or incomplete. Correction: I am not broken or incomplete. I don't say this to negate the role of a father. Not one bit. But just because I don't have a spouse does not mean that I am not whole. I actually feel quite the opposite.
For the first time in my life, I don't feel like something is missing. Maybe it's because I don't have time to think about it but being a mom makes my life very full... and complete.
I know that people will refer to me as a single mom and I will not take offense to that. But I will just continue to call myself a mom, the one thing in this world I've always wanted to be.