There’s something to be said for the British culture of apology. We say sorry for anything and everything, it’s automatic. From talking too much, to bumping into a stranger on a crowded train or just simply existing I’ve said sorry for nearly everything. However I refuse to apologise for being a single parent. Although the days of squirrelling unmarried mothers away to mother and baby houses are long behind us, an element of shame still lingers and the stigma of the single mother often leads certain individuals to feel that I should be apologetic about my relationship status.
But I’m not entirely sure what I am meant to be sorry for? Either my inability to provide a male role model for my children or the assumption that single parent = bad parent. Because, I suppose, without a man to keep me in line, any decent morals and expectations I had of myself and my children would cause my pretty little head to explode *eye roll*!
The dating game has introduced me to some lovely gems, the most common theme being that having children would suggest I am somebody with questionable morals, a flawed character, who no respectable man would want to bring home to mum and dad. So imagine their surprise when I inform them that while they might think I am only good for one thing, I certainly do not.
It’s time we start celebrating single parents for the Queens (and Kings) they are. Everybody’s journey is different but they probably had to deal with a lot of shit beforehand. Every time somebody tells me that I’m not good enough, I kindly remind them why actually I am more than good enough…
I had my first son at 28 weeks gestation, a few months after my 21st birthday which any preemie parent knows is probably one of the most terrifying experiences imaginable. Despite caring for a baby that was constantly in and out of hospital, numerous A&E trips and increasingly obvious additional needs I managed to complete the third year of my BSc in Biochemistry and Biology. I then chose to leave a suffocatingly abusive relationship on my 23rd birthday, a few weeks before my second son was born. Since then, I have managed to; commence a MSc in Analytical Bioscience, navigate my mother’s death from cancer at an unusually young age, fight for my son to receive the medical attention he needs and that’s just a few of things I have to deal with on top of the typical daily expectations of motherhood. I won’t apologise for wanting the best for my children by making necessary yet difficult decisions to provide them with the life they deserve.
Too often single mothers are painted as bitter, man-hating, gold diggers to be avoided at all costs. Actually we are hard-working individuals, some of us parenting without a support network and if you cannot appreciate that, then you’re the one who isn’t good enough. Sorry, not sorry, I’m proud.
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