I used to look towards Angelina Jolie with a jealous eye. “Used to,” as in past tense. Sure, she is still gorgeous, thin, and successful, has oodles of money, works to help the starving children in Africa and happens to get to sleep next to Brad Pitt every night. What’s not to be jealous of?
But then she goes and lends sympathy to the struggles of single moms in an interview with the New York Daily News. If you missed it, then you must have been off on a tropical island the past few days.
Twitter is all a-flutter.
Said the mother of six: “I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain. Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard.”
So when a mom of Jolie’s stature raises the sympatric notion that being a single mom is a tough job, all of a sudden, the world turns, albeit briefly, with a nod of compassion towards single moms. I guess I’m OK with that. Personally, after divorce seven years ago, I never imagined the magnitude of the difficulty of being a single mom. Continue reading →
It appears that Expedia, from their “Find your storybook” ad, has determined single moms to be a socially significant demographic for their marketing strategy.
Kudos to the travel planner. Applause. Applause. As a single mom of a 12-year-old son, I almost feel like the advertising geniuses “get” me. I would love, love, love to jump on a plane and whisk my son off to Europe for an educational vacation of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, Expedia’s ad gurus missed their target—and not a little, but by an entire continent.
According to new Pew Research four in 10 households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. Of those, 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers.
Hey, hey—that’s me! See my hand waving in the wind? I’m one of 8.6 million single American moms. I don’t feel so alone now. Continue reading →
A wise friend once told me that guilt is self-inflicted. We have the choice to be like Teflon and let the guilt slide off. Or, act like human Velcro, and make sure not to let it go. It’s a choice.
I know a little something about guilt. And I’ve erred more on the Velcro side of life. I learned how to harness guilt the old fashion way – 12 years of Catholic school and the DNA trait to savor a fresh batch of guilt like a fine filet mignon dinner. Guilt is taught and bred and I was a good student.
But Single Mom Guilt is like regular guilt, on steroids. My son is the unfortunate recipient of divorce. With my parents still happily married after 51 years, and my brother for 25 years, I wanted “that” for my kid. My aspirations did not go according to plan. Start layering the guilt.
When my son hears his friends or cousins talking about an upcoming summer family vacation, he looks at me with longing and asks, “Will we ever be able to go on a vacation?” Ouch. With job lose from a single income and mounting debt, a vacation is a foreign concept. Although I have childhood memories of our family vacations, I can’t provide the same for my son. Add another layer of guilt. Continue reading →
I can still hear the shrill of those six words booming from my mother’s larynx. She delivered them with a wide-eyed stare that could melt snow in December. Beyond any other exploited parental tactic, those six words produce fear and tears to most children.
But the words – and the warning – delivered after my tired and exasperated mother had had enough shenanigans from my brother and I was quite effective. In fact, the threat of having to wait until my Dad got home from work was more impactful than any reprimand he could dispense.
Now, as a single mom, how I wish I had that threat in my arsenal when my son pushes me past the brink of sanity. His father lives in the next county. And there is no one for me, a frayed and tired mom, to collaborate with on dishing out childhood lessons and discipline. Continue reading →