Lately I've been thinking a great deal about the whole 'choice mother' thing and thanks to Bill O'Reilly and his recent tirade about comments Jennifer Aniston made about women choosing to parent without men, so has most of the blogosphere and twitter.
The word 'choice' is really interesting. I read a book review this morning for a memoir about a woman who lost her best friend. The reviewer described them as two women choosing to live single lives. I had to mull that one over for a few minutes, and I'm likely going to get the book now because I'm curious. Does this mean they swore off men OR were they choosing to never marry but still have partners in their lives? I wasn't sure.
I find many times when I tell people that I'm a single mom and they see Will's age, they get that sad look in their eyes and you can tell they're trying to figure out what sort of abusive relationship I escaped from or did my husband die before he could enjoy his child. Instantly, I offer up the, "no, no, I chose to do this alone." Then I either get a high five or a 'are you out of your freaking mind' look.
I'd like to explain to those people, and to the Bill O'Reilly's of the world....not that they deserve an explanation...BUT....I chose to be a mother. What did I not choose? I did not choose to be a 41 year-old single woman. Do I wish I'd met the man of my dreams; someone who I thought was worthy of having children with; someone that I could see being a positive part of my life as well as our childrens? Hell YES! This choice motherhood thing? It's HARD. It's tiring and it's draining. But so is motherhood in general. You know what? So is life. But you just do it.
I don't kid myself that if I had a partner, life would necessarily be easier. I'll tell you in all honesty, a second income would make things a ton rosier around these parts. But do I buy all of this media that I'm not giving my child the same chances or as Billy Boy said that he will suffer without the male role model in the house. Sorry but I don't. And I think the majority of smart, common sense filled people out there also get it.
To follow Christine's 'Wishlist'....here is mine....
I wish that I had a partner. Although I'm happy that I don't have to guess whether that partner would have been a good dad.
I wish that I got pregnant the old fashioned way and didn't have to have a cocktail party to pick my kids dna. Although it was awesome and many people likely met their partners at cocktail parties. No?
I wish it was my partner holding my hand and cheering me on in the delivery room. Although a sister is probably WAY more useful and how many kids can say that ''Grandpa made my belly button.'
I wish that Will had a dad. I also wish that other kids could have all the amazing male role models that Will has in his life. Maybe, just maybe, they're the ones being shortchanged?
So Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and the rest of you naysayers....yes, okay I wish I could have had a child in the traditional way.
But you know what? I'm a good mother and my kid is amazing. He's going to do things. He could find the cure for cancer. He could find a way to stop global warming. And if I had followed your rules and doomed myself to a childless life because I hadn't met that 'Mr. Right' (who I'd have a 50% chance of divorcing anyway), then the world would have been robbed of him. Screw the world and the big thinking. I would have been robbed of him as would the hundreds of people whose lives he touches.
I am now officially OFF the soapbox.
And thanks to my friend Lindsay who continues to take ridiculously good candids of my kid. I on the hand, still look like crap in pictures. Hmmm perhaps it's the subject??