I am NOT a “Married Single Mom”
The single moms that I know are extremely hardworking and sacrifice themselves endlessly. THEY deserve this “credit” that the title of a single mom entails. I do not. It's true, I care for our three kids from the morning routine to bedtime, take care of the house, do the grocery shopping, etc. I don't often get to go out with friends or go shopping for myself, and I exercise after everyone is asleep and the house is clean(-ish), after 10pm. I bring all three kids to girl scout events, swimming lessons, and soccer games, by myself. I handle every teacher conference and permission slip, pack every lunch box, back pack and diaper bag.
But, looking at the big picture, I AM NOT DOING IT ALONE. Not even close. My kids have that moment (most) every night when their Daddy comes through that door and they run to him and tackle him with hugs. They have their hero who swallows whatever blows, horrors, and abuses that have been dealt to him for 15 hours straight, and comes through that door ready with smiles and hugs in return. I have a dinner partner, even if it is only for 20 minutes. I have the security of knowing the exact month (August 2019, not that I am keeping track) when these challenges will lessen drastically, we will have more time together as a family, and our future will be secure. I have a rock, to help me make decisions, both big and small, about our life (Do I tell the kids that the fish died, or secretly replace it? Should we refinance the house? Do I yell too much? Do you think it's okay that the baby's car sear expired a week ago and the new one hasn't arrived yet?) And I have my best friend, who, at the end of the day, is doing it all for his family.
I know it is intended to be an innocent way to give a nod to the spouse on the sideline. It is easy to feel under-appreciated and unrecognized for the responsibilities that fall to us every day (and through the night). But it goes way too far to use a term that high-jacks the entire title of “parent.” I couldn't do it all by myself, nor would I want to. As spouses of residents we are so lucky to have fallen in love with these sensational people who give so much of themselves to help others. Our kids are so lucky to have parents who are both so dedicated to them and their futures. They will learn from our sacrifices and struggles, and will be better for it. I am the wife of an amazing person who happens to be a resident. Together we are running our crazy lives and raising our children with all of the love and energy that we can muster. That is all that matters!