single mom

In defense

I posted at Rocky Mountain Moms Blog today. I wrote in defense of another single mom.

I read Rachel Sarah’s book, Single Mom Seekingabout a year ago.  I had just moved into my own apartment, and for the first time in my life, I was alone. I had never lived in a house without roommates, boyfriends or my parents.  Now I was on my own, fully responsible for my 18 month old child.

About a week before I moved, I had a terrifying epiphany. I could not get hurt. What if I fell down the stairs and broke my neck one day? What if I choked on a fish bone? Who would be there to administer CPR?  How long would I lie on the ground, listening to my daughter cry helplessly, waiting for someone to help me? There would be no hubby coming home from work at 6 pm. There would be no boyfriend miraculously calling to ask if I wanted take-out and instead rushing home to take me to the hospital.

No, that would not be my fate. As Bridget Jones said,”I would be found three weeks later, half eaten by wild dogs.” Only they would find a dead baby as well!

My mind really can be an awful place.

Eventually I stopped the morbid death obsession, and starting living my new life. At first, I made sure I either called someone, or someone called me every day. That eventually tapered off into normal day-to-day life. What single mom has the energy to worry about her own death? Not me, I soon realized.

Rachel Sarah’s book was like a glimpse into an alien world. A world where single moms do more than just survive. I was so busy taking care of the basic necessities, I didn’t realize that maybe I should take the next step up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I still had blood running through my veins after all. I still desired a man’s touch.

I read Single Mom Seeking, and finally the logistics of dating seemed plausible. I mean, she dated A LOT. I barely had any male contact in my life. The daily trek between work, daycare and home didn’t really put me in the way of many single men.

This book shocked me at how brave and exposed Rachel Sarah allowed herself to be. She put herself out there honestly, with an open mind, prepared to play with the hand she had been dealt. The book was extremely intimate,  there were many blush-worthy moments for me, having been so detached from my own sexuality.

So when this article came out, depicting one of the most controversial moments in the book, I had to answer the author’s plea for support. I was appalled at the comments, floored at how many came from other moms. Instead of considering their own reactions to the article, and why exactly society still treats a mother’s sexuality like a cancerous growth, they laid into Single Mom Seeking with an ugly vengeance.

Here’s to your fearlessness, Rachel. Thanks for letting the world know that single moms have the same sexual desires as married moms, and we should be able to express them without public humiliation.

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9 thoughts on “In defense”

  1. I hope to write a post about this tonight when the boys go to bed. I wasn’t surprised that people freaked out about the breastfeeding fetish, or even the fact that she brought a man home with her baby there after the first date. The thing that surprised me was the number of commenters making statements about “keeping her pants on until the baby is weaned” or the number of people who felt that a single mom had no business dating or thinking about men at all. There’s a difference between being unselfish as a mother and being a martyr. Martyrdom is not good for anyone. I guess I knew there were people out there who felt that way but it surprised me to see that the criticism was not about her “getting freaky” but about her being a woman and a human being at all.

    Thanks for standing up for our girl…Rachel has been a huge advocate and support for single moms everywhere and even though I know she’s got thick skin, it hurts to see her being slammed that way!

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  2. I’m so glad I’m not the only mom that has worried that I could get hurt and no one would find Shiloh for days. I don’t think about this often, but every now and then the thought creeps up. The worst part is thinking of Shiloh scared and not able to understand what’s going on. I just can’t think about it or I would go crazy.

    Now I’m off to read the article that is causing so much controversity.

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  3. I was not at all disgusted by the article, though I wouldn’t make the same choices at all; however, the commenters made me furious. And people wonder why we single moms are bitter and angry much of the time. I am glad you defended her; I would have but the comments were closed.

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  4. Not to get all feminist-preachy, but this is yet another example of how women’s sexuality is scary to many people. She’s a mom, yes, and she likes dating and sex. Super. Married mothers have sex, too,, usually in the house where the kids are sleeping. Honestly, it’s not the sex that freaks people out. It’s the idea that women don’t just shut down for good as sexual beings once they have children. Notice how no one freaks out when a single father dates? Hell, they make reality television about it! ANGRY. THIS MAKES ME ANGRY.

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  5. I, too, was shocked at the comments left by Rachel’s article. I was mostly saddened though. All those negative commenter’s? They live in their very own, small small SMALL world.

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  6. OMG, I spent months OBSESSING over the death thing. It was horrible. Like, really, REALLY twisted.

    I’ll have to check out the SMS drama. I still haven’t read the book.

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