I just got done reading a blog post about how to define single motherness that really made me think. The author was living with her sons father for a period eventhough they were not romantically involved. She felt as though as long as couples lived together, married or not, then they were not single parents. What was interesting was how she felt like she had a slight identity crisis since she was living with her partner eventhough they were not romantically involved. It was nice to see that I wasn't the only person that felt like the 'single mother' label didn't exactly fit my life.
The term 'single mother' is so loaded with preconcieved thoughts and images in our society. Much like the fellow blogger my view of a single mother was someone who was no longer involved with the parent of their child and recieved litte help and support from the other parent. And while I don't live with my son's father, I do feel like I get a huge amount of support emotionally, physically and financially from him. And not just him but both of our families. So, when I think of what a 'single mother' is in my mind.. I don't feel like it matches my life.
However because we don't live together I do have to plan differently than someone who did live with their partner. I just started a business from home. And I plan on going back to school in the Spring. When it comes to planning for the future, being financially independent, and decideding where we live I do think independently. So while I do have a life partner that keeps me from feeling like a single parent in my day to day life I know that there are some major life decisions that I may make in the future without him.
I feel like I live in this in between land of single partenthood and coupledom. But fortunately my partner and I have been able to define a relationship on our own terms and create a family in the process.