Monday, December 6, 2010
Single Mom Syndrome
I'm sure it's tough. Kids weren't meant to be raised alone, and a job that's hard enough for two parents is of course doubly hard for one struggling alone. But I have come to know my share of women who will keep a messy, unkempt house, feed their children fatty processed foods, and find ways to go out partying on the weekends who freely use that label with pride. Not quite my perception of a hero.
We could be talking about something totally unrelated:
"So have you been praying every day about that new job that you're hoping for?" I might ask.
"Well, I'm a single mother, I don't have time to just take out and pray like other women." ("Other women" spoken as if she were spitting darts...)
"Will I see you this Sunday morning for the special anointing of the family?"
"I don't know, my son's team is playing that afternoon and it's hard to get everyone organized to go to both church and the game on the same day. I'm a single mom you know..."
Yes, I know, you told me last time...
Curious, isn't it, that women have fought so hard for sexual freedom, to remove the stigma of having children out of wedlock, to be unhindered in changing from partner to partner, to end up as single mothers as a result, and then demand to be set on a pedestal?
Yes, there are the widows, and the divorced women who really gave it their best and tried to keep their marriage together but ended up alone. I wouldn't think of lumping all single mothers into one category, just like I would never imagine that their life was easy. But I've noticed that women who want to be viewed as saints only by virtue of the fact that they have children and no spouse, are becoming more commonplace, causing me to have less pity on anyone who tries to impress me by flashing that trump card.
Life is tough in general, and for those who have faith, God gives grace and opens doors that we can't for ourselves.
So you're a single mother? I'm a married one - one more mouth to feed, clothes to clean and voice to listen to. I have to submit and follow and I've had to learn to adjust to the personality and gender differences that come with marriage and I've done it for over two decades. It would be ridiculous for me to go around boasting about how I'm a "married mother," but I suppose if you sit down and think about all the pluses and minuses of anyone's life, you could come up with a "hero" anywhere you look if you tried hard enough.
My guess is that many of these young women keep their label well displayed because they are unhappy and would like something - anything, to make them feel better about themselves. And with God, that unhappiness can definitely be changed and their lives transformed. But first, can't we just throw away the labels?