I meant to make this a more regular feature after the last time I did it, but it’s been a while. My apologies. But it’s about all that’s coming today. I am SO GLAD I decided not to do NaBloPoMo, aka write on my blog every day for the month of November. I would be well past the chore phase and into hating it with every fiber of my being. Now I just feel kinda guilty for phoning this one in. Especially after I’ve really felt inspired to blog better the last few days and get back to my roots. It’s coming. Soon. Until then…
My most recent article at HuffPo went up right next to this one and it made me crazy just to see the headline. Because this is ridiculous. This article is every single stereotype about single moms that exists in the world. It is nothing anyone doesn’t know.
It’s also ridiculous and overgeneralizing and just makes me want to throw something at the wall. This idea that single mothers are only looking for serious relationships? Yeah, let’s look at every single mom in every book, movie, television show, etc. They’re all so cautious, hesitant, putting their kids first. It’s one of the reasons I don’t write about dating nearly as much as I want to. Because I like going out. I want a real relationship but I’m not looking for someone to be a dad to my kids. I’m looking to find a connection. I don’t know who these men are who find single moms as easy prey. They’re certainly not anyone I’ve seen, as the vast majority of messages I send online don’t get answered. People won’t even go out with you once.
Oh, and I would LOVE sympathy. More and more, I’m finding myself surrounded by moms talking about things I can’t relate to. It’s kind of like going back to the early years with Graham where I was living a completely different life with a nonverbal toddler going through daily therapy while everyone else was having fun and going to the park and setting up playdates. My concerns aren’t the same as theirs. My daily issues aren’t the same as theirs. I feel like many of my day-to-day concerns are only safely shared with my other single mom girlfriends because no one else gets it.
Not everything in this article is terrible, but the parts I hated I hated so strongly it’s hard for me to form coherent responses.
Complicated feelings, I has them.
On the one hand, when we refer to self-diagnosis casually, it reinforces the idea that an autism diagnosis comes easily. That it’s something people are getting whenever their kid is a little awkward. (And that belief is alive and well.) I feel the same way about ADD, Bipolar Disorder, and other diagnoses that people say, “I’m a little bit _____________” or “I think I’m ____________” without any consultation or real consideration.
Autism is more than social awkwardness or introversion. Keeping that stereotype going is frustrating.
On the other hand, when high profile people with a diagnosis come forward, it’s empowering and inspiring. I have several friends who were diagnosed with autism as adults and seeing what amazing lives they have and what they’re capable of gives me hope for both of my kids. Autism is still a diagnosis that needs to be demystified and relate-able.
Not a surprise. I really want to write a post on invisible tasks, especially when it comes to considering custody agreements. I had the kids most of the time for a good while and was hesitant to go down to 50/50 even though I thought it’d be good for the kids. I knew that I was still the default parent in so many ways and that their dad didn’t necessarily realize the things I did that I’d still be doing that would make 50/50 custody not really evenly divided. Luckily we got that point across and changes were made. Mostly it’s gone well, but the juggling can be tough and most mothers I know, whether working or not, end up taking on the vast majority of their household management.
But actually I have little to say about this article. Except that there are many times as someone whose life is just about as busy as it’s possible to get that someone tells me they’re busy and I want to laugh in their face. Lately it’s been particularly amusing as we’ve done some interviews with college-aged kids at work and, well, they talk about college as if it is the most overwhelmingly busy place in the world. Ah, youth.
I honestly want a t-shirt that says, Please don’t tell me how busy you are.
Also I want a Book Riot hoodie. They are coming soon. I will have one.