I’d always felt inferior to other mums about being a single parent when they were married or had a partner… until now.
See, I’m part of a lot of groups on Facebook, most of which include parents who ask for a lot of advice about their children, living situation, partner etc and honestly, some people still never cease to amaze me with some of their responses (I mean, to be fair, if you ask a stupid question, expect a stupid answer or some backlash)… but this one post in particular really hit me, hard.
It’s not often I get irate or provoked by something on social media, but I’m not going to lie, I was furious at the enormity of the ‘Perfect Parent Brigade’ and the way they spoke about this situation; a situation most single mothers are currently in and often, through no fault of our/their own.
(A situation nobody ever wants to be in, just let me add).
“Any mums out there who have children with more than one father?”
Aaaand we’re off! (You can almost hear the ‘Perfect Parent Brigade’ marching in!)
Whilst the majority of single parents are commenting and saying they do have multiple children with different fathers (like I do and because the post is clearly asking this), we also have the “in a relationship but not engaged” mothers, the engaged mothers and the married mothers who pipe up and give their (unwanted) two cents – AKA the parents who can possibly do no wrong!
“I just can’t imagine having a different father to my three children”, “Sorry, but why would you want your children to have different surnames, especially at school?”, “I don’t understand why some people keep having children with different men.”
Yeah, well, I couldn’t imagine doing that either love, until it actually happened to me.
Oh oh oh, and… I think I speak for all single mothers when I say… SHIT HAPPENS.
Listen love, I didn’t plan to have two children with two fathers; I planned on buying a house, being married with three children (with the same guy) and living on a farm by the time I was 28.
And guess what?
Life doesn’t work out that way sometimes and that is OKAY.
Who’s to know if it’ll work out? You don’t, I don’t, they don’t.
I could be married to the same man with three children and he could pass away or suddenly up and leave with no warning (which does happen), which means I may end up meeting someone later on and choose to have another baby with but that would be okay, wouldn’t it? Because you know, I was married.
So, why isn’t it okay for someone to have two children with two fathers, or three children with three fathers? Why is that such a crime?
It’s 2018, it’s more common than it ever was, yet people still continue to judge.
Do you genuinely believe we set out for this, that we wanted our children to have different fathers and surnames to eachother?
Why should a woman who’s always dreamed of having a large family be told to stop having children because she’s been dealt a shit hand with men?
Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, I do get that some parents abuse the benefits system and I believe that having a child whilst on benefits already is unfair, but they’re the people who give parents like us a bad name; but, benefits are there to help people who need it until they’re back on their feet – we’re not parasites of society or leeches.
We’re trying our best for our children, just like the ‘perfect parents’ are, too.
We have good intentions and we’re good people, we’re not inferior to you or less of a mother than you because we don’t own a home, or because we’re not married, or even because our children have different fathers and surnames.
Regardless of what anybody may think, my children are brother and sister and they have the same bond that siblings from a ‘traditional’ family would.
They have a mother who loves them unconditionally, who cooks for them, who educates them, who provides a clean home for them, who does her very best for them and who one day hopes she can settle down with the right man and possibly have another baby because that’s what happens when you meet someone isn’t it? You want to believe it’s for forever.
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.
So tell me, why am I diferent to you?
Having multiple fathers to your children is hard work and I would change it in a heartbeat if I could – it’s a battle every single day… but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve another chance at happiness or to carry another baby because I always have hope that one day, my children and I will have that.
You shouldn’t ever judge a parent for their living situation or family situation because one day it could be you; there are no guarantees in life, I promise you that.
The Unicorn in Black