I’ve finally accepted that ‘Single White Mother’ is a term that refers to my current social status (while also a nod to one of the creepiest 90’s movies of all time). A status that up until now, I had a hard time saying out loud.
I’m not sure why. I was raised by a single mother myself and I turned out quite lovely. I guess I felt a bit of shame perhaps, and also a bit embarrassed that I had ultimately well, failed at the nuclear family gig. And lets face it, there is the smallest pinch of a stigma attached to the label of single mother.
Well, after laying low for a little while and having time to reflect I’ve decided that being a single mother isn’t so bad. In fact some of my favourite women are also single mothers: Pia Miller, JLo and Britney Spears (chose to ignore Britney’s meltdown of 2007). And if these fabulous women can do it and make it look good, then so can I dammit!
1. We become a boss at multitasking
I can be driving my car while doing the following: scheduling a doctors appointment, eating an apple, sipping my Maccas coffee, applying mascara, and doing pelvic floor and booty exercises simultaneously. I do it all while indicating to other drivers exactly what I think of their driving skills when they fail to use blinkers.
2. We can get ready in 20 minutes
Gone are the days when I could rely on another adult in the house to entertain the kids while I spent a couple of hours beautifying myself to perfection. I went to a ball recently and had shaved my legs, exfoliated, put my dress on, slapped on some make up with a good smoky eye and styled my hair - all in under 20 minutes flat. I was even spraying on fake tan and sculling a flute of champagne as I was flying down the stairs and out the door.
3. We are good friends
Alright, so I still suck at texting people back on time. But having been through the worst time of my life has made me a lot more empathetic and very qualified to be a shoulder to cry on or a friendly face to talk to. I also specialise in the art of insulting. Example: “Forget him darl, he had a head on him like a kicked in bickie tin” or “Yes, sweetie, your colleague sounds like they couldn’t organise a root in a brothel. There there.” Did I mention I always have a pack of Coles choice chip cookies and a bottle of wine to go?
Listen: On our podcast about family life, we speak to Sara Zaske who says German parents raise the most self-reliant kids. Post continues below.
4. We make decisions quickly
Not having a husband to talk over every consequence of every action means its all up to us. We are the final deciders. And we often have to do it fast. Yes, you can go to that party but if you don’t come out promptly at 12 I’m walking in with my ugly PJs and no bra to collect you can go without showering today but go extra hard on the Lynx. No, you cannot pack your cat in your school bag. Yes, I will stop and buy wine on the way home for my sanity.
5. We take absolutely no shit
Life’s struggles have equipped us with a state of the art bullshit detector. We see it coming a mile off. Sales people, don’t even think about spruiking your cheesy pitch! Kids – don’t even bother trying to bullshit us about needing a day off school because you’re sick. And men – don’t even come near us with your vomit inducing one liners. You can all f**k directly off.
6. We can kill spiders and other household pests
Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but there are some women out there who leave the killing of creatures up to the male of the household. Well, the other night I stood over the mangled body of a spider I had just murdered with such menacing rage, it was like scene out of a Tarantino film. Zeds dead baby, Zed’s dead. I will never though, under any circumstances, remove a snail. I will move out before I touch that disgusting creature or pay one of the kids to deal with it.
7. We know our worth
I would hope all women know this, but I think as single women and mothers we really have had time to think about what we want and more importantly, what we deserve. For example I think I’m an all round nice, funny gal who can scrub up well when needed and I don’t spit when I talk. Bonus attribute is being a gun at trivia and knowing the words to 90’s rap. I also know that our time is precious and if we’re going to the trouble of hiring a babysitter to go out for a drink or dinner with someone, they should count themselves lucky to have our attention. *Flicks hair Beyonce style
So lets ditch the stigma and look at single mothers for what we are: simply awesome humans who just happen to have offspring. And wicked ass dance moves.
Zoe Scali is a blogger and a mum. You can read more of her work at her blog, Sarcasm Is The Lowest Form Of Wit.
This post has been republished with full permission.