Why I Consider Myself A Single Mom
It wasn’t until I founded the travel platform CoTripper, I realized, or to be honest, even thought of the assumptions considering myself a single mom has. There are seasons in life that humble your perspective and this has been one of them. First things first, I stand proudly in introducing myself as a single mom, I want to be very clear about that. Read on to understand why…
Yes, there are staggering statistics on the state of single motherhood in the U.S. However, the world is changing every day, and so are the realities of single mothers. Some never married, some divorced, some choice moms who decided not to wait, no matter how we identify ourselves, we head over 8 million homes in this country and raise over 22 million children. Take a second to consider that; that’s a lot of power, a lot of leadership, and a lot of women, no matter the circumstances that surround them, taking on a huge and very important role and responsibility. Instead of focusing on other statistics, these are, in my opinion, what the world, not just this country, should be paying attention to.
Two interesting assumptions stand out to me as I’ve begun to pitch our mission at CoTripper. What I realized is, there's simply not enough conversation happening about who single moms are, what they need, and their lifestyle. Instead of sharing my thoughts on these particular assumptions, I’ve decided to share my experience. Experience is unique to each of us and thoughts can sometimes perpetuate assumptions.
Assumption 1: Single moms are financially insecure
I believe financial security/insecurity is a mindset, not dependant on income. I’m a college graduate, I hold a degree in Accounting. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in the suburbs. I don’t mention this explain anything, but to provide insight to who I am. My financial mindset is simple, invest in experiences, not things. Am I rich? Not at all financially, but in living, extremely. Does financial security mean being rich or making a certain level of income? Not at all. I know a lot of people who make tons of money yet live way beyond their means.
What’s my point?
Don’t assume because I consider myself a single mom, I’m financially insecure.
Don’t assume as a single mom if I don’t make a certain level of income, I won’t have access to the things someone with more money might.
Actually, don’t assume AT ALL!
I’m a single mom to two beautiful children who have different fathers. We co-parent, we’re respectful and kind to each other, we also have disagreements and challenges. Through the ups and downs, all of us are family and experience the same things most families do. That’s the reality for this single mom. When I’m questioned how I consider myself a single mom, when I have two active co-parents, my response is simple. I’m the head of my household, that’s what I file on my taxes and that’s representative of my daily life as a mother. When my children are with me, I’m a single mom.
Assumption 2: Single moms are stressed and/or struggling
My stress level as a single mom is no different than my married friend’s stress. We’re mothers! We all want our children to have the best life possible. I’d argue being single mom, I developed systems that led me to becoming more efficient, due to managing things myself. This has made me a better founder and more decisive. My productivity has increased impacting the way I value time, because I certainly don’t have time to waste! I also don’t consider challenges struggles, I’m striving everyday to be better than yesterday and I’m damn good at making something out of nothing!
So when I introduce myself as a single mom, please reserve your condolences and sorry’s. You probably should be asking for tips on how to get 700 things done in a day, because that’s my specialty! I remember discussing my daughter and I’s trip to Paris last year. On the plane to Paris, someone said I was so brave to be traveling as a single mom. That response caught me by surprise. I thought “why is going on vacation brave?” Here’s where this experience has humbled me…
We’ve got a long way to go
I realize there are many types of single mom families in the world with powerful stories and experiences, dreams and goals, wants and needs. I’m fortunate to have active fathers in my children’s life. I’m fortunate they financially support our children. And I’m fortunate that through fear, I pack my kids up to travel and choose to live life.
I thought to myself, “what can I do to somehow share stories of who single moms are?” How can I educate people on how making assumptions about single mothers isn’t ok? The questions and assumptions I’ve experienced, were the catalyst that birthed the creation of CoTripper, a travel platform that connects single mother led homes, for joint family travel.
To all the single moms reading this, share who you are by leaving a comment below. Not to prove anything, but to educate people that single moms are a hugely impactful population making a difference in the world. We’re doing the work everyday to create the best future for our children.
I’m proud of the women you are. I’m proud of the difference you’re making in your child's life. I’m proud of the many lessons learned and the experiences I’ve had in my journey of single motherhood. It’s been the biggest driver of my personal growth.
Cheers to single moms everywhere!
**Join the single moms travel community HERE