One and done: I think, probably, none of your business

Taking P to her aunt’s place during the should-be-illegal a.m. hours a man started talking to my daughter.

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I let them chat and he looked at me, then looked at her, “Your mommy looks tired. Tell her to wake up,” he says. Of course I was tired, but whatever. Immediately after he looks at me, “When are you having another one?” I’m not sure what I went with – a shrug, the “Do you see a ring on this finger?” joke that awkwardly shuts people up. He went on to tell me how I needed to have another because people don’t just have one kid. Did dude not start the conversation with how I look tired? This isn’t an isolated incident. I suppose I got away with not having these conversations for five years, but I should have seen them coming. If I had another child we’d all be homeless. I am also not in a relationship where this is an option, or where we want another child. And if we do, we will. If we do. Not because the gazillionth person – stranger – told me to. But none of this matters, because no one has the fucking right to tell me that I need to get pregnant, that I need to alter the course of my life, need to share my body or that I owe it to anybody to have another child. I remember hearing a friend field these questions, years ago when I was still pregnant. My friend tried to explain that her daughter had cousins and friends, she wasn’t lonely. But the stranger pushed on. As if these people are so concerned for these perfectly healthy, happy children, that there is no biological playmate. On August 18, 2013 blogger Nancy Arnold wrote about being “One and done” and how these questions are more about the interrogator than those expected to answer:

“I started learning that when people would ask me about having more kids and they found my answer unsatisfactory; they’d start projecting their values on me. If they had a huge family, they’d insist having more kids is the best decision. If they had kids that were close together they’d say well maybe I missed my window because having kids too far apart is not ideal. I started really listening to what they were saying instead of just reacting to it.”

I love being a mom and I’m wonderful with kids if I do say so myself. My choice to not further conceive and birth tiny people doesn’t negate this. Just as people who decide to not have children aren’t automatically bad people for their choice. Remember that word, say it out loud: choice. This assumption that women have to reproduce, and that everyone else is entitled to their opinion on when and if she does is just another message saying: ladies, your body is not your own. This is not true. At all. The innocent suggestions: “Oh but you’re a great mother,” “you’d make beautiful kids,” “you owe it to your child,” or my personal favourite – since I am in a relationship with someone who is not P’s father, “You owe it to your boyfriend to have his child.” are far more loaded than some may assume. They are presumptuous, pushing personal ideas of what family is and what women’s roles are, and they are rude. PS I come from a five-kid household, I was the oldest of for girls. P is living my dream by being an only child :p

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Single moms are the worst

I’m not sure when it happened exactly, I’m assuming it predates divorce. This group of people becoming the scapegoat, the drain on society, the reason why your tax dollars are ill spent. People seem to hate single moms. PS I just put links willy nilly about single mom hate in this intro … single moms also never link properly. They do this intentionally to ruin your lives.

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There is this thought process that justifies it. The woman, and the woman alone, made a bad life choice. And the child is always an “accident.” But wait, I was engaged and my daughter was planned. I saved money, I have a post-secondary education. I did all the “right” things. But right things aren’t enough. Savings are spent on family court custody cases, relationships don’t come with a guarantee, you need daycare to go to work and your wages are spent daycare fees.

You can either be a “deadbeat” stay at home mom in a pajamas uniform , or a “selfish neglectful” working mom.  In one instance you are financially screwed, the other you are unavailable when the school calls you saying your kiddo is sick and needs to go home.

And no matter what, no matter the arrangement with your child’s other parent, no matter your feelings (even good ones) toward each other, as a single mom you are damaging your child by keeping a male influence out of their life. Fact. Also, let us reiterate the fact that all single moms are stealing our hard earned tax money. All the time they are!

There are a lot of assumptions made about single mothers, and they all seem to be socially acceptable.

Except for in movies. In movies, single moms are adorably frazzled and win it all despite her apparent underdog status.

And then there are the supposed perks; like the “weekends away” from your children. I would trade those for the emotional and – yes – financial support of a partner. I would trade them to fill that pillow beside me in bed. To have some effing human contact.

The pains of parenthood are not reserved for single mothers, of course not. But geeze louise, people need to fuck right off with their pre-determined images of single-motherhood.

I guess the answer is don’t have children- even if you have that picture perfect family. Because separation and divorce are pretty common. And never let birth control fail. Oh, but also, if you can’t afford to raise a child, or are unable to for non-financial reasons, you can’t have an abortion either.

I am very proud of where I am, and how my daughter is raised. I guess I just wanted to say, mind your own fucking business. My kid rocks. And so do I. We are this awesome rocking mini family of rocking perfection.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com