Friday, July 13, 2007

Single Mom.

I have to get this off my chest because it's been bugging me since Companion and I first discussed it. I am a single mom. Companion disagrees. Why?

He says that the term "single mom" implies someone parenting alone, and since he's here, I'm not doing it alone.

I never said I was parenting alone. I'm not trying to imply that I am. I just mentioned to someone that I was a single mom. Which in the superficial sense is true...

Am I married? No- so that makes me single.
Which box do I check on my taxes? Single.
Doctor's records? Single.
(actually, the latter two I check divorced... but for purposes of this example- you get the idea.)
Surveys? Single again.

So, it pretty much seems that I can defend my single status on the superficial level. Now, the lines get fuzzy when we explore the deeper realm of actual parenting. Again, for purposes of example only, I am leaving Rylan out of this. By the way, Companion is a superriffic dad to Rylan, but the original conversation came up before Rylan was even born. Sorry Ry', but out you go!

Okay, let's analyze.

For all intensive purposes, Companion does a great job as a father figure to Jaysen. He plays with him. He is aware of his quirks. At times, he thinks of him "just because" (he just came across a type of chess game that he wants to get Jaysen, he brings him souvenirs, etc).

Which are all awesomely wonderful things. But...
(now keep in mind I'm talking about the majority of the time)

Who makes dinner every night? Mom.
Who does bath time? Mom.
Who makes the phone calls regarding family business? Mom.
Who manages the bills? Mom.
Who does therapy appointments? Mom.
Who attends school meetings? Mom.
Who is involved with the IEP process? Mom.
Who corresponds with the I-Team about reports? Mom.
Who advocates for Jaysen on a pretty damn-near-daily basis? Mom.
Who is trying to find grants for Jaysen? Mom.
Who is dealing with SSI? Mom.
Who is dealing with all of the stuff involving the LP house? Mom.
Who lays in bed with Jaysen every night so he can fall asleep? Mom.
Who still researches Autism and parenting strategies to try? Mom.
Who takes the time to try and understand what's going on with Jaysen? Mom.
Need more?

So yes, I am comfortable in referring to myself as a single mom.

Now don't get the wrong idea here, people-
Companion is great. He's the cleaner, the babysitter, the fun one, the mom fill-in, and a whole lot of other things. I'm just making a point that when it comes to the tough things with Jaysen, it's me, and yes- I am doing that pretty much solo. And I'm okay with that. Jaysen's my son. As his mom, it is my duty and desire to make sure he has the best resources I can give him. He's not Companion's son, so there's no real reason he should have to do any of the list above.

I am not trying to make Companion look bad in any way, because he's not. I'm merely explaining my choice to call myself a single mom.

Keep in mind, too, that all of this first came up before Rylan was born. Companion is an awesome dad to Rylan. He doesn't consider himself a dad to Jaysen though- which can be disheartening, because Jaysen considers Companion a dad to him. But people have to be comfortable with their own parental boundaries.

So, I suppose my official title would be: divorced-but in a relationship-cohabitant-primary caregiver-with assistance? Or: unmarried-not obligated girlfriend-living in sin-gene donating-parent? Well, until they come up with a lot more "boxes" or I get married, I'm content just being a single mom. daddy.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

I think you make a very interesting argument....hmmm