Saturday, 22 January 2011

Single parenthood: not a problem!

Some elderly relatives and their friends were dropping heavy hints to me about my single status recently. Apparently I need to be married to give my children stability, even though they've been a hundred times more stable since my divorce than they ever were when I was married.

Being single means I can be in control of the family finances and make sure the bills and mortgage are paid. It means I can focus exclusively on the children and house. We've lived in the same house for fourteen years: two of my children were born here! How much more stable can they get?

They're home educated, so they don't have to change classrooms or schools or deal with a new teacher every year. They've attended the same home ed meeting with the same crowd of people, give or take a few, for as long as they can remember.

Stability was what I wanted for them, and is one of the main reasons I choose to stay single. Single doesn't mean promiscuous, or weak, or fickle, or vulnerable. On the contrary in my case and in most other cases, I imagine: to be a single parent you have to be strong, independent and self-reliant.

I can't see how moving a stepdad in for my children is going to enhance their stability at all.

The people in question used examples of people who "got married eventually" (to any old taker, as far as I could make out!) "So they were alright in the end." But I can't for the life of me work out why being married makes a person "alright" and being single makes them "unstable". These values went largely unquestioned by the group in the room and I wasn't given the chance to ask my questions and demand answers. They just wanted to get their message across to me: I should be married.

I still don't know why.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned they are elderly. I suspect that when they were your age, opportunities were fewer for single mothers. It sounds like their underlying interests are good at heart - they want stability for you.

They cannot understand how where you are right now can be just right, through the filters of their own teachings and notions.

Curious, yes, but I trust you will smile, nod, and continue on your own path.

My only concern for you would be that you have a plan in place for your children to continue to be well cared for if you pass on before they reach full maturity.

23 January 2011 at 02:23  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks. Yes, there's good provision in place for them in the event of my death. Apart from the absence of me, they wouldn't have any other changes to deal with.

23 January 2011 at 06:28  

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