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Who’s the Bravest of Them All? Single Moms

Several years ago I worked with a company that specialized in marketing to moms. They were very good at what they did. When one of the...

Friday, March 30, 2018

Who’s the Bravest of Them All? Single Moms

Several years ago I worked with a company that specialized in marketing to moms. They were very good at what they did. When one of the leaders was asked to do a talk about single mothers at an industry conference she gathered data and I’m sure gave a very good talk based upon what she learned. 

The problem was she wasn’t a single mother but a happily married millennial mom of I don’t know how many kids with a FitBit, time to jog, a nice car, beautifully put together appearance and a good/flexible career path. She could make sympathetic comments and that face that people make when you tell them that you don’t have a husband, but other than reading research and talking to a single moms it was definitely not her area of expertise.

So for today’s blog I pick single moms as the Bravest of them All. Trying to raise kids with an intermittent, if not absent spouse, is the hardest job anyone will ever have. And I’m not dissing single dads here but at least in my experience and that of women I know well the dads swooped in for a ballgame, wrote a child support check and showed up at birthdays and graduations most of the time. But they were not the primary parents to their children.

My saga is not atypical although I wish it was. When my daughter was five and my son was eight my ex-husband (who was in the throes of a forty something midlife crisis), picked a fight with me and announced in the middle of downtown Silver Spring, MD that “I am no longer your husband and I am no longer his father.” That cost me years of therapy for both of us and the little girl who was tagging along and heard the whole thing.

I may go into detail at a later date but suffice it to say that with only one parent I had to be home more. I started a freelance business and was the parent who was always there no matter what it cost me professionally and personally. For a long-time I was bitter about women who had husbands not because they were princes but because they had a second income. We lived from paycheck to paycheck, mortgage payment to mortgage payment, and there was never enough.

Some single moms have parents who help but mine were gone and there was no one to ask. We just kept going. I didn’t have a relationship with a man for six years because it was too much of a distraction from the children who really needed me.

Child support was OK in the beginning, but as he kept shrinking it, I kept spending every cent I had  in savings. There was so much frustration and anxiety and we were the only family who needed to ask for scholarships so they could play soccer. But we made it and there is more love and understanding and communication in our family than most I have seen. When the boys went off to a mountain cabin as teenagers and a furious parent called me up to tell me where my son was I knew where he was. He had asked my permission and I had given it. There was some of the usual teen lying in our house but when it came to the big things we told each other the truth.

When my daughter needed a therapist I tried to get as much help for her as I could even though the therapists recommended to us charged $250 an hour. Most of what she needed was someone to listen and on some levels I was part of the problem. But we kept talking and she came to me with what she could and she got through it. As I like to tell people neither of them is in jail and they are determined, principled young adults with good value systems and a sense of fairness that extends to everyone no matter race, background or circumstances. They are also focused on careers and working. What more can you ask for?

Anyway I am not here to whine – we all made it through – my son just graduated college and my daughter is in her freshman year. Financially we are in a much better place. My kids are happy and healthy and loving kids who are determined to find their place in this world, no matter how totally screwed up our country is at this moment.

Single moms are the Bravest of Them All. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Who’s the Bravest of Them All? Stormy Daniels

OK you can say whatever you want about the porn star who is making our president’s life hell. But you have to admit it takes guts for her to go after him like this.

I could spend hours debating Stormy’s motivation for trying to negate her hush agreement with Donald Trump (oops no with his lawyer who wrote her a check for $130,000 and says the president had nothing to do it, then got a check for a dollar or so less from the Trump organization). The lawyer says he paid her for I don’t even remember why. But it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he is Trump’s lawyer.

Stormy Daniels is out to make as much money as she can off of her alleged tryst with the Donald. That may be reprehensible to some but it’s also American capitalism at its finest. Our capitalist in chief should be proud of her.

I still believe Stormy Daniels is brave. And I have developed a grudging respect for her. She is an unabashed porn star. She says she was threatened and I believe her. She gave back the money. And now she is out for Stormy and fame on a national stage. Although she makes me squirm I get enormous pleasure from knowing she makes the evangelicals squirm more..

So Stormy you go girl. See what damage you can do and what you end up with.  I may regret writing this at some point. But somewhere way in the background I am glad you are doing it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Who's the Bravest of them All? Emma Gonzalez

The woman who most impresses me today is Emma Gonzalez.

The incredible dignity in her pauses – six minutes and 20 seconds where it really sunk in what she was saying. Where we pictured those kids terrified, running, dying and trying to save each other. Where a school resource officer was too terrified to go in the building. The good guy with the guy.

“In just over 16 minutes 17 of our friends were taken from us,” she said,  “Fifteen were injured and the Douglas community was forever altered.” Those of us at the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC were forever altered as well. Thank you Emma.

Emma Gonzalez March for Our Lives