Are Co-parentsSingle Moms-

Dear Diary,

According to Wikipedia, a single parent is an uncoupled individual who shoulders most or all of the day-to-day responsibilities of raising a child–a child born from an unplanned pregnancy or one raised in a situation caused by divorce. Despite this, people label single moms because of their marital status not their parental duties.

When I used to say I was a single mom, I would get the I feel so sorry for you look from strangers. At first, I didn’t mind the sympathy. Heck, I was dumped during my second trimester. Someone should feel sorry for me, right? Those who didn’t feel pity, felt admiration.

People acknowledged that motherhood was hard, which in turn meant that I was strong. The pat on the back for working, parenting, cooking, cleaning and juggling felt good.

Although I sacrificed, stretched and achieved, I realized I wasn’t really a single mom. For one, I cop-parented with my ex. And for two, I moved to back to my hometown to raise my daughter near my large, close-knit family.

My support system stretches for miles, with an endless list of family and friends playing the role of babysitters, chefs and chauffeurs.

If snow closes my daughter’s preschool, or I need a girls’ night out, I drop my daughter off at my parents’ house. If I can’t buy something until my next paycheck, my dad loans me money. If I forget to stock the medicine cabinet, my friend runs to the pharmacy to avoid dragging a sick child out in the middle of the night. And even if there’s isn’t a minor emergency, there is always an abundance of love.

I don’t have a ring on my finger, but I’m not traveling the road of motherhood all alone.

Together, my family and friends make up my village. They ensure my daughter grows up healthy and happy. And they put a smile on mommy’s face as well! I can turn to them to pray, rejoice and even vent.

Hey DFTM Fam–Do you think society should get rid of labels like single moms? Do you think the term single mom should be rebranded?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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