All single moms are not the same, and yet somehow they are.
There are women whose husbands have died.
There are women whose husbands have left.
There are women who don't know the father.
There are women who asked him to leave.
There are women who are safer on their own with their children.
There are women who never married, who chose from the start to do it alone.
There are women who are married, he is present, and yet she parents all alone.
There are stigmas with each category. Some women are favored as heroines, courageous and valiant; others are stigmatized with a scarlet letter. Some receive an outpouring of grace and resources; others are left to fend for themselves and do their best.
But here's the deal: single moms are moms. And that's hard, selfless, valiant, courageous, constant work.
I have been deeply supported from the moment I took on the unwanted title. Truthfully, this deluge of presence continues to carry me through; it has (you have) been my saving grace, my safety net, and my beacon on many nights.
I ache and wonder for women who wear a different mantle, those who travel a path that does not warrant help, support, empathy, or grace. How much harder their road must be.
Single moms are single moms. Different and yet the same.