Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

psycho single mother syndrome

This is a real Meg’s moan in. It comes from nowhere, will probably get a few people hysterical, but it’s been on my mind on and off for years and now I’m going to spew.

I am sick of psycho single mother syndrome. I say it from the incredibly clear place of not being single and not having children, so that’s my angle. I have chosen not to be a mother and I am beyond lucky to be in a happy, relatively healthy marriage.

I am generalising. Not ALL single mothers are like this, only the ones who are loud, rude and unashamed. These single mothers are so public about how hard it is for them. These single mothers sell themselves as currently disadvantaged. These single mothers want other (non single, non mother) people to do more, more often to help them and they can be both demanding, exhausting and relentless.

Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t impossibly hard to be a single mother. Surely it must be back breaking, heart breaking, relentless and often lonely. But do we have to hear about it all the time? Surely there must be some joy? Surely the people in a psycho single mother’s life are not there for the sole purpose of making it easier for the single mother to be a single mother? I have heard psycho single mother actors at auditions telling other auditioning candidates how badly they need the job to feed their children. You know what that’s like to hear before you go into the room to pretend to eat and love a biscuit while running on the beach? I have heard single mothers at parties (looking glamorously haggard) insist that their children who are “asleep” in the master bedroom of a semi-stranger’s house, get fed, entertained and managed by anyone they can say it loud enough to. I have read psycho single mothers blog in watery emotional turmoil about how hard it is. Psycho single mothers are forever tormented by the demon fathers of their offspring without a single glimpse of the irony that put them there. Mostly, these psycho single mothers act like they woke up one morning and these children had fallen down the chimney and their boyfriends had been abducted all at the same time, leaving them all by themselves, totally unprepared and entirely at the world’s mercy. However it happens, having children is a choice.

I have a message to the psycho single mother moaner blogger somebody. Get over it. Yes it’s hard, but it’s nobody else’s fault and nobody can fix it for you.

Before I get into real trouble here, I would like to salute and honour all the uncomplaining, real, getting on with it, beautiful single mothers who love their children, are proud of them and enjoy them. I love listening to them talk with glowing love and pride about their kids. I love seeing them in action as normal, functioning, maybe a little frazzled people. I love seeing their special bonds and quirky rituals as they play and live together. But mostly I love that I am not being asked to give them special treatment because of their ‘unfortunate circumstance’. I’m not asked to acknowledge them as super heroes. I don’t have to read endlessly about how they feel bringing up blah blah blah all on their own.

Happy Woman’s Day to 50% of the world’s population on Saturday, August 9.

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11 Comments

  1. bobby

    absolutely agree with you. as a child free person (by choice), i struggle to find sympathy for women who choose to become single mother’s and then fall into the role of martyr. i know enough single mum’s to know that it is not a side effect of the condition, just an aspect that appeals to certain single mum’s.
    here, they pay people $5 000 (R35 000) to have a child (part of Australia’s inability to see itself as part of an overcrowded world, so insisting that people make dinky-di Aussies to populate this part of the planet- yes, it is absurd in all of its incarnations). this breeds a unique type of whinging single mum; shocked that it costs more than $5 000 to raise a child.
    got to love this place (apologies to peter fitzsimon)

  2. Tante B

    How iprovocative and unexpected a subject. You’re right. Women have forgotten that there is such a thing as personal responsibility. Ashamed? If the Hollywood
    stars can do it – why ,so can they! What a hornet’s nest ! Instant gratification and all that. I could go on endlessly – interesting about Australia. Over here (US) people blame the Welfare System. I could go on for hours.

    Men are to blame too, of course. As Barak Obama says, mens’ responsibility doesn’t stop at conception.

    I hope your blog generates a lot of discussion.

  3. megan

    Well, granted, Tante B and Bobby are family, and more importantly living overseas. I was expecting more of a tongue lashing from you out there. Thanks for your agreeing!

  4. The Saint

    I agree with you but the problem is that in a broader sense you hear the same whinge-thing from people who ~
    [1] blame apartheid for everything – its over and the opportunities are there; and
    [2] blame ex-husbands or ex-wives for their alleged dire lot in life – its over and the opportunities are there; and
    [3] blame America or China or Russia or Obama Bin Laden [take your choice!!] for all that’s wrong in their miserable lives.

    Really the issue is that a whole wodge of the population don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions.

  5. megan

    You are right! This is just the beginning of my subjects of moan. I think that the reason I’m sick of psycho single mothers in particular is that they seem to get away with more, and are excused for their behaviour more because children are involved.
    It is far easier to tell apartheid blamers and ex-spouse victims to get a life. I won’t listen to the political whingers for more than 3 seconds.

  6. CMW

    Ha Ha Ha I am a single mother who has always worked as a professional person and after 17 miserable years got divorced. OMG what a shock to the system, it is extremely diffiicult!!! After two years of hell, life couldn’t be better, however, I found myself today saying for the first time ever that “I am a single mother with 2 children to feed blah blah blah”. Yes I believe that I was looking for the sympathy vote very true and I don’t really know why I did it as I am the least sympathetic to this kind of comment!!! I do normally just get on with it and never fob my children off on anybody. Some married women are in exactly the same position only they have the added disadvantage of the nightmare hubby to deal with so douuble whammy there. This has been the best experience of my life and has made me the strong person I am today still in tact with all of my values and beliefs and my children are happy little individuals. So much so that I thought of writing a positive book about gettiing on with it being a single mother and the mechanisms that can be put into place to survive/exist! My first port of call was the title and SMS (single mother syndrome) was it. Wish me luck and hopefully a more suitable title is available on ISBN barcode – look out for copies on book shelves and amazon, even at the ebay shops. x

  7. megan

    Good Luck!!

  8. This is funny. When I was still blissfully (well, so I thought) engaged to my child’s father in London, I had endless reserves of patience for single mothers. It seemed the most impossible, horrific thing EVER. Til I found myself in Cape Town unexpectedly jilted as a single mom.
    With supportive family and friends.
    With affordable domestic help.
    With amazing weather.
    In a city where I can trundle off with my kid to a lovely market on a Saturday morning, to the park in the afternoon, and to some friends in the afternoon, without having to sit on the tube for 4 hours to make it all possible.
    Where I can hold down a full-time job, and still fit in interesting courses, and play onstage, and get out sometimes, and all without compromising family time, because everything’s so ACCESSIBLE and people here make things happen. Sure, there are tough moments aplenty. But compared to coupled-up motherhood in London, single motherhood in Cape Town can be quite peachy.
    I should have a warning sign bumper sticker: chronically smug single mom on board…

  9. megan

    nothing a decent attitude can’t make magnificent!

  10. Ally Bernard

    I do agree about the Single Mother Syndrome which is very logic if we think about it!
    I have 2 children and in a healthy marriage. I work 3/4 and look after my kidz and house-hold, while huby works full time and for the house DIY big jobs during weekends. It works well. We both work a lot and acknowledgment each others work well enough.
    What really gets me is the abuse i suffer from some acquaintances we both have : Single mom’s. We see them working hard but be ware!!!
    – The real opportunist : We lent her our house for 2 weeks this summer when we got back… all the food had disappeared from cupboard – some of my children clothes had vanished – and… bedclothing were all dirty ready for me to wash them all… Niiiiiiiice!
    – The big feminist: Proud to be a single mum – everytime she comes around she is having a go at men and boys in general! I have 2 little boys… and how she does suffer and work so much and how men are useless. I am not counting the numbers of time my husband has babysit her daughter – walked her dog – and fixed her bathroom…
    – The fisher (hooker): Be ware by far the worst… sneaky-sexy-very kind adorable single mum on the earth… getting closer and closer to your husband… getting involve with him over work matters… inviting you to a diner party and very kindly telling you how ” your husband is not stupid you know…” in front of your husband… the kind of woman who gets on really well with your husband – that everybody likes- and that weirdly enough you can never have a normal discussion with because she is always taking things the wrong way… well beware… that one is the worst… she is quite simply fishing your handy loving husband !!!

    The logic in it – is summed in one word : SURVIVAL ! Although i can understand it – although they have all my sympathy … i am still allowing my family and myself the right of self-preservation…

  11. jems

    single mother syndrome = lesbian politic to finish family values

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