Saturday, May 2, 2015

Terminology

I post this to the other single parents who may or may not have thought about this question.
In conversation with my mother recently, she objected to the term "single mother by choice," stating that it implied that we women who have chosen this route want to remain single, like the Amazonian island where Wonder Woman was born.  Instead, my mother recommended the term, "single mother by circumstance."
I explained to my mother that first of all, SMC is the internationally recognized term, which focuses on the concept of choice rather than being perpetually single.  IE, a woman does not want to forfeit the right and joys and challenges of being a mother, just because she has not yet found the right life partner, and is aware of the biological clock ticking away.
Besides, the word "circumstance" implies to me that you went to a bar, got drunk, and got knocked up, that you had less than optimal control over your body and your common sense. "Oops, how did that baby get inside me?  Gosh, I might as well keep it."  Or that you happened to be married and for whatever reason (divorce, widow-hood) the father is no longer in the picture.
When I mentioned to my mother that I have no real objection to finding the right man and getting married, she answered, "Well, for that you would have to be dating..."
To which I replied, "Well in order to date properly I would have to have the time to myself, and a reliable baby sitter..."

4 comments:

Midlife Singlemum said...

I also hate the SMC label and have often said that I was infertile by circumstance before I had my DD. However I totally agree with your interpetation of Single Mother by Circumstance being also wrong. Personally I just say single mother and single parent family (as you can see from my blog name).

Midlife Singlemum said...

Forgot to add: I also find Single Mother by choice a slightly insulting label for married mothers - does it imply that they didn't choose to be momthers?

Doc said...

Quite frankly, win the concept of family evolving so rapidly, there needs to be a reconsideration of all titles and the "boxes" in which we place each other.

Midlife Singlemum said...

I think Solo Mother is being used instead of SMC in some places. This fits the description as it implies there was never a partner who left or died.