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Why Being a Single Mother Is Often Easier Than Raising a Child Together With a Father

We all grew up listening to and reading fairy tales that have happy endings, like a wedding. But for some reason, they don’t often talk about what happens after the wedding, so we are left thinking that people are incredibly happy. However, not everyone manages to become truly happy in a marriage, so some people choose to be alone.

We at Bright Side think that there are a lot of women with a similar story like the one from this article. So, most of our female readers could find her thoughts very familiar.

My name is Elena, I’m 34 years old, I have a small daughter, and I am divorced. Not because my husband left me, but because I chose to get divorced.

My mother always told me, “Every girl should get married at least once.” I believed it because my mother is married and she has me.

The people that surrounded me believed that a married woman equals a successful woman: she has the most important thing a woman needs: a husband. The women who were not married were called by this embarrassing moniker “single mother.” Implying that she couldn’t even stay married, and that she has a child outside of marriage. In a way, it was humiliating.

The attitude toward women who were married and for some reason were left alone with a child was a little bit better. People felt sorry for these women, because nobody gets divorced when they are happy.

When I was a teenager, I already felt that something was off about this: I didn’t sense any infinite love or happiness between my parents. It’s hard to deceive a child. I could see that they lived together out of a habit. Just like relatives, like very close people, but not like people who passionately love each other.

I did get married when I was almost 30 years old. My husband was a good person. However, I didn’t get the satisfaction I expected from getting married, even though I had completed “the most important task in every woman’s life.” I just had this feeling that I had made a wrong turn.

It was so torturing. And for several months after the wedding, I had depression. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I know that was definitely it: nothing made me happy, my regular good mood was always just plain bad, and I didn’t care what I looked like. I just wanted to cry all the time or lie on the bed and stare at the wall. It’s strange, right? I did what I was supposed to, didn’t I?

Spoiler alert: we got divorced 4 years later. Not because of the depression that I managed to almost get rid of over time. The divorce happened after I had a child and I realized that my husband wasn’t ready to take full responsibility for the child. We separated the things we had to do: I made all the decisions about the child because “you’re the mother, you know best.” And the father’s job was just earning money. I didn’t think it was the best division of labor.

I got tired, but my husband was against having a babysitter. “We’re not rich, we can do it on our own.” On my own. The help I could hope for was just being able to go take a shower and do something around the house without having to hold the baby for a couple of hours after my husband came home from work. Because a baby has to grow up surrounded by loved ones, there was no chance I could go back to work.

And once, when my husband went on a business trip and my one-year-old daughter and I stayed at home alone, I suddenly realized I didn’t miss him. There were fewer things I had to do around the house and I wasn’t more tired, even though I was alone. But the weirdest thing was that I felt more free without him.

No, I didn’t just make him leave right away. But I asked myself a question: “Do I live with this person because I love him or for other reasons?”

He spends very little time with the baby. All the house chores are all on me. Why do I need a husband? To fix a car? I found a good mechanic, my husband has no time to do this anyway, as he is always at work. To do the cleaning? He never did it before. To cook dinner? He can’t. To turn on the washing machine? He calls me to ask which button to push. To change a battery in a toy? I bought a screwdriver for that myself.

So, here I am alone. With a child. Nothing changed in my everyday life: everything was on me, and it still is. It’s a bit easier morally — I don’t need to ask for a second opinion. And the child now spends way more time with her father.

The money? I can earn it. Of course, I buy less now than before. The only difficulty here is that when you live with a man, you automatically rely on him. On his help: financial, moral, and physical. Sometimes you get the help, and sometimes you don’t. Now, I just rely on myself. This doesn’t make my life easier, but I expected this.

Then there’s the attitude of society. Yes, it’s not “I’m a single mother.” But I’m not the miserable type who couldn’t stay married and keep her husband. I’m a wolf that doesn’t agree with the laws of the pack.

Most of the time, people that don’t know me well, feel sorry for me. Don’t feel sorry for me, it was my choice. No, I don’t need hand-me-downs from your grown-up children, I can afford to buy my child all the necessary stuff.

The patriarchal form of life is outdated. Today, a single woman can’t be killed by a mammoth or eaten by a tiger. Sometimes, they try to, but I can protect myself. And now I feel more of a woman than when I was married.

I do not hate men, I really don’t! I actually like them. And I am ready to support a healthy relationship. But the best form of relationship for me is a guest marriage. I’m not pushing anything, I just like it more. Unfortunately, society doesn’t find this point of view very attractive and men are also programmed just like women. So, sooner or later, they ask the question, “Should we move in together?” No, we shouldn’t.

Maybe, some people think this is selfish. But the ability to not betray your own interests is the single best thing a mother can teach her child.

What do you think about this woman’s decision? Which parts do you agree with?

Please note: This article was updated in June 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Bright Side/Family & kids/Why Being a Single Mother Is Often Easier Than Raising a Child Together With a Father
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