Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Clueless With Clueless Gravy on Top

by The Next Family August 05, 2010

By: Julie Gamberg

No sooner did I write about the sometimes cluelessness of partnered families toward single parent families, then I got an email from a fellow single mom by choice that seemed just as clueless, with clueless gravy on top. Clueless in the let’s-give-each-other-some-mutual-support way (or, more accurately, let’s not). And a little bit bitter. And maybe little bit sanctimonious? And I thought, do I sound like that? Bitter or sanctimonious about doing it on my own.

I’ve never met this mom, but she’s part of a small group of moms who have been trying to find a time to meet in person. She invited people to her house, which is a bit of a drive for most of the group, at 11:30 a.m. and I wrote back that my little one tends to go down around 12:30 or 1, so perhaps we could meet a bit earlier?

No, she wrote.

And then, perhaps forgetting that I had written her after she introduced herself with details of her circumstances when our little group first “met” by email, to tell her that I was a single mom by choice too! Who works full-time too! (Kind of a “Hello! Be my friend!” to which she did not respond), further response to my time change request read: “As a single mom who works FT, my son has never had the luxury of a strictly followed regimen… naps sometimes get delayed or skipped.” Ouch.

Luxury of naps? So bourgeois! Like meals. Or sleeping at night. Or having a poopy diaper changed. Those middle class American urbanites who really have it rough have to forgo the petty indulgences that most of us take for granted. They keep their babies up when tired!

Another mom who was copied on the email pointed out to me that the nap delayer/skipper had previously said she is feeling overwhelmed. This other mom is a kind, kind woman who makes me feel like a baby-eating troll.

I analyze my feelings about the nap delayer/skipper and I think about how we are sometimes repelled by those who are needing an extra lot of help. There is a mean part of my brain that thinks: I guess you shouldn’t have had a child if you couldn’t take care of him! And then I think of when my little one was outrageously colicky in her first few months and how thoroughly drowning I was, and how rough that was on those closest to me.

And that leads me to, of course, think of wilderness survival stories.

In wilderness survival stories there is always a pragmatist who wants to withhold the food and water from the already dying and reserve it for those-who-could-possibly-make-it. And then there is always a softie who sneaks the dying some water, some comforting pain relief instead of keeping it for the poor sod who needs to have his broken bone reset with just a jagged stone as a knife and a bare branch to bite into.

I generally think of myself as the softy in that situation – the one who can’t bear to see immediate suffering in the hopes of averting some future suffering which may or may not come to pass. But maybe I’m the pragmatist. The one who says buck up sister … we’re all in the same woods and if I can make it without water – me who adores water, well then surely you can trudge along too. If I can figure out how to get my fussy, fussy little one down for her much needed sleep … well you get the idea. I seem to be the obnoxious just-in-case water hoarder.

And I also realize that in the same way you can’t stick two seven-year-olds together and claim that since both are kids they will surely become fast friends, just finding other women who have chosen to have children on their own does not ensure that I am suddenly in gracious, tolerant company. Or, for that matter, that I am gracious, tolerant company.

The post Clueless With Clueless Gravy on Top appeared first on The Next Family.

The Next Family
The Next Family


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →