Moms That Judge
By: Evie Peck
I was at my friend Kelly’s party; mostly moms and kids. I didn’t really know anyone there. Spenser was the youngest kid by far so I watched him as he played happily by himself.
Kelly introduced me to some of the moms and at one point told them, “Evie has a great blog.” The moms seemed interested, “It’s a single mom blog,” Kelly told them.
“Oh! Terrific! I should tell my single mom friend about it,” a woman named Anna said, as she walked over to me.
“Yeah, great,” I said, expecting her to ask for the name of my blog.
“I’m a single mom… only for a few months, anyway,” Anna said with a laugh. “I know that’s not the same.
I smiled and shrugged. I didn’t really care if it was the same or not. If it feels hard to her to be on her own for a few months, who am I to tell her she doesn’t feel “single” … because I don’t actually feel single. I forget all the time that the norm is to have two parents. And also, I’m not a martyr about it; I really don’t need people saying “you’re so brave,” or “I admire you” or “It must be so hard” or whatever.
I CHOSE this because I wanted to be a mom.
“My friend just adopted a baby,” Anna explained. “She adopted as a single mom.”
“Yeah, I chose to be a mom on my own too,” I told her. I said it with enthusiasm, to encourage her to pass my blog along to her friend. I expected her to ask for my blog name now, but instead, she said:
It took me a few moments to register her tone; sarcastic.
Not like: “I can’t have toppings on my frozen yogurt because my teeth are too sensitive to chew them… What fun,” kind of sarcastic.
More like: “My house burned down, I’m filing for bankruptcy and my dog is lost… What fun.” Like the worst.
As soon as her judgment sunk in, I responded as calmly as I could… “Well, you know, I’ll bet you at times, it’s easier than having a partner.”
She seemed taken aback, “Well, huh,” she laughed in a it’s not funny way, “I guess… But you have nothing to compare it to.”
Weird. Why did this woman need me to know that she thought choosing to be a single mom was so horrible? I had to assume Anna was having some kind of struggle with her husband; maybe she was secretly jealous of my freedom.
“True,” I said. I said it as cheerily as I could. “I’ve got nothing to compare it to.” I’d had lots of boyfriends but I’d never co parented.
“It’s nice to be able to hand your child off once in a while,” Anna said… in kind of an angry way.
“I guess,” I smiled, walking away. Why get into a thing with her? I never really felt like I needed to hand my son off. I figure out ways of getting stuff done.
A few minutes later I overheard Anna talking to the other moms about their friend’s new boyfriend, “Where did they meet?” Anna asked.
“At a bar,” a woman answered.
“Oh. Well at least that’s better than on the internet.”
WHAT??? I mean, yes, I had no luck on the internet but some people do. It’s not a whorehouse. It’s just OK Cupid.
So judgy, that Anna. I didn’t understand her need to critique single people and their choices. Maybe she was just very angry at her husband for leaving her alone with their child for a few months.
I decided to let her have her judgment and to not care about it. She didn’t need to understand why I love my life, and why it actually, it IS fun.