I call myself a “two for one” parent. I came up with the concept after becoming disenchanted with labels like “single mom” and “single mom by choice.” These labels are often stigmatized, with undertones of disapproval when one finds out an individual may be a single mother without the support of a nearby (or far-flung) former partner.
While I won’t go into the details of how I came to be a very solo parent very shortly after my daughter, Hazel Jane, was born, what matters is that I made a choice for the her safety and mine very early on—and that makes me a “two for one” parent. So, what does this mean to me?
I am the Swiss army knife of mothers. I am the multifunctional tool of parenting!
I am forever thankful for this unexpected blessing. I have become adept at fixing bicycles, building flat pack furniture and kissing all manner of boo-boos. I am happy forever being the parent that wakes to investigate any noises in the night with imaginary monster spray in hand. I am the laundry center, the doctor’s visit appointment setter and perpetual chauffeur. I am the only financial institution of the household that earns a living—minus Hazel’s supervised summer lemonade stands—who pays for a modest, minimalist but safe shelter, and bankrolls maximized life experiences.
I go without hair appointments and some general upkeep, because there is no “two for one” deal that accommodates both our schedules, let alone double the cost. And besides, I’ve always been a low-maintenance gal—or so I’ve convinced myself and others.
I am the memory-maker of hand-sewn Halloween costumes and new holiday traditions, because I choose to raise my family differently from the legacy that put me in unsafe conditions years prior.
I am unapologetically “two for one”—and this means the love I give is not divided. I am a “two for one” parent, thankful to multiply my strengths the more often they are called upon.
To all of the “two for one” parents and those that cheer us on: thank you. Your bravery and love is so welcomed in this world.