The good, the bad and the mostly ugly musings and opinions of a overly-opinionated Aussie single mum
This week in a shopping mall, a big, tall man complete with mullet whammed into my shoulder as he passed by. He was accompanied by a woman. He didn’t even turn around to acknowledge the hit, and just kept on walking.
As I rubbed my shoulder and glanced around angrily, watching him disappear into the crowd, a thought crossed my mind – would he have done it if I had a male partner by my side? I’m guessing he would have at least apologised, or given us a wider berth.
Anyhow, I “sucked it up” as all good little women do, and resumed walking. My shoulder throbbed, my indignation rose, and I worried about the example I was setting my two children who were walking there with me.
Was I teaching them to press on and disregard the knocks in life – or was I teaching them that being a woman meant men could assault you in public and get away with it?
The stigma of the Australian single mum
It often feels like society does indeed walk all over single mums. At work. Out and about. At home – even from our own extended families, we are often treated like second class citizens. Yet close to half of Australian women eventually find themselves in the sights of separation and divorce, regardless of their smug don’t-take-my-man glances at single mums. Domestic violence, financial and social hardships may well be headed their way too.
But it’s not all bad. At a family fun activity earlier in the week, no less than three people offered to take photos of my single parent family, and I accepted them all. Not just because I wanted a “proper” family shot of all of us together, but also because I felt the empathy of those – both men and women – who offered it. A connection to those nuclear families and couples who are still so more easily accepted by Australian society at large.
Do I wish I had a partner to help counteract this slighting by society? Not a chance. If you watch Australian TV advertising enough, it’s so easy to think that a family has to have a mum and dad at it’s head. Not so! Have you ever heard of false advertising? Single mums and their kids ARE functioning, loving families – and there’s a lot of us!
For me, I’ve never felt happier or more settled in life, despite the all extra baggage that comes with single parenting – and I don’t mean the kids.
Are you an Aussie single mum? What are your thoughts on how Australian society views single mums? Please join the conversation, and comment them below!
Family and Domestic Violence help
Call 000 if you are in danger. Call 1800RESPECT, a sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service for support – Phone: 1800 737 732 available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
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