If you aren't from a military family, this might seem like a strange question. If you are from a military family, then you've probably heard this before.
"My husband is deploying. Looks like I'm a single parent again."
"I'm a single parent when my husband is gone. I do all the Mommy stuff and the Daddy stuff."
I get it. I can really understand how women can feel that way sometimes when you're in the middle of a deployment handling everything at home. But is it really fair to say you're a single parent?
In my opinion there's a lot more about being a single parent than just doing the day to day things. A person who is truly a single parent doesn't have monetary support like military wives do. They don't have the emotional support that military wives do. They don't have a light at the end of the tunnel either.
I'm not saying it's easier on one side versus the other, but it is different.
Even if you work as a military wife, you know that you are still getting income from your spouse. Income, not just child support which many single moms have to fight for and it rarely is enough anyway. Some of us are even fortunate enough to have the option to stay home with our children. Definitely not something you'd get as a single parent.
In the end, we know it isn't forever. We whine, complain and cry when the guys leave, but we know it will end eventually. Hopefully with an amazing Homecoming party and lots of "I love you"s and "I missed you"s. We have countdowns and calenders to mark off until we won't be parenting "alone" anymore. Not exactly how it works for a real single parent.
I think it's in poor taste to call myself a "single mom" when I know Huzzy is out there being the best daddy he can be. That might mean he isn't with us all the time, but that makes him no less a father. Even if communication is a pain sometimes, I know that he is always, always there for me. Saying I'm a single parent would be like I was devaluing everything he does for us. Single parents might have great support networks of family and friends to help them, but it isn't the same. Again, not better or worse, but not the same.
So no, I don't think we're "single parents" when the guys are gone. I understand the sentiment behind it, but calling myself a single parent would be akin to calling Huzzy useless.
And he's far from useless. He's the glue that holds this family together, even when he isn't here to see that.
Have you ever called yourself a single parent? Know someone who has? How do you feel about it?