Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
Just because there are plenty of single parents out there finding a way to make it work without support, I doubt any of them would recommend it as a first choice, or do it the same way if they had it to do over.
In my brain, my post wasn't about "single parents." It was about "parents with limited support networks." Re-reading it, I can see how utterly I failed at making that clear and for that I apologize. I am really sorry that it came across as though single parents aren't capable of being good parents, and I don't blame you for being offended by that. Please believe, that's not at all what I meant.
So let me try again.
SOME single parents have no support networks. If you do, that's great. Thank your friends and family for not ditching you when you had a baby outside of wedlock. Not all your fellow single mothers are so lucky. Yes, it super totally sucks. But there absolutely are women out there who get knocked up, and their parents kick them out and their friends turn their backs, because their religion says unwed motherhood is sinful. Turns out Jesus's message love and acceptance and forgiveness didn't get around as well as he intended.
Parents without support, whether they happen to be single or not, cannot provide the same level of care as parents who have support -- someone to lend a hand, answer questions, tell her that she's doing a good job even when it feels like she's doing everything wrong (what mother doesn't have those moments?). In order for any child to have the best possible care, their parents need a support network. As wonderful as it would be for best intentions and love to be enough to create a healthy environment in which to raise a child, they're not. You need support.
I certainly didn't say, or even imply, that only a father can be that support, or even that he needs to be part of that support. I didn't say anything about needing a co-parent involved in order to provide the best possible care.
If you have no one to talk to, no one to help you, no one to support you... you're going to be a mess. All humans need support, including child-free singles and partnered parents. And if you're a mess yourself, then your parenting abilities are inevitably going to suffer. Again, partnered or not. So if your friends and family abandoned you, or if you didn't have any to begin with (true for far too many women, sadly), then you need to join parenting groups so you have some grown-ups to talk to, to ask for help, to get advice and reassurance. If you want to be the best parent you can be, you need to build a support network. If you already have one, then so much the better, that's one thing to check off your prenatal checklist.
Natja, if you raised two kids by yourself without a lick of help from anyone, then you have my eternal admiration... or else my suspicion that you're not actually human. But you mentioned a sister so I infer you had some help along the way. Likewise london, I know that your kid's dad is around, and your posts imply that you had other support as well. So neither one of you is the (single or partnered) parent-without-support about which I'm talking.
My bff was living with her kids' dad when they were born. She had a support network, but he wasn't part of it. He was an adult child and made her life so much harder than it had to be. So believe me, I know that having the sperm donor involved isn't the be-all-end-all of parenthood.
As for the "top of their game" bit I still wasn't talking about single parenthood. I was talking about having a sick kid and being in ON mode for days on end. Every parent has been there. Maybe not from a hell child that screams for 3 days straight. But how about when the flu hits your whole family, and it's all you can do to crawl to the bathroom and vomit your guts out? I'm sure you're not telling me that at each and every moment while you've been a mother, you were at the top of your game and providing the absolute best care possible? That since your kids have been born, you've never had a sleepless night or lost your temper? What are you, some kind of superhuman momborgs?
I know I mentioned single parents alongside all that other stuff, but it wasn't intended that single parents aren't as good as partnered parents. Having forgotten my own friend's situation, I was assuming that if two people have a kid together and decide to co-parent, that they'll be able to help each other through it, hence forming at least a basic support network. My phrasing was terrible and your interpretations were not unfair. I completely take responsibility for my failure to communicate my intended message. I'm sorry.