When you are raising children on your own, people like to offer advice. When you’re pregnant. When your baby is fussy. When you’re raising a child on your own. Why is that? Do people (and I don’t just mean my Mom although admittedly, and to no surprise, she falls into this people-pile) think that women and men who are solo parents are completely incapable of making decisions when it comes to their offspring? Yes, I suspect, that’s a part of it. There is an impression, I believe based on my experience, that one can only parent in a team. Clearly, I don’t subscribe to that. Clearly, I have raised a child on my own. ClearlyI have done so on the terms dealt—rampant unemployment, reluctant bachelorette hood, pressed time management skills. I have worked ti provide a safe and stable home for my child, at all stages of her life. Still. The so-called advice keeps on coming. From the time she was a baby until this day, with her in college. Now, I’m not so high on my haunches that I don’t value an opinion or use the wisdom doled my way. There was never a stage where I was confidently in an “I-got-this” mode; every age offered nuanced parenting, challenges that I dealt with. I would on occasion, look to the women I did admire, like my friend Maren, who parented with aplomb for tips on how to do things, from baking to folding fitted sheets. But in terms of instilling values, manners, pride? That’s not something I look to others for direction. Nor should you. You ought to parent to your child—your child(ren) are wired so uniquely, it takes their own parent to do the work of parenting, not the people who wander in and out of their lives. It took me a minute to realize this. But now I know. I’m the only lifeguard on duty and I take my job seriously. If I need help, I will ask for the life vest. Promise.
RIP B. Smith.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters: “They say they love the flag more than anybody else. But they’re revealing who they really are and what they really care about.”
E. Jean Carroll: “I am speaking out now for the women who have spoken out and have met their doom. Sometimes you speak out against a man in power and you lose your job.”
Look at this sentence and cry along with me: “A 2016 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that women are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older, while women between the ages of 75 to 79 are three times more likely than men to be living in poverty. Widowed women are twice as likely to be living in poverty than their male counterparts.”
Everything is Fine is my favorite new podcast.
And now have a laugh with Jackie Fabulous.