I realize that there will always be someone who will take issue with my use of "single parent" in reference to a married person.
Technically speaking, it is a misnomer. And I get it. I'm not single because I'm married.
In fact, I know several spouses of self-identified sometimes single moms who don't like it when they refer to themselves as such.
But it's also a figure of speech -- an expression, if you will -- to represent a unique, but surprisingly common, lifestyle.
I would never ever liken myself to an actual single parent, though I've heard from several single parents that their particular situations are actually easier than mine. But overall, their challenges seem quite vast and completely different to what many of us face as a sometimes single parent.
So let's get right down to it. What exactly is a "sometimes single mom"?
Well, in basic terms, a sometimes single mom is a partnered or married person who is the sole parent to her children for some, part, or almost all the time.
Most people think of military spouses, and it's true -- they are the quintessential sometimes single parents.
But there are a plethora of other moms, like those whose spouses take frequent non-military-related business trips, or who work extremely long hours, or who are "present" only in body and salary and not as an active participant in the parenting relationship, who also parent alone for much of their existence -- sometimes for a few days out of a month, sometimes for almost the entire month.
Either way, it's challenging, and it presents situations, both parental and relational, that many other parents have not experienced and can't necessarily relate to.
Photo by Tanis MillerTake Tanis Miller (left), author of The Redneck Mommy, and a self-identified sometimes single mom, says:
When I'm not writing my blog, The Redneck Mommy, I'm wrangling two teens and an extremely disabled child whose wheelchair routinely gets flat tires. Since my husband works out of town 26 days of the month, 10 months a year, as an oil field consultant up in Alberta's Oilsands, you'll often find me parenting our feral children solo style while cussing at a lawn tractor that refuses to start.
Maria M (pictured above to right of author) of Mommy Melee has a different situation:
My husband works in the tourism industry. For the past three years, he's traveled on 4 to 10 day trips about once a month. I grew up with my dad leaving for 3- to 4-month stretches each year, so my husband's trips don't seem so bad in comparison. But after a few days, the morning and evening routines really wear on me. I'm accustomed to parenting as a couple.
Photo By Cooper MonroeAnd here's yet another story, from mom of two and author of ClumberKim, Kim D. (pictured right):
I have a spouse who's employed as a Sr. Software engineer for Apple. He travels anywhere from 7 to 10 times a year, sometimes more, for 7 to 10 days (or longer) at a time. And as a full-time working parent myself with two kids in two different schools, the challenges are enormous.
And as for me, I'm the wife of a commercial pilot and National Guardsman who travels about half the month if not more, but is currently working at an Air Force Base during the week, returning home one to two times a week for a quick overnight stay.
As you can see, we all have very different situations, but with one common thread -- we're parents who are sometimes single. And while it can definitely be pretty awesome, it can also be pretty darn hard. And we can use all the help and support we can get.
So, if you're a sometimes single mom, tell us about your situation!