Published January 12, 2009
I am a single mother and I’m proud of that fact. My child’s father has not been in our lives since I was 6 months pregnant. I joined a wonderful national mother’s group while I was in New York called “Single Moms by Choice” (SMC) which has been a great source of support and information. We define ourselves as “A Single Mother by Choice is a woman who has made the deliberate choice to be a mother, knowing that she would be parenting alone, at least at the outset.” This group doesn’t distinguish how one came to be a single mom except that there is no assistance (in any way) from the child’s father. Some of my friends have sperm donor babies, some of their children are from “chance and circumstance” (like my daughter), some have adopted and some are foster mothers. Net, net, we are all women who made the decision to raise children on our own because we desperately wanted children. We took control of our biological clocks or life circumstances and made the best of it. It’s not to say that the women in this group don’t date or aren’t looking for “Mr. Right or Ms. Right”. It’s just that, most often, the opportunity to have a child with a partner was taking too long for our biological realities.
Now, along comes Ann Coulter to pass judgement on single moms like me as if she is an expert on child rearing and the effects of being raised in a single parent household. I know her latest rant is just to get more press and sales for her vitriolic books which constantly condemn what and whom she deems a liberal. However, I don’t understand her latest attack upon single mothers. Is it the fact that her biological clock has not only gone off but has probably been bashed in with a baseball bat? I’m sorry but one has to wonder. Does she think that only liberals are single moms? Hate to tell her but there are quite a few Republicans that are members of my SMC group. Her main argument is that the liberal media and celebrities have made us want to become single moms and that is a bad thing.
I know that even giving any writing space to her or her viewpoints lengthens her time in the public eye but some people do listen to her (which is scary). She was on The View Monday and took on 4 single mothers: Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd. These women were all single moms of divorce or circumstance and had a few words for her. Ms. Coulter came right out with a whopper and said that children of single mothers are likely to be in jail. Even Elizabeth (the View's conservative voice) didn't support her and had issues with Ann for not attacking the missing fathers but laying all the blame on the mothers in her book. One could see Whoopi and Joy just biting their tongues and using their utmost restraint to not go off on Ms. Coulter's ridiculous generalizations. I found the exchange when Whoopi asked Ms. Coulter if she was a mother the most interesting because Ms. Coulter thinks she knows what it is like to raise a child even though she has never done it. What is most damaging about someone like Ms. Coulter being on the air waves touting her beliefs is that she went cherry picking for her data to support her extremist viewpoints.
I am happy to let you know that there are many single mothers in the US raising healthy, wonderful children. We, for the most part, ignore commentaries from people like Ann Coulter because we know the reality of child rearing as a single mother. But it does make one wonder how many people are listening to her and truly believing she's a voice of knowledge. For the record, if anyone is interested in learning more about the Single Mother’s by Choice group, feel free to e-mail me via The Vindy and send me your e-mail address (because it won’t show up). And, or, go to Yahoo groups to see more information about our group. There are options if you are watching your biological clock tick and Mr. Right is nowhere to be found. FYI, we keep our group discussions private, for members only, because we have been attacked by conservative groups and believe we deserve our privacy.