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No longer a single Mom

Categories: Found Love


I’ve been missing in action from this space, struggling for several weeks with what I would write.  This column is called Single Mom at Work, and it’s been a diary of my experiences of heartbreak, hope, balance, and the all-encompassing undercurrents of this life: happiness and stability.

When I started writing for Work It, Mom!, my little boy was just two years old.  We spent our time mostly alone: on the beach searching for scuttling creatures, in the forest twirling in the rain and stomping mud soaked boots.  Looking at the clouds in the air, searching for the future in a promising ray of light.  I made dinner for him and ate the leftovers off his plate.  My Mom took him while I did my business trips: exhausting day jaunts to San Francisco and LA when I’d leave the house at 4am and return near midnight, my Mom asleep on my couch and my still-wee boy entangled in his blankets, dreaming.  I’d kiss his head and creep to my room and set my alarm for two hours later, when I needed to complete a freelance project.  I supported the two of us with no financial aid from my son’s Father: it compelled, exhausted, and terrified me while simultaneously filling me with a kind of pride.  I could do this, I was doing this, albeit sometimes barely.

About a year into a very solitary existence, and with semi-harsh prodding from my little brother, who predicted I’d end up circling the Walmart aisles with chocolate-stained jogging pants and disgruntled rollers in my hair if I didn’t get out of the house, already — I put my toe tentatively in the dating pool.

It sucked.  One mildly insane man temporarily stole my Jeep and almost ran over an old lady in a road rage fury.  Another professed his undying love after two dates.  Others were nice but not for me.  I focused again on work and home and my wide-eyed sidekick.  We were happy.  I decided: I could do this on my own.  This life was rich, beautiful on its own.  Without a man, we’d be fine.  I had my little one, and he was enough.  He was more than enough.


Those of you who read me elsewhere will know about Corey, the man who entered our lives four months ago and spontaneously changed everything.  I was shocked, terrified, and elated to fall in love with him - something I’d always believed was impossible for me.

I was amazed at how I’d forgotten how much richer a shared life is, how everything difficult becomes less of a burden when it is shared.  Corey is amazing with my son and in these last several months, has seamlessly woven into almost every component of our lives.  Nothing in life is certain, but there is something deep inside me that seems to know that this is real and rare.  We’re in this together, fully, and his help in everyday life means I can no longer call myself a Single Mom.

I guess this is a long way  of saying - I’m no longer a Single Mom at Work.  I’m in a committed relationship and therefore uncomfortable writing from the perspective of a woman doing it without a partner.  In the next week, I’ll introduce a new columnist here at Single Mom at Work who can offer fresh perspective and a bird’s eye view of Single Working Motherhood in a whole new tone.

I want to say thank you for your comments and your support here.  I may reappear with a different perspective and if you have any topics for me, feel free to leave me a comment or email me at anytime.  I love to hear from you.

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11 comments so far...

  • i’m happy for you!

    and also? waiting to read the next single mama’s stuff feels a bit like waiting for an as-yet-unmet college roommate, somehow. i’m sure that is a symptom of some mental instability on my end. (but shhhh! don’t tell her! :))

    Just me  |  August 31st, 2009 at 3:25 pm

  • Kristin-

    I’m not a single mom, but have always enjoyed your writing and perspective. I hope you do find something else to contribute here! Maybe the ongoing progress of creating a blended family?

    Thanks again, and good wishes to you all !

    Traci  |  August 31st, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  • Yah, I am so happy for you!

    Kate  |  August 31st, 2009 at 8:40 pm

  • What good news, Kristin - best wishes to you!

    This post did make me wonder about something, though, and I was curious what others thought: Do you ever REALLY stop being a single Mom, even if you remarry and have several more children with a new husband? As a single Mom myself (not dating or in a relationship), I feel like I will always be a single Mom, no matter what. Obviously there are big differences between a single Mom who is remarried and one who remains literally single, just like there are differences between single Moms who are their child’s only parent and those whose child’s father remains active in the child’s life, or between single Moms who were never married to their children’s fathers and those who are divorced. But to me the term “single Mom” implies the common identity of not being socially and romantically linked to your child’s father.
    I don’t mean to imply that I disagree with Kristin’s decision to retire from this column; I understand that this is a place where she wrote about being alone with just her son and that her life is different now.
    My comment is more that in general I feel that there is a commonality - whether you call it “single” motherhood or something else between all women who have had to confront a reality that is different than what we are told to expect, who are not in a lifelong relationship with one man who fathers all of their children, and who therefore have to navigate all of the obstacles that come along with that (indeed, even remarrying and forming a blended family being one of the unique ventures single Moms face that others don’t). And I’m wondering what other people think about this Single-Mom identity? Is it something you can ever shed? Can you ever really return to the “mainstream”?

    Jesse  |  September 1st, 2009 at 9:03 am

  • Jesse’s comment is really compelling, and I’d love to see you write about that at least once if not on an ongoing basis as part of whatever your new column here becomes. Are there parts of you that will always be Single Mom? What will the dynamic be like in terms of raising N between you, the bio parent, and Corey, the adopted parent? How will your self-image change when you’re no longer doing it all by yourself. (I imagine it will be easier, but will it also challenge the identity you’ve built as a completely independent provider?) I can’t wait to see where this relationship takes you as a mother, partner, woman, and writer.

    Leah K  |  September 1st, 2009 at 11:49 am

  • I wanted to address or “answer” Jesse from my own perspective. I divorced my first husband in August of 2003. My son was just 9 years old when we split up. (the divorce was final 9 months later). My son is now just a few months away from 17.

    I remarried in late 2005 when my son was 12. My second husband is fantastic in every way, however my son is still very attached to his biological father, and that is wonderful. However, when it comes to my attention and responsibility for my son, that is still just me. My 2nd husband participates as much as possible but it’s still just me. No matter what anyone says, a partner that you choose is not the partner or father that your child will automatically choose. My son cares for his stepfather only in so much as he makes me happy. He LOVES his father.

    Much of this depends on the age of the child upon separation and the involvement of the father etc. For me…I’m remarried, very happily so to a wonderful man. But I am still and always will be a Single Mother. I make the decisions about my son, I make the heartbreaking treks to the hospital when something happens, etc. etc. It is me…and me alone. And my son has an involved father. I still feel like a Single Mom. My 2nd husband is not to blame for that either. It just is what it is. My son never bonded with him because he has a father…a very real and very present one. So it’s us…me the mother..and his father..who go deal with all the teenage issues, etc. etc. We’re no longer together but we are raising our son and no one else is truly involved…so I am often doing things like a Single Mother.

    Kristy  |  September 1st, 2009 at 7:46 pm

  • Congratulations Kristin, and best wishes to you and Corey and your little boy. This sounds really wonderful.

    Looking forward to your writings in new topics.

    Lakshmi  |  September 2nd, 2009 at 9:03 am

  • I don’t see why there needs to be only one “single mom” blog. I’d love to see you keep writing something Kristin, I’ve enjoyed your humorous voice.
    And, of course, we want to hear how things are going!

    Mich  |  September 4th, 2009 at 11:36 am

  • Hi Kristin,

    I can’t find an email option - - where can I make a private comment?


    Jo  |  September 6th, 2009 at 9:57 am

  • Amen, I am so glad to see that you are showing single moms out there your utmost respect by passing things over. Thank you so much, there is nothing more irritating than someone who continues to write as a “single mom” who truly is not, so I want to thank you again for doing that. I wish you the very best and am so happy that you have found someone so special.

    SK  |  September 7th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

  • Congratulations Kristin!

    I’ve been following your writings since you were at ParentDish. I look forward to reading your new column whenever and wherever that may appear!

    Again congratulations!

    Michelle Blair  |  October 7th, 2009 at 8:25 pm