Guest blogger Single Mom Seeking: Would a single mom ever be considered as 'The Bachelorette'? I think not.
Last night, Jason Mesnick, the 32-year-old divorced dad of a three-year-old son, became the first-ever single parent to star on "The Bachelor."
During the two-hour premiere on Monday night, I wasn't the only single parent thrilled to see "us" on a mainstream network. Also, four of the 25 bachelorettes are single moms (although Jason let two single moms go on Monday night.)
But it's impossible to ignore the double standard here.
As momlogic.com's Annie rightly pointed out this summer: "I can't help but wonder: what if it were a single woman who had left her child at home to appear on 'The Bachelor'? Then after hemming and hawing about how much she missed her child, she signed on to the be star of 'The Bachelorette' the following season? I think people would be repulsed."
Annie is right.
I'll never forget the slack I got for writing a post about trying to date as a single mom for the Washington Post.
One reader called me "irresponsible." He went on to say: "Rachel is spending way too much energy on finding a boyfriend. What is wrong with this woman?"
Another reader called me a "loser."
Yet another told me I should have had an abortion.
You get the point.
A single dad who leaves home to find Ms. Right is sexy. But what happens when a single mom dates leaves her kid(s) to find Mr. Right?
"Did you notice that when given the opportunity to vote someone off the show, the majority of the women chose the single mom, whom they judged for leaving her 14-month old at home?" points out mom blogger Mindy Erickson. "Single moms have just as much right to date and find love as everyone else, yet we are held to different standards because we have kids."
"I saw the show last night and I thought it was lame that the producer included just three or four women who were 31 years or older," says RJ. "How unfair is that? There are 20 'girls' on the show who are in their mid-20s!"
"This is exactly the wrong message for 'real' single dads out there. If 32-year-old Jason is really serious about finding a wife -- and a mother to his son -- he should not even consider looking at a woman in her 20s. Women at this age are just beginning to discover who they are ... needless to say, men are even farther behind in that discovery."
RJ is speaking from experience: "I made this same mistake with a younger woman, -- yes, I was the 'un-discovered' 30-something man -- and I can see the same outcome for Jason. This is not a happy ending. But I guess that's why they call it DRAMA!"
I'm still waiting for the day that "The Bachelorette" is a single mom. Are you?