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I Lived Kate and Allie Style

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A recent New York Times article article profiles several single moms who live near each other and support each other. They consider themselves family and there isn't a man in sight.

Kate  & Allie Cast

momlogic's Jenny: My parents separated and divorced when I was about two years old. I lived with my mom, saw my father on weekends, and never imagined what it would be like if they lived under the same roof -- it was what it was and I never knew anything different. When I was six, my mom and I moved in to a one bedroom apartment in a very wealthy community so that I could go be in the best school district.

It was a huge sacrifice on my mom's part -- she let me take the bedroom while she converted the dining room/breakfast nook into her room. It's no wonder that I don't recall my mom dating -- there was no privacy! But it was all for me and all for "my future" and she certainly wasn't the only mom with the same agenda: In our apartment building there happened to be three other single moms with three daughters all my same age.

WE WERE A FAMILY.

When I read the New York times story, I immediately identified with these women. For 12 years, my mom and the two other moms, lived "Kate and Allie" style. After school, there was always one mom there to pick us up and make us snacks. Another mom would makes us dinner, and another mom would babysit when one mom had to work late or had a date. By the way, our moms were all young and gorgeous -- I have been told NOW that they "partied" and dated quite a bit, but as a child I have zero memories of this. My mom(s) were always there and we girls always came first.

Unlike the women featured in the article, being single wasn't "by choice." I'm certain our moms would have loved to have been married and at some point would have loved to have a significant other to help out with the rent, the kids, and the day to day grind of being a single mom. But again, as children, we never knew about what hidden hopes, dreams and disappointments they had. I really admire that, the way they kept it all together. The way they used each other as a support system and the way they made us feel like a community, like sisters.

After we were fast asleep, I imagine that it was then that they would pour out their hearts and commiserate over wine and "Dynasty." I know I would. They were in their early 30s. That's how old I am! It must not have been easy. But the bottom line is that the lifestyle they created for us is, in many ways, a happier, healthier and safer one than some families with a husband and wife. It's true, raising children does take a village. But I know first hand that it does NOT take a husband to have a good mom.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Tammy February 5, 2009, 9:02 AM

Wow, that really hits home for me. I’m a 31 y/o single mom of a girl and I wish I had that kind of supportive freindship! I have my parents and my friends but I’m the only single mom in my circle, so it’d hard to watch my friends with their husbands raising their kids together. I don;t drag men through my life because that’s not the example I want to set for my daughter. Would I like to be married? Yes, I would. Are we going to make it even if I never get married? Yes, we will!

jw February 5, 2009, 8:26 PM

I’m glad all seems to have turned out well for you. Unfortunately most kids growing up with single mothers don’t have the picture perfect life that you had. Statistics show over and over that the majority ( I believe the most recent statistic was 70%) of inmates were raised by single mothers. So while your experience was positive, there are many kids who’s lives will NOT turn out so great.


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