Single Mom Manifesto

by mssinglemama on August 16, 2010

While basking in a few days off last week my mind went to wandering. Eventually I had a moment to sit and think about all of you and this blog, where it’s going and where it’s been; what it means to you and to me. I’ve been effectively avoiding the subject with myself, the subject of what to do with “Ms. Single Mama”, for months now. I dodge any hint of the topic in my head along with the high heels in my closet that I just can’t wear anymore. I am outgrowing my single ways and this blog but I’m not quite ready to let go.

When I started writing here I couldn’t find another place online or in the book store that I felt adequately described my life as a single mother–a working, career oriented, urban mom who definitely wanted an active dating life.

Soon, after writing and talking openly about single mom issues to acquaintances, strangers or work colleagues I noticed a trepidation, a quiet befell them when I brought up topics affecting my life. And then there were my encounters with other single mothers–I sensed the same quiet, was it a sense of shame? But why? Why would they be ashamed when in my eyes, we were so strong, ridiculously strong to have survived our bad marriages or relationships in order to fearlessly make a better life for our children?

I am aware that not every single mom fits that description, but many do–especially those I have met and now call friends.

The shame and quiet had to be broken and then this blog suddenly took on another mission. In addition to pouring my heart out with dating advice I now wanted to also kill that shame, I wanted to redefine single motherhood–to bring all of our laundry, most of it clean, out of the closet. The backlash wasn’t pretty. I’ve had and still endure a ridiculous amount of heinous hate mail but all of that is trumped by the happy mail, the notes from all of you–single moms, men dating single moms, children of single moms, single women, and even married moms.

This blog has made a small dent, but that’s something. And, if I were to ask you how you feel about single motherhood today compared to how you felt about single motherhood when you first became a single mom what would your answer be? To my my readers who were raised by single moms and to the men dating single moms–you are also included on that question.

Back to me relaxing and being flooded with ideas while on my mini-vacation. I thought it would be remarkable if we could share our thoughts with each other, our definitions of single motherhood – not just here, on this blog and the single moms forum, but in the flesh. What if we could feel and touch each other’s words on a page and then share it with others for generations to come?

The idea.

I am going to buy a blank book. I’ll start by filling out the first page myself with my own single mom manifesto–my beliefs and what I find true about single motherhood, what I have learned. And then, I’ll mail the book on to one of you. Once you’ve done the same, you’ll mail it to the next person on the list and so on and so forth. Each page will be your own creation, like a scrapbook.

Our book will travel to hundreds of single moms, their children, their grandchildren – to anyone touched by single motherhood and then it will come back to me when it’s full. From there, who knows, maybe I’ll scan in the pages and share them with everyone or maybe we’ll publish it!

So, who’s in?

Everyone is invited! Just leave your name, e-mail and mailing address in this contact form and I’ll add you to the list. We’ll go in order of sign up, so the first on the list gets the book first. Also, you will have to pay postage for re-mail the book. Other than that, there will be no obligation whatsoever.

Also be aware that by joining this mailing list your address will be shared with others who have the book in their possession. I will not, however, ever publish your addresses or real names without your express permission. To my International readers, you’ll have to sit this one out but if you want to create a page and mail it to me to add to the book later, let me know.

Update: I have closed the sign-up form for the Single Mom Manifesto due to an overwhelming response. I just want to make sure we can get it to everyone on the list, 150+ of you!

If all goes well this round, I’ll open it up again for the Single Mom Manifesto 2, so please stay tuned.

Related posts:

  1. Single Mom Rules to Live By? Ideas?
  2. The ultimate prize: a single mom.
  3. Dating a Single Mom, Part 1
  4. How to Date a Single Mom, Part 5.
  5. Ms. Single Mama Uncensored FAQs

{ 3 trackbacks }

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

singlemama_cc August 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

Wow…this is a GREAT idea! Love it and I am SO in~
xoxoxo

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Elizabeth August 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

I’m in!

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Shante' Lanay August 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

This is a wonderful idea count me in!!!!!! I am so excited for you and the next chapter of your life.

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Rachel R August 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Amazing idea!! I’m in!!!

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Kate August 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Great Idea! What a wonderful way to connect with one another and share our stories! Thank you! I’m in!

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Notsosinglemama August 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm

This is such a great idea!!! I can’t wait to add my thoughts and feelings about a matter so close to my heart!!

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Allison in the MN August 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

So in!!

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Helena August 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I love this idea! Will those of us in Canada be able to participate?

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kris August 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm

so completely and totally IN…can’t wait :) And yes, I have to say being able to read your words has eased a lot. Just knowing that you are not alone in this sometimes terrifying and crazy journey makes more than just a “dent”. :)

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Sara August 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I would love to be a part of this. :)

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Laura August 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

What a terrific idea. Thank you for having the courage to make your voice be heard so that others like myself could find ours as well.

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kristen August 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm

If you are including Canada, absolutely.

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mommybella August 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I love it. I can’t wait to share what I’ve been going through and to see what other mothers are experiencing.

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anon August 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I’m in. Just beware of trolls out there.

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christina August 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm

The first time I read your blog, it lifted the veil of shame and stigma that I carried around with me for 6 years. You don’t know me, but your struggle was my struggle… and I felt immediate affinity to your strength. I have a degree that I worked on whilst raising my two young daugters, a fulfilling career, a beautiful appartment, a group of strong amazing friends, and two little girls who are the loves of my life. You helped show me that my single-mamma status is one to be proud of! Thank you! Love the idea of a book.

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mssinglemama August 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Wow. Thank you for sharing that Christina. So happy to have helped, it’s a heavy veil. ; )

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BriBedell August 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I love this idea. If not for my single mom leaving my real father who knows where my bothers and I would be. Thank God for my single MOM!

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MissuinMN August 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Love the idea…i didn’t even finish reading all the dets and i had to sign up!

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Savored Life August 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

In like Flynn. :)

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christine August 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm

fantastic!!!

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Troll Hunter August 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Oh, yes! Count me in. Here’s the Foreword:

http://www.sysx.org/gashgirl/VNS/TEXT/PINKMANI.HTM

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Deanna Leigh August 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Count me in! What a beautiful idea.

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Momma Sunshine August 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Tell me you’re including Canada and I’m all over it. I sent you my contact info on the hope. :)

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mssinglemama August 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Let me check with the post office and see how much it will cost first… but CAN may be included. Good idea to give me your address anyway. I just don’t want the sender to be stuck with an international postage fee. But, at the very least, you can send me your page and I can insert it!

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Poppy August 17, 2010 at 1:30 am

Also in Canada… and wanting to be a part of this :) I believe if you mail anything in an envelope it is cheaper, thin enough to go through a home mailbox gets a good rate here in Canada.

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April August 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Count me in too! ;-)

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Webster August 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

LOL! In order to write a “manifesto,” you first have to know what the word means. Ignorant is no way to go through life. Get a clue…or, at the VERY least, a dictionary. Wow.

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mssinglemama August 16, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Here’s a definition of a personal manifesto – fits perfectly for the mission of this book:

Step 1
Brainstorm on what is important to you. To start, list your roles in life, either current roles or ones you desire in the future. For example: father, mother, friend, worker, role model, volunteer. Just a word or two on the ones that speak to you.

Step 2
Step 2

Also list qualities you value in yourself and others: Honesty, physical fitness, kindness, ambition, curiosity, affection, responsibility, humor.

Step 3

More brainstorming: What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? What contributions would you have liked to have made with your life? What are the important marks you will make on this world? List them. Try this, too: Ten (or twenty or more) things about me: (list them here). What do these say about you and what’s important to you?

Step 4

Now boil it all down to as many sentences as you need to give a clear picture of who you are at your essence. You might find it helpful to start sentences with I am or I will. This is not cast in stone, come back and refine or change your personal manifesto as you grow and change.

Read more at eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4893447_write-personal-manifesto.html#ixzz0wojyVIR8

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Manifesto Destiny August 17, 2010 at 12:24 am

Good for you. You were able to go online and find a more-accurate definition of what a manifesto is. In your preamble, you said that a manifesto is “my beliefs and what I find true about single motherhood, what I have learned.” Now, you still probably can’t understand that what you intend to create is not at all a manifesto. You see, a manifesto is forward-thinking. It is a statement of what you personally intend to do. It is not a re-hashing of what you have supposedly learned during your, thus far, pathetic life. A manifesto is a plan for how you intend to make a difference for the good of humanity. It is hopeful and optimistic. It serves a purpose. It is not a retelling of all the stupid things you’ve done. Also, a manifesto is supposed to be a personal guide or roadmap. What you plan to do is create a glorified chain letter that is a mish-mash of other people’s random thoughts. It sounds like you want to get credit for writing a book, but, in reality, you are having other people do the work for you. It’s not that much different than having a bunch of classmates sign your yearbook. You end up with a disjointed collection of random thoughts that loosely relate to you, but are not your own personal guidelines. Therefore, it’s not a manifesto at all. It’s just another one of your self-indulgent ego strokes. “Look at all the people who did what I told them to do. It’s all right here in this ‘book.’” Very Hitler-like, in fact.

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Poppy August 17, 2010 at 1:37 am

Oh go fuck yourself and get a LIFE while you are at it. How condescending of you to take a fun idea and warp and critique it. GO AWAY already loser! Negativity generally not favored anywhere.

While you are at it please direct me to YOUR popular blog which has helped many over the past years. In which you too regularly spice things up with original ideas with readers support.

Oh sorry? No such blog? Then crawl back into your hole loser :)

(Sorry readers, this optimistic glass half full person hates a drive by flamer :)

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ann marie August 18, 2010 at 1:44 am

what, exactly, is wrong with you? please just silently slink away….

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Amy August 17, 2010 at 2:07 am

Webster. GO AWAY ALREADY. KThanks loser :)

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Angela August 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

This idea gave me chills…As a ferocious reader myself and someone that utilizes books as a way to calm me and seek answers and reassurance that I am not alone experienced some of the same frustration about the reading materials out there. If this idea helps one other single parent feel not so alone or helps someone gain a different perspective of what a “single mom” really is then it is so worth it.

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Pretty Mama August 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Please do include other countries! How could would that be? As Momma Sunshine I also sent info, crossing fingers…..!

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mssinglemama August 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I would love to, maybe CAN but I’ll have to check the postage to make sure we’re not leaving a heavy shipping cost on the sender. I’ll take International addresses on a case by case basis. Sound good?

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Pretty Mama August 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

Sounds great! ;)

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Pretty Mama August 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I meant how cool would that be… oops

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Robin August 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Beautiful!! And naturally, I have signed up to be apart of this patchwork quilt of love, strength, authenticity and community. So eager to contribute to this treasure!

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30somethingmama August 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm

oh right like 1001 journals! cool. goodluck Alaina!

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Single Mama NYC August 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I’m definitely in; great idea!

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Cibele August 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Brilliant. I am in, very in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Nancy August 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Love this idea!
I started reading this blog at the lowest point in my single mommyhood. In the year since I have my life has changed so much- for the better- and I have lived sharing your journey.

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Paula August 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

What a beautiful idea! The ridiculous sense of shame I once felt at being a single mom hindered my growth as a person and anything that can be done to ensure more single moms don’t ever feel that way is wonderful.

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Alex F August 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Hi Alaina,

This is such a beautiful idea. I don’t see why it can’t work internationally let alone the rest of us in North America (Canada). I’m sure your international readers would love to participate (and not just by sending u a page of their own). If it’s just the postage & handling situation where many would be opposed whether it be for personal or financial reasons (which is ok), I’m sure u can find at least 1 volunteer from each continent to pass the book along to the next regardless of weight n price. Though it would be ideal to have the book sent along by sign up order, if most agree, perhaps we can make a list by country order followed by sign up order with exception of the volunteers who will send the book from their country to the next (ie I may have been the 19th single mom from Canada to sign up but I don’t mind being put on the bottom of the ‘canada list sign ups’ so I can send it over to London next). I think we can all create something great and it sounds so magical lol like the sisterhood of the traveling pants or something except we’re like the sisterhood of the traveling single mom memoir..What do u guys think?

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Ms. Single Mama August 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

Alex:

The biggest concern is the international shipping for a single mom who has to pass the book on.

Let me go to the post office after I get the book and find out how much the cost will be, in many cases International shipping isn’t much anymore.

I could also have it cycle through the US and CAN first and then we could send it out Internationally, I could make a route.

Stay tuned and in the meantime, please add your name to the list.

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Alex F August 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Oh yes. I totally realize that hence the “volunteer ” idea thing. Like I said, I wouldn’t mind being the sender from Canada to wherever and if there are more like me, awesome. But if it doesn’t work, then that’s cool too. But yes, I did add my name and address to the list. Can’t wait :D

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Genelle August 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

I am soooo in! I just added my name. What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to read the other entries, and add mine. You could so get this published (with some editing of course!). Start talking to a publisher.. go go go!!!

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LadyLuck August 17, 2010 at 11:11 am

Ooh, lovely idea. I’m moving soon and not sure how fast this book can come my way – as I’m definitely not the first to sign up. But I’ll definitely stay tuned.

I’m also glad you didn’t delete Webster’s ManFest’s Comment.

I’ll share a little something I’ve come to know from being a single mom that is both past reflective and forward thinking. I’ve learnt to not give a crap what anyone thinks. People will sometimes be angered by a mother reveling in her freedom. Some may think of you of a sad single mom stereotype. Other will be lovely and positive. We all suffer from having egos and pitting comparisons of one another to fill them. This results in some negative judgments people make. And it’s okay. We’re human. Not mad about it.

My time with my little boy is too short to waste any of it focusing on anyone else’s opinion. And that’s how I choose to live.

And thank you, Alaina for sharing how you choose to live as well.

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KJ August 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I think this is a fabulous idea! I’m not a single mom but I was raised by one and she is just absolutely amazing! My brother and I are so grateful for everything she has done for us and continues to do for us. I would love to share a little bit about being on the receiving end of being raised by a single mom.

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Cheryl August 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Sounds perfectly AWESOME! I’m in.

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Erica August 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

And this, dear lady, is why we love you. We get to share with one another – AND learn from one another. This books is going to mean a lot to all of us, I am certain of that.

As for me and my single parenting experience, I have grown to embrace it so much more than when I first started out. Of course, it’s never easy. LIFE is never easy. But it is certainly joy filled.

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Alyssa August 17, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I found this blog after I did a random search of “when to introduce your boyfriend to your child?” and ever since then, you’ve been an inspiration to me. I only wish I’d found it years ago when I was new in the single mama game! The shame is horrible when you’re a single parent. I used to catch myself looking down at the ground when people ask me where my daughter’s father was, I didn’t want to see the look of pity in their eyes. Now, I look up, in their eye and I don’t feel guilty about a thing because I know what an amazing life she has had and will continue to have.

Thank you for another amazing inspiration. I can’t wait to write my page!

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Danielle August 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

This sounds fabulous! I’m excited to take part…thanks for the amazing advice and inspiration you have given us, thus far. Looking forward to what lies ahead!

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Saira August 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Thank you so so much for this forum of love and venting and support and sharing that you’ve provided over the past few years. Finding your blog a year before I left my partner was ABSOLUTELY my saving grace! I was able to lean on the strength of the many POWERFUL women who have gone through ALL of this before me. Alaina, part of your purpose here on earth has DEFINITELY been to be a strong presence in helping us acknowledge our OWN power as women. Thank you for taking that on FULLY! I hope you feel no guilt in your shift away from the single mama role. You having done your own personal ‘work’ and growth is ALL a part of the inspiration that you provide to us. Thank you once again :)

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Amanda Richards August 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

Although I am not entirely sure at the moment what I would write… I think that this is an amazing oppurtunity to be part of something really worthwhile and very inspirational. I am excited to be part of it and excited to learn what other single mamas have to say!

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claudia August 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I was helped so much by this blog and the comments from others. As a Hispanic Catholic woman that went against culture and am now a single mom, I too would like to be included. I survived (barely) a very abusive marriage and was ashamed as well.

I found your blog and you spoke to me. I would welcome the chance to be a part of something that could help the others out there, that like me, lived in fear and shame because as women (regardless of race/color) we tend to blame ourselves.

Thank you for doing this.

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Michelle August 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

Alaina, you’re a self-absorbed cunt.

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mssinglemama August 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

Oh boy. Sorry, but that doesn’t hold a candle to being related to Hitler by Mr. Webster.

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Britney August 21, 2010 at 2:29 am

A sponge-filled, sopping gash!

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Adolph August 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hitler censored opposing viewpoints and dissenting opinions, too. He tried to create an artificial world where everything was his own personal vision of perfection. He brainwashed others into believing that his way was the only way by simply eliminating those who he deemed were his competition (Jews). The Nazi’s who blindly followed him were automatons, incapable of independent thought. They were vacuous extensions of him. Vessels filled with his evil thoughts. Hitler’s own self-absorption ultimately led to his downfall. You are well on your way down that same path.

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Amy August 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Get a life!!!

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Mary Gilbert August 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

What a wonderful project. There are so many of us out there with different stories to share. I know many of us wish we could share our experiences with others not only to give someone else courage and support, but to celebrate our decision to make a better world. Strong, courageous women change everything. I will watch this space for more.

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eb August 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

brilliant idea! if only this was available to read when i first was starting my single mom trek. lots of love and encouragement to you. thanks again for being a huge online strength to me when i was in the thick of it. i’m experiencing happier days now and happy to share my story up to present!

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Mama to 4 Blessings August 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Alaina, I am a happily married Mama and have been so inspired by you. I am a “geographical single Mom” – my hubby is military which has been hard raising our 4 kids under 4years old (4yrs, 2.5yrs, 18mo and 5mo) between the intense trainings, deployment prep, and never knowing his schedule so basically doing everything myself since I can’t count on his help. Not to mention dealing with separation anxiety issues in my 4yr old. I would love to provide insight to this side of single parentdom, and would love to sign up for the traveling journal, but don’t want to offend anyone since I’m not completely single. What are your thoughts?

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MS.YANA August 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

AMAZING!!!!! JUST RECENTLY STARTED READING THE BOOK, CAN’T PUT IT DOWN!!! GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS! IT HAS BEEN ANOTHER FORM OF GREAT SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT! :)

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missy bee August 27, 2010 at 11:18 am

i’m in! i’m in! i’m in!!! how do i get in??

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mssinglemama August 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Missy – I had to stop taking sign-ups because the list hit 150. I realized that would take a year… however, stay tuned for a way to participate.

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edelizabeth September 21, 2010 at 6:08 am

Being a single mother myself I have always felt that women should be confident enough to handle single motherhood if the need arises. All single mothers should make themselves financially stable. Many single mothers who have children may believe that they are no longer able to attend a college to get a degree because of their new financial burdens, but there are many colleges who have grants that just for single mothers. http://www.singlemothersafterbreakup.co.uk

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Laila November 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I’m in!!!

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