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?
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.