As single moms go, I am very lucky, particularly because I have a co-parent who is always willing to do more than his fair share, and because I have a job that allows me to provide for us both. And there are perks! I do get nights off to binge-watch true crime documentaries on Netflix while housing kid snacks, for instance.
But the time I do spend with my son, when I am sole provider, caretaker and entertainer, can feel doubly overwhelming. And sometimes I take my son to a playdate and find myself envying the simple rhythms of a two-parent household, the way someone else is quietly there to have your back or just have an adult conversation with. Or I look into summer camp options and realize that having another child anytime soon is prohibitively expensive on just one salary, no matter how much my heart squees when I get the chance to sniff a fresh baby's teensy head.
There are times when being a single parent, even a lucky one, kind of sucks.
Fellow single mom Hilary Duff spoke to Redbook for their April issue and had this to say about co-parenting:
"Some of my friends tell me, 'God, it must be so nice, you get a break from your kid because you share him.' I'm divorced, and it sucks," the actress said. "Well, it did suck for a while; now it's just normal."
Duff and her ex, Mike Comrie, finalized their divorce in February of 2014 when their son was 2. The couple have remained extremely amicable and have joint custody of their son Luca.
Still, Duff spoke about how her decisions as a mom lead her to experience a feeling of near-constant guilt.
"I always feel torn or guilty about something. I'm not working right now, and at first I stressed about that, like, "Oh, I shouldn't stay still this long." And that's ridiculous. I have a child; it's totally fine to not be slammed all the time."
Duff also spoke out about mom guilt in Redbook last year, saying, "It's hard to say that you really can have it all. I think you can to a certain degree, but fully loaded, pedal-all-the-way-down is tough. You're missing out on something, either on the career or on the family. When I'm really busy with work, I feel extremely guilty."
Despite the guilt, Duff doesn't stand for mom shaming. When she received criticism on Instagram last year for posting a photo of herself kissing her son on the lips last December, she wrote a strong rebuttal.
"For anyone commenting that a kiss on the lips with my four year old is 'inappropriate' go ahead and click unfollow with your warped minds and judgment," she wrote.
The issue will be on newsstands on March 21.