Oh my Gosh! My Facebook inbox was flooded with messages about Jennifer Aniston’s recent comment in support of single moms. I was even contacted to appear on the Joy Behar show to discuss it (but passed because of a scheduling conflict). After the jump, what Aniston said and what I think!
Jennifer Aniston stars in the new movie The Switch, about an independent, single woman who decides to get pregnant via artificial insemination. During a recent press conference to promote the film, Aniston defended her character's leap into single motherhood by using a sperm donor.
“Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child. Times have changed and that is also what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long.”
When a reporter asked her about the repercussions of raising a child without a father, Aniston, 41, said: “The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn't necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie. It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is.”
OK. Good. Adore the line: "Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere." I agree, us single moms don’t need a man to raise a child. But, here’s something I’ve been struggling with lately: I (that’s me, Christine Coppa) may not need A (JD’s father)—obviously not. It’s been three years and we’re happy, healthy, eating, living in a beautiful place we call home and JD has even left the country on a family vacation. JD is compassionate, loving and kind. He has everything the kid next door has—most of all, he has love. I tell him I love him 24/7 and kiss him a million times a day. My photo library on my computer is overflowing with pictures of us, enjoying and experiencing life! (Here's some random pics. I have 4000 more.)
But, (take this with a pound of salt) just because I’m cool with not having A around for me as a boyfriend or husband, doesn’t mean JD is going to be peachy with the fact that his father left when I was eleven-weeks pregnant and is currently married, raising his half-sibling, yet refuses to meet or establish a relationship with him.
JD asks about his father more and more these days. He’ll hear the word “Daddy” via a cartoon and say to me, “Where my Daddy go?” He’ll be playing Matchbox cars and line three up and say, “Mommy, Daddy and Baby cars,” with great enthusiasm. He sees his friends with their Dads and says, “Lily has a Daddy!” The other day out of no where, I was pushing JD in a grocery cart and he saw a little girl with a man (prob her dad) and said, “I don’t have a Daddy.” I said, “Of course you do, bud! He just lives in a different place. Everyone doesn’t live with their daddy. Your bud Crissy lives with his mommy, just like us!” Then JD smiled and said, “We’re a team, Mommy! Our shirts match! (We were both wearing green shirts, ha!) A few posts back, there was a comment about how the post was discouraging to single moms, because I mentioned chasing JD around a festival for 6 straight hours sans a break. I was just recapping the day. I'm here to share my experiences and when my son brings up his father, I don't bark, "YOU DON'T NEED A DAD." I don't run around saying I don't want a man either. I just asked my neighbors if they knew anyone nice I could go on a date with. Hate me for saying this, but I want to get married and have more kids. Not because single motherhood sucks, because I have a lot of love to give. I agree with Project Pregnancy blogger, Jenny Feldon: "Parenting is hard enough. We should all be lucky enough to find someone to share it with along the way."
I commend single moms. I stand behind them. We can do it without a guy--fine! Single motherhood is something I’ve embraced and I’m lucky to have such an incredible bond with my son—one, I know will always remain. I am surrounded by modern families—my older brother married a single mom and considers her daughter, HIS daughter. I speak for us, single moms via epic platforms, first Glamour magazine, now Parenting. But, I’m careful with my words when it comes to saying JD doesn’t need a dad, because I have no idea how he really feels about that. (I mean, I let him pick out his snacks and shirt each day...We all have a preference. I don't get to say JD's fave color is blue. He told me it's green.) He has every right to wonder about his dad’s whereabouts and one day seek him out—I will support that 100%.
Please share your comments! XO