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An Open Letter to

This blog is for my single mom readers. This blog is for my mom readers who had husbands that cheated and left. This blog is for my mom readers who relate to being a single mom.  This blog is for choice moms. This blog is for my friend Matt Logelin, who became a single parent after he did everything right, got married, bought a home, then procreated -- and then his wife, Liz, died. In response to this recent Show & Tell blog…

Dear JayVon Muhammad of,

My name is Christine Coppa. I’m a 30-year-old single mom. My son JD is turning 4 in August. His “dad” and I got pregnant early on into a committed relationship and we both decided to continue the pregnancy. We were scheduled to attend my 12-week-sonogram together, but “dad” decided to take a trip to his home state of Indiana. After seeing my fetus’ little head, nose bridge, arm and leg buds alone, his “dad” told me he was no longer willing to participate. Gulp. OK.

Today, I am a working single mom. (as in Glamour magazine) championed my pregnancy and single mom journey for three years, I wrote the Target Breakout and Best-Selling book, Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009) and I’m currently contracted to (as in Parenting magazine).

I attended a private art school for 4 years (The University of the Arts) and earned a BS in Communication and a minor in Digital Journalism (and took many non-fiction and fiction writing classes). Upon graduating, I’ve done nothing but work—whether writing personal essays that landed me on 20/20 or books that the Sunday Times claim are “reinventing the parental publishing genre.” Yes, I am very proud.

But I'm not just some wanna-be Carrie Bradshaw, on Sundays I cook a big pot of gravy and meatballs and dine with my Italian family. I pack my son’s lunch bag (he attends the best pre-school in our area and was the only child in his class to know Obama was the president on President’s Day). On the weekends we spend time at the park, zoo, beach and lounging by our pool. We read, sing and dance. My three-year-old already left the country and has been to The Met, Moma and 10 other museums. It's pretty normal -- even though you claim being a "Baby Mama", ahem, single mom is not normal.

Growing up, I always wanted to get married (still do!). I’ve imagined my ring, dress and a tight bouquet of red roses. I’ve imagined walking on my father’s arm and dancing the first dance—then an extravagant 2-week honeymoon in Greece. Then the babies. This prob would have been the easier route. It sucks when my son asks about his dad, but WE work through it and I was smart enough to seek professional guidance on the matter, because I care -- because I'm a good mother.

Like my favorite writer Maya Angelou once said: "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass." 

So that's what I do.

And according to your standards, I have the abnormal life.

But, I think, rather, I have the good life. The proud life.

You said "Being a Baby Mama" is NOT normal and having a spouse to love, care, and provide for you allows you to take your rightful place in the home. The feminine role! The role of wife, mother, first teacher, first nurse."

1. Single mothers do not like to be called "Baby Mama" (it’s sounds cheap and dirty). I’m an educated woman who is raising a well-rounded little boy.

2. Your comment about playing the feminine role as wife, mother…set feminism back by about 40 years. Damn, girl! (Nothing wrong with being a dedicated SAHM - but women, we have options -- we don't need a MAN to take care of us!)

3. You say “Marriage is What’s up!” Cool. OK. Marriage is great (I already have my ring picked out!). But, my friend *Ella was married, then had a baby boy (he’s friends with my kiddo). Now she’s a single mom because after following your rules (getting married—then procreating), her husband cheated on her—then he left and doesn’t see his son. She was always a working mom, but her lifestyle relied on two incomes—her cheating husband decided to stop paying the bills and their home went into foreclosure. Luckily she has a great lawyer that helped to garnish her ex’s wages for child support, but the other bills—it’s a huge mess. Yep, that’s what’s up, right?

What’s up is life, honey. The ocean pulls in and out every, single day. It washes us clean, refreshes us some, sometimes a wave knocks us down, and we start again the next day. Parents (single, married, gay)—we’re all just doing our best. So, don't stereotype me as a single mom who got knocked up, doesn't give a crap about her kid, who is likely to end up behind bars. Don't assume a two-parent household is better than mine. Write about the "dads" that leave without consequence.

Yours Truly,

Christine Coppa

Discuss my lovely readers! And happy Memorial Day Weekend! We'll be at the beach.

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