COURTESY UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA
I first heard the expression ‘blended family’ a few a years ago. I felt like I had been living under a rock because I hadn't come across it before, even though I immediately knew what it meant. It’s a fitting title considering the day and age we currently live in. There is marriage in its traditional sense, but then we have celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt setting an entirely different example of how a present day family unit can exist, challenging societal tradition.
Personally, I have always been a bit of an ‘against the grain’ woman when it comes to the idea of ‘tradition’ from a few different vantage points. When it comes to marriage, I don't feel the need to marry someone to prove that I am committed, nor do I feel the need to force the idea of marriage on a potential life partner. At the same time I am not against it, nor do I adopt a feminist extremist point of view. I would have to feel extremely confident to take that step if a proposal came along. And I would admittedly be honoured by a proposal from a man who saw me for who I truly am, not the facade of celebrity.
The challenge of being a career-driven single mother and ‘dating’ has been an interesting one. I am so cautious of this with my daughter being the center of my responsibility. Questions always come to mind like “Is this person someone I can trust with my daughter? Will our kids get along if we embark on a 'relationship'? If he doesn't have any kids, is he emotionally responsible enough to accept my daughter and myself as a package deal? Will he be a positive male figure in my daughter's life?" This is the main reason why I have been so picky and essentially single for a long time.
And for the most part I haven't had much time to date. A social life? Somewhat, however seemingly integrated into my working life by default. But I remain single; partly because of my fiercely independent spirit, and partially out of the fears I expressed earlier. Until I have met someone that I know and want to be in a serious relationship with, I won't introduce my daughter to my ‘dates’. For now, I will continue to focus on my career and fulfilling the needs of my teenager.
I experience the blended family ideal with my daughter's father who has other children from previous relationships, and a girlfriend. We consistently make an effort to communicate to ensure her safety and wellbeing. It’s essential to me that no matter what differences her father and I have or may have had in the past, to try not to hinder our daughter from knowing or having a relationship with him. It takes a balance of love and humility to put feelings aside and let responsibility take precedence over emotion. A delicate balancing act might I add, yet it is doable.
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