When you look at the bottom line of it all, there is no competition between single mothers and married mothers. Good mothers, no matter what their marital status, want to raise children who are happy, productive adults.
Caring for My Family Is Not A Hustle
A few days ago while on Facebook, I saw a photo of a woman with a caption that read, “No one hustles harder than a single mother.” As a married mother, the photo caught my attention, so I scanned the comments. In sum, the opinion of a majority of the commenters seemed to be that single are better mothers because they have to do so much without spouses to help. The comments made me chuckle.
The idea that single mothers are better mothers simply because they are doing two jobs is not a new concept to me. It is one I hear often from single mothers. By way of comparison, in my circle of married mothers, I never hear about comparisons to or competition with single mothers. The first thing I did after chuckling over the caption was look up the definition of the word hustle. I looked at both traditional and modern definitions. Merriam Webster defined hustle as:
a :to obtain by energetic activity
b :to sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity
c :to sell or promote energetically and aggressively
According to Urban Dictionary to hustle is to do “Anythin you need to do to make money… be it sellin cars, drugs, ya body. If you makin money, you hustlin.” I found both definitions interesting, but not applicable to what I do as a mother.
The Merriam Webster definition did not appeal to me for several reasons. First, while it requires energy and stamina to do what I do as a mother, I would not describe raising my children in a loving, caring home as something to be obtained simply by energetic activity. Secondly, motherhood is not something I sell. Thirdly, mothering is not some underhanded activity in which I engage. I also found the Urban Dictionary definition distasteful. It made hustling seem like something unseemly risqué or shameful. Of course, like most people, I work for a living. I must make money to contribute to the financial well-being of my family. However, I do not provide that financial support in an unsavory or illegal manner.