Ever since I was thrust into the suddenly single world of motherhood nearly a decade ago, I’ve been slowly unpacking the nuances and spoken and unspoken rules of the single mom. I learned that I quickly turned from friend to foe when it came to hanging around my girlfriend’s husbands. I learned that my happily married friends secretly envied my child-free weekends and six-week summers, when my children were with their dad. But I also learned that there is a hierarchy to single motherhood, one that has been historically constructed by societal norms and patriarchal influences but still rules with a tyrannical hold today.
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