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I've been thinking about this one a lot lately.  I've been going to interviews and the inevitable question comes up- "Tell me about yourself".  Well, what am I when it comes to my parenting status?  I think it changes depending on my mood.  Sometimes I don't want to say single parent because that leads the other party to automatically assume divorce.  So I'm just curious what would you choose and why?

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This is a good question.  I think right now I tend to say "single" parent just because when i saw i'm a widower everything seems to focus on me and that is awkward.  I think people really care but its hard to know which strangers really do care and which ones don't.  

But if there is confusion in people assuming I'm a divorced dad which I have not yet run into I can see the added challenge.

 

For now I'd say single and then if appropriate I tell them i am a widower. 

 

However, If I was in interviews like you I think I'd probably say "widowed parent" though just to be more concise...  Just tells them what they need without explanation. 

 

Great discussion topic though...

 

Pat-NMWidower

I've been saying single mom, but it just doesn't feel right, but saying widowed mom feels a little painful.  Thanks, Pat, for your input.

Is it for a job interview? Because if so, you aren't obligated to say/reveal anything about your marital status or parenting status. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission spells out the prohibition against employers inquiring about such things before an offer of employment has been made. Here is a link to their site, and a page about that topic specifically:

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/inquiries_marital_status.cfm

I know I'm not obligated and they aren't asking, but I just don't know how to talk about myself and leave that out.

Yes, Teresa it is difficult to talk about yourself, when for so long you where defined as a wife and mother and at the moment you are still figuring it all out!

 

I would probably respond that I am the proud mother of "x" number of children.  This will most likely at some point lead to the question of spouse at which point you can further explain if you chose to do so.

Hope this helps!  Good Luck on your interviews!

Great suggestion!  I love it!

Hmm... I think, and this is just me... I would be careful about mentioning all of that, right up front, for the simple fact that some people may look at 'widow/mom of x number of kids' as 'woman who is not going to be able to handle the workload.' I am not saying that is a fair assumption on someone's part, but some employers will make that assumption. I would hate for you to lose out on a job because of it.

yep,  that assumption could be made.

 and not wanting to offend-but the assumption that you will be a reliable, dependable employee BECAUSE you have children to support on your own could be made a land you the job.

It is an awkward situation that is for sure!

: )

Yeah... it could go either way. It all depends on the employer.
Employers tend to dwell on the fact that parents, especially those without a live in support system at their disposal, will miss days of work because their children are ill, will have to leave early or take days off for school functions, don't have much choice about taking calls during the work day if it involves the welfare of their children.  That being said, it all depends on who is doing the interviewing and what the job is.  I'd venture to say that a mother is less likely to hold being a mother against you, where a childless career driven woman is more likely to count it as a negative.  As far as the job, if it's say retail based where you'd be say closing down the store, well then the idea that you could be called away to pick up a child leaving no coverage could certainly cost you the job.
I like the term "sole" parent but I do agree that this information does not necessarily need to be given at an interview.
Thanks for all the input.  I am still curious though, what would you tell someone who didn't know about us being widows/widowers and you did want them to know, take the whole job interview portion out of the equation.  Would you say widowed mom/dad or single mom/dad?

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