retro housewifeAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

When I met my husband, I wasn’t looking to date anyone. After leaving my son’s father, I was pretty convinced that I would never date again. I thought that I would just be content as a single mother, devoting my life to my child and working my way up the career ladder. Dating seemed like too much work, too much of a distraction. Then I met a man who changed my mind.

Mike was a friend of a friend. He seemed kind and caring. He listened to stories about my son and remembered details about my little boy, asking follow up questions about an activity the next time I saw him. Mike had never been married, didn’t have any children. He owned his own home. He had a good job. Honestly, my sister was convinced that Mike was too good to be true. She was wrong, because he was both amazing and very, very real.

Our relationship moved quickly. Both of us were very straight-forward about what we wanted in the relationship. I didn’t want to waste my time “dating” someone for years who wasn’t actually ready to commit. Mike was a bit older than me and ready to settle down. We got engaged and married within 18 months of meeting. And during those 18 months, I cannot tell you the number of times that family and friends, both his and mine, told me how incredibly lucky I was to find a man willing to take on a single mother and her son. I was told over and over how blessed I was that my soon-to-be husband really cared for my son, and wanted to be involved in his life.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I am blessed to have an amazing husband. But I cannot imagine ever choosing to be with someone who wouldn’t look at “my son” as “our son” after we were married. I cannot imagine going on more than a single date with someone if I found out they weren’t excited about the “package deal” of dating a single mom. If you aren’t ready to be a parent, you shouldn’t get involved with someone who has a child.

Why is it that I need to feel grateful to a man for being a decent human being? For caring about a child that isn’t his biological son? What type of person wouldn’t watch this beautiful little boy grow up before their eyes and feel some love and affection? That’s not luck, it’s basic human instinct. Of course we love and protect the innocent.

I thought that after our wedding, the parade of people telling me that I was lucky to have found such a brave man would end. I thought everyone would except that we were family now. Or maybe, they would acknowledge that my husband was lucky to find people who love him as well.

Instead, after five years, it’s never stopped. Every time my husband does something special with my son, I get reminded by someone how grateful I should be that my husband cares. I hear every holiday how blessed I am that my husband and my son get along, that they love each other. Excuse me for assuming that my son and I are both deserving of that love. Excuse me for thinking that maybe we brought something to the table too.

I love my husband. And he never expects gratitude or a pat on the back for being a father. He doesn’t understand people who would behave any differently. It’s one of the many reasons why my husband can often seem to be too good to be true. Honestly, the guy is saint-like. But I really resent the assumption from others that my son and I should feel lucky, like we should have expected something less. We might not have been everyone’s ideal of a perfect family, but my son and I have always been an amazing catch. We’ve always been worthy of love and affection without any reservations.

It’s not just my son and me who are blessed. Our whole family is. My husband included.

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(Photo: Stepford Wives)