Commentary | Nashville‘s Connie Britton is a single mom (a status not often revered or even respected in American society), and, despite the social and societal ramifications, the star willingly stepped into motherhood as a swingle without any intent of adding a partner to the mix — at least, not yet.
So, is Connie Britton brave or stupid? Motherhood is one of the few areas of life where even the wealthy and well-connected can’t be shielded from all the inherent pitfalls — postpartum depression, breastfeeding issues, baby illness, and fatigue are problems that regardless of your access to help — that affect all parents.
Sure, nannies are great if you have them, but single motherhood is one of the most uniquely (to be blunt) hated on archetypes of our society — and Connie Britton picked it on purpose. As a single mom myself — only realizing the magnitude of judgment and assumptions that are baked into the cake after my husband peaced out unceremoniously — it is so cool to see a star like Britton present what we live as a choice, not a second-rate circumstance forever thrust upon the unwilling.
Connie is garnering rave reviews for her country stylings in the ABC show after her season one turn in American Horror Story, and, as her career takes off, she talks about the adoption that changed her life and apparently occurred just as she hit it big.
Britton adopted son Yoby a year ago in Ethiopia, and she tells the hosts on The View that a compounded loss and some time spent working on a documentary cemented her decision:
“I lost both of my parents within three years of each other and I kind of thought, ‘What am I waiting for?’ … The man will come and if I want to have my own kids I can do that, but I [knew] this was something I [wanted] to do … I was going to do a documentary about Ethiopian orphans and spent a lot of time in orphanages there,” she shares.
“It was something I knew I always wanted to do — adopt from there.”
The adoption of Yoby last year was, she says, a “wonderful and life-changing experience,” but the relationship goes both ways. The Nashville chanteuse says that, without Yoby, she may have passed on the role that has garnered her so many accolades:
“It is really true, I sing to him all the time. Poor thing practically never hears me just say a straight word. I sing everything like we’re in a musical. I guess he likes it. He wasn’t able to defend himself because he couldn’t speak until just recently … When [Nashville] came up, I thought to myself, ‘You know, I sound pretty good singing with Yoby. I’m sure I can pull it off.’ Not smart!”
Connie Britton’s choice to become a mom without a partner is indeed somewhat transgressive as well as cool considering the number of kids worldwide that need loving homes. But it also does a second service, and that is to single parents who only have their very real lives framed as a consequence of bad decisions at worst or a temporary unpleasant situation at best — it’s so rare anyone publicly admits that parenting on your own is tough but rewarding and not the end of the world.