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Women's Outreach and Resource Collective | A collaborative community for advocates of gender equity and social justice

A Thank You to Single Moms

By: Julia Repisky

It takes a selfless woman to be a mother. Mothers devote all their time and energy to fulfill their most valuable task: being a mother. Though I am not a mom myself, I think mothers deserve a lot more appreciation than they get. I want to take a moment to thank all of the stressed and exhausted mothers out there, juggling their jobs, households, and social lives.

Single moms are very underrated workers while they take on the job of two. I am a child who has experienced divorce at any early age. I am the daughter of a single mom. It’s not pretty. I have seen the struggles and hardships my mother has experienced and know that the job is not for the weak. The person I have the most respect for in my life is my mother—not simply because she is my mom, but because she, like many other single moms, is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. She is the person I strive to be because of her ability to balance her work and her life while still comforting me and providing me with what I need. I’ve watched my mom all my life endlessly battle with her role—fighting my father for child support, working two jobs, and forgetting that, sometimes, she needs a day off.

Yet, how is it that single moms still have a bad stigma to them? The idea of a single mom usually resonates bad stereotypes: a single mom is either irresponsible, lazy, or a slut. They are perceived as the girls that were easy and slutty. They are the women that are automatically categorized under drug addicts living off welfare. They are ridiculed for being the women who couldn’t keep a marriage together. And for some reason, the situation ends up to be their entire fault. However, this isn’t the case for the majority of single moms. In fact, two thirds of single moms work outside home, which is greater than the sum of married moms. 45% of single moms have never been married, but 55% have. It shouldn’t be assumed that single moms can’t keep a marriage together or can’t get married. Single moms aren’t lazy, careless, and unable to work —instead, these women should be respected for their devotion, regardless of marital status.

Sure, there are always the rotten tomatoes. And I can say I am a victim of judging before I think. We’ve all seen it: we are scrolling through Facebook when suddenly a girl, who may be younger than you, announces a pregnancy with an unknown baby daddy. We can’t help it to disagree and feel a little remorse for the girl, but before we jump to conclusions, please consider the role single moms take on. Think about how single moms have to take the position of not only a mother, but also a father, along with being the sole provider for their children.

Of all single-parent families, single moms make up the majority. In fact, 1 in 4 children under 18 are raised without a father. About 4 out of 10 children will be born to unwed mothers. With that being said, single moms have become a norm in the U.S, when once before, single moms were only limited to being poor or a minority. The idea of women having children outside of marriage was unheard of and look down upon decades ago, but despite the stigma, now women have the ability to care for their own children without ruin of reputation. Women don’t need marriage or another partner to define their roles as a mother.

Let’s face it; we don’t live in the 1950’s anymore. Yet, why are single moms still facing these old-fashioned stigmas? Why is the idea of a single mom connected with negative stigmas that pertain to irresponsible laziness? And even if some women made a bad decision, who are we to judge them? They still trudge on, exhausted, but able to provide for their child. A single mom accepts her position due to her unconditional love and devotion, a heroic trait we should admire. Instead of assuming negative aspects of single moms, we need support the role they play in today’s world. We should recognize the difficult role they have as they do the job of two. Whether you grew up with one parent or two, we need to respect other women. Because every mom deserves to know that they are doing perfectly okay. Even if that means they are doing it by themselves.



MarriageSingle momsStereotypes

worcuga • March 31, 2015

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