April 21st, 2011
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love_u_mammaThe other day I wrote a post about single parenthood, a fact of life for many adoptive families.  A lot of people (mostly women, but not all) choose to parent on their own, while others, like mine, become single parent homes after the children arrive.  The other day I mentioned a recent study by the Pew Research Center which indicates that there is a bias when it comes to single parents and that about 2/3 of Americans believe that families headed by single mothers are actually bad for society.  An attitude that definitely  hurts my feelings!

I come to this issue from two perspectives: First, I grew up in a single parent household, and now I am experiencing it firsthand as a single parent to my own three kids.   I know that fundamentally, my children are not any different from children who live with two parents…..Just as I don’t feel very different from the other moms I know who struggle to get dinner on the table, get to various practices and rehearsals on time, and keep up with the laundry….

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But there might be a couple of ways my children could be a little different from their classmates:

#1) I think we have all learned not to sweat the small stuff.  (Cliche, I know–but true.)  My kids and I have learned that in the grand scheme of life, it really doesn’t matter if there are dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, if you flubbed up during your piano recital, you didn’t make callbacks in the theatrical production, or you squabbled with your friends on the playground.  These things are trivial when it comes right down to it.  Bigger issues, like our well being and the health of those we love, and how our actions impact others… these are things that matter.

#2) Self reliance:  A couple of my friends have actually told me this–They tell me that my kids are a lot more self-sufficient than their children.  By the time my kids were in kindergarten, they knew how to pour themselves cereal; they could make themselves instant oatmeal and butter their own bread.  By the time they are in junior high I fully expect all of them will be able to do their own laundry and mow the yard–as long as I get rid of that horrid push mower!

I hope my children learn, like I did, that they can do anything they set their minds to.

If a different perspective on what is important and self reliance makes our society  a bad place then I am confused about what attitudes and traits we want in our citizenry.

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3 Responses to “A Single Parent Household”

  1. mommyof1 says:

    BRAVO! Well said! I am in a two parent adoptive family and a stay at home mom to boot! And yes, there are days the house is a mess and toys are everywhere and the day was spent dealing more with teething and cuddles than laundry and housekeeping. That’s life as a parent whether you have two parents or one is irrelevant! None of us are perfect! Which is why I wonder why single women are given such a hard time adopting in this country? Adopting a newborn domestically is very difficult for single women and even adopting older children out of foster care is not an easy task- I know my sister is trying to adopt right now- she is a professional with her own home and an excellent income- she even has everything set up but workers are constantly telling her that they want to wait for a 2 parent home- um, because remaining in foster care is better than having a loving single forever mom? There is something seriously wrong with that notion- it is rather mysonginistic and suggests that the US has a long way to go in terms of valuing women and, for that matter, children! Thank you for speaking out!

  2. dannieas says:

    wow, I’m glad my social worker saw me as good home instead of “just a single woman”.

    I often claim that I live the best of two worlds…Yes I work obviously, but since I work in the schools I’m home around 14 weeks out of the year, and enjoy every single minute of it

    Thank you for writing. I try to convey this on my own blog…don’t know if people listen, but maybe if more of us were to speak up, people will let go of this “poor, uneducated, single mom” boogie monster image out of their head.

  3. mamabear42 says:

    I finalized the adoption of my two boys nearly 6 years ago now, but it wasn’t easy. At first, there were many people within DSHS who were against me because I was single never married. It was a big problem for them that 1) there was no male role model in the home and 2) I did not have any prior parenting experience. Apparently, I would have been better off if I had gotten knocked up at 16 and was on my fourth marriage! I think it was my persistence and reliability that finally brought them around, but eventually, they saw me as a better home than a relative placement with 2 parents.

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