The misperceptions of single motherhood – Stop the finger-pointing
By Holly Pavlika
According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 19 million children live in single-mother families in the U.S. (10 million single moms). Half of single moms have one child while 30% have two. About two fifths are white, one third are black and one quarter are Hispanic – not black welfare moms, as most people would probably assume. And uneducated? Think again… 25% have a college degree.
Whether by choice, divorce, widow or adoption, there are a growing number of moms raising children on their own. And with single motherhood comes all sorts of baggage: poor students, higher risks for teen pregnancy and veritable breeding grounds for criminals. Bah! Stereotypes abound. Talk to real moms and you hear stories of strength, dedication, admiration, lessons learned, and sisterhood – moms helping other moms.
True it’s hard. We have less money, less time and a different family structure. There are awkward moments at school events. Having a social life can be near impossible. But I think there are still important life lessons a kid of a single parent learns. As a divorced mother of two, mine have learned valuable lessons in resiliency, the importance of work ethic, and family budgeting. It’s taught us creativity and brought us closer by facing tough times together.
“My son has benefited from my being a single mom because he gets most of my attention. There’s no partner to share (not that I don’t want someone there – just hasn’t worked out). He knows that he’s the most important person in my life and knows that I’m there to always back him up.” –Heidi Zalamar, mental health counselor
Single motherhood is just one of the issues America faces, but an important one. The single mother poverty rate in the U.S. is far above the average in high-income countries. Rather than place blame on single mothers, it’s time for positive change regarding daycare, employment opportunities, flexible work hours and access to higher education if desired.
Are you a single mom? What changes would you like to see in public policy or social values to help you in your role as a single mom? Share with us below.
Holly Pavlika is an award-winning creative marketing industry veteran and social media expert. The creator and president of MOMentumNation, an authority on what inspires and motivates today’s ever-evolving social media connected mom, Holly combines her experience as a mother with a wealth of business and digital expertise. Prior to launching MOMentumNation as part of 2Blue Media Group, Holly established MOMentum while serving as the Executive Creative Director and Managing Director at Big Fuel, the nation’s largest pure play social media agency. You can reach Holly on Twitter and Facebook.