According to The Atlantic, 19 million children live in single-mother families in the United States. (10 million single moms) Legal Momentum‘s “Single Motherhood in the United States – A Snapshot” shows that half of single moms have one child while 30 percent 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 percent 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 are 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. And 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 together through facing tough times together.
Single motherhood is just one of the issues America faces, and it’s 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. And those are just some of the issues.