Some of the news articles described and linked to in this post are clearly inspiring but others may surprise and alarm you. They aspire to broaden our perspective and understanding of single parents and their experiences worldwide.
If you have trouble getting to these links, feel free to email me at email@example.com and I’ll send PDFs of them to you.
The writer of this article has a wonderful sense of humor — and about a subject that has led to the suffering of many women and children in Pakistan. For generations, many women have endured marriage to be with their children despite abuse and violence at the hands of their spouse and his family. However, financial freedom, childcare and safe living accommodations have allowed married women to consider and pursue divorce. Single parents can now create a family that factors in personal happiness. Following are some of the insights into the life of a single mother:
“Most women can take a bad husband, but no mother can watch their children with a bad father.”
“We may not be invited to every dinner plan, left out of couples committees, hear the odd . . . whispers but we are also pretty damn happy. Everything right now is harder, exhausting and the kids are driving us crazy, but it is on our terms.”
“If we had wanted a flabby, sweaty . . . husband with a roving eye, we would have stuck to ours.”
“We got a divorce, not a lobotomy, and we haven’t used our lifetime allotment of whining.”
Seeking a little validation? This article is sure to make you laugh and help you feel proud.
Louisville is seeing a transformation, one house at a time. The Kentucky chapter of Black Lives Matter is raising money and working with contractors and other professionals as well as volunteers to reconstruct houses that will become homes for single mothers and their children. This crusade seeks to overcome gentrification and stabilize an area of the city riddled with poverty and desperation. Through the generosity of this organization and its donors, the new homeowner need only pay property taxes and utility bills — no mortgage.
The stigma attached to single parents in Japan has subjected thousands to poverty levels shameful among one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Its culture makes finding work and keeping a job extremely difficult particularly for single mothers — and alimony, out of reach for most. This inevitable financial instability causes apartment owners to turn them away. However, an aging population has created a bloated market for abandoned and available houses. Nonprofit Little Ones has helped around 300 single-parent families find homes. Among its many perks, this organization guarantees to pay the rent if the tenant cannot do so.
With the rise in single-parent households, cards are now being made available for single fathers on Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom, the equivalent to Mother’s Day in the United States. And the same goes for single mothers on Fathering Sunday. I just adore the idea of seeing cards with “mum/dad” on the front and reading messages such as “two jobs, one very handsome daddy” and “real dads buy tampons.” The most beautiful aspect of this article is that this line of cards was inspired by the child of a single parent.
Discriminatory prohibitions against single women seeking to have a child in China are proving to be an ineffective deterrent for some. In a show of defiance, one woman released a video online, requesting a sperm donor, with her contact number flashing at the bottom. She reflects a growing trend of those hoping to find a man who wants to raise a child sans marriage or at the very least to donate sperm. The one-child ban may have been lifted in 2016, but the birth rate has been slow to climb, exacerbated by limitations against single women, who are not permitted to freeze their eggs or have access to in vitro fertilization. They have even been turned away by sperm banks. If a woman becomes a single mother, she and her child endure a cruel stigma that could hinder the child’s education and health. However, attitudes may be changing as indicated by A Lan, the woman seeking a donor: “Some people fear that a single mother cannot provide a complete family for the child; some men feel they are not being valued. Some also believe it’s irresponsible to look for a donor online. Today the situation is different from the past. Today we can have more choices, and our next generation will have even more diverse choices.”
Birthright citizenship is not a given in many countries, including Nepal. Its constitution allows children to acquire citizenship at the age of 16; however, the applicant must provide the name of both parents. For the children of single parents, that requirement can impede that pursuit. Thousands of children younger than 16 live with single mothers and may not be able to produce the name of their fathers. Advocate Sabin Shrestha had this take on the country’s constitution: “The citizenship provision . . . discriminates against women. Women have not been given equal rights as men. A mother cannot transfer citizenship to her children without disclosing the identity of her husband.”
Child Care Leave has been afforded to female employees of the Indian Administrative Service, a branch of government in India. However, women are calling for these days — 730 total until the child reaches the age of 18 — to be extended to single and married fathers. Mothers of children who have disabilities, in particular, have pushed for this extension.
South Africa is experiencing an increase in single-parent households that is expected to surpass those of married couples. The financial stability of many such households has been compromised because several single fathers refuse to pay child support. The court system has failed these mothers and children. Fathers who abandon their jobs to avoid payments — and their responsibilities — have failed these mothers and children. Becoming an active and involved parent is the mission of MenCare Global Fatherhood, a global campaign in more than 45 countries. This organization seeks to overcome social and gender equality by supporting the well-being of the family.
Editor’s note: This photo came from VisualHunt.com.
On Thursdays I will be sharing a blog about a day in the actual life of a single parent. Every fourth Thursday, instead of a personal post, I will put together one where I assemble news on and about single parents nationally and globally.
I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send any comments and questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also on Twitter @parentsonurown and can be found by searching #singleparentandstrong.