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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send PDFs of them to you.
Like single mothers, single fathers shop for their families too! This amazingly astute observation served as the preface for this article. Unfortunately, certain aspects of this article had undertones of sexism. For example, single fathers who shop for their children do so as an expression of affection toward their children, an act of love. And single mothers don’t? After slogging through the first half of this article, the writer pointed to some distinctions in the consumer habits of single fathers, such as their preference for online food shopping so they can better organize their schedules. And single mothers don’t? Creating such artificial, undeveloped arguments didn’t really address the question of how to market to single fathers. Raising a family on your own means all responsibilities fall on the single parent’s shoulders, including finding trusted people to help them and — you guessed it — shopping. It is no surprise that single fathers, like single mothers, must rise to the occasion. May I suggest to the writer this marketing strategy? Honest advertising, high-quality ingredients or materials, and affordable prices.
This article delves fairly, realistically and sensitively into the experiences of single mothers in the Catholic Church. The church’s defined stance on marriage and its historic treatment of “fallen women” and their children has compelled single mothers to hide in the shadows. This stigma has followed single mothers into the 21st century, resulting in a mixed experience in the parish community. Most single mothers have found this community not very welcoming and, in some cases, not welcoming at all. One of the shocking parts of this article was the account of priests who refused to baptize the children of single mothers. The pope spoke out against this practice — in 2016. The judgment many single mothers experience has made them feel like second-class citizens simply because they do not conform to the traditional family. Although this article features issues within the Catholic Church, I am sure it is not the only religious institution that alienates and ostracizes single parents. The stigma of being a single parent is a cross-cultural problem throughout the world.
According to a study from the United Kingdom, the kids are doing OK. A survey of more than 27,500 families discovered that people raised in a single-parent household were quite pleased with their lives, feelings about their families and relationships their peers. In addition, grandparents are more involved with their grandchildren in a single-parent situation. This study is encouraging and appears to reflect the actual reality of the everyday lives of these children. The findings “challenge common political and public narratives around single parents and their families.”
At first blush, this concept appears to be an alternative to childcare, because parents can bring their children to a remote workspace in Canada. But founder Amanda Munday is quick to emphasize that the daycare offered at The Workaround is limited and does not replace the current childcare model. For example, early childhood education is available but to what extent is unclear. She cautions that The Workaround actually provides so-called gap childcare to cover snow days, for example. The article does not mention the cost for using The Workaround if the adult has or doesn’t have children, a relevant point to raise considering Munday’s arguments for subsidized childcare because of its rising cost.
A family surviving on a single income today is affectionately referred to as a unicorn. The overwhelming majority of families in the United States and, in this case, Australia has two sources of income. A recent survey of single mothers — 81 percent of single parents are women in Australia — reveals that more than half are making less than $40,000 a year and the remaining respondents earn even less. To complicate these struggles further, many parents are delinquent on their child support payments. Many parents are going without health insurance and other benefits so they can provide for their children. Single parents are the canary in the coalmine for the actual state of any economy.
Single parents fuel the juvenile justice system in the United States with their delinquent children, and children from married couples don’t — at least not in as high numbers. This columnist pulled his many stats from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a nonprofit that helps children, to prove his point that married couples are the best parents, discrediting the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, hence his clever headline. Eventually, after pinballing me from one percent to another, he arrived at this conclusion: “The most effective way to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline or increase student achievement isn’t money. It’s encouraging parents to get and stay married.” He went even further to say that marriage should inform public policy. There may be some truth to his assertion, but the most effective parenting involves adults who love and support their children. Being married or being single becomes arbitrary in that case.
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 email@example.com. I am also on Twitter @parentsonurown and can be found by searching #singleparentandstrong.