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.
Childhood obesity has been increasing at a rather alarming rate globally, and experts are puzzled by the cause as they search for the cure. Some point to the food industry and its use of sugar, additives and preservatives and others, our agricultural industry with its use of hormones and chemicals. This article blames single mothers using studies from different countries to explain obesity in other countries without regard for culture and body type. Because fathers tend to engage in active physical play, their children are more likely to be slim. The main study referred to in this article focused on children and mothers in Chile. The news report does not indicate the calendar years of the study nor does it link to it. A researcher justifies the findings of this longitudinal study because it evaluated children through adulthood. Its conclusion that single mothers are a cause of childhood obesity were tied to their tendency to be depressed, leave their children in playpens, live in dirty homes and offer few stimulating experiences. This data was then applied to single mothers in the United States and the United Kingdom. So, what are the merits of this story? It’s a good bad example.
When I happened upon this article, I was honestly shocked not just by the content but by its layout on the web page and its official sounding URL. The payday loan industry has been exposed for preying on people who are financially struggling by offering them a loan to tie them over until payday, hence the name. The exorbitant interest rates trap the consumer in endless payments that enrich the business with huge profits. Industry regulations have been weakened in the past couple years and now this scam is surfacing but with a new look. This article tries to legitimize the industry with a clean layout similar to news websites and an affiliation with an organization. However, the message is still the same: Scam the poor and desperate. Check out my latest blog on my experience with scammers and vultures.
Some women in Israel are not willing to give up their Cinderella fairy tale. Many men are married in their 20s, leaving few eligible bachelors in their 30s and 40s for women who delayed marriage until their 30s. One woman even dated gay men in the hopes of finding a co-parent who would help raise the child. As a last resort, women are finding motherhood in the offices of “Sperm Charming,” aka the sperm bank, a buffet of human possibilities. However, this article goes further by examining the reasons for women waiting to marry or avoiding it altogether. One in three women have been sexually abused, which makes forging relationships more difficult because of trust issues. “Being career-focused is sometimes a by-product of that. A career is something you can control. A relationship is something you can’t,” said Jerusalem-based marriage family therapist and relationship coach Micki Lavin-Pell.
More and more women who are in their 30s and 40s and educated are raising children as single parents or parents by choice, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Two factors contributing to this trend are the relaxing social stigma against single parenthood and the financial security a career provides. Seriously? Clearly, the professor commenting for this article is not familiar with the news or “news” columns about immoral, burdensome single parents. And having an education, career and, consequently, independence is no longer a guarantee. I am one of these single mothers and have seen my media industry where I had built a career decimated and jobs paying $25 per hour harder and harder to come by. This simple, little article may have intended to just skim the surface, but in doing so, it actually polarizes single parents unnecessarily and communicates a reality that for many does not exist.
Single mothers in Australia receive a welfare payment to help them survive financially, but cutting back on these distributions resulted in the likely unintended consequence of perpetuating domestic violence. The government decided that the welfare payments are to be reduced by more than $100 a week after the child of a single parent reaches 8 years of age. Exemptions to this law, including home schooling, did not consider domestic violence. The National Council of Single Mothers and their Children described incidents of parents fleeing abusive partners only having to return because they could not survive. The federal parliamentary inquiry heard accounts of women who found only part-time employment after leaving their partner and “were limiting themselves to one meal a day to ensure there was enough food for their children, did not use heating in winter and struggled to put petrol in their car.” These realities are so commonplace, yet so hidden from view.
Maria-Theresa Servillon Sigua used a self-described anthem approach to respond to her ex-husband’s disinterestedness in their children. It will definitely resonate with the many single mom/dads who love and care for their children alone, described astutely by Sigua as the “ride-or-die parent.” Her piece caught the attention of Good Morning America where she discussed her reasons for writing it and shared the anthem with the television audience. Sigua, like myself, shares her real-life experiences on her blog Maria’s Random Rants where you can find her anthem. She lives in Texas with her four children.
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 email@example.com. I am also on Twitter @parentsonurown and can be found by searching #singleparentandstrong.