OT - Single parent families
I know this the not a situation dealt with by many here, because often there are multiple “parents” involved (bio or step), but generally what is your view on single parents?
I was watching a report on single parents a few days ago and to be honest, it left me really angry. The general view was that raising a child in a single parent home was detrimental to the child in the long run. These children did worse at school, were badly behaved, had less direction in life... The answer to this was that children need a mommy and a daddy – period! (There was no other or better way to raise a child.)
Also single mothers were mostly single by choice: irresponsible women who had children and lived off state benefits, or had multiple failed relationships. The only real aspect relating to men, was that they chose to be absent and not care for their children. It didn’t even look at the single fathers (which exist even in a minority) or how they cope with parenting a child with an absent mother. It makes me angry that we have the traditional “dead beat Dad” but no mention that women are sometimes “dead beat Mothers”.
This programme left me feeling like I was the worst thing ever to happen to my own son! (Even though I know that correlation does not mean causation when looking at the factors they mentioned in a clearly biased report with an agenda to push. It still leaves a certain stigmatised view of single mothers.)
Now, in my own situation, currently I am a single parent by choice – I initiated divorce proceedings. Even with a “man / dad / male role model” in the house, he was not a parent to my son. I was the only parent.
I would rather raise my child in a single parent home, than live with the unhealthy dysfunction of a marriage where we had differences of opinions on how to raise our own children. Also, my son stays with me full time – there is no splitting of children across households or multiple ideas of parenting going on. No one alienates the children and they have a stable home life. When I became a single parent for the first time, my husband didn’t choose to be an absent father – he died. I guess it is his fault through choice to be dead and not parent his son. What a literal DEAD beat dad!
I am raising my own son and a step-son. Both are well-adjusted, decent (even good ) kids. Both are doing well academically, both have a nice circle of friends, both play sport, both have no juvenile delinquent criminal episodes. Both are responsible and accountable in age appropriate ways. They are just regular normal kids, seemingly suffering no ill effects “without DAD”. (Both have male role models who show an interest in their lives, which is important to me, and here I am thankful that my brothers – and Dad – who care about my kids. My mother and my first MIL still play an active role in BOTH boys lives – even though my SS is not related to my first MIL.)
Also on the financial side, I am able to raise both boys without any assistance from anyone or the state – I have a professional career. I am not some crack whore even if I do have children with different fathers living under my roof. (As if that is a bad thing! Crack whores do have a job, even if it is an unsavoury one in some opinions and I will bet some of them even love their kids... – and I need to stop watching American tv because that phrase is stuck in my head.)
I just feel you can’t win – even today!! – when you don’t have a traditional nuclear family. It is still the model that is held up as an ideal, when it is far less likely to exist. (Divorces, remarriages, same sex marriages, single parents. I won’t even mention my thoughts on abusive parents who should not even be around their own children.)
All of these people have a reason for how they ended up the way they are: it feels harsh when judged by a generalised stereotype, that my own son is on the road to hell, because he doesn’t have a father present in the home.)
TL:DR So... What do you think of single parents / single moms? Reputation is bad, probably like step-mothering? I am a single mom step-mother too, so its double whammy. To me, it feels as if Step-Mom and Single-Mom are two sides of the same female bashing coin.