Remembering Single Moms
May 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
In the The Single Mother’s Companion, Michelle Ramsey writes,
“Baseball coach, nurse, mudbug collector, the role of a single parent is never clearly defined….The special relationship between a parent and child going it alone is one you must experience to understand.”
Poet Laureate and single mother Devorah Major adds, “We created and discovered new ways to be–not just parent- to- child but friend- to- friend. We became best friends.”
Twelve percent of America’s mothers are single mothers. 9.9 million of you out there show us new ways of parenting and awe us with your strengths and inner resources. You’ve raised balanced and successful children. President Barack Obama, raised with love and support from his single mom and grandparents, showed the power of your unique child-parent-friendships when he made health care his centerpiece legislation citing, as motivation, the financial struggles his mom faced as she died of cancer.
For all your love and bonding society has been slow to support you. In The Single Mother’s Companion, Senator and single mom Carol Mosely Braun calls for: affordable childcare, more flex schedules, better enforcement of child support, and the contributions of neighbors and communities to help single mothers raise America’s youth. We’re still waiting for many of these advances.
Single moms, 17 million children are in your care. Yet you suffer poverty more than any other family structure. In the rural South and Midwest more than 50% of you are poor. You need more support from society and more contributions from your children’s fathers. A shocking 5.6 million of you have waited for overdue child support.
Though too many of you are overwhelmed by the demands of survival some of you, with more social and financial support, are leading this country ahead. By raising children on your own you inspire workplaces to be more parent friendly and broaden the minds of society. This weekend I send special wishes to the inspiring single mothers who’ve been in my life: Mia, Monica, Sandra, Vikki, Sybrina, Barb, and Diana and wish you all Happy Mother’s day.