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There are, as of 2007, approximately 13.7 million single parent families in the United States raising 21.8 million children. 84% of these parents are mothers. Shine recently posted a story about how the Pew Research Center, which conducts polls, research and national surveys on public opinion, found that 70% of American citizens, think single mothers are bad for society.

Apparently, some of us think that children from single mother families are bound to end up in prison, on welfare and uneducated. Yep, that’s right ladies, all the ills of society are all your fault. Strangely though, single fathers do not raise a mention in the poll.

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A lot of the negative feeling toward single mothers, I think, stems from their representation in the mainstream media. Rhymes like Kanye’s ‘Golddigger’, even subliminally, reinforce the notion that single women use children as a tool to ‘trap’ men. People like Paige, the girl claiming to be pregnant with Chad Ochocinco’s child, and the girls on 16 and Pregnant, also give single mother’s a bad name, by being money hungry or fame grabbing or whatever. But they do not, reflect society as a whole.

When a man is a single parent, or even when a man doesn’t shirk his responsibilities as a parent, he is applauded, for being a ‘true’ guy, a great guy even. Why is that? How come he is applauded for doing what should be expected of him, which is what is expected of the mother? Do we still as a society not expect fathers to take on the parenting responsibility in the same way we do mothers?

Newsflash. Single moms didn’t just become single moms. There was a father in the picture at some point.

Yes it is true that a single parent home can create more struggles, financially and emotionally, but who are we to put extra strain on the mother and child, but assumming that the kid will be a hood rat or that the mother is an uneducated fool?

Perhaps being single is the best thing that the parent (mother or father), can do for their child. My best friend was raised by a single mother because her father was M.I.A, and her mother managed to raise a very successful, well rounded, well educated woman, without any help from her father. And she was never on welfare, never did or was around, drugs, and rarely missed school. On the other hand, another friend lived with both parents, in a family littered with domestic violence and alcohol issues, and ran away from home at 17 to escape what she termed ‘the wacked out dysfunction’. Which living situation is better?

When a mother stays in an unhealthy or dangerous situation with the baby daddy, ‘for the sake of her kids’, how is that more respectable than one who does it on her own?

I know this obviously cannot and does not ring true for all situations and families, but I have a lot more respect for the mother who tries to raise her child alone the best she can, as opposed to one who settles for what’s easier or more acceptable in the eyes of society.

What do you all think?

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