Monday, May 14, 2012

In Praise of Single Mothers

Given that last week was the @#%$ Butterfly Ball, also known as the father/daughter dance at my girls' school, with the usual I-don't-have-a-daddy sadness to follow, despite attendance with daddy-surrogates, I was happy to see this article in the Atlantic written by the daughter of a single mom:
A lot has been said about single mothers. Most of it has been less than flattering.

In a notable nugget Senator Rick Santorum said at a town hall meeting, "We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms." Not long after that, in a public appearance in Erie, Pennsylvania, he accused single mothers of "simply breeding more criminals." This past fall, he argued that single mothers voted Democrat because their lives were so hard and urged Republicans to "build two parent families" in order to "eliminate that desire for government."

This Mother's Day I confess that I am very proud to be from what some would call a broken home. Not because it was easy watching a young woman struggle to be a mother on her own after ending a violent marriage, but precisely because it was so very hard. And "hard" seems to be a word we now avoid, disparage, and devalue in our insta-everything culture.

In other words, the very values that Senator Santorum and so many others say these solo moms undermine are just the values I learned from mine -- and the community of women like her I grew up with outside Washington, D.C. What did we learn from these women who worked one or more miserably paid jobs while battling domestic turbulence, hunting for child support, hustling to pay rent, and forcing us to do our homework all on their own?

Thanks, I needed that.


Mahmee said...

Rick Santorum has proven time and time again that he is a complete and total freaking idiot.
Single moms are amazing. I was raised by one and the last time I checked...I did not have a criminal record.

Adri Ramirez said...

This is great. Thank you for posting this! I am the product of rape/domestic violence and yet was raised by the most valiant single mother I know. I am now in a loving marriage with the man I shared my first kiss with (we have been together since we were 18), I waited until marriage to have sex and we are graduating college while on the way to adopting our first baby from foster care. (not that these choices are the "best" for everyone - I state them just to show what a farce this 'two-parent, man + woman, families only' b.s. really is)

Seems to me if we had less judgmental rhetoric and more compassionate service we would be a healthier country on the whole.

xoxo, adri

Truly Blessed said...

Having been raised by a single mom (with a totally absentee, no-child-support paying father), I can tell you that single moms can be the hardest working people on the planet yet their kids still can turn out well.

I'm one of them.