March 8 through March 14th is Universal Women's Week. In honor of UWW, we will honor women by reflecting on both their strengths as well as their struggles.
To start, single mothers are honored for their self sacrifice. When one has a child and determines that the education, emotional stability and nurture of that child should take the place of one's desire to live life with a, "prime-time" attitude and/or approach, one understands what it means to be a single mother.
There is usually much ridicule and judgment passed upon single mothers who exhibit less than perfect traits but in Universal Women's Week we will open up to what it is really like to be a single mother.
There are several types of single mother's; 1) visiting father single mother, 2) the caring father single mother, 3) trapped in welfare single mother and, 4) the working single mother ,5) the extended friends and family single mother, 6) the totally absent father single mother.
Visiting father single mother:
The visiting father single mother has children and does not receive child support from their father but he may periodically visit the children either at their home if the parents have a cordial relationship or maybe the children go to his home for the weekend on an inconsistent basis. This single mother knows that the father really does not care about the children but allows the children to visit because they request it.
Generally, this single mother wants nothing to do with the absent parent and is cautious about requesting child-support so as not to agitate the absent parent. In such cases, these single mother's usually dealt with a lot of emotional or physical abuse with the absent parent, really want the parent out of their lives and is only acting in honor of the child/children's request.
As mentioned, these single mothers are usually opt to suffer rather than pursue child support from someone who may be willing to tell vicious lies about the single mother as an effort to malign support or worse, as a measure to obtain full custody so that they can avoid child support and inflict the single mom with further abuse through power and control.
The caring father single mother:
The caring father single mother receives child support and may also split visitation with the other parent. This single mother is referred to as a single mother only because they may have a separate home from the father but in parenting decisions and caring for the child/children, the parents come together and they both sacrifice components of their life to meet the parenting standards for the child/children.
The trapped in welfare single mother:
This single mother usually ends up on welfare because she could not provide sufficient care for the child/children. This single mother becomes trapped and dependent on the system when the job market is insufficient and employment wages would not be sufficient enough for this parent to care for her child/children. This parent has two choices, work two jobs so that funds are sufficient or remain on welfare where she can at least ensure that the child/children will have their basic needs met.
When this mother chooses to work two jobs, she forfeits parenting and will also increase her bills significantly because she will need to pay for childcare. When this single mother has children whom are of an age old enough to be left at home alone, she still has to determine if she is willing to sacrifice parenting teens that may be at risk of experimenting with drugs and/or sex while the parent is away.
This single mother usually chooses to force herself into being comfortable with knowing she can provide for the basic needs of the children with food stamps etc. and may pursue higher education or trade school so that she can increase her potential in the employment arena as well as her potential wages.
This parent will be eligible for child care assistance if they are on welfare and can attend school while her school age children are in school and underage children have the much needed early learning pre-school experience.
This single mother is usually looked down at the most but actually really cares about her children enough to prioritize a healthy parenting role over being an absent working parent.
The working single mother:
The working single mother can either be busting her but working two jobs while mostly forfeiting parenting or has had enough luck, experience, maybe even education to land a sufficient paying job. The working single mother would be at her optimal potential when she has a good paying job that she goes to while her children are in school, this way she can still parent effectively and be around for homework, dinner etc.
The working single mother is at her lowest when she is working two jobs just to make ends meet. This mother will get off one job and go to the next and only desires her shower and her bed when she makes it home. The children of this mother are either heavily dependent on an older sibling, relative or whoever takes the parenting burden while the mother is gone.
This mother becomes emotionally unavailable but feels that this sacrifice is better than that of the welfare trapped single mom.
This mother learns to use work as an escape from the reality of not being able to parent and raise her own children. Sometimes, this mother fluctuates from being the single welfare mother to being the working mother at times when she chooses to sacrifice her pride and make parenting a priority.
The extended friends and family single mom:
This single mom has an entourage of caring friends and maybe family as well. This single mom has ties that are so close with friends and family that her child/children never feel neglected or abandoned when she is away because close friends and family are literally in collaboration with raising and parenting of the child/children.
This single mom usually has a house full of people and everyone in the home understands that the child/children’s needs come first. Friends are family in this single mom’s world and this single mom is usually the healthiest of all single mothers’s even the single mother with a caring father.
This single mom is usually very healthy because she has been able to maintain her personal life and identity while parenting. The other single moms sacrifice leisure activities and friends because they simply cannot fit them into the child/children’s world concurrently but this single mom has brought the children into her world and it works best for both the mother and the child/children.
This single mom did not lose herself in parenting, when things did not work out with the father; she continued life and was not afraid to be herself in parenting. This single mom attaches her child/children securely to herself and to the other “parent friends” making it easy to work and live life; Caring friends almost feel responsible for the child too.
The totally absent father single mother:
This single mother can be the friends and family single mother, the trapped in welfare single mother or the two job single mother.
This single mother has no contact with the father of the children or very minimal and parenting is excluded of the father when he does make contact.
We honor single mothers this Universal Women’s Week and forever more for their continued sacrifice in the face of societies who pre-judge them and/or simply do not understand what their life is like. Black women are the majority of single mother's.