Single Parenting Stigma

Single-Parenting Families: Attached Stigmas The social deviance that interests me is single parenting, one who chose to have a child out of wed-lock. The stigma attached to being a single parent is rising anew. Many media commentators blame America’s uptrend in violence and other social problems on family breakdown – on single parents. This stigma is based on myths and stereotypes that have been promoted by half-truths and, often, by prejudiced viewpoints. Many in our society still regard single parenthood as a unwelcome status.
I as a single parent myself, I am often admired, but at the same time looked upon with pity, disgust, sympathy, and perhaps with uneasiness. In defense of single parent families I would argue to de-stigmatized single motherhood by society, in which the shifting of family type in single parent household is now normal and acceptable. One obvious identity is I am a woman and my hidden identities are I am a mother, unmarried, and parenting alone. A complex of set social and cultural stigma perceived as making a selfish or misguided decision to have a child and raise it on my own as a unmarried single mother.
Growing up I was told by my parents the unwed mothers were bad girls who make mistakes and gotten pregnant, whom family, friends, and the community shamed and reject. There is a clear cultural, moral, and religious message of stigma. In my parents generation, it would highly scandalous of a single woman raising a child alone and never married. In those days it was expected for the man to do the honorable thing, and marry the woman who is carrying his child. It did not matter whether he love her or not, having a child out of wedlock is unacceptable and the child would be considered a bastard( child born to unmarried parents).

I am a single parent. I never planned on being a single parent. Few do. I grew up with an ideal of parenting as something I would do with a husband, within a marriage. Choosing to parent alone was simply not a option in my household growing up. Unwed pregnancy was to be avoided at all costs! Divorce with children was quickly remedied with remarriage. The honored and supported single mothers without stigma is through the death of a husband is a widow. Today, nearly one-third of American families with children under the age eighteen are in single-parent families, and this has double the number less than two decades ago.
Separation and divorce creates most single parent families, that accounts for twice as many single parent families (60%) as failure to marry (30 %), while the death of a parent creates less than (7 %) of such families. Single parent families are raised by single mothers are becoming the majority family type culturally in United States. However, there is still a powerful negative images associated with Black single mothers and rarely does the dominant culture identify individuals, but instead stigmatized the entire class of Black mothers.
Many presume the color of the typical welfare recipient is a Black mother and that is not entirely true, but Black mothers are disproportionately represented. I personally can not explain why single parent never been married families are far more prevalent in the Black communities than in the White communities. Marriage is the most common for all women and for most women the only way out of poverty. For Black women, however the economic gain of marriage is often few and far between due to the poor economic opportunities of Black men.
Although, I am a single mother raising three sons. My children have not and will not suffer from the outcome of poverty, simple because I am a single parent. I am not poor. I am gainfully employed and I own my own home for the last fifteen years. There is a strong stigma attached to single mothers households are living below the poverty line. What are the critics saying about the single mothers? Stigmatizing the single parent families as part of the underclass, broken, and deviant. Their children are mostly to have emotional or behavioral problems.
To have children out of wedlock, are more likely to have trouble in school, and likely to commit crimes. Therefore, because I chose to raise my children alone……society blames me for the decline in social order. The two parent families is still compared as the traditional family formation and contribute to a healthy and successful society. I recently saw on TV an interview with Ann Coulter on the talk show The View …. she blames many of society’s problems on single moms. She goes on to say that our jails are filled with the offspring of single moms.
To accuse single moms of being responsible for all society’s problems is absolutely crazy. There are many reasons relationships end, and when there are kids involved usually the bulk – if not all – of the responsibility of raising the kids is assumed by the mom. We single moms should be applauded and not attacked for this. Sure, there are some women that decide to have a baby on their own with no man in the picture, but can you blame them?
It is hard to find a decent man who also wants to raise a family. Even when you do there are no guarantees he will stick around for the long haul. Nevertheless, single fathers have biological link or legal status as a non-custodial parent. What that actually means is they are expected to pay child support for their children, but rarely do they have sole or joint custody of their children. Some men have this immature concept of fathering that expects men to separate from their children and their responsibility, if they do not maintain a connection to the children’s mother.
There is a layer of stigma that is laid upon Black single mothers complete with highly fertile capacity( having many babies), being lazy and shiftless, and being in a relationship with uncaring and equally lazy black man. In which he is not willing to work, will not marry her, and will not support his family. This stereotype does not fit all single African American mothers and fathers. Unfortunately, those are the views of the dominant culture in our society of unwed African American single mothers. There are confronting stigmas and myths of single parenting as society continues to view that stigma as appropriate and justified.
The first, single-parent families are poor and single parenting causes poverty and social problems. Second, single-parent families are physiologically unhealthy. Third, single-parent families are immoral. The religious standpoint the families are sinful because they lack the blessing and validation of marriage through the church. Finally, there is a underlying undertone of stigma attached to race and gender beliefs that further support the badge of social scorn and economic hardships. What I know about single mothers is far different from the myths that are circulating in society, resulting in powerful stigmatizing.
The truth and reality is many single mother are raising their children very successful alone, including myself. Parenting is the hardest job, that one will ever have. However, single parenting is even harder, but not impossible to be successful in providing for your family. Society must look at the parent and not the circumstances that lead to their being a single mom or dad. The first priority and full responsibility is towards the child, put the child first in every and all decisions. My personal story is I have always been there for my three sons and it is my job to take care of them, until they can take care of themselves.
I have raised boys to men and at the sometime to be gentleman. In my household it is filled with love and support. Education was always instilled and valued in my home. My sons are very intelligent, respectful, good human beings and all because I took full responsibility for them and I took parenting very seriously. I can argue strongly that children need love, discipline, structured, boundaries, and guidance. Children who lack these exposures will perhaps become menace to society, but not from living in a single parent household. Two parent families can be dysfunctional, don’t place the blame solely on single parent families.
The house with white picket fence is only a disguise, one can only guess what is truly going on behind closed doors. For the love that I had for my son’s father and yes, they have the same dad (a myth that African American single mothers children have different fathers). We drifted apart and we decided to separate and I focus on being a mom. In neither case was it my choice to be a SINGLE mom; my choice was to just be a MOM. Sorry to report that single mom bashing is nothing new. And, the “double standard” is nothing new, either.
Single dad who pays his child support and see his kids on a regular basis is a hero! Single moms, on the other hand, seem to be held to nearly impossible standards. I can only suggest what has worked for me. I hold my head high, keep my decisions grounded in what’s best for my sons , and ignore the small minded people. My sons are my blessings, they are beautiful, and I am very proud to be their mother. Being a single mom presents additional and unique challenges and experiences. I feel I can conquer the world, because being a mom is the toughest job there is.
Life is never boring! These myths and stigmas can be confronted successfully and new strength can be found in the truth. As with so many aspects of single parenting, myself and other mothers rise to the challenge and become better people because of it. The myths are sometimes subtle and subconscious, but the more we examine them, the more clearly we take responsibility for our lives and the lives of our children. My deepest love and appreciation goes to my sons, who have taught me more than they will ever know. I love you….. higher than the moon, wider than the sky.

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