Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Life of a Single Mother

Why is life so hard and complicated for the single mother? It seems as though many doors are closed to us and many people look down on and penalize us for being one. What everyone needs to realize is that Single mother's are some of the hardest working individuals in today's society.

We, single mother's can't catch a break. Daycare is outrageous and there aren't vouchers available unless you are unemployed. Why would an out of work woman need daycare? The school system looks at us as though we don't care about the education of our children. I make it a point to be at every parent/teacher conference and I call regularly. I'm also a school volunteer who travels with my son on field trips.

The work ethic of the single mother is often impeccable. We work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet because we most likely don't have support (emotional or financial) from the baby's daddy. So, we are left in unique positions...sink or swim. However, I feel we are being punished by society for doing it by ourselves. What if we don't want a man or have a man or require a man? Isn't that our prerogative? The Government is trying to say a family consists of a Man and a Woman- married. So my son and I are not a family unit? I need a man to have a family? I think not. The number of children in foster care who will actually achieve permanency is affected by this. Why? Because the married couples most likely have all the children they want unless they are unable to have kids and in this instance they want infants. So that leaves the school aged and adolescent child. They are mostly adopted by single women who don't have plans to marry but who want to be mothers, thus making them Single Mothers. They are now grouped in a class of low lifes even though they signed on to save a life. Yes, I said low lifes because that is how society views us; as if we just decided to lay down, spread our legs and have babies without consequences. Who knew that dead beat was gonna run?

"I still don't understand the penalty", you say. Example. I went to get my nails manicured yesterday, the receptionist asks, "Do you have someone to sit with your son cause he's not allowed in the back?" I said, "No, he can't sit on the bench?". She says, "No, sorry." So I turn and leave. Damn, a sista can't even get her nails done without a babysitter? Same thing when I went to get my hair relaxed. I didn't even get in the door before I was met with a sign: NO CHILDREN ALLOWED IN THE SALON UNLESS THEY ARE BEING SERVICED! What? What am I supposed to do? Pay a babysitter to get basic services? So unfair. If the salon owners were single mother's I bet they'd understand and be empathic to our plight. I understand they don't want bad a$$ children running around their shop, but in that case ask them to leave. Don't ban all kids based on the actions of a few.

How do we fix this problem? Instead of looking down on single mothers as though they are fungus on your feet, uplift them and applaud their efforts. Single mothers have raised some of the most prominent people in society, just look at Sen. Obama!