Just Mom and the Kids
More than one fourth of all children in the United States live with only one parent (Healthy Children). Single mothers and their children face a variety of finanical and emotional complications on a day-to-day basis. Though single motherhood can be just as satisfying as sharing these experiences with a partner, there are unique difficulties to its situation. Single Motherhood is when a mother is raising a child without the support of spouse. Around half of today’s mothers will spend some time as a sole custodial parent (Legal Momentum). Statistics say around forty-five percent of single mothers have never been married (Legal Momentum). That means fifty-five percent of single motherhood is due to divorce, abandonment, or death of a husband. The reasons why American women are increasingly becoming single mothers are teen pregnancy, father disappearances, adoption and the biggest of all, divorce (Webster University). Of three people interviewed two single motherhoods were due to divorced and one was by choice of never being married. Single motherhood is less ideal and leads to extreme amounts of stress. Epidemiological surveys show that single mothers have low levels of self-satisfaction and high levels of anxiety and depression compared to other mothers (Social Science Computing Cooperative). Not being able to provide for your child, going through a divorce or death of a husband and dealing with the behavior of the kids are causes of a single mother’s stress. When explaining how she copes with her situation Veronica Williams says, “It was rough, really rough, trying to manage all they have going on and fitting it in day to day. It was stressful at times, but I took it one day at time did what I could do” (Williams). The depression and stress also can come from all the household tasks, everyday jobs, and errands the mothers have to take care of on a day-to-day basis. Their responsibilities are overwhelming for one person. Single mothers have a great amount of weight on their shoulders with finances, house keeping, and parenting with no help from a spouse. Veronica Williams, a single mother of two young children, explains the biggest finanical burden in her family is childcare. “Finding child care for my children is a financial burden it can be so expensive, but it’s something I need to do in order to work. I have to get money to raise them” (Williams). Having a spouse there to help maintain finances for the family would take a load of weight off of the single mother. A mother has to perform responsibilities that would traditionally be a father’s job, for example; taking out the trash, caring for the law, home repairs and vehicle maintenance. They often look to their children for help around the house. When asked about how her children helped around the house Veronica said, “They’re much younger so they can’t do much, but keep their toys picked up. House keeping will be a little easier when they can help though”(Williams). Looking to the children for assistance around the house is not an option for single mothers when the children are so young. As the children get a little older they become more helpful and responsible. Christine Wilson, is a teacher and single mother of a fifteen year old daughter, when asked about managing housekeeping she explains, “My daughter is able to complete household chores like washing the dishes, dusting the furniture, cleaning the restrooms, vacuuming, and sweeping. She performs these chores very well when money is involved” (Wilson). Since the 20th Century children with single mothers were sent out to work earlier than those who had both parents in their lives (Gordon, Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare, 1890-1935). As the child gets older the single mothers have a little more help around the house, but whom do they have to turn to for help with parenting? Parenting is extremely difficult without a spouse to turn to for advice, assistance,...
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