Traditional families typically consist of a mom, dad, and a child/children. While many dads are the breadwinner of the family, he helps contribute a majority of the household finances. Moms usually are the nurturers and provide a majority of the day-to-day care of the children. But nowadays there are single parents who are both the breadwinner and nurturers. It is a tough role but single parenting is very common and accepted as part of our society. So let’s take a look and define what is single parenting.
Single Parenting Defined
As a single parent, you are solely responsible for nurturing and raising your child alone without another adult who is equally involved in the process on a day to day basis. Just in the United States, there are roughly 24 million single parents. The percentage of single parents is composed of divorced or unmarried women, widows/widowers, surrogate mothers, or those who adopt children. Women are more likely to be single moms compared to men.
Single-Parent “Family” VS. Single-Parent “Household”
Single parenting can be a single-parent “family” or single-parent “household”. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
Single Parent Family
After my divorce from my older two kids’ father, he chose to walk away from our family and have nothing to do with his kids. This type of situation made me a single-parent family. Of course, divorce isn’t the only reason why a parent wouldn’t fulfill their parenting duties. But there is death, sperm donation, and again complete abandonment of one parent or the other parent chooses to go no contact for whatever reason. I never understood why it happened but I always told my kids that it was his choice not to see them. Had he wanted to, he could have. It wasn’t my job to make him and it’s not your job either.
According to a study by Rodgers in 1996, single-parent “family” cases in the United States are caused by changing social and cultural trends, presence of welfare benefits that allows women to set up their own households, higher rates of divorce and non marital childbearing, and higher employment opportunities for women.
Single Parent Household
In 2020, when I got divorced again, my ex has joint custody with visitation. I have joint custody and am the primary custodial parent. This type of situation makes me a single-parent household.
Choosing To Be a Single Mother Creates a Single-Parent “Family”
Many women are choosing to be a single-parent, women are no longer forced to stay in a relationship or even have a husband/partner. They have a choice due to higher wages than previous generations. Single moms are also dedicated to raising their children, aware of their choice politically, have the financial resources to care for their child without seeking child support, and are mature.
An organization for women who want to raise children of their own and who may want to marry and not to marry is Single Mothers by Choice. They can be reached through the website: singlemothersbychoice.com.
Single Parenting (Mother-Only and Father-Only Cases)
While the majority of single parents are women, men today are also gaining custody of their children, either by winning custody in court, widowhood, or the mother refusing to get custody of her kids. Men can increase their chances of gain custody by stepping up and being more active in their child’s lives on a daily basis, by paying child support, or their children make the choice to live with their dad as they get older. Regardless of who is considered a single parent, solo parenting is a challenging family option.