There are a lot of stereotypes and myths out there about single moms. I honestly can’t stand most of them. In my opinion many of these myths have grown mostly out of prejudice, rigid societal standards of what is right and wrong, and a general lack of empathy. Let’s just take the time to dispel 3 of the worst ugly (no good, very bad) myths about single moms.
Ugly myth 1: All single moms made bad decisions and that’s why they are single moms.
I didn’t realize that everyone out there was off making fantastic and near perfect life decisions that lead to a life free of strife. Judge much?
Here’s the reality, everyone makes bad choices, including moms. Sometimes these choices are minor, other times they are life changing. We all live in glass houses folks. My glass house has a 360 view and it’s lovely. It’s made me stronger than I ever could have imagined. The point is to make the best of it and grow your wisdom.
My second problem with this myth is that many single moms are in their situation because of bad decisions someone else made. Almost every single mom I personally know ended up in that situation because she was misled and lied to by a man who ran as soon as he was faced with the reality of raising a child.
I’m not saying all single moms are martyrs and I’m definitely not saying all men are bad. Clearly that’s not true. However, it is important to acknowledge the complexities of these situations. If blame is your game (and I certainly hope it’s not) then there’s plenty to go around.
Ugly myth 2: All single moms are broke and on welfare.
Here’s another fun fact. Many intact families (with moms and dads) are on welfare thanks to a busted economy. Not because they are lazy, or any other pervasive stereotype, but because they just had the right combination of bad circumstances. Many American families are one lost job or one medical crisis away from the welfare line.
Second, many single moms are earning good wages and rocking the single mom thing. It’s true, many single moms are high earners and manage their family’s finances just fine. I know your head is about to explode but just settle down a sec.
Sure many moms are financially challenged. It’s certainly not easy raising children on one income, especially in the current economy and job market, but more often than not these women are busting their asses trying to give their kids a better future.
Can we all agree to stop being so judgmental and start being more kind?
Ugly myth 3: All children of single moms are missing out and growing up broken and damaged.
I really hate this one. It assumes that a mother and extended family are somehow incapable of raising healthy well-adjusted children absent a dad. I know first-hand a child can be raised lovingly, carefully, and thoughtfully. How do I know this? Because that’s exactly how I’m raising my little superstar. Of course it’s not easy, but it is possible.
Look no one is sugar coating the fact that it sucks to have your child’s father run off with the floozy down the road (or whatever your situation might be). A single parent household is rarely ideal, but a single parent (man or woman) can indeed raise healthy and happy children.
I’ve met many adults raised by single moms who are wonderful emotionally stable people. I’ve met tons of happy kids who are adored and showered with love and affection not only by their moms, but by grandparents, aunts, and uncles. In fact many moms overcompensate with extra love because they are a one parent household.
Bottom line, bad and neglectful parents come from all walks of life, married, single, moms, and dads. Let’s not place the world’s shortcomings on hard-working single moms.
One more time, can we all just turn up the empathy and turn down the judgment. Good single moms (and good single dads) deserve your applause, not your scorn.
Is there a stereotype about single moms that gets under your skin? Share in the comments below, and remember to spread the love.