There is a double standard in single parenting that is unfair to both male and female single parents. I am lucky enough not to be a single parent, but I can’t help but recognize the double standard that exist. Whenever my partner is out and about with the children, and I’m not with the crew, people want to give him the gold medal for “Dad of the Year.” Now, I’m not downplaying the fact that my children have a great father, what I am saying is, single mothers don’t get same round of applause.
The funny thing is, when people see me out and about with the kids, they assume that I am a single mother. Especially, when they see that I’m not sporting a wedding band. Then, when they see both of us with our children, they respond differently in a more positive way. Now, I’m not one to get shook up by other peoples judgments because I don’t have to explain my life to anyone. We are responsible for our family, and we decide when and how we do things. We have just started to plan our wedding that will take place, after I finish school in two years. This post is not about me or my situation. It’s about the stigmas attached to seeing a woman with children alone, and the judgments that are made on said woman.
The first news flash is, just because you see a man or woman alone with children, does not mean that they are a single parent. The other news flash is, every single parent out there is not mooching off of some form of public assistance. For example, my bestie is a single parent who worked her way through undergrad, grad school, and finally law school, all while being a single mom. I have so many friends that have done well alone, while raising their children. These friends are both male and female, and none of them are walking around begging for praise.
I hate to make this about race and ethnicity, but most negative assumptions are made towards minority women with children. When people see a Caucasian women alone with children, no one assumes that she is a welfare mom living off of all kinds of assistance. Those type of judgments are reserved for African American and Latino single moms. Just like African American and Latino men are judged not to be in their children’s lives. I guess that’s why people make such a big deal about seeing a minority man with his children, single or not. The sad thing is, some of us have lowered our expectations to believe some of the same stereotypes about ourselves.
Now, I’m not glorifying children being raised with one parent or out of wedlock. What I am saying is that people can be less judgmental because they don’t know each persons individual situation. Besides, there are single parents that exist in all races and ethnicities. No one is immune to single parenting, even it your married. The skyrocketing divorce rate in this county tell us that. Let alone the fact that, a spouse could die and leave a widow with children behind. Before you throw stones at the next single male or female with children that you see, make sure your not living in a glass house.