So as a single mom, I must admit I’m a little partial to our plight – not because I don’t have a desire to understand the single father’s plight, but because I’ve never walked in his shoes. I can empathize with single dads but I can’t sympathize. The sentiments society shares for single dads are polar opposite of what is shared for single moms. But why?
For centuries,single moms have been doing their thing with no “trophy” awaiting because there’s this underlying tone of its what you’re supposed to do – you caused it, at least from my lens. The single dad on the other hand garners sympathy from every being walking this planet. I’ve heard so many oohs and aahs from people when they learn a man is a single father. What’s that all about? There’s nothing cute about anyone being a single parent-not even those who experience the role due to grave tragedy of losing their partner due to death. All of the ‘what a man’ ‘that’s such a hard job and commendable’ to the ‘she sure screwed up’ ‘he’s a good one.’ I don’t negate all the above, but I’d like to play Devils advocate for just a moment with you. What if said man wasn’t good to mom but simply loves his child,yet disrespects mom every time he’s given an opportunity to do so and in front of the child? Do you still believe he’s a keeper. Why do we give men a sympathy card for taking care of what they created? Shouldn’t it be just what he should do?
Perhaps society has such a soft heart for single dad’s because it’s unnatural that a mother abandons her child after carrying it for 9 months (10 for you technical beings). I certainly can’t imagine. My daughter is my everything. I went through some tough times to get her here, both physically and emotionally-to include being rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Someone want to explain to me why when single moms make it known that they are the sole participant in their child’s life, we are viewed as a woman begging for handouts or conjuring up a plethora of excuses? In the past, I made certain to not share my parenting status with my employer or clients for the simple fact, I didn’t want you thinking I expected a short cut or handout. I wanted to show you that I’m capable of managing multiple roles, while effectively handling my business. Do single fathers face this too?
While working on this piece, I wanted to hear what society had to say about this subject matter and ran across this on Fatherhood.org, “Community support groups for single dads. America’s communities are full of support groups for mothers and single mothers that provide support for the challenges faced by single moms. Our communities are bereft of such groups for dads. In fact, I’ve heard countless stories of single and stay-at-home dads who have joined mothers’ support groups because they couldn’t find groups for dads. To be fair, single motherhood has been much more common than single fatherhood for a long time, so the availability of groups for single moms is partly a function of time. But it is also a function of living in a culture that looks more positively on single motherhood than single fatherhood. We men can also be our own worst enemy because, in this case, we tend not to group as much as women do for mutual support, especially when it comes to parenting and other emotionally-charged issues.”
Should there even be a line drawn in the sand? A single parent is a single parent. Is it truly different for men and women or is that another way for society to pit us against one another and cause dissension?
A Facebook post from a friend peeked my interest in learning more about the plight of the single dad and seeking to understand more of his struggles? After all, her son has done a phenomenal job rearing his daughter (Mom participated In the great escape). He, and a select few, are definitely the exception to the rule.
What ways do you suggest single moms and dads do more to support one another in their journey? How can society do more to support the single parent? I want to hear you sound off below. Please leave your comments, we don’t have to agree. I look forward to hearing from you.
For more support initiatives geared towards the single dad, check out:
Until next time, loves!