Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Lori Pace
Solo moms can be straight, gay, lesbian, aged, young, Asian, Hispanic, or rich. They (moms) can also be employed and unemployed. Moreover, they come from every culture, background, level, education, passion, skill, and allegiance.
Solo Moms can be single moms or moms with joint custody. Grandmothers can also parent their grandchildren. Solo Moms are mothers whose partners are often on the move or live abroad and leave them to take care of most of the parenting.
They are mothers who have chosen to be a single mother, or some are forced to be one because of circumstances. Moreover, solo moms can be the ones who adopt, found her/their children in foster care, or conceive their children artificially. Some Solo Moms are born out of unexpected circumstances like the death of a partner, surprise pregnancies, or the ending of a partnership.
Why Is There a Term “Solo Mom”?
I’ve experienced firsthand the challenges of raising children in a society that often unfairly labels single mothers as second-rate or contributors to social problems. It’s disheartening to encounter these stereotypes and stigmas when we’re doing our best as parents. The labels of ‘morally lazy’ or ‘promiscuous’ are hurtful and unfounded. Even those of us who are well aware of our capabilities often worry about how these misconceptions might affect our children’s well-being.
To denigrate hardworking moms, the term “single mother” is so common. Solo Mom refers to any mom who chooses to be a single parent, regardless of circumstance. Besides, solo mom is a deliberate dismantling of the stereotype of a single mom.
Let’s forget about the guilt trip and support Solo Moms. We need to recognize that this family arrangement does not have to be dysfunctional or flawed. The vast majority of Solo Moms don’t conform to the stereotype of a “single mother” and are not shackled by it. Many aren’t teen welfare mothers who have babies they don’t want to care for.
Yet, it is all too common for the pernicious stereotype. On the other hand, a “single mother” is proclaimed at cocktail parties or in election speeches, even if doing so is politically or sociologically expedient.
What do Solo Moms want you to know?
Regardless of our diverse backgrounds and upbringings, Solo Moms share a common bond—the unwavering responsibility we bear for our children’s well-being. Every day, we make countless sacrifices to ensure our children’s health and happiness. We understand that their future success hinges on our dedication and efforts. It can be difficult, stressful, and lonely to assume sole responsibility for the family. This makes single-mother stereotypes all the more frustrating.
These women have shared their stories of working nights, long hours, low wages, no benefits, exhaustion, and difficult work conditions. I also heard about the struggles they had with attending parent-teacher conferences, soccer games, and school events. It was worth every penny, according to any mom I spoke with.
Like many other parents, Solo Moms are dedicated to providing the best for their children. We face various challenges; some of us have battled cancer, raised children with special needs, or cared for aging parents. Some of us have made the sacrifice of putting aside our creative passions to secure jobs with health insurance benefits. In my own journey, I’ve met Solo Moms who have returned to school to build a brighter future for their children.
Is There A Way To Support Solo Moms?
As a Solo Mom who has navigated the challenges of parenting alone, I can attest to the daunting nature of this responsibility. In my experience, I’ve often felt that our society lacks the necessary guidance and support for Solo Moms. It’s essential not to undermine the confidence of Solo Moms but rather to recognize and celebrate their unwavering dedication to creating a nurturing environment for their children.
Drawing from my own experiences as a Solo Mom, I believe it’s crucial to acknowledge the remarkable dedication of Solo Moms. Beyond accolades, what Solo Moms truly need is substantial institutional and political support. Elected officials should prioritize policies that ensure reliable childcare, equitable wages, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and family leave rights. These are issues I’ve personally grappled with, and I understand their significance firsthand.
Mothers who choose to parent by their own choice or in the circumstances they find themselves in are strong, but so is their ability to use their resources. As a society, it’s high time to support these women who are busy and demand the respect and support that they deserve.