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NEEDS BEYOND THE PHYSICAL: A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE ON SINGLE MOTHERHOOD

The Immoral Act of Stealing the Identity of Disabled Patients and Our Moral Obligations

Nothing about being a parent is simple or very easy. Parenting is not meant to be a one-person job and it is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, and even without said village, raising children is at the very least a job meant for two. However, life does not always work out in the way that it is meant to and in today’s day and age, it is not rare for homes not to consist of two parents. Whether through loss, abandonment, or self-preservation, there are a multitude of reasons children end up being raised in single-parent homes. It seems almost impossible that one person should have to provide for all of a child’s emotional, mental, and physical health needs. Despite this, there are single parents all around the world who do their best to provide for and support their children in each of these aspects.


Being a single parent is a label that is often shrouded in stigma and judgement, and it can often feel and be very isolating. It can cause feelings of failure, stress, and make a person to feel as though they are placing a burden upon the members of any community of which they are a part of. Overcoming these judgments can be difficult for parents as well as children and it is important to seek out options to help both parties reconcile this reality with their emotions.


As a young woman who was raised by a single mother I can say, from my experience, neither the child nor the parent escapes the effects of being or being raised by a single-parent. Sacrifices must be made by both parent and child, as a parent strives to do what is best for their family. My mother has always worked extremely hard to take care of my siblings and myself, and at various points in time she was out of the home quite often due to work. Because she really wished to be involved in our lives and in the development of our character, my mother was forced to make hard decisions about what jobs she could or could not take, which people she could or could not entrust our care to, and she had to decide what to sacrifice in order to make sure her children were growing into responsible members of society. As a small private homecare business owner, she was able to stay at home most of the time and dedicate a large amount of her time just to being a mother. Although things at times have been tough, my siblings and I were able to build a strong relationship with our mother and with each other as we grew.


Sacrifices and tradeoffs are a huge part of life, but I would say an even bigger part of single motherhood. In striving to provide for every one of her children’s needs, another thing had to be neglected. My mother often put herself and her mental, emotional, and physical health needs on the backburner in order to provide for the needs of myself and my siblings. Whenever the situation called for it, and unfortunately it often did, my mother did not hesitate to neglect her personal needs in order to make sure the needs of her children were met. There were also situations in which us children’s emotional and mental health needs had to be overlooked, simply because my mother did not have the capacity to meet them on her own at that time.


I will always be grateful for all the sacrifices my mother made for my siblings and I to become the people that we are and are continuing to evolve into today. However, being raised as I was has given me a passion to advocate for single-parents having access to tools and resources that can help to give their lives and families more balance and stability. Although balance can be hard to find, especially in the turmoil of single parenthood, many parents need to be reminded that it is okay to “outsource” help sometimes, and they need to be educated on the resources available. One of the ways balance and stability can be fortified in single parent households is through therapy and counseling. Although counseling and therapy sessions for every individual may be expensive, there are plenty of more affordable options arising today. There are online resources that can help each person to manage their stress and emotions.


Single parents and children of single parents are resilient and strong because we must be, but no one is strong enough to face the battles of life alone, without help. It is important to acknowledge all the challenges single parents face in raising children and help to support them as best as we can as they strive to support their children.












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