Sometimes it feels uncanny. Just one day after I posted on the advantages of being raised by a working mom, Slate is opening a series on single moms that challenges the long-held idea that being raised by a single mom leads kids to having problems later in life.
In fact, single motherhood may simply be a proxy for other disadvantages, many of which are thrust on single-parent families by a society that doesn’t provide many options for working moms. In this article, a single mom talks about the valuable lessons her kids have learned from their upbringing, including the hard parts – and they’re asking for more stories like hers.
I’m glad to see this narrative evolving. I was raised by a full-time mom, and there is no way I’d be where I am if she hadn’t fought for opportunities for me at every turn. I don’t know if she could have done all that – demanding that I get a chance to go to a school that would challenge me, and, when I passed the test against all odds, driving me across town so I could go there – if she were working. When we were little, she ran a daycare in the house to help pay the bills. For a working-class family that eventually grew to four children, there weren’t any other options – and besides, being a full-time mom is all she ever wanted. I respect her and her choices enormously.
But we have to leave room for the idea that there’s more than one way to be a good mom. Including single motherhood. Keep it up, Slate.