Single mums are often looked down upon because of the “absence” of a family or the absence of a certain partnership that comes with bringing up a child. This stigma of being a single mum has long faded into the fabric of life and needs to be addressed – it should never be categorised as a bad thing.
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The choice of being a single mum
There are numerous reasons why a woman might opt to be a single mum. That’s not the issue. The issue is that you’ve made that choice. Yes, you made the choice to raise your child alone. Some might argue that being widowed isn’t a choice you make, but one that is made for you. Okay, I’ll agree, but you’ll eventually make the choice to date, or not.
No matter what the reason is, single mums should not be persecuted, ostracised or punished. Instead, a single mum should be encouraged to persevere and afforded the same opportunities as single women or married mums for making life better for themselves and their children.
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The only way to go is forward
Once a child is born, there is nowhere to go but forward. Besides, doesn’t every child deserve to be given every opportunity in life to succeed, to have a happy, healthy childhood and to reach their potential? Of course they do! Punishing single mums by denying them the help and encouragement traditional families receive is sending the children of these families (yes, they are a family) the message that they are less valued and second-rate. How untrue and unfair is that!
As far as the social stigma of single parenthood goes, let’s take our heads out of the sand. While we may not agree morally or ethically, the fact still remains that a child’s life is at stake and they don’t deserve to be treated sub-par. They did not ask to be born! Aside from that, what good does it do a family, society and the government to hold someone back from being educated, employed and self-sustaining?
Many single mums are denied baby bonuses as well as maternity leave and healthcare benefits for their children. Single mums who have no marriage partner to help with the responsibilities of raising a child are, therefore, left with no one. And as a result, both mother and child suffer. My question is why? Why should any child be set apart in such a way?
Children of single mums who are denied the opportunity to excel and ‘blossom’ tend to be those who are prone to disruptive, delinquent and violent behaviour. The frustration and social blight they grow up in, boils over into adulthood. No, this is not an excuse for irresponsible behaviour, but it is a reason–one that is fixable.