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By: Thorin Klosowski.


While society's commitment to promoting equality for all parents is only getting stronger, social perceptions of single moms and single d still vary greatly. Let's investigate the disparities and pinpoint how we can do better to support all solo parents. We know all too well that while raising in a two-parent household is tough, raising solo is a whole different ballgame. And it's one that more and more parents are having to take on.

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In the United States, the most Other single parents census data found that while most sole-parent families with kids under 18 are overseen by a mother 8. While many studies on single parenthood focus on the health and wellbeing of single mothers, there is not much data out there to look to on single fathers. The OECD report defines single parents as people living with at least one biological or adopted child and includes those who may have been divorced, separated, widowed, single, never married, or not living with a partner.

As the of single parents continues to grow in the U. Everyone from influencers on social media to candidates running for president is pushing for policy and societal change that can support solo parent households. Yet, single mothers and single fathers continue to be held to different standards and face different expectations and pressures.

Louis and author of Making Motherhood Work.

A ninefold increase since

This idealized view of motherhood has roots that are as old as time, but it bears looking at the concept of "intensive mothering," originally defined by Sharon Hays in her book The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. Intensive mothering is the "underlying assumption that the child absolutely requires consistent nurture by a single primary caretaker and that the mother is the best person for the job," wrote Hays. Additionally, Other single parents mothering defines a "good" mother as one who devotes her full time, energy, and attention to her children, summarizes Dr.

This expectation causes single moms to be judged more harshly than single d when things fall through the cracks like a forgotten homework asment at school or being late to pick kids up from childcare, says Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, Ph. This can be particularly problematic when looking at how custody is awarded in the U. Gardere points out. Single mothers confirm they're facing these pressures and high expectations every day and are even shamed when their abilities don't match up to the ideal.

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Sabrina Rickenbach, 40, a widowed mom of an 8-year-old daughter in Malvern, Pennsylvania, says she has seen firsthand that single moms are expected to be able to do it all—and then some. It actually seems like everyone just expects me to be able to handle everything.

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I try my best to keep up, but there are days that I am just tired. Then there's the fear for single moms that if they don't prove they can do it all and have it all together, they will be judged for it. What are the odds? Christine Michel Carter33, author of Mom AFsays the pressure for her to present as a perfect mom is even harder for her as a single black mom, since she says the stereotype makes her out to be "struggling, angry, unkempt, and depressed.

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Daniel Ortega, a year-old dad in Boston and founder of Single Parent Societyhas sole custody of his three kids, aged 6, 5, and 3. He says that when he's out with his kids, it's not unusual for strangers to act surprised that he is parenting and say things like, "Mom have the day off?

When they learn I was a single dad, that's when all the praise comes. He agrees with Dr. Gardere that remarks like these stem from the "inept dad" stereotype. That's likely why d are praised when things go right and moms are shamed when they do not.

Ortega adds that he feels for the single mothers he knows.

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If they look at their phone at the playground to take a break, they are a terrible mom. Damon D'Arienzoa year-old Boston-based dad of a 9-year-old girl, says that d are generally perceived as the subordinate parent, and this has caused him to feel like he has to constantly prove himself in order to be taken seriously as a parent.

A teacher defaults Other single parents the mother when sharing school information. I typically just shrug it off as letting it get to me does no good. Instead, I can use this energy to be a better father for my daughter. Most of the research on single parenthood that exists has been centered on moms, says Michelle Janning, Ph. The report in The Lancet Public Health confirms the fact, citing findings that single moms have a greater risk of mortality, poorer self-rated health and mental health, higher levels of psychological distress, and generally lower socio-economic status than partnered mothers.

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But despite being a growing population, single fathers are largely understudied. Research might also help inform more resources for single d that they say are sorely lacking—such as support groups and forums.

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Ortega wishes society could better understand what it's like not to be a single mom or single dad, necessarily, but to be a single parent—full stop. You are still doing everything everyone else is doing; it's just more difficult and more exhausting.

Christine Coppa, author of Rattled! For Coppa, showing up looks like devoting " percent" of herself to her son's well-being, academics, and athletics.

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It's undeniable that gender disparity continues to exist between single fathers and single mothers. Janning believes promoting equality among single moms and d starts with the way we socialize .

Where can you meet other single parents?

In addition to encouraging girls to both be the breadwinner and have children if they want, she would like to see us socialize boys and young men to see themselves as caregivers and nurturers. It's time we kicked these antiquated perceptions to the curb. Collins says that as a country we can look to other developed nations like Sweden that offer much more support for single parents for inspiration and motivation for change. For instance, single parents in Sweden receive days of government-mandated paid parental leave and financial support for housing.

Without similar benefits and given the added social pressures, it's hard to be a single parent in the U. In order for that to change, single parents must be seen and supported equally. I have been a single father for over 6 years and I do not get the same respect as single mothers Other single parents nor the resources I have full custody of my children my child's mom left me and went to another city and had a baby with someone else and she has not seen the kids in 5 years she has visitation but she still chooses not to see the kids she does not even answer their calls when they call her a mother day she does not pay me child support she does not help School the kids and she does not by Christmas gifts she does nothing for the kids but yet women get more resources than men this is unfair and I want to work to change this.

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I am a single dad and I have had full custody of my kids for over 6 years two of my kids mothers have not seen them and 6 years I am a African-American male I have to do everything for my kids myself as far as taking them to the school and the doctor it is hurtful that they do not have programs for single fathers that need help it seems bias that they only want to help mothers but they forget about the fathers and my predicament I have three daughters and two sons and I love them very much and I do everything for them it just hurts when I need help just like single Other single parents need help there are no resources for men.

I think this article is generally true. And although I sometines receive, now, praise for being a single father--it is double-edged My internalization of the stereotype of the 'capable mother' in spite of all evidence to the contrary may even have contributed to my reticence to defend myself in the all too important initial phases, compounding the issue a thousand fold.

I just now read this. Is the writer joking? Single mothers are judged more harshly than single fathers? Single fathers - especially those who have received custody - are pd to have "taken" their children from mothers, pd to have more money than mothers utterly untrue and ignored or judged with raised eyebrows by society.

Your writer needs to get out more. This article is fraught with bias. Single Moms vs.

Where can single parents meet for support, friendship and more?

By Maressa Brown November 25, Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Save Pin FB More. Single moms versus single d. Carolynne Harvey. Carolynne Harvey and her daughter. Credit: Courtesy of Carolynne Harvey. Christine Michel Carter and kids 2. Christine Michel Carter and her children.

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Credit: Courtesy of Christine Michel Carter. Daniel Ortega and. Daniel Ortega and his children. Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Ortega.

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Damon D'Airenzo 1. Damon D'Airenzo and his daughter. Credit: Courtesy of Damon D'Airenzo. Comments 5. Sort by: Newest.

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Single parent groups are there to provide a space to meet other people who understand what it's like to be a single parent.


One single mother has set out to change that.


Great, I thought.


Do you remember the last time you made a new friend?