English Composition II 707
Two Isn’t Always Better Then One
I remember waddling wretchedly down the halls juggling a pile of books around the beach ball that was attached to my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get to my next class so that I could rest my swollen ankles, and catch my breath. Finally, I had made it! I impatiently plopped down in my chair to feel a sudden puddle collecting beneath me, and a sharp pain that flooded my body as if I had been hit by a truck! I was in labor, and my beautiful baby girl was on her way.
November 3rd, 2009, was a day I will never forget. I brought a stunning 6 lb. 7 oz. bundle of joy into this world, and I did it all on my own. It was truly love at first sight, however, I knew being a single parent wasn’t going to be easy!
It’s now three years later and I’ll be the first to admit that becoming a single mother at such a young age has ruined my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! One quarter of this countries children are being raised by single women, and what those18 million children don’t need is the burden of society’s judgment (Banks). Arianah is a brilliant child and she loves everyone unconditionally, even her father that she sees twice a month. I know the relationship she has with her dad isn’t the healthiest, but I make sure her life at home is unwavering to make up for it.
I strive to make everything at home routine and stable. I try to include her in almost everything I do. Every morning we wake up and eat breakfast as a family, brush our teeth, and get ready for the day. On days I attend school Arianah also goes to “school” at the daycare down the road, at the same time every day she naps, we each do some homework and we eat dinner together. Our bedtime routine is also non-negotiable. She is soaking in a warm tub exploding with bubbles at 8o’clock and is snug in bed by 9 every night. Although I do wish I could stay at home with my daughter every day, she loves the attention she receives while were together and realistically being a stay at home mom isn’t an option in single parent families. Journalist E.J Dionne believes that” balancing work time and family needs has become one of the nation’s most challenging problems.” (Dionne). According to Harvard economics lecturer Juliet Schor, in comparison to the 1960s the average American employee has added about 160 hours of work to his or her yearly schedule. (Schor). Commenters agree that inadequate family time is especially harmful for children. This proves to be true, but why are we pointing fingers at single parents? It is very common for both parents in traditional family homes to work and rely on both incomes. We do the best we can and we will not let our families’ fate be determined by the ignorant stereotypes people place on single parent households. While my job may take quality time from my daughter and I, I don’t work any longer then the parents of traditional family homes so it is unfair to put stereotypes on single mothers rather than criticize all parents. This isn’t the only stereotype placed on single parents that should be looked at among all parents.
John Hirst labels single mothers as “giving in to junk food, day time T.V, and no-good boyfriends.” (Hirst). Another stereotype psychologists have is that children who grow up with only one biological parent are faced with many disadvantages. They have said these children are twice as likely to drop out of high school, 2.5 times as likely to become teen mothers, and 1.4 times as likely to be lazy and out of school or work.(McLanahan). Every time I hear these assumptions I cringe. The outcomes of things like this rely solely on the parenting skills, not how many parents are available to enforce the rules. The author of When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children, agrees that children are adversely affected by this lack of parental supervision (Hewiett).
I know from experience that growing up...