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The Obstacles of Single Parents

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Jane Doe
June 30, 2012
Baby Mama Essay

No Time For Games “Fathers are so important… kids need somebody other than their moms to talk to, to give them guidance about what men should do, how men think. You need a man around to know how a man feels” (Britt). The pride and determination of women to pull through, despite all odds when raising a child can sometimes blind them from the needs of the child. As much as they say that they may not need a man to raise the child, the studies and statistics speak otherwise. Trying to raise a child in a home where only one parent is present will not only bring financial and various other challenges for the mother and child. The unstable foundation of not having the father around can have a strong effect on the way the kid socializes, whether it is with his peers or making decisions. For instance, the kid is more likely to address a problem violently because of the underling anger that he naturally feels for not having his father in his life. In addition the child sometimes blames the mother for the absentee father and therefore becomes less responsive to the discipline that the mother is trying to instill in the child. A 14-year old study of 6000 males, ages 14 to 22…found that boys with absentee fathers are twice as likely to be incarcerated as those from traditional two-parent families regardless of their race, income and parents education” (Britt). Although the mother can have the drive and potential to be an excellent parent, the financial responsibility is still present. Someone has to feed this child and since “the average welfare check was only about $370 a month” (Deparle). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the mother will have to either work to have some type of steady income or fail to provide for her child. Consequently, leaving a gap where the child is not always being taken care of and thus creating an opportunity for the child to participate in risky behaviors while the mother is out working. Unfortunately the financial struggles can have other correlating effects on the quality of life of both the mother and child; specifically on the child’s educational goals and motivation. In many cases, the parent just does not make enough money to provide the child with the resources for school. In an article from The New York Times the author explains how one woman cut her self back to a meal a day just to buy her son a pair of $50 sneakers. Similarly, some mothers were forced to home school the child because they lacked winter clothes. Actions like these can affect the child’s performance in school because they may miss the information that is being taught to the other children and are more likely to get discouraged when they run into something that they aren’t familiar with, thus making them less confident. In addition, the child also sets low academics goals partly because their role model “the single mother” never got the chance to pursue a career because of all the factors that they have to deal with being a single mother. Consequently, the child sets low academic goals and is more susceptible to “emotional problems, school failure and of becoming single parents themselves when compared to children with two parents” (Glanton). Despite all the challenges, studies and statistics being against the single parent, why would anyone decide to dive upon such a heavy burden? The most commonly seen cases are woman that are from low income areas that, “before, pregnancy, these young women’s lives were often spinning out of control, dogged by school failure, struggles with parents and peers, the lure of drugs and alcohol and the omnipresent dangers of their neighborhood streets” (Edin, Kefalas). For them, a baby serves as a purpose to life, like the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite being under such harsh conditions their baby gives them a reason to fight on and usually; although extremely difficult it can result in something positive for these young mothers. Although, the poor aren’t the only ones taking on the challenge; others like the financially stable also dare to participate despite all odds but even they have problems. For example Mary Patino, a single mother who works and makes a steady income says she does not stress about the money but admits, “As a mom, I know they need a lot more time.”(Gardner) going back to the fact that kids require a certain investment of time, in order to raise them properly.
All in all, the single parents still share the common challenges of being a single parent and sometimes are too busy to notice the developing issues growing within the child both present and future. Again, this doesn’t stop these woman and they’d much rather ride through the up hill battle and figure it out than to have no child at all. They are brave indeed, and rather choose to live by the saying “What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.”

Works Cited
Britt, Donna. “Feeling a Bit Scared in a Brave New Father-Free World.” The Washington Post. 4 Sept 1998.
Web. 11 July 2012.
DeParle, Jason. “Debunking Welfare Myths Professor Pruduces Hard Data to Counter Stories of Cadillc-and-Steak Lifestyles. “Seattle Post-Intelligence. 8 June 1997. Web. 11 July 2012.
Edin, Kathryn. “Understanding Baby Mamas.” Single Parent Handout. 14 Aug. 2005
Web. 11 July 2012.
Gardner, Marilyn. “How Kids Fare in New Welfare Era.”Single Parent Handout. 16 April 2002. Web. 11 July 2012.
Glanton, Dahleen. “Rise in Single Mother Driven by Older Women.”Chicago Tribune. 17 Dec. 2006. Web. 11 July 2012.

Cited: Britt, Donna. “Feeling a Bit Scared in a Brave New Father-Free World.” The Washington Post. 4 Sept 1998. Web. 11 July 2012. DeParle, Jason. “Debunking Welfare Myths Professor Pruduces Hard Data to Counter Stories of Cadillc-and-Steak Lifestyles. “Seattle Post-Intelligence. 8 June 1997. Web. 11 July 2012. Edin, Kathryn. “Understanding Baby Mamas.” Single Parent Handout. 14 Aug. 2005 Web. 11 July 2012. Gardner, Marilyn. “How Kids Fare in New Welfare Era.”Single Parent Handout. 16 April 2002. Web. 11 July 2012. Glanton, Dahleen. “Rise in Single Mother Driven by Older Women.”Chicago Tribune. 17 Dec. 2006. Web. 11 July 2012.

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