This post has been sponsored by Angel Soft through my partnership with The Motherhood.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 is Single Parent’s Day and I’ll be celebrating my mother. She’s one of millions (yes MILLIONS!) of parents who raise children alone and I’m extremely grateful that she chose to push through and didn’t give up.
And I know it wasn’t easy. In fact, the longer I’ve been married and raising my kids as a couple, the more I realize just how hard it was for her. There is so much to do and kids have so many needs, it creates a great deal of pressure for anyone who has to parent alone. My husband was also raised by a single mother and when we consider how much our mothers sacrificed to raise us well, it compels us to keep working together to raise our children together. For me, it’s also fostered an appreciation and respect for all the single parents I know, which is why I’m grateful for the opportunity to celebrate them this month.
Single Parents in the U.S.
There are 12 million single parent families in the U.S. 84% of single parent households are single mother families (9.8 million) and 16% are single father families. Here are some eye-opening statistics about finances in single parent families:
- The 2013 median income for families led by a single mother was about $26,000 (one-third the median for married couple families, which is $84,000).
- Nearly half of single mother households have an annual income less than $25,000
- 39% of single dads have an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
I’m not sure how close my own mother’s numbers were to these, but I know she worked extremely hard to make sure she always had an income and I was always provided for. And, while there were many times she had to tell me no, I never went without food, a place to live, or an assurance that I was loved. Of course, I compared myself to the other kids who did things and had things I didn’t. The truth is, I turned out just fine without those things and I believe I’m better off for having had that experience.
Don’t Forget the Village
That’s my mama in the picture above (She hates that picture, so don’t tell her I posted it!). We’re standing outside of church, where she found a great deal of support and where I still find support today. The people there were a part of our “village,” which was rounded out by a wonderful family that helped her raise me.
I wouldn’t be where I am without her or without the help of the family and friends who babysat, changed diapers, gave advice, bought birthday gifts, drove me around, gave me lessons and sat through plays and concerts. From the moment I was born, I was everybody’s baby. I know that made a huge difference and helped alleviate some of the stress my mother endured as a single parent.
That encourages me to always be a part of someone else’s village and, if you’re a single parent, I’d like to encourage you to make sure you have a village of your own. By the way, this week, I’m joining your village–I’m here cheering you on, thanking you for all you do and letting you know it is indeed worth it.
Celebrate a Single Parent
Whether you have a single parent, are a single parent or know a single parent, make a point to celebrate a single parent this week. You can learn more and join the conversation by following the hashtag #SingleParentsDay on social media. Also, in recognition of National Single Parent’s Day, Georgia-Pacific’s Angel Soft toilet paper brand is launching a poignant video celebrating and recognizing the joys and challenges of being a single parent. Check it out:
That’s all for now. If you have a single parenting story to share, I’d love to hear about it. Let’s chat in the comments below or on The MamaZone’s Facebook page.