Single Moms Deserve Praise, Not Cheap Shots

Mother’s Day Editorial as it appeared in the Beaumont Enterprise– May 13, 2012

Glenn Grothman, the Wisconsin State Senator who would have us believe that nonmarital parenthood is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect should take a deeper look at the issues. He purports that government programs are encouraging women to have babies. The one who is causing women, especially very young women to become pregnant out of wedlock, isn’t Uncle Sam.

Single mothers, many with no fathers present, deserve credit for raising productive, successful, and well-adjusted members of society. Examples include presidents: George Washington, one of five children, whose father died when he was eleven, Thomas Jefferson lost his father when he was fourteen, and Andrew Jackson lost his father three weeks before he was born. President Obama’s father left his mother. Though he was raised mostly by his grandparents, his biological father was absent. Other successful people raised by single moms include:  Bill Cosby, Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, Ed Bradley, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Jodie Foster, Ashley and Winona Judd, Hillary Swank, Maya Angelou, and Alicia Keys. Ben Carson, Sr., M.D., a Yale graduate, is a pediatric neurosurgeon who was raised in poverty by a single mother. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.

Closer to home David Dewhurst, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, and his brothers were raised by a single mom, after their father died in an auto accident when he was three years old. Jeff Branick, Jefferson County Judge, the youngest of five children, was raised by a single mother who worked full-time and sometimes held multiple jobs. He says, “I am convinced that, had it not been for the faith she had in me as a teenager I might very well have ended up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system. She is a woman who is full of grace and devotion to family and I am ever thankful for having her as my mom.”  Debbie Bando, the owner of Bando’s, credits here mother, Marie, with sacrificing and dedicating her entire life to raising her and her two younger siblings after their father was killed in an auto accident when Debbie was thirteen years old. “Mom didn’t miss a beat. She was involved in our school activities, worked hard, and taught us how to work as well.  She did everything possible to make sure her children’s needs were met.”

If you still need evidence look around. There are single mothers everywhere, committed every single day to raising strong and productive children.

Statistics, as they are usually reported, paint a grim picture. And the ones sited for children from single parents homes are no exception. We should always be concerned about the welfare of children. However, the persons inflicting abuse should be the targets.  We ought not accuse the single mothers. For a refreshing change, let’s look at the whole picture—the canvas on which the picture is painted. Why not look at some other statistics?

I’d like to see statistics brought to our attention, which could tell us the percentage of:

  • Young women who so craved love that they gave in to the first boy who said, “I love you, darling.” interpreted as “You’re so hot!”
  • Young women who believed their lovers were going to stay with them forever.
  • Young men who actually did.
  • Women who work two or more jobs to support their children.
  • Fathers who don’t pay child support when they are perfectly capable of doing so.
  • Men who refuse jobs that would garnish their wages to clothe and feed the children they fathered.
  • Monies the United States government could save if these fathers all paid their fair share.

Imagine that-all fathers paying child support. Wouldn’t that make for at least a better Mother’s Day for the over 10 million moms who are head of households in the U.S. today?

For more of Gail’s articles go to HER SITE. 

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