For Potential Givers: A Feed-A-Single-Parent-Family Primer.

Since launching our holiday Feed-A-Single-Parent-Family holiday initiative yesterday, we’ve received overwhelming response, both from families in need and from generous supporters interested in donating. To streamline the process for the latter, here are some additional details and a separate form for those looking to give a grocery gift card to a family that could really […]

Tanya Fields, Melissa Harris-Perry and the Single Mom Moment Heard ‘Round the Sister Circle.

People focus on the parts of single motherhood narratives that make them feel comfortable/superior while discarding single mothers' dynamism — stacia l. brown (@slb79) November 8, 2013 On Friday, The New School hosted an historic conversation between black feminist academics bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry. A public meeting long anticipated, the talk yielded high online […]

14 Lies Single Mothers Hear About Marriage.

A single mother’s ears are always burning. People just can’t seem to resist talking about us. I wrote about the tendency society has to talk about — not to — unmarried mothers for The Atlantic last weekend (and if you haven’t already, take a minute to bookmark The Atlantic’s Sexes channel, where our article appeared. It’s great!), but what I didn’t say is that we aren’t completely ignored when talk of marriage emerges. Sometimes, people do, in fact, address us directly. And when they do, it’s hard to believe some of the things that come up.

Here are a few of the untruths and half-truths we single mothers are often told about marriage. (If you’ve heard one we haven’t mentioned, feel free to add your own in our comments section.)

1. If he left, he never loved you.

We get this one a lot — and if someone believes this, there’s little you can say to convince them otherwise. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Loving and leaving are not mutually exclusive. The former isn’t always enough to prevent the latter. As painful as it is to have someone walk away from a relationship — especially after children — the last thing you need to feel is pressure to defend yourself as lovable.

2. If he’d married you, he wouldn’t have left so easily/quickly/cavalierly.

Not only does this comment assume your partner left “easily,” it also presumes that marrying a person who would be inclined to leave at all would somehow change his core personality. Legally, marriage makes dissolving a romantic partnership more difficult. But it doesn’t prevent a partner from walking away, especially if he would consider a child, a hardship, or an emotional trigger as a reason to do so.

3. If you’ve been married before, you’re not “really” a single mother.

Women from various backgrounds and with a number of different relationship statuses identify as single. Divorced women are among them. In some cases, they are the sole or primary caregivers and providers for their children.

Continue reading “14 Lies Single Mothers Hear About Marriage.”

Single Motherhood and Situational Poverty.

Early this morning, Newark Mayor Cory Booker ended his week-long social experiment/activist’s exercise, the SNAP Challenge. Booker spent seven days subsisting only on whatever food he could afford to purchase with food stamps (aka SNAP benefits). The exercise was intended to raise awareness about poverty in the U.S. and the inefficacy of the current food […]