SINGLE PARENTHOOD: CHILD ABUSE?
“Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin Senator proposes law that declares single parenthood child abuse. He is also an admitted opponent of the social welfare system and believes it encourages women to have children out of wedlock.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/glenn-grothman-wisconsin-law-single-parenthood-child-abuse_n_1316834.html)
Women have been getting pregnant since the beginning of days. When speaking to the family gynecologist, he told my mother that pregnancy is just a thing that happens to a large extent. Women young and old, married/unmarried gets pregnant sometimes out of choice and sometimes unexpectedly. They either choose to keep their children or terminate the pregnancy. While every child deserves a mother and father, the choice to keep or terminate a pregnancy is largely solely the woman’s choice. Yes, absolutely this can make it unfair for a man that might not want any children. Nevertheless, there is an easy remedy for that problem, protect yourself with condoms or get a vasectomy if you don’t want children. This goes for men and women the same.
This made me think of something I saw on MSNBC Sunday that disturbed me. They equated a woman losing her right to choose with a homeless mother that is going to jail for 12 years on drug charges and using a false address to put her child in a better school. The reporter on MSNBC said something to the extent that more of that would happen if a woman’s right to choose was taken completely away. I was highly, HIGHLY offended by that comment. As in the course of life, things happen, people lose jobs, family members pass away, every homeless person didn’t make bad decisions per se they may have just had a course of bad experiences they have yet to bounce back from.
Oddly I went to see Good Deeds this weekend (IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE AND PLAN ON SEEING IT STOP READING THIS BLOG NOW). Thandie’s role was that of a single mother. We are introduced to her with the property manager knocking on her door telling her the rent is due. She then checks her mattress to count the rent money she’d been saving, grabs her daughter and goes to her place of employment to get her check early. The check was only for $112. She was distraught as she’d worked 80 hours only to learn that the IRS was garnishing her wages. At first only working a day shift, she had to pick up a night shift but had no day care or help for her child. She then takes her daughter to school where the Principal informs Thandie that her daughter’s teacher has been complaining that she comes to school late and picks her up late. She leaves the school, returns back to her apartment only to find that her things had been set out by the landlord and the money she had in her mattress to pay her rent was gone! Now she and her daughter were homeless.
Is this the ideal life for a child, absolutely not, did Thandie love her daughter and do the best she could absolutely. There was no drug or alcohol abuse involved. Later we find out that Thandie was married, in nursing school, her husband was in the war, died and everything fell on her. One thing after another happened, she had no family to help her and she was doing the best that she could to keep it all together but things just fell apart.
So what about the single mothers that become that way through the death of a husband or father? What about single fathers who become that way because a mother dies on the child birthing table? Will there be separate rules for unwed single mothers and wed mothers who become single by way of divorce or death?
I feel like it is a thin dangerous line to compare single parenting to child abuse. There are plenty of successful people that came from single parent homes as well as a traditional nuclear family, just as there are plenty of non-successful people that came from both types of homes as well. There is never one contributing factor to the well-being of child. A child could be in an abusive 2 parent home just as they could be in an abusive single family home.
What are your thoughts? Should single parenting be considered child abuse? As a single mother, I say no of course :-)
Be a blessing and be blessed,