All Articles Tagged "single parents"
According to an article in The Atlantic, “The National Marriage Project reports that 58 percent of first births in lower-middle-class households and 40 percent of all U.S. births are to unwed mothers.” This is being attributed to young adults in the United States who delay getting married until their mid-20s.
This means that more and more single moms are out there navigating uncharted territory and they are definitely not a one-size-fits-all group. Maybe they are parenting without an active father. Maybe they’re single, but co-parenting with the child’s father. Maybe they are co-parenting with a stepfather. And then there are those women who find themselves parenting alone the death of a co-parent.
I fell into that last group. I got married and found myself parenting our two boys alone after my husband died. So, I’d like to share some lessons I learned you might find helpful as you walk down the path of being a single mother.
Read more at YourTango.com.
I have to admit, I was that annoying friend who got giddy over Valentine’s Day. Regardless of whether I had a Valentine or not, I LOVED Valentine’s Day! One of my fondest memories from high school was my senior year. My entire group of friends were all single so I bought them all candy, flowers, and balloons, and had it delivered to them in their classrooms and after school we went bowling. It was a great night.
I carried that tradition with me to college. Even if I had a boyfriend, I would get gifts for my friends. I just love celebrating it. It wasn’t until last Valentine’s Day that I experienced a funk. It was just over a month since I’d left my husband and became a single mother. I took advantage of my daughter not knowing that it was Valentine’s Day and moped around feeling sorry for myself and thinking about my failed marriage.
But, I am back to my giddy love of Valentine’s Day with a new understanding of how lonely it can be for single parents. So, I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone, and though you might not have a spouse to share it with, there’s still a very special person(s) who will be happy to fill that void for you. So, if you’re a single parent and feeling a little anxious for Valentine’s Day, here are a few things to think about:
First, try to revamp how you look at Valentine’s Day. Instead of seeing it as a day for lovers, see it as a day to express the love you have for your family, your friends, and most importantly your child(ren). They are in your lives, and they deserve the recognition of loving you when you might feel as though you’re unlovable. Especially your children. They don’t want to see their mother or father sad and feeling lonely when they are there to offer comfort. Celebrate this day with them.
Second, while you’re celebrating your love with them, celebrate them as well. Take the same drive that you might have used to make Valentine’s Day special for your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend and use it to make it special for your child. Surprise them with gifts and other tokens to remind them that they are special and loved on this day.
Finally, pick a fun activity to do with them. Turn decorating into a joint arts and crafts project. Bake valentine treats and allow them to help you, or take them out to something they might enjoy, like bowling, skating, or the movies. Something to bring a smile to their face and let them know that even though you love them all year round, Valentine’s Day is just another day to celebrate their presence in your life.
Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m stuffing “HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!” down your throat. But, just speaking from personal experience, sitting back with contempt for Valentine’s Day (and those stupid happy couples that seem to mock you with their relationships) isn’t going to help you. Your child is there, and that child/children loves you, and they deserve the same attention that you would want a significant other to shower you with, or what you would shower them with. So, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS, DARNIT!
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Let’s tweet about it, @kkoger
I think BET has been listening to the critics who’ve urged the network to develop more quality programing. On Monday, a special edition of “106 & Park” titled, “Young, Single, and Parenting,” will explore the responsibilities and challenges teen parents will face while raising their child.
The episode will show what it’s like to be an expecting parent at an alternative school and what a day in the life of a single teen parent really looks like. In-studio testimonials from members of the 106 audience will also be broadcast and the network will host a live online chat at BET.com/YSPTips for viewers to ask experts parenting questions.
Rapper-actor Tray Chaney and artist Don Trip will also appear on Monday’s show to discuss their experience as young parents. Hopefully the show, which airs Monday, Jan.30 at 6 pm EST, will be a success and 106 will keep using its platform to educate the youth.
Do you think shows like this have potential to strongly effect teens?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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There is an interesting theory behind what caused the most recent East Coast earthquake, which is that when people, mostly black, first heard the rumor that Will and Jada Smith had separated, the energy and vibration from the collective groaning caused the earth’s fault planes to shift. Of course, this is only a joke but judging by the near apocalyptic reaction some folks were having to the rumored split, I am willing to give this joke some attention.
As a society we have this weird thing of relating to celebrities and their triumphs, mistakes and pain more easily than to our own friends and neighbors. I took notice of this occurrence again on Sunday night when Beyonce announced her pregnancy live on the VMA’s red carpet. I wasn’t watching the program; I was doing dishes and mopping up water, which leaked from the ceiling during Hurricane Irene. However, my Facebook page lit up with stories about the announcement, along with congratulatory well-wishes, questions about the due date and long threads about what they should name the baby. One person in my network even reported that she had shed tears upon hearing the news. My own reaction to the news was much more simplistic, “Oh that’s nice. I hope her baby is healthy.” Then I went back to mopping the floor.
Immediately after Beyonce and Jigga Man tied the knot, there was constant speculation about when we might expect a bun in the oven. “When?! When?! When are they going to have a baby??!” Seriously, people were asking the question before Beyonce and Jay even had a chance to consummate their marriage. And when Beyonce finally addressed the speculation in an interview that a baby wouldn’t be in her cards – not in the near future anyway – folks responded with outrage and made charges that she was being selfish for denying herself, and more importantly, the world an off-spring. Like, why else would anyone get married if it’s not to procreate, right?
The tide has obviously turned for them. Many of the same folks, who once chastised Beyonce for waiting for motherhood, are rushing to sing the praises of how the couple, but more specifically Beyonce, “did it the right way.” You know, the correct order of things: dating, marriage and then the kid. Never mind that her better half is a 41 year old man, who still grabs his crotch out in public and wears his hat turned backwards. But more to the point, this whole “look at the positive role Bey is setting for young women” conversation, which is now happening around the blogosphere, reeks of Slore-shaming.
Beneath the celebratory “she did it the right way” discussion is an underlining message, which seeks to shame and stigmatize women, who for whatever reason, go in on motherhood alone. Some bloggers see Beyonce’s pregnancy as some sort of triumph over single women, who have gotten pregnant before or outside of marriage. And as such, Beyonce’s baby bump and wedding ring have now become kindling to further flame the existence of these unwed women, who by virtue of their singledom, are obviously failures at motherhood and are incapable of rearing a child with morals and values worthy of society.
Eric Legette is the founder and president of Fathers With Voices, an organization that helps fathers navigate the family court system and get access to their children. He has a book called “Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama” and he recently sat down with AOL Black Voices to talk about his work.
“Men are paying Trump Plaza prices in legal fees but receiving Motel 6 services. When men register for the program, they are going to receive a wealth of information including constant support and follow-up,” said Legette.
Click here to read more about his program and why Legette says this the year of empowerment for fathers.
Do you know any men who are trying to do right by their children, but are being undermined by the children’s mother?
Managing finances can be a struggle, especially when you’re a single parent. You have the challenge of running all aspects of a household, working and raising a child, alone. It’s tough to stay organized and sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. However, it’s very important for you and your child that money management is intact.
The easiest way to pay off debts, maintain good credit, save and live within your means is to create a budget. Wealthy people know where every cent goes and you should, too. When you know exactly how much is coming in, how much is going out and where all of it is going, you can make responsible decisions and be better prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances. This is especially important when you’re all you have for support—financially, emotionally and physically. Your child doesn’t need to know or see the madness mismanagement creates when funds are surprisingly low. As a parent, it is also your responsibility to teach good habits and be the first example of financial planning.
Your budget should account for all income (excluding child support and/or alimony) and fixed and variable expenses. Child support and alimony should only be included as a reliable source of income when the father has a strong track record of paying in full and on time. Expenses should be listed according to importance. That way, if you are currently in over your head and can’t afford to pay everything on time (if at all), you know which bills are most pressing. Additionally, allocations to an emergency fund (six months worth of total living expenses) and savings should take precedence over clothing allowances and entertainment for you.
Single Mom Financial Help is a great resource for single mothers looking to spend wisely. The site offers printable monthly budget and grocery list forms to help track your funds and prevent overspending. There are also free budget calculators online.
Below is a sample of where your money should go when preparing your budget:
|Miscellaneous (Life Ins., Entertainment, etc.)||5-10%|
Are you a single mom? What financial advice do you have for your fellow single parents?
About half the marriages in our lifetime will end in divorce. Divorce takes a toll on the husband and wife as well as the family dynamic. As a result, children of unhappily wed couples often show signs of turmoil, emotional detachment and despair. The Center for Marriages and Families at the Institute for American Values indicates that divorce rates are higher in black households, and that divorce is affecting more black children, than any other ethnic group.
Here are just a few different ways that divorce impacts black youth:
Raised by a single mom, NBA All-Star Shawn Marion is betting that he can raise public awareness and funds to support single parents with his 1st annual Shawn Marion Foundation Celebrity Poker tournament.
This is the exact question a white co-worker of mine, KC, asked me a while back. I, a very single mom, was taken aback for a minute, OK, for about a half hour.