Does Society Place Higher Expectations On Single Mothers Of Young Men?

March 11, 2014  |  

Sugar, spice and everything nice.

Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails.

From the day a child is born, there are preconceived notions and expectations placed upon them. Some things good, some bad, but one thing I’ve noticed for sure is that society has summed up their futures along with their parents. When a baby boy is born, it’s assumed that he’ll play sports, eat dirt (for a little while) and grow up to be the leader of his household. When a little girl comes into the world, it’s assumed that she’ll play with dolls, learn to cook and eventually settle down with a nice young man who will help take care of her. When thinking about the way people view children, one can’t help but to think about the way they’ll be raised and who they’ll be raised by. More often than not, it seems as though the plight of single parenthood has elevated to an all-time high in a variety of cultures. Whether we’re talking about a divorced mother and father working together from separate quarters to raise their child, or the unwed man or woman bringing up a child in a single parent home, it is evident that single parenting is a part of the new norm. With that being said, one can’t help but to think about and compare how single mothers of boys have more pressure on them than those raising little girls. How you ask?

When you think about it, single moms of little boys are pressured to make their sons into men on their own. To take things further, not only does an unwed mother deal with the pressures of trying to teach a boy how to be a man, but if he is not successful in his romantic relationships with women, the mother is somehow to blame too. Why? Because it’s a mother’s job in the court of public opinion, to teach her son how to love a woman. It is my opinion that society, communities, schools, and so on and so forth, add stress to a single mom’s job of parenting a male by placing one unrealistic expectation on her after the other, including the idea that a woman has the ability to teach a boy how to be a man. Now don’t get me wrong, women have taught men a number of things, but a woman cannot instruct a boy in the ways of manhood because it is not her experience and she can’t teach what she doesn’t know.

Many people don’t realize that while women are faced with the blessed challenge of parenting, more often than not, subconsciously, single moms add stress to their own lives too by seeking a husband or man to be an in-home example to their male child. And while there are a plethora of good, able-bodied men to have relationships and marriages with, there are a lot of men who aren’t parent material, and don’t want to be.
So how does society assist the single mom of a little boy in a positive manner? By embracing her with positive energy, not judging her, and assisting her when needed, as well as encouraging her to first be the example of a mother. Also, as for men, an unmarried mother of a little boy can also seek a male mentor for her son to assist in his upbringing, of course, from outside of the home. Parenting is a blessing for all who are involved, and it is a job that should be respected and honored no matter what. And regardless of the circumstances, no child’s parental situation should be judged harder than the next because it takes a village to raise a child–both male and female.
What do you think? Does society put more pressure on single moms of boys than they do of girls?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.

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