The Single Parent’s Anthem has gone viral. Maria-Theresa Sigua posted The Single Mothers Anthem on her blog, Maria’s Random Rants. She also shared The Single Parent’s Anthem on Reddit. The Austin, Texas woman is a mother of four.
The Single Parent’s Anthem
I’m the one who explained why you left, the one who dealt with their anger, their frustration and tears.
I have defended you because it’s better than telling them to give up on you.
And because it hurts less than hating you.
I have paid for all their flights to see you, and even some of yours, so you saw them at all.
I reminded you to call them on their birthdays, to text them during their bad weeks, and then pretended I didn’t.
But I am the one who has been there, since day one and every day in between.
I’m the full-time mother, the part-time father, their financial advisers, their #1 fans, their Lyft service, their advocates, their therapists, and their life teachers.
I planned all their birthday parties and checked off their Christmas lists.
I reemed them when they missed classes, praised them when they got As, and consoled them when they didn’t get the grades they thought they deserved.
Then I helped them look at colleges, filled out their financial aid, and edit their college applications.
I signed their car notes, reviewed their leases, scheduled all their appointments, taught them how to budget and even cook themselves dinner.
I have had the hard conversations with them, the ones about sex, heartbreak, adulting, and how to care for their mental health.
I watched and hurt with them for every single disappointment they’ve had since you left, and to be honest, even all the years before that.
I have taken all of their calls, including the scary ones that came in after 2am.
I picked them up, literally and figuratively, when they were lost.
I taught them about love and loyalty, and also what bull shit smells like.
And while you complain about child support, I creatively find ways to pay the other 90% of their expenses you think you shouldn’t have to cover.
I am the ride-or-die parent, the real-deal-superwoman-single mom, who has sacrificed much to give them lives that don’t lack, despite your absence.
So, when you ask me with callousness and undeserved annoyance, “What the hell do you want,” my simple answer is this –
Be a good dad, a better man.
Respect the mother of your children.
And show some gratitude that while our children may carry your name, they bear all of my heart.
Single mothers and fathers alike relate to Sigua’s experience.
One in Three U.S. Households Led by Single Parents
Sigua’s experience is mirrored in the homes of many single parents throughout the country. Many provide the financial and emotional support of their children. They have little, if any, support from their former partners. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center analysis, about 1 in 3 children in the U.S. are living with a single parent. Approximately 65% live with two married parents. One in five children living in a single parent household lives solely or at least in part with the mother. The percentage of children living solely with fathers is around 4%.
The Frustrations of Single Parents
The challenges of single parents can seem insurmountable. A higher percentage of single parent households live at or below the poverty line. Resources, financial and time, are often stretched. Parents like Sigua are frustrated that their children’s other parent is not involved in the children’s life. Parenting can bring tremendous challenges; single parenting, even more so. Sigua has tapped into the frustrations experienced by single parents struggling to raise children on their own.
Beth Cone Kramer is the author of the upcoming book “Digital Dating Detox.”
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