I know I've said this before, but I'm always blown away by the emails you guys send. It's rarely just a "hey girl, awesome blog" — but rather, paragraphs and paragraphs of deep thoughts and life stories. And I read every word. Your emails are a consistent reminder that A) you guys are smart and articulate, B) the topic of this site is meaningful enough for you to take so much time out of your day to write, and C) you all have stories to tell.
So I'm starting a new series here on Early Mama.
It's tough to churn out enough Q+As and Early Mama spotlight posts, so I'll additionally be opening up my inbox on the blog (with your permission, of course). Because you should be heard.
Let's kick this off with an email I recently got about the CNN article:
From: Kay Subject: Are 20-something unwed moms the new teen moms?
Message Body: I just read your CNN article and I wanted to say, Thank You. Single/young mothers are not the bane of society and we do not endanger the moral fiber of anything. The amount of research dedicated to proving we are is truly sickening. Why are people so afraid of single parents? Do they think we will influence their conceived-in-wed-lock-children to procreate before they get married? Hardly. Being a single parent is the best form of birth control! You will never forget rolling out of bed at 5am to make your baby breakfast so you can be at work by 7:30am.
At 24, I found myself raising my 11 month old baby by myself, not because I was “irresponsible", but apparently birth control and antibiotics don't mix - surprise! Things didn't work out with my child's father, but that didn't immediately make him a problem or a statistic. Pushing young women into stereotypes and statistics just discourages them in an already difficult situation. And why are we not shaming and stereotyping the young men that fathered these children? The last time I checked, women could not reproduce asexually. And why does society feel the need to attack others who stand up for single mothers? I endured my fair share of snide negative comments, and most of these were from older women. I was even quizzed about my son’s health and pointedly asked if I was on welfare from a doctor during a visit for me! It's not irresponsible to defend and support someone who is vulnerable.
When studies are published about what a detriment single mothers are to society, I roll my eyes. Remember the "studies" done about how African Americans were genetically inferior – these single-mother-studies follow the same ignorant thought process. Although I was a single mother at 24, I had a full time job with an employer that paid for my final two years at a university. I finished my BA degree and then enrolled in courses at Stanford as well as Notre Dame. At 33 I make six figures with a 12% bonus - what a detriment and threat to society I turned out to be! My child turned out just fine, he is happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. But more importantly, he is compassionate and understands his actions and words have an impact on others.
Going to school, working, and raising a child was not easy or glamorous - but what if I had actually believed all the regurgitated garbage about single mothers? I probably would not have attended Stanford and Notre Dame, or excelled in my career. Single mothers are not the danger to society, it is those who would bully and manipulate them into believing they are not capable, and are ultimately worthless.
My favorite quote always reminds me that we have Free Will and only we can determine our path; We refuse to bow down and conform to the watered-down restrained version of life that the lies of society would have mold our very beings. We need more people encouraging single/young mothers to be strong and push forward in their lives, not spewing negative statistics and stereotypes.
Thanks again for your article.
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