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In as much as the notion for unmarried mothers is on the rise, most women overlook the consequences of such decisions on their children, society, and even their well-being. Being a single mother comes with a variety of challenges, which is because of the fact that the mother is the sole provider, responsible for their children. The effects of a single mother can be long term and difficult to overcome for both the child and mother. In a nutshell, single mothers face financial, logistical, emotional, and social challenges. These challenges will also have several effects on children.
Single women with children more often than not face financial challenges, which are the greatest challenge in this situation. Single parenthood arises due to various reasons and either way, the surviving parent, in most cases women, face financial challenges. In a normal family set up, there is sharing of bills and resources between the two parents. This reduces the burden one has to carry in relation to family expenses. Since most single mothers have poor background, this trend continues even though they may get jobs, which can help sustain the family. More so, single mothers are also bound in kind and nature of job opportunities and available hours of work due to the abundant family obligations. Limited job opportunities for these women lead to low income and inability to access the basic necessities. In most cases, the unmarried mothers turn to the public for assistance, which would not have been the case had there been both parents.
Logistical challenges occur, when the unmarried women try to balance the capability to provide her family financially and emotionally. There is the need to work full time so that the finances can be sufficient for the family needs, while, at the same time, be there emotionally for her children. This can be challenging to the women because they are only adults in the family. In addition, children depend on the mothers for everything from finances to emotional support. Raising children come with several responsibilities, and it is essential that the mother be present in all these circumstances (Ludtke, 1997). No mother would want to miss or forget the first school experience of her child, but, in most cases, this happens. The impact of this is that children will feel left out and fail to understand the need for the mother to provide for the family. In turn, children can develop resentment towards their mothers because they have no time for them.
Since unmarried mothers have no partners to support them and a family, events and demands of a family may take a toll on them. Lack of a partner to share such emotions forces her to hold back her own feelings for the sake of the children. The mother also has the obligation of helping her children to work through their loneliness and any other unpleasant feelings they may be having. According to the statistics, children from single parenthood always have anger and self-esteem problems. The consequence of choosing single motherhood leaves the women feeling guilty and blaming themselves for the emotional void their children develop. Many responsibilities in the family deprive the woman off her social life because all her time is committed to the family. Lack of mother’s presence at home can profoundly impact on the child’s academic performance.
Further research in to the subject reveals that children born to under-educated single mothers are at a higher risk of engaging in a variety of social problems such as school dropout and ending up in prison. On a more positive note, single parenthood gives rise to independent women who can handle their own problems. The society has for a frightfully long time considered women as weaker and vulnerable species. The fact that these same women can raise and manage their children on their own is a clear indication of the rise of independent women in society. Young girls who grow up in a single parenthood setting learn the management skills from their mothers and always opt to become single mothers.
It is evident from the above statistics and discussion that single women with children are no longer a new thing in the contemporary world. Most women are choosing the single parenthood path for personal reasons, which the paper has explored in the above discussion. In addition to negative attitudes towards men and marriage, most women chose single parenthood because of past experiences with men and their fathers. In as much as this is the growing trend in America, the decision has impacts on the family setting and children. With the increasing permeable society, sociologists predict a rise in the change of family setting as more women in America become independent. However, there are several initiatives, which aim at promoting marriage and family amongst the American societies. For instance, most television adverts employ nuclear families, which can help restore confidence in the family set up.