Essay about Single Mother

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In order to understand the single mother community, it is important to not only look at worldly perceptions but also at how single mothers view themselves. This cohort is statistically growing every year. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) cited that 21% of all families with young children were headed by a single female in Australia in 2011. This marks a 7% increase from 1986 (as cited in Le & Miller, 2013). Therefore, multiple countries have implemented measures in order to support this vulnerable group. In particular, the Nordic region of Europe is recognized for its progressive standards, specifically regarding work. In Sweden, the government has federal childcare programs and policies that focus on gender and family equality. As publicized by The Swedish National Agency for Education (2007), 9 out of 10 children between the ages 1 in 5 are in Swedish public childcare services, spending an average of 32 hours a week there (as cited in Roman, 2017). Fritzell (2011) suggested that the cultural expectation in Sweden that all parents should remain employed increases the use of federal services (as cited in Roman, 2017). However, even with strong supportive measures, many single mothers have difficulty utilizing the resources they are entitled to.

In a qualitative study, 39 Swedish single mothers spoke about their experiences regarding time and money constraints. Common themes emerged for each interview, many speaking on the significance of close social networks. Single mothers were heavily dependent on their social networks, or secondary caregivers. These individuals would supplement the mothers’ care in work-schedule conflicts and unpredictable events (e.g. if a child got sick). Mothers expressed immense gratitude for this support, however, they felt guilty and indebted to their social network. The interviewed mothers also discussed the ‘money-care dilemma’, or the time dedication to work in order to financially support their children even though this resulted in less primary care time (Roman, 2017, p. 33). Thus, single mothers felt like they were unable to successfully achieve the standard of being a ‘good’ parent as they were unable to be as involved in their children’s lives in comparison to wedding mothers (Roman, 2017).

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These themes are similar to Black single working mothers in America. Like Sweden, America holds mothers to a standard of involved parenting or intensive mothering. Mothers are expected to delegate an immense amount of time and emotions into their mothering, in order to feel validated as a good mothers. Elliot, Powell, and Brenton (2015) conducted a case study on 16 low-income black single mothers to gather information on how an intersectional identity influences a mother’s view on parenting. In the United States, as cited by Kriedel and Ellis (2011), “50.4% of black children lived with single mothers, compared with 18.5% of white children (as cited in Elliot et al., 2015, p. 353). Therefore, it is known that the majority of single mothers and children raised by single mothers in the United States are among the black racial group. These women stressed the importance of protection, self-reliance, and sacrifice. They viewed their own involvement in parenting to be the determinant of whether or not their child succeeds, not blaming the constraints. Mothers sacrificed their education, and romantic, and social lives in order for their children to have better lives. For example, one participant, Millicent, shared that she sacrificed her own education in order to work more to support her children. This is a paradox as her stability in the long term will be reduced without higher education (Elliot et al., 2015, 2015).

All of the mothers emphasized that their children will always be put first, putting their needs before their own (Elliot et al., 2015). This idea is reflected in Le and Miller’s (2013) analysis of the 2006 Australian Time Use Survey as single mothers were the most unsatisfied with their time allocation. This study included 6,902 adults that kept a time diary for two days. Single mothers participated 36 minutes less a day in primary child care and 16 minutes less a day in leisure activities, compared to partnered mothers. The tension of time allocation caused single mothers to have the lowest satisfaction, which correlated to overall lower well-being (Le & Miller, 2013). Therefore, it is important to continue to research the supportive systems for all working single mothers as this population is vulnerable.

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Essay about Single Mother. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Essay about Single Mother.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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