There was a time in the not too distant past when the word “mother” conjured up an image of a smiling woman, posed beside her husband and two well-scrubbed kids. But while those mothers still exist, they are no longer the standard of motherhood as we know it. Times are changing, for better or for worse.
Single mothers make up a significant portion of the Michigan’s parental population nowadays, and their numbers are growing. Whether they are single mothers because they chose to pursue becoming parents without a partner, or simply because they are separated or divorced from their partner, is irrelevant. What’s important is acknowledging the fact that modern day mothers no longer fit into a one-size-fits-all package.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of women who chose to become mothers via donor insemination rose by 29 percent between 2007 to 2012. Interestingly, during this same period of time, the number of single mothers who gave birth declined overall, which means that more and more women are choosing to put their desire to be mothers ahead of their desire for a partner.
Unfortunately, while mothers who chose motherhood in this way are statistically more likely to have the necessary financial resources and social supports in place, the world still treats them as if they are an anomaly. Whether it’s the pitying glances at expectant mothers without wedding rings, or the unwanted advice dispensed by well-meaning but ill-informed strangers who believe that there’s something wrong with a woman who raises a child alone, this worldview is no longer realistic. Nor is it respectful, especially to those that choose to be single parents. Further, it is not just women that are making that choice.
Men represent an increasing percentage of the single parents in our state.
The notion that every single mother has either been abandoned by a man or has lost her partner to death or divorce simply isn’t accurate any more. Nor has it been accurate for a decade or more. Recent research into American attitudes about single parenthood reveal that the majority of us still believe that single motherhood is unacceptable. However, current birth trends show that about 40 percent of children born in the U.S. right now are born to unwed mothers. This is a staggering percentage of the population when you view than information from the perspective of disapproval.
The point we are hoping to make here is that parenting norms are changing, and our attitudes and acceptance must be adjusted to acknowledge that reality. Whatever our personal views are about single parents of either sex, they should not be shamed or thought of as an anomaly. All parents, regardless of their relationship status, need to be supported and celebrated, mothers and fathers alike.
So whether you are a single mother or a mother with a life-partner, a married mother, or a divorced mother, a heterosexual mother or a lesbian mother, we salute you. Your sacrifices, hard work, and love do not go unnoticed. And if you’re a mother who needs assistance figuring out custody arrangements, determining paternity, or battling an unfounded child abuse allegation, we are here to help you. Call 866 766 5245 to speak to a helpful and non-judgmental family law attorney today.