A recent article in Slate Magazine discusses why being a single mother is the better option for some women. In light of the numerous discussions this semester in class concerning divorce and single parenthood, I found this article well worth posting.
The article chronicles single mother Lily, who is raising her child as a single mother in Kansas city. Her reason? “I can support myself. I always have. I can support myself and our kid. I just can’t support myself, the kid, and him.” In these tough economic times, where finding a job isn’t getting any easier, many the unemployment rate for men is 13 percent. Further, those with only a high school education are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree. Jobs that are available are unreliable, and the father of Lily’s child has been laid off several times.
Recently I watched the documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck”, which chronicles the daily life of single mom of three Katrin Gilbert. In this documentary she was working grueling 16 hour days for 8 days straight in order to make ends meet. What surprised me more, however, was that both the men in her life worked inconsistently. Her ex husband, who was in and out of jobs was constantly scrambling for money. Often, he borrowed from Katrina, who had little herself to give. Katrina’s boyfriend, Chris, also appeared to be of little help financially. Both men seemed to be for the most part to be just another mouth to feed and take care of in Katrina’s life.
I suppose this goes back to the question discussed many times in class on the effects of divorce on children. Yet my question is would I rather raise my child in a home where I was working and the child’s father was constantly around, sleeping, being of no use (like Katrina’s husband was). Or, would I rather raise the child by myself, where I would have to worry about one mouth less to feed? Both options are less then ideal, and I feel like in both situations, something is lost.