Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Craving" for single parenthood

An interesting piece from the Acton Institute recommends the wealth gap be referred to, in future, as the 'marriage gap'. No surprises in the statistics that show children born into the lowest income quintile have little chance of moving out of it  except when their parents are married and stay married.

But what caught my interest was quoted writing from a single mother whose ambition had always been to raise children alone.

Being a single mom is an experience I have craved for as long as I can remember. Women who become single mothers against their desires have a different story than mine. As a young teen, I romanticized even the mundane experiences: balancing my night classes with kids’ homework and tucking them in bed (leaving on a soft light). I imagined walking, with socked feet, into our tiny living room, picking up a car or a doll from the floor and wiping oatmeal from the arm of a chair, before spreading my homework or a book I was writing on our table. Raising children alone didn’t seem like a struggle to avoid, but rather an exciting opportunity to come up with creative and clever solutions for daily living.
I want to devote myself to motherhood, something I fear I can’t do with the additional demands of a partnership. Romantic relationships can occupy a lot of mental and emotional energy. I’m not sure I could balance being both a solid partner and mother right now.
Oh well, it's a free world.

Hang on. It's not a free world. By and large those people who are married and stay married (and the childless) end up paying for those who make the opposite choice. Even if the mother is financially independent (note this one expects to struggle) there is the small matter of children learning how a partnership works, learning about compromise, and commitment. The small matter of the child potentially relating better to the other biological parent. The small matter of what happens to the children if she isn't around to care for them? She has presumably already cut out the paternal grandparent side of their heritage. And where did the sperm come from anyway? A dispenser in a convenience store?


JC said...

I understand what she's saying..

She's two or three generations removed from the Great Depression, war and the big happy families schtick of the 50s, ie she feels little or no stigma to living off the taxpayer as a solo parent.

She's quite happy to be uninvolved in relationships but feels the biological urge and likely peer pressure for a kid and has romanticised it. To some degree she's asexual and the DPB provides the third stabilising leg to allow her to follow her dream. The child allows her to feel she is useful to society.

Many women (and quite a few young men) have grown into a society that seems made for them.. there are few pressures on them and sex is no great driver to push them into relationships so they just amble through life getting by with quite simple and inexpensive tastes.. no passion.

As someone said some time ago we are living in an age of tolerance.. we tolerate the intolerable because by and large there are few consequences in a relatively rich and peaceful society.


S. Beast said...

Sounds like she has chosen a third (man)child as a partner. Hardly surprising she fantasizes about having one burden less.