Category Archives: Single Moms

Single Parenthood By Choice

I often get fascinating letters and emails from listeners to my radio program. 

Dr. Laura:
Recently, I was invited to join a group in support of removing Father’s and Mother’s Day celebrations in public schools.  Upon looking further into this group, I found that the founder of this group was a single mom “by choice,” and was angry her child was being made to feel bad because the other children have daddies, and hers does not.  I wanted to send you the email I sent her:

I think you should seriously consider shutting down this group.  I find
it interesting  you “chose” single parenthood for your child, but are not punishing those who did not for YOUR decision.  The majority of children have a mother and father and those who don’t will have to learn to deal with disappointment and adapt.  You act as though she shouldn’t have to learn to deal with disappointment, but in order to become a productive adult, she will.  Sadly, this disappointment was thrust upon her by you.  Instead of sitting down with her like an adult and explaining why she doesn’t have a father and why you chose that life for you, you are placing the blame on the school system for making her feel bad and putting her in an uncomfortable situation.  You do realize Father’s Day isn’t the only time she’ll be reminded she has no father, right?  By making this subject taboo, you are making her feel further alienated and, in the same breath, telling her you made a decision for her that was wrong.  Make up your mind.  Either you did this by choice and are willing to deal with the consequences, or you are embarrassed by the situation you are in and you want to cover up your mistake so your daughter doesn’t have to know.  Grow up and take ownership of your choices.

S.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to read this.  I hope that you are taking stands whenever you see people deconstructing the family to permit themselves the freedom to do whatever the hell they want.

The woman referred to in this letter, like so many others, decided :  “I want a kid.”  “I want a kid” – not “Gee, I’d really like to be a Mom.  What’s in the best interest of a child?”  How about a mom and a dad, married, and no daycare?  No.  It was just what “I” want for this woman.  So with this group, she has tried to deconstruct the family in the public schools by saying there’s no Mother’s or Father’s Day – it’s all irrelevant – trying to cover up that she knows she did something wrong to her kid, by intentionally robbing her child of a father, for her own selfish needs.  And our society is giving all of that a pass:  “anything you want to call ‘family’ is a family.” 

It appears that it doesn’t matter what a kid needs.  It just matters what the adults want.

Motherhood: A College Student’s Singular View

I’m turning my blog today over to Sharen Cervantes, a sophomore at Occidental College, with excerpts from an article she wrote for her campus newspaper:

It’s a testament to the changing times that single motherhood is no longer a lamentable predicament, but a choice, something pre-meditated and embarked upon with pleasure.  An even bigger testament to the nature of the 21st century is the fact that more and more of these unwed mothers do not fit the archetype of the uneducated, hapless teenager.

According to a recent article in “The New York Times,” the number of college-educated women choosing to have children out of wedlock has increased by a staggering 145% since 1980, with most of the women in this pool of mature age (i.e., in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s).

Now, I support progress as much as the next person, and I’m especially supportive when it comes to women’s progress.  Up until a short time ago, women were bound to the household and familial unit, unable to aspire toward anything beyond domestic and childcare obligations….

Single motherhood, however, doesn’t strike me as progress.  While it may serve as testimony that the modern woman can single-handedly manage a household and act as a financial provider, it also denies the single-parent child something essential:  a father.  It’s hard to explain what it means to have or, or why not having one is significant.  The impact of a father’s absence ranges from the trivial…to the vital (forever wondering what a father could have brought to your life, for instance).  And there’s just something about having a second parental figure in the house to forget or disregard a punishment when Mom is away.  Things aren’t always this rosy, of course.  I’m enough of a cynic to realize that phenomena like divorce and negligent fathers make single motherhood almost more desirable than traditional husband/wife parenthood.  But shouldn’t the dual-parent model still be a goal?

I guess my biggest issue with single motherhood is its effect on a child’s psychology…..The issue here is not ability.  The issue here is efficacy.

What happens, for instance, when a single mother decides to play the inevitable dating game?  Does she introduce these men to her child?  It is even appropriate or conducive to an impressionable child to do so?  Not in my eyes.  It actually strikes me as rather selfish.  It is not in a child’s best interest to witness a slew of men (or even a handful) come into and out of his or her mother’s life.  It’s even less permissible for a child to witness men coming into and out of his or her own life, especially when there’s a strong chance of attachment on the child’s part…..Attachment then leads to affection, affection leads to love, and love leads to a sense of hurt and loss if and when Mom and “Mr. Potential” end things.

Is this fair?  No.  Does this promote a happy and healthy childhood experience?  No.  Is this type of situation inevitable and nearly universal?  Unfortunately, it is.  So, really, why the suddenly-escalating need to put children in this difficult position?  And what’s wrong with a little tradition?

Progress may be great, but so are old-fashioned values.  After all, isn’t it especially critical that we uphold traditional ideals like daily family dinners and family game nights in today’s high-tech, progress-driven world?  It seems to me that there are already too many conflicting interests to which the family must take a back seat, including work and financial anxiety.  The one point of stability in all this disunity and dysfunction is the mother/father/child dynamic.  So, I firmly believe that it should be maintained.

Fathers DO Matter

This is from one of my listeners (whose name is not given in order to protect her privacy):

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about egg donations, surrogacy, and intentional single mothers, and I don’t know if you were aware that it had gone this far!  Don’t get me wrong, egg donation put me through school with no debt.  Over the past 4 years, I have donated my eggs to 4 different families, going through a total of 7 different surgeries in order to do so.  I know that at least 3 of these donations resulted in the birth of a child that was a miracle and a dream come true for the parents of these children, and I am grateful to have taken part in this dream.

Recently, my agency contacted me again.  They had another donation for me.  I was thrilled because my husband and I are planning on starting our own family, and we were going to start trying in the next few months.  The donation would end in $10,000 in our pockets, which I thought would be a nice little nest egg or college account for the child we are planning.  Well, the agency sent over the contracts for me to sign, and luckily, I read them thoroughly.  The recipient was not the expected married couple with unfortunate infertility problems, but a single woman who, after having conquered the corporate world, realized it was too late to get married and make a baby on her own!  My heart sunk.  How could I intentionally give life to a child knowing it would not have a father?

Then the thought crept in:  this woman is going to do it anyway, so I might as well be the one to profit from it, right?  As I was talking to my husband about my concerns, I realized, ‘How can I donate part of myself to this woman and still expect my husband to believe that I think he is an asset to raising our children? How can I force another baby to grow up in daycare with no masculine influence, and still show my husband that he is a hero for wanting me to stay home with our kids while he supports us?’  I couldn’t.

I let the agency know:  I will not be available to do this donation, as I believe a child deserves both a mother and a father.  And I hope that my “passing” on the opportunity will make the potential “mother” reconsider her options and buy a puppy.  I may have lost ten thousand dollars, but as my husband said, I still have my morals, and that’s worth more to our children than a college account.

Britain Forsakes Families

Besides the assault on Western civilization from the outside by Islamist jihadists, we are deconstructing our own society by declaring null and void basic concepts of mother- and father-centered lives for children.

Forget the biology:  Male and female create offspring

Forget the psychology and sociology:  children who do not have Mom and Dad-centered home lives tend to have higher poverty rates, and more problems on all levels with education, violence, and substance abuse,

Forget everything that is basic and makes sense, because some women are so selfish and/or incompetent to have a healthy relationship with a man that their desire – desire – is to have a child, intentionally robbing that child of a father and a mom and dad-centered home.

Well, permission to do so has been granted by the British government to do just that.  The British government voted just last week to remove the requirement that fertility clinics consider a child’s need for a father.  Let me repeat:  they removed the requirement that fertility clinics even consider a child’s need for a father.  Can you believe that?  The best interests of a child are eliminated from discourse, because a female wants to make a baby for her own pleasure – and a historically civilized government backs her up?  Sheesh!

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, in an interview with London’s “The Times,” said, “I think it strange that the government should want to take away not just the need for a father, but the right for a father.”

This action effectively declared fathers an irrelevance in modern Britain.  It is scary that only 60% of Brits who were polled believed that a child should have a mommy and a daddy – that’s the power of the “feminista” movement!

Here are some letters that were sent to London’s “Daily Mail:”

1. Raised in a single-parent family, I can say from experience that a child needs a father.  Mothers alone cannot take his place.  It’s a selfish act and implies women are more concerned with fulfilling their own needs to have a child than thinking of the child’s welfare.  Men:  STOP DONATING SPERM!

2. What about a man’s right to have children without a mother?  In order to avoid sex discrimination the [government] must surely now provide surrogate mothers for any would-be father who asks for one in order that he might have children.

3. With all our problems with ‘feral, fatherless’ youngsters in modern Britain, this vote seems utterly baffling, and frankly, obscene.

4. Is there really any need for a mother either?

Are Dads Unnecessary?

For the life of me, I don’t know what single women “by choice” tell their sons about what to look forward to in their futures. 

“Randy” sent me the front page of her local newspaper, with an article touting “Moms Single By Choice.”   Randy writes:

 [The article is about w]omen in their late 30s or 40s who have no husbands but want a kid.  A few adopt, while sperm bank fertilization impregnates many of them.

I have learned from listening to your radio program for the past two years that a woman’s selfish desire to have a kid should be trumped by the needs of a child who would be best brought up in a two-parent family – mom and dad, married, with a stable home.

Ninety percent of the article promotes this behavior as an acceptable “choice.”  The article explains the pain a woman goes through when she realizes that Mr. Right is not coming as they age into their late 30s or early 40s.  The article sympathizes with these brave career women who can afford full-time nannies and day care.  One woman is quoted as saying that this was ‘the best decision she ever made,’ while the final word plainly says to ‘go for it.’  There are a couple of brief paragraphs buried late in the article mentioning the conservative point of view.  It states that hundreds of studies have shows that mom and dad homes are superior to single-parent homes.  Also, very briefly stated is that ‘choice mothers are, in effect, teaching their children that men are not important to families, marriages, or children.’

I sympathize with the children of these single moms “by choice.”  They are intentionally robbed of a father.  More than traditional money-earning, protecting and fixing things around the house, the dad does something else.  He has a place in the family where he shows monogamy and daily behavior as a father and man should behave.  He is a role model, and an example of the kind of person sons should grow up to resemble, and daughters should grow up to look for.”

Hey, Randy, in this “PC” and feminist-brainwashed society, whatever an adult wants always trumps what children need!  If a woman who never bothered to become “Miss Right,” does want to devote herself to raising a child (without nannies and day-care), I’m all for her adopting an older or difficult-to-place child.  Now, that would be a God-send.

Next Time, Try Marriage

Scathing criticism of the lack of maternity care insurance for women in the United States recently appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“Barely two months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound triggered some alarming  news for Meagan Armington.  The fetus, thankfully, was fine, but Armington’s health insurance was not.  To Armington’s dismay, the policy she bought from Aetna about three years ago did not provide maternity coverage, forcing the 31 year old single-mom-to-be to pay for the prenatal visits out of pocket.  Due to give birth in April, Armington faces labor and delivery costs of at least $7,500.”

I know a lot of folks don’t want reality to interfere with their completely unfettered personal activities, but the main point of this article should have been that she’s not married – and not that the insurance companies are bad guys.  The sure-fire method for avoiding financial issues during pregnancy and child-rearing is a marriage.  She bought the insurance for her single lifestyle.  At thirty-one, you’d think she’d know about birth control, adoption, or marriage.  Instead, we have the same nonsense that defends irresponsible behavior and looks for some institution to blame for not coming to the rescue.

At best, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.  At worst, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.

Freezing Eggs and Making Choices

The “Work and Family” section of The Wall Street Journal recently had an essay describing why some single women choose to freeze their eggs.  Mind you – the essay was about single women.

Evidently, only 2-4% of frozen eggs once thawed yield live births.  Also, it’s not yet clear whether babies born from such eggs will face any long-term health problems.  So it would seem that many women risk making important life decisions (like staying with a career long in life) based on false assumptions that their fertility is secure.

The procedure (which ranges from about $9,000 to $14,000) has been used as a way to preserve fertility for cancer patients facing treatments likely to render them sterile.  This is a benevolent use of this budding technology. 

However, most of the interest seems to come from women delaying marriage and child-bearing because they are ferociously career-oriented and/or can’t find or keep a good man.  I would like to send them each a copy of my book, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” because it is cheaper and more to the point.

These women want to “make a close family” (never mind that there would be no Daddy in this “close” family), or give their parents the “gift” of a grandchild (making a child a present).  Nowhere in the article did the notion of a single woman making a baby for herself point out that this may not be in the best interest of the child!  I guess that doesn’t matter.

Whose Uterus Is it?

An essay by Sara Schaefer Munoz in the “Home and Family” section of The Wall Street Journal (February 12, 2008) caught my eye.  The essay, entitled “For Single Moms, Access to Better-Paying Jobs is Key,” talks about how difficult it is for single mothers to balance work/life issues. 

First of all, it never distinguishes between widowed, divorced, and never-bothered-to-be-married moms.  The issues are quite different:  insurance, spousal and child support, his extended family’s continual involvement, and so forth.  Contrast that to a woman who simply got pregnant by some guy.  The latter situation is far different and each of them requires its own newspaper column.  They are generally lumped together because of “political correctness” (no judgment and no hurt feelings), and not because the three situations vary widely due to the financial situation and the well-being of the children.

The essay did the usual by suggesting available careers and child-care possibilities.  It was the “Readers Say” portion that requires a response from me. One reader wrote: “Maybe if more men took accountability for proper birth control, there would be fewer single mothers working two jobs to make ends meet.”  I just can’t let this one go.  Oh my, are we unfairly picking on the woman?

Here’s how I see it:  it is in the woman’s body that the miracle of conception, gestation, and ultimate birth of a new human being takes place.  It is legally the woman’s prerogative to kill it or bring it to term.  No man has any legal say in the life or death of his child’s first nine months of existence.  These two facts give the woman the overwhelming preponderance of responsibility.

There are too many never-married mothers, because women have become more casual about sex (abortion is just another form of birth-control), and more casual about children (they don’t really need a daddy). The children pay the price:  no dad in the home, and they’re in day-care (which I call “day orphanages”), so momma can hopefully find a job.

So, to get back to the title of the essay, “better-paying jobs” is not the key.  Marriage is.