The “single mom” that I’m referring to is Natalie Portman. I throw the “single mom” into the title since she was slammed by Mike Huckabee earlier this year due to the fact that she isn’t married to the baby’s father. Actually now that I think about it, I sort of just heard another slam on single mom’s yesterday. A commentator on the Casey Anthony trial said that women who are single mom’s are more prone to killing their children, hmmmm. I thought this jab was a little unfair, but I would have to actually see the research on it to put my own pieces together on whether that is really true or not. Of course who knows, maybe the rate for that ends up being higher, just because there seem to be more and more “single” mom’s these days? And would this statistic include the “single” mom’s who are not really married, but still “single” when it comes to raising their kids? Because there are probably just as many of those out there.
I guess for me, I feel that the term “single” mom can be a little misleading. There are a lot of single mother’s out there that aren’t really that “single” at all when you look at it…like Natalie Portman for example who Huckabee caught the spotlight for criticizing. Not only does she seem to be engaged and have her “baby daddy” around, but she also has a big bank account that will offset any financial struggles or woes that she would typically have if she were really a “single” parent.
When I think of single parent, I think of my own mother who had no father in the picture concerning me and who had little to no financial or physical help with me coming from any angle. Not saying that her family didn’t help some when I was growing up, but it was minimal. It wasn’t like in some other non-American cultures where grandparent’s as well as maybe some other family member’s like aunts, uncles, cousins etc. lived in the same home, so everyone played a part in the upbringing of a child. So when someone says “single” parent, the term should be given a little more thought than that of being “unmarried”.
In my case personally, I could technically call myself a single parent because I am not married, but I share custody with the father(s) and as of recently due to location and my work schedule, they are actually doing a lot of the raising of my kids right now. If I tell someone I am divorced with three kids, they look at me with this look of “oh my God, how do you do it?” When in reality my actual situation is nothing like what most would imagine or you may see in a lifetime movie. So I don’t consider myself a “single” parent in the slightest. I only consider someone really a single parent if there is no father/mother or other family to help them raise the children and they are making so little that they have to work the two or three jobs to pay the bills. And of course if this were the case, they aren’t able to be much of a “parent” at all and the kid does a lot of their own raising. I mean think about that. How many kids are what people term latch key kids after the age of 12 or so, who because of being born to one person without many others around, spend a lot of time without any real parenting at all? Hmmm…lots to really think about with all of this how inaccurate the terms we use to label situations are.
Honestly, as unpopular as Huckabee’s statements were as well as some of his ignorance, I do get one point of his view. I know that we have young girls all the time who have no real help financially or otherwise who get pregnant to become another statistic who can only depend on the government for help in raising their children. It not only takes a toll on our system, but on the girl herself, the child and the world as a whole. There is no doubt that the real term of “single” parent in some ways can be seen too much as an option and like a cliff that too many jump off of without knowing what lies below and what it will mean for their lives and futures for themselves and their offspring. And it’s not only the young single girls, but many women in general who end up “married” and in situations where they are unhappy in their relationships and marriages, but feel the need to stay in order to be able to raise their children.
So I actually think that Natalie Portman is setting a great example as far as who needs to be a mother. Not only is the father of the child someone who plays an active role, but I am sure she is someone who also has many other people around who can be there for her and her child and support her in this now new adventure. If nothing else, she can afford to pay some! I also think that the fact that she does not need to be married in order to financially be able to care for a child is another huge positive in her situation of becoming a new mother. So she is also an example to many women who are actually married who depend on the financial support of their husbands (or vice versa, there may be some guys in the same boat w/bread winning mothers) in order to have children.
So while Mike Huckabee did send a message that I understood in one language, the other was a message of total ignorance that perpetuates that marriage is the answer when it comes to being able to have happy and healthy children. In some instances, marriages can be just as undesirable if not more harmful than within a single parent environment.
If any girl looks at Natalie Portman and identifies with her, I think that is great and that she is a great role model for young women. But I would also hope that they would also have enough common sense to understand that Natalie Portman has reached a plateau in life that in reality, they will probably never and therefore when it comes to their own decision of whether or not having a child is a good idea, they will be able to look at their own circumstances thoroughly and wisely make the right decision for themselves.