There is a strong stigma against single mothers and The Bronx is no exception and according to Congressman José E. Serrano, The Bronx has the 3rd highest rate of single mothers in the country.
Back in 2011, NPR had a show on the issue based on recent data from a Pew Research poll and had this to say:
“The American family looks a little different now than it did in the days of Ward and June Cleaver. Sometimes, parents are married, sometimes unmarried. Sometimes dads have – kids have two dads. Some couples don’t have children at all. Some parents raise kids alone.
In 2012, Katie Roiphe, an author and journalism professor at New York University wrote an opinion piece which was published in the New York Times called, ‘In Defense of Single Motherhood. Roiphe says:
“There is no doubt, however, that single motherhood can be more difficult than other kinds of motherhood. In France, the response to the added difficulty is to give single mothers preferential access to excellent day care. Here the response is moralism disguised as concern and, at other times, simply moralism.”
Now, Vanessa Martir, a single mother who lived in The Bronx speaks out and here is part of her story. You can read the rest of this profound essay at the Huffington Post via I’m a Single Mom, and This S*** Is Hard | Vanessa Martir.
“Months after leaving my daughter’s father, I confessed to him that I was having a hard time adjusting to being a single mom. I was having a hard time with my four-hour daily commute — an hour on the bus across the Bronx to upper Manhattan to drop her off with my grandmother, then an hour on the train to get to work, then the reverse in the evenings — five, sometimes six days a week. Then I had to feed my little girl, bathe her, read to her, and coddle her. By the time I put her down for the night, I was utterly exhausted but still had to bathe and get myself ready for the next day. I had to read, and I had to write. I am a writer, after all.
His response went something like, “Give me custody. I’ll take her.” As if that were what I was saying.
That was my entry into the shame imposed on us single moms. We can’t say it’s hard. We can’t cry over the pressure. We are supposed to grin and bear it. It’s no wonder so many snap, so many are depressed, so many take this pent-up rage and resentment out on their kids. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying I understand, carajo.” – Vanessa Martir
Are you a single mother? We’d love to hear from you and your experiences.