Single Mothers…A Better Deal for Children?

Motherandchildwhiteback Baroness Janet Cohen, who recently gave a lecture at Lucy Cavendish College of Cambridge, raised an interesting point in discussing career success. She made mention of one of the few benefits of being a single working mother. Now while I would agree that it is infinitely easier to raise a child with a partner, she said that sometimes she wondered if children didn’t miss out on additional time with their parents because of the time the parents had to dedicate to each other just to maintain a relationship. She brought up the point that working single mums can at least spend all of the precious little free time they have with their children if they so choose, whereas married women or those in partnerships have the added time burden of finding quality time for the kids as well as for their partners. It reminded me of a friend of mine whose husband works long hours. They both ascribe to an "equal" relationship, but she once remarked in frustration that at least single mums knew they had to do all aspects of childrearing and hence couldn’t resent husbands who were there but then sidestepped responsibility for childcare. She lamented that if she were a single mum "at least I would know I was on my own, and not hopelessly wait for my husband to do more!" Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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