Monday, December 14, 2009

How Rare Is It To Grow Up With 2 Parents?

Over the last several weeks, I’ve had conversations or have read an unusually high number of blog posts that make mention of a large number of people growing up in single parents homes and that seems to be the norm as opposed to a two parents home.

It seems that coming from a two parent home is quite rare these days. Out of all my friends only 3 of us had both parents in the home. I was blessed to have been raised by both of my parents in the home until my father passed away in 93.

I can’t help but wonder how this sad state of affairs came about. It was such a gradual shift in society that none of us really saw what was happening until it was too late.

Many years ago it was the standard to have both parents in the home growing up not the exception but somehow we lost sight of that. How?

Was the feminist’s movement of the 60’s responsible? Was our lowered standard regarding sexual responsibility to blame?

I obviously have more questions then answers. It’s just a shame that kids have to grow up in a world where they think that being a single parent is normal and the way things should be.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about people that became single parents out of circumstance (divorce, widowed) but those that chose to have babies without being married and in many cases with people they hardly know.

This situation was brought to the forefront this weekend when I attended a babyshower for my girlfriend Clueless’s young niece.

As I was sitting there taking survey of my surroundings and the attendees I noticed something very interesting. Clueless’s niece, the nieces older sister and their mother (Clueless’s sister) all had children out of wedlock. All of them.

Did these young girls follow their mother’s path because she hadn’t taught them a different way? Are we all doomed to follow in our parents footsteps, repeat the same mistakes our parents did? How do we break that cycle?

How do we let our kids know that having both parents in the home raising the kids together is much more beneficial to the child’s overall well-being? Our kids are being shortchanged and it saddens me.

16 People saying stuff:

Teri Lynne said...

Great post ... and I imagine it is a mixture of all the things you mentioned and more. We live in a disposable society ... and even marriages have become something we can toss when it gets in the way or too hard. It's sad. And I wonder what the ultimate price will be.

JStar said...

Yea it seems to be the trend. My parents seperated when I was 3 because my dad was abusive and an alcoholic. I chose to leave my first husband to have a better life for me and my daughters....I am hoping that my girls dont follow in my foot steps...But yea, its so rare for people to actually stay together now days...Thats sad...Where has the love gone...

Secretia said...

It sure does seem like at least half the kids today are from a divorced or never married household.

The Dish said...

As someone that grew up in a 2 parent household, I understand this post. And the shift to single parents makes me sad.

Noelle said...

The stigma of having a child out of wedlock is much reduced. Birth control is so readily available, I can't help but think that a lot of these 'accidental' pregnancies are intentional. It's simple. If you don't want to get pregnant, you use birth control. If you do want to get pregnant, you don't. It's not rocket science. I think a lot of women perceive that they are going to get something from having an out of wedlock child. Whether it's commitment from a man who doesn't love them enough to marry them, control over the man, or money, it never seems to work out for them and everyone suffers.

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

I can tell you as someone who new at a very young age their parents didn't need to be married that sometimes it is better off with one.

B said...

I also think that in this day and age people aren't going to "stay together for the kids" and men and woman aren't feeling the pressure to stay in an unhappy marriage. How many of those 2 parent household from way back when were actually happy?

I'm proud to say my parents have been married for 30 years now and my grandparents hit 50 last year. I can only hope to have a marriage that last that long.

Karen said...

Most of my friends come from intact families. But several of my friends are divorced and raising children alone. It seems to be the way things are going. Scary.

Claudia said...

love the new look, and thanks for this timely post.

I also wanted to say thanks for your continued support with my own in home crappola (which is really crappola some of the time and is getting better)

I grew up with a single mom and always wondered what would it be like, if my sibs and I had a positive father figure, hell, if we had a dad involved, period.

You know how my guy and I have struggled, but we continue to fight for our family. We get to feeling lost and scared, but ultimately, we chose to fight to the end to stay a family. Takes courage, and faith. And maybe some blindness LOL.

Liam said...

I was adopted since i was a baby not yet one year old. I was told that I was an adopted child at 15. So for all intent and purposes my adopted parents will always feel like my real parents. I mean of course they are but, well you know what I mean.

If they had got divorced I would have been totally devastated. I don't know what I would have done without the pair of them.

Red Shoes said...

I'm not sure how I arrived at your blog, but what a great post. My Mom and Dad stayed together, but I have posted all of the chaos from their marriage... but still, I had a Mom and a Dad at home... and that WAS important for me.

As for my marriage, it miscarried... so my two children have divorced parents... and I watch them try to go through their Lives with Dad "here" and Mom "there" ... and I have to say that they do struggle so...

Statistics say that roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce... it's interesting to me that Mom and Dad had six "kids"... three of us are divorced... a fourth could be, but he decided to "handle" the idea of his wife having an affair...

Damn, Life is confusing...

Terri said...

you hit the nail on the head Tee; great post and so important that I think this is big part of the problem with teens being misbehaved, disrespectful and not interested in achieving anything but their next GF, BF, "Fix", Ipod, car, etc. It's sad....My parents are still togehter but my husbands are not. We are very determined to give our kids a firm home foundation. Unfortunately it's not always possible, circumstances happen, but parenting still needs to be in the forefront even when you are going through divorce or other tradegy. Kids rely on us for guidance, discipline and love. It's just what we have to do as parents, regardless of circumstance.

Jeni said...

Because my Dad died when I was an infant, I grew up in what could be called a single parent home but in essence I had three parents present -my Mom and both her elderly parents. But at that time -the 50s, early 60s -a two-parent home was much the norm. I always wanted the "norm" -a two-parent family for my children but unfortunately, their father and I divorced and I ended up as a single parent -and without grandparents around for me to lean on or my children to know. Of my three children, only my two daughters are married and have children but the oldest is divorced with one child. I worry that if the SIL of the younger daughter doesn't soon get a grip on the realities of life, that their two children will end up in a single parent family! And the SIL's oldest child -who just turned 18 this week -is from a pair of single parents as her Mom and my SIL, her Dad, were never married. He was married before he married my daughter and has 2 children to that wife -both of whom live with their maternal grandmother! I agree with your theory that single parenthood is very much the norm today and I do wish that more people who marry would try various things to 1) stay true to their vows; 2) not run around on each other; 3) avoid addictive substances; 4) remember to support each other while married and also, after a divorce (if that becomes a necessity.) The thought of acting in a mature manner also comes to mind but how to get people to do that is the $64,000 question isn't it?

MysTery said...

This is true.

We let our kids know by showing them. Period.

Like the new look of the page girl!!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I remember being worried that my oldest son would be outcast when his dad left me at 5 months pregnant. The first couple of years in preschool and kindergarten were rough, but after that, his having a single parent status put him at least in the 50% group of his class. Now I'm seeing the rest of my kids being in the rarer 2-parent group. Go figure.

DSC said...

I'm 41 and I have chosen not to become a single mom. It has nothing to do with the choices that other women have made but it's not the choice for me. I don't live near family and if I had a child, I'd have been raising it on my own with a very small support network, if I had any.

I was raised in a two-parent home until my mom died when I was 15. Thank goodness, my dad was there. Had he not been in my life I don't know what would have happened to me. I know that no one on my mom's side would have stepped up to take care of me.

Because I grew up with a dad, I wanted to be able to offer that same thing to my child (had I had one). I do not regret my decision.

However, I have several 'friends' who routinely called me naive, silly and stupid for not just having a baby. According to their logic, marriages don't last and men don't stay and if I wanted a child I should just get pregnant by the next guy (regardless of who he was and what he wanted) and become a mom.

To me that whole line of thinking is misguided. If I have a baby it stops being about what I want and starts being about what is best for my child, or so I thought.