This is something a surprising number of women actually THINK but don’t say:
Is it bad that I want to be a single mother?
My friends and I (f16) are getting ready to be senior’s in highschool, and we were talking about our futures. The topic of families came up, and I mentioned that I only really want a kid.
The idea of marriage kinda freaks me out. I don’t want to get married and have kids only to have a divorce fuck them up. I want to have a child (via sperm donation) to give all my attention too, and then maybe down the road when we both feel ready, I’ll get married. I just want to travel the world with my kid.
When I told my friends about this they were appalled. They said I’d change my mind when I’m older, but honestly don’t want to. One went as far to say that my kid would hate me forever. Is it really such a bad idea?
tl;dr I want a kid but no marriage
Usually, women who feel this way try to get a sperm donation the old fashioned way, by “accidentally” getting pregnant. Next thing you know, some guy who believed her when she said she was taking her birth control is feeling resentful and paying child support. Welcome to the modern world.
However, in her case, she wants to get a sperm donation. So let’s assume this sixteen-year-old waits until she’s 18 to do that and goes that route. First off, you have the standard, obvious concerns. How do you go to school with a newborn? How do you support yourself? Are mommy and daddy going to pay the bills? What’s the plan?
Beyond that, it’s interesting that she says she wants to “travel” with her kid because that is an expensive business. She then talks about wanting to get married down the road. Well, getting married is going to be a lot harder with a kid in tow. Not just because men look at someone else’s child as a heavy piece of baggage, but because kids are time-consuming, bringing a new guy into their life can be difficult and even then, details like “does he get to discipline the children” or “what happens if my kid doesn’t like him” come into play.
To top it all off, it’s borderline taboo to criticize single mothers, so people just skip over the fact that the statistics on children raised by single mothers are frightening.
Controlling for socioeconomic status, race, and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single parent. By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers. Girls raised without fathers are more sexually promiscuous and more likely to end up divorced. A 1990 study by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that after controlling for single motherhood, the difference between black and white crime rates disappeared.
Various studies have come up with slightly different numbers, but all the figures are grim. According to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of all teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of all adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.
A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes ‘are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.’ Single motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts.
….Many of these studies, for example, are from the 1990s, when the percentage of teenagers raised by single parents was lower than it is today. In 1990, 28 percent of children under eighteen were being raised in one-parent homes (mother or father), and 71 percent were being raised in two-parent homes. By 2005, more than one-third of all babies born in the United States were illegitimate. That’s a lot of social problems coming.
…Imagine an America with 70 percent fewer juvenile delinquents, 70 percent fewer teenage births, 63 to 70 percent fewer teenage suicides, and 70 percent to 90 percent fewer runaways and you will appreciate what the sainted single mothers have accomplished.”
There are moms that love their kids more than life itself, that do without for their kids, that do everything they can to make things work out and their kids are still a mess. Know why? Because two brains, two sets of hands, two different experiences, and two sets of eyes are just going to do a better job of raising a child than one. Mom & dad are going to do a better job than mom, or for that matter dad, 99% of the time.
Whatever else you want to say about modern marriage, there just is no better way to raise a kid. If she wants her children to be happy and successful, she should think about that before she does something that she may regret.