The gap of stereotype between single mothers and single fathers mainly count heavily on their financial situation after the divorce.
Even though women today have far more freedom in (career) choice, women around the world still show more inclination towards being a stay-at-home mom or no-earning housewives. So, it is more likely for the female widow to go on a financial downfall when couples get a divorce. The situation is even worse when in most cases mothers get custody of the children.
Besides a divorce, many single mothers are left with no partner due to outside of marriage births. Some are financially decent already, but some are not ready to care for a child both mentally and financially (i.e. teen mothers).
Financial problems lead to more time spent focusing on earning money and less for childcare. Often times, these single mothers also don’t have the privilege to share childcare with their former partner for either they are afraid of losing custody or that their former partner is even less adequate for childcare. So, the mothers end up having to work day and night, forcing them to leave their child alone at home or watched by someone else during their work.
These single mothers are not necessarily neglecting their children. In fact, they care so much about their children that they focus on the first priority of the children’s needs: survival.
Shaming single mothers on how they are supposed to be will only make their situation worse, which means worse for the children as well.
Every mother has a reason. Before you criticise, hear them out. And if you really want to make things better for them and their children, help them make out a solution.
One of our community in Malaysia, Rumah Titian Kaseh, is reaching out to struggling single mothers by providing shelter and a big loving family. Read more about their story here.