May 12, 2023 - News

Giving props to single moms this Mother's Day

Deirdra & her son against the world! Photo: Courtesy of Monica McGivern

👋 Deirdra here, offering solidarity with single moms for Mother's Day.

Why it matters: Miami-Dade County has 58,035 households with single women and kids under 18, according to census data.

  • Yet single moms report feeling invisible.
  • And the "singles tax" means necessities, especially housing, are priced for couples — 0ne parent with one child needs at least $65,370 annually to live modestly here, per a family budget calculator from the Economic Policy Institute.

Context: My partner died overseas when our son was one. My parents passed around the same time, leaving me with a toddler and no family nearby.

  • I struggled to find decent day care and was shocked to find it cost nearly $1,000 per month.
  • Only when I experienced single parenthood myself did I realize its other challenges: career paths I couldn't pursue, middle-of-the-night ER visits without support, holidays alone — all while putting on a brave face at work.

How I survived: A few amazing friends.

  • Grief counseling and medical leave.
  • Social Security survivors' benefits.
  • Extended breastfeeding.
  • Got health insurance through Obamacare and Medicaid after being laid off (journalism!).
  • Swore off sad music and strictly listened to party jams. As a wise man (Pitbull) once said, "Every day above ground is a great day, remember that!"
  • Only watched comedies.
  • Lost interest in dating for a long time. (Men only seemed useful as potential babysitters who might play with my kid for two hours so I could go to the gym!)

Yes, but: Now my son and I are thick as thieves.

  • I know many people are managing parenthood with harder jobs and lower pay.
  • To the 10,721 single dads in Miami — I see you, too! Everyone is going through something.

What's next: I often think single moms could be an incredible force for good if we could harness our collective power.

  • I'm too tired right now to rise up and lead us, but when this kid is off to college, watch out!

If you're struggling: I promise it gets easier.


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