Sometimes life doesn’t go quite how you planned it, throughout our lives we are forever having to adapt, change and grow to allow us to continue on our path. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations of which we have barely any control of, and from here we are left with sink or swim style questions we have to ask.
There is a stigma in society that most young single mums are at the bottom of the parent hierarchy, they are immature, weak, and incapable of making the right choices. Well if that’s how you feel please keep reading..
As a parent you meet more parents, all of these parents have all kinds of stories and backgrounds, not one is the same as the other. So why do we find ourselves stereotyping people before we know the story behind their life. I once knew a man who used to say, “Stereotyping saves time..” Time? Time is all we have so why not share a little.
I am going to share an example of a woman, an early twenty something woman, who has a child of around four years old. You may not be surprised to hear that 9 months before her child was born there was another character in this story, a man..
Their story is like many others out there. Fast forward to now and the man who was once a constant person in her life is no longer present, vanished.
So lets stereotype for a second after all it does save time, right? Stood in the queue at the supermarket, there’s a young woman with a trolley full of food, nappies, and so on, there is a child sat in the trolley seat, crying because he was told by the woman that he couldn’t have a new toy. The couple next in the queue are looking at the woman and child in disgust, they are annoyed that the woman is busy packing the shopping away and trying to pay the cashier, and not dealing with her ’embarrassment’ of a child. They’re whispering to each other something along the lines of “Typical, we always get stuck behind, these kind of people..” They stereotyped.
If you are reading this thinking I’ve never stereotyped, then I can almost guarantee that you are lying to yourself. Everyone has, I’ll admit it.
If you knew the woman and child in the queue you would know that, she had just picked her child up from nursery, after she’d just finished a 10 hour shift at her full-time job, and was spending her hard cash on providing food for her little family The reason her child couldn’t have a new toy is because they already have hundreds of toys at home. That’s just it, her little family started with a Mum, a Dad, and a baby exactly the same way most little families begin. However the Dad is no longer around, (you’ve stereotyped again haven’t you?).
Some women are unfortunate enough to fall in love with men who are not all as they seem, they can become violent, controlling and make their life miserable, other woman are alone because the man they fell for has left this world too soon, widowed. Some men just walk out, maybe they can’t hack the tough job of being a parent. Some just choose to go it alone. The truth is we can never fully know the story behind people until we get to know them.
So why not take a step to the right and get off of your high horse, and see if the person you are judging needs help with theirs.
I know that there are men who raise their children on their own which is why this story can be reversed and still be the same. Men are just as vulnerable as women and can receive the same stigma.
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve been at the park with Bobby and over heard other parents suggest that I had custody of him for the weekend, whereas if they knew, they would know that I had just finished a long week at work and that his mum, had just begun her shift as a retail manager. We woke up together, got ready together and begun our days together, we kissed each other goodbye and wished each other a good day. Exactly the same thing that happened to the parents who had judged our situation.
Talk to ‘these people’ and find out for yourselves, you never know you might get to know one of the strongest people in the world.