MSN.com ran an engaging interview with Sharon McKenna, single mom to twin boys and author of Sex and the Single Mom. She made a lot of sense in how single moms need to quell their guilt when it comes to dating and downtime, and how they need to be more politically involved.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, married couples with children make up only 24 percent of all households, PBS reported. Households led by single mothers grew by more than 25 percent during the last decade. While MT search is down, I remember writing about the lack of single women voting even though they headed close to half of U.S. households!
Here is McKenna’s take on the growing influence of single mothers:
Q. How can we as women change the negative stereotype imposed upon single moms?
A. It starts with single moms themselves. No one is going to do it for us, that’s for sure. I would like to see more political organizations of single moms and single parents in general, because even though this is a HUGE demographic in America and around the world — and is growing faster than any other family type — we are all ignored by politicians who have the power to make our lives better through family-focused legislation and policies. Single parents need to speak up more. I also think the media, television, and entertainment industries need to wake up and smell the coffee and stop portraying single moms as ignorant sluts — or worse. This group has plenty of spending power and would like to see themselves represented more accurately — as the smart, involved, caring parents and people that they are.
As for the personal, McKenna argued that single mothers made good lovers and good mates. “They have to be patient, affectionate, giving and open in order to be successful parents,” she said. She also touched a hot button issue among dating circles: When is it appropriate for mom to introduce boyfriend to the kids?
Gloria wrote about this in our old site. She said that “honesty is always the best approach…leaving out gratuitous information.”
McKenna felt it was important to wait as long as possible — at least three months — before introducing the new man to the kids.
This is SUCH an important issue, and one that most single moms pay little or no attention to. However, nearly all of the single mothers I interviewed for the book were adamant that it’s important to wait as long as possible to bring a man into the family fold on any level. It can have a big impact on a child to see men coming in and out of your life — so you need to be very, very careful and very respectful of your children’s feelings and their privacy. I personally feel that if you have been SERIOUSLY dating someone for a solid three months, then you can set up a time for him to meet your kids, in a non-threatening environment (say, at the park or a street fair) so that if things aren’t going well, you both can exit gracefully. I talked to single moms who waited more than a year to introduce a man to their children — and I totally support that.