The other day I  read a story about a homeless young man who graduated with honors and was named Valedictorian for his graduating class of 2020. He and his mom became homeless after fleeing away from his mom’s abusive husband. In the article, the mom stated she pushed her son to do better and set examples of strong work ethics, so that her son can do better in life. I have heard biased remarks against children raised in single parent households. 

Growing up in a single parent household can be hard, however I  do believe that  it depends on how the child is raised that makes a difference. 

My mom was a single parent, yet I did not miss out on having a father around, because my mom was very capable. She was a great cook and was always trying to create new ways to stretch our meals, so that we are never without. Our food sources were subsidized by the USDA food program every month. My mom sewed most of my clothes,qq fixed any plumbing or house issues and planted a variety of food sources in the garden as well as in her taro patch. She earned money by weaving beautiful and colorful bags, purses, cigarette cases, mats and hats made from pandanus leaves. There were several single parents in the village or district I lived in, but everyone looked out after each other. Life was simpler, then.

Globally, single parenting fall by the wayside and seemingly unseen when it comes to the workforce. In the military parents if both are in the military or a single parent must have a family care plan in their records to ensure their missions are not hindered by lack of organization and children are not neglected. This is mandatory, because the military is constantly on the go. Other work forces are mainly focused on financial gains. 

Single parenthood is a norm globally. It’s not something new, but working single parents are often stigmatized, because they have to prioritize their professional and parental duties. The high demands in the workforce can cause employee burnouSocial stigmatization is real and active, but more evident in smaller communities. Some people out of habit or maybe just bored with their lives, love to gossip, when a child from a single parent home gets in some trouble. They vilify single parenthood and as a consequence the child suffers. These consequences can cause depression and anxiety in children or much worse, like attempting suicide. Single parents are judged, ridiculed and shamed instead of celebrated for the hard work they do to raise their kids despite their difficulties. The work force have to recognize that life is not all roses. People have lives and employees with kids don’t always have caregivers at the ready. Or0ganizations must make their culture inclusive, flexible and health conscious to alleviate employee burnout. They can work with the community and the government to create childcare systems to ensure children are not neglected while their parents are earning a living to put a

roof over their family’s heads and food on the table. 

Due to the pandemic a lot of employees lost their jobs, but some inclusive organizations have retained their talents by creating at home work environments. This new norm gives parents with less than adequate support systems to manage both work and home responsibilities and still have some time to take care of themselves.

 “It takes a village to raise a child” this saying is true in our Belauan tradition, but it is slowly dying out.

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