Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Thirty percent of US women have had a time when they had trouble paying for the diapers they needed for their children, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found. The cost of diapers, the study found, is one of the most stressful items in the lives of low-income families, and especially single mothers. More from NBC News:
Thirty percent of the women interviewed for a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics said they’d experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. And a full 8 percent reported that they would “stretch” the diapers they had when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.
In fact, worry over how to pay for diapers is now among the top stressors for low-income parents, next to concerns about food and housing, researchers say.
The concerns come as Americans continue to grapple with the effects of the deep recession and weak recovery, which has left many families scrambling to keep up with rising bills. The nation’s median household income declined to $50,054 in 2011. After adjusting for inflation, that’s nearly 9 percent lower than the peak in 1999.
The problem is especially acute for single moms, who tend to already be among the most economically vulnerable. The overall poverty rate was 15 percent in 2011, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. But nearly 41 percent of female-headed households with children under age 18 were living below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. That compares to a little less than 9 percent of married-couple families with kids under 18.
Image: Diapers, via Shutterstock
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Friday, May 31st, 2013
More than 40 percent of American women consulted in a Associated Press/WE tv poll say they would consider having a baby even though they are not married or in a romantic relationship. More from The Associated Press:
An Associated Press-WE tv poll of people under 50 found that more than 2 in 5 unmarried women without children—or 42 percent—would consider having a child on their own without a partner, including more than a third, or 37 percent, who would consider adopting solo.
The poll, which addressed a broad range of issues on America’s changing family structures, dovetails with a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau that single motherhood is on the rise: It found that of 4.1 million women who’d given birth in 2011, 36 percent were unmarried at the time of the survey, an increase from 31 percent in 2005. And among mothers 20-24, the percentage was 62 percent, or six in 10 mothers.
The AP-WE tv poll also found that few Americans think the growing variety of family arrangements is bad for society. However, many have some qualms about single mothers, with some two-thirds—or 64 percent—saying single women having children without a partner is a bad thing for society. More men—68 percent—felt that way, compared to 59 percent of women.
The survey found broad gender gaps in opinion on many issues related to how and when to have children. One example: At a time when the can-you-have-it-all debate rages for working mothers, women were more apt than men to say having children has negatively impacted their career.
And this was true especially among mothers who waited until age 30 or older to have children. Fully 47 percent of those mothers said having a child had a negative impact on their careers. Of women overall, 32 percent of mothers reported a negative effect, compared with 10 percent of men.
Image: Mother and child, via Shutterstock
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Friday, October 26th, 2012
Rebecca Edmonds, a Wisconsin woman who was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force after receiving an ROTC scholarship to Marquette University, is challenging the military’s decision to dismiss her and revoke her scholarship following the discovery, just before her commissioning, that she was pregnant. The Air Force has a policy forbidding single parents from enlisting or becoming commissioned officers. From CNN:
The reason for the policy, according to Air Force officials, is that the demands of deployment and military service put strain on family life and even more so for single parents.
The Air Force accused Edmonds of committing fraud, ejected her from its ranks and revoked her $92,000 scholarship. Her case is currently under review.
Edmonds’ mother, Karen, a military wife for 25 years, said deployments are tough on all service members and their families, married or not. If her daughter were to deploy, Karen Edmonds said, her grandson would be well cared for by an extended family that includes the child’s father and both sets of grandparents.
Edmonds’ mother said she believes the policy discriminates against single women and encourages pregnant single women to abort their pregnancies.
“The Air Force is making an assumption that single parents cannot provide adequately for their children if deployed,” Edmonds’ mother said. “That’s what burns me up.”
Image: Air Force uniform, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
A bill under consideration by the Wisconsin legislature would penalize single mothers on the grounds that their unmarried status contributes to social ills including child abuse and neglect.
The state’s Republican Senator Glenn Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507, Yahoo! Shine reports, which contains language requiring the state to amend existing state law “requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
More from Yahoo:
The bill would require educational and public awareness campaigns held by the board to emphasize that not being married is abusive and neglectful of children, and to underscore “the role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.”
Saying that people “make fun of old-fashioned families,” Grothman — who has never been married and has no children — criticized social workers for not agreeing that children should only be raised by two married biological parents, and told a state Senate committee that he hopes the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention board, of which he’s a member, could “publicize something that’s politically incorrect but has to be said in our society.”
For more analysis of this issue from Parents.com, read Julia Landry’s post on Unexpectedly Expecting.
Image: Mother with sleepy baby, via Shutterstock.
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