Hidden between stories are the unique struggles, complexity, high stakes and isolation of America’s single parents.
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Single parents cannot work or study in shifts and sprints. They are often alone in the struggle of parenting-teaching-studying, parenting-teaching-working, or a combination. There’s no time for Netflix marathons or virtual get-togethers. Good parenting requires full engagement. So does good learning or working. Unfortunately, our young single parents often lack the social and financial capital required to effectively negotiate for the paid time off or flexibility they desperately need.
We must invest deeply and differently in programs and providers who offer supports, relief, resources, and advocacy to our young single parents and their families. Their economic stability and advancement – not to mention the wellbeing of their children — hinges on their ability to keep parenting, working and learning during this time. They should be afforded the same benefits and cash supports so many of us rely on as we parent and work to meet our many adult demands.