- Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers
- She is divorced or separated (45%), never married (34.2%), widowed (1.7%) or now remarried (19%)
- She is employed: 79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed, with 49.8% working full time, year-round, and 29.7% working part-time or part-year
- She and her children don’t live in poverty (73%). A minority receive assistance (22% receive Medicaid, 23.5% receive food stamps, 12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy, 5% receive TANF)
- She is 40+ years old (39.1% of custodial single mothers)
- She’s raising one child (54% of custodial mothers) with 46% raising two or more children
As fascinating as some of these stats are, what we’re finding at Eve’s Daughters is there is no “average.” Certainly, there are commonalities, but each woman has a story as unique as her fingerprint.
I confess, years ago, that I struggled with my prior “picture” of a single mom. It wasn’t pretty, partly based on where and how I was raised. That picture worked for me…until I became one of them. Then it became personal, and it forced me, humbled, to edit that image. And that’s developed a far greater humility in me to not be so quick to judge, across the board—that I don’t know, can’t know, every person’s back story.
Now, with our organization, maybe that’s why we feel so strongly about developing relationships first and foremost, versus assuming a cookie-cutter approach. Because when we take the time, what we’re hearing goes far beyond average…often into the extraordinary.
*United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007. By Timothy S. Grall. Census, 2009. 26 Feb. 2010