Bridget Veltri

I once saw a commercial that said mothers were superheroes and had special powers. I don’t remember what the ad was for but I think it is true of all parents, particularly single parents.

The older I get, the more I realize how good I’ve got it as far as my mother is concerned. I don’t know what has brought about this sudden awareness; maybe the fact that I am about to graduate and enter the real world. Or that one of my best friends has a 1-year-old child and I see how hard it is to be a single parent.

Political commentator and right-wing, quick-to-judge authorAnn Coulter would beg to differ, but in my opinion, good single parents are the unsung superheroes of the world, donning capes of responsibility with little support or recognition from society. While other superheroes lift buildings with their super strength, single parents carry a work load intended for two people. They fight off every villain that anyone else throws at their kid. They cruise around in a minivan instead of the Batmobile.

How do I know this? I was raised by one.

Some parents choose to go it alone if their parenting counterpart is not up to par. Mine developed her superpowers when she was widowed at 40 and I was five.

They say that when people lose one of their senses, the other four become stronger, like the blind superhero daredevil. This also rings true for my mom. When my dad died, my mom, who was already a good parent, had to be even better. Coulter will be the first to tell you that statistics show that girls who have lost a father tend to be sexually promiscuous and are likely to end up divorced. So if my mom and I were going to get through this mother-daughter relationship alive, she was going to have to be on her game.

My friend, Coulter, who essentially blames the demise of society on single mothers, excludes women whose husbands have died.

“The 6.5 percent of single mothers whose husbands have died shouldn’t be called ‘single mothers’ at all. We already have a word for them: widows. Their children do just fine compared with the children of married parents,” she said in her book “Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America.”

Well thanks, Ann, good to know that my mother is excused because she didn’t divorce my dad or have me out of wedlock. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t raise me by herself, alone, single handedly. And I wonder what makes the child of a widow any less screwed up then that of a divorced or single woman?

Coulter also states in her book that “as a society, we need to understand: staying in marriage, even a bad marriage, is better for the children except in the most egregious cases because single parents, even conscientious, well-meaning single parents, generally don’t do as good a job raising their children as two parent families.”

Regardless of what her statistics say, this is quite the statement coming from a woman who has never been married and has no children.

Single parents are often stereotyped by women like Coulter as being flaky and irresponsible. What is this based on? Coulter’s high and mighty Republican values? You can be a bad parent no matter what your marital status is or which political party you affiliate with. And those who are raising their children alone, whether it be by choice or circumstance, have it twice as hard as the average parent.

My mother has found that people are quick to judge and then curious to find out why she is raising a child alone. They always assume divorce, rather than death, and seem almost relieved to find out that she was widowed.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been thinking about how good I’ve had it. After my dad’s death I think my mom seriously contemplated climbing into a martini glass and drowning herself. But instead she poured herself into making sure I was all right. It’s weird to think that I could have had a mother who had as many dates as her daughter, or drank like it was her job, but I don’t. The only man that could fill my dad’s place in her heart would literally have to be Superman. And although my mom has a career in counseling and education, her main job was me and making sure I was OK.

Statistics may show that their children are at a disadvantage, and while their contribution isn’t as obvious as saving the world from mass destruction, single parents are doing their part to make the world a better place, one kid at a time. And in the real world, that’s what matters.

Bridget Veltri is a journalism senior and Mustang Daily reporter.