The “Path” That Was Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.”  –  Robert Frost
path Spencer's Butte

Beginning of off the beaten path

 I come from a long line of women, who got to take the road less traveled.  Both my grandmother and great-grandmother were divorced women back in times when that was unheard of. They remained single most of their lives. I am following their path with less financial struggles.  Particularly my grandmother, who helped to rear me, lived with a kind heart and no bitterness. She taught me this kind of grace. By example, she showed me how to reach and grow towards the best in myself.
path Spencer's Butte

Challenges along the “path”

Along that path I have found adventure and did my best (and am still in process) to learn from my own challenges. I am not doing this alone. Friends, family members, even where I live helps me to be grateful for what is in my life, not what is “missing”.

I know there are many other women who have been living alone and rearing children in this country. I have not been alone on this path. Many of those women have not had the support that I have had.

“According to U.S. Census Bureau, out of about 12 million single parent families in 2014, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Today 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 — a total of about 17.4 million — are being raised without a father and nearly half (45%) live below the poverty line.”

This is a path that no American can be cheerful about. In many cases, I am sure that a divorce 0r separating from a partner was necessary; I know for me it was.  What is missing for so many of these women is the support and education that many of these mothers (fathers) need to help them financially take care for their children, and so many absent fathers (mothers) need to take responsibility for their own children.  For those 20% of single fathers, I have seen them where I live, and they have  the same challenges as do single mothers.  Those men are doing the job of both parents, too.

further on path

Further along on  off the beaten path

For more information about how in the USA we support single-parent families less than other wealthy countries in the world, check out this article:

view on Spencer's

View from the “Path that was taken”

I have friends and family members whose marriages that have continued to work. I am happy for them. Today we have all the tools we need to help us in this country to be better and do better, both on our own and as married people.  I think the job of being a parent is one of the most important ones we have in life and one of the most rewarding. I became a teacher because I love being a mom so much, and still love volunteering to read and tutor children. Even though I am no longer full time in a classroom.

Here is a TED talk I think could be very helpful to all parents, whether married or single. Bruce Feiler talks about “agile” programming for all kinds of parents. Check it out.