Editor's Note 

The Single Mother Blame Game

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Seems like when there is little real legitimate debate left in politics, we can always count on some folks from the right bringing up that single mothers are what's wrong with our society. Presidential contender Jeb Bush had to recently defend remarks he made in 1995 that single mothers and fathers should face public shaming for having children out of wedlock.

A fatherless society (what loaded drivel), meant a society of children with limited possibilities and huge issues, he wrote 20 years ago. The problem for this argument to me has always been how I see others and myself as a product of single mothers. I recognize that not everyone is going to have the same experience I had, but I've known many other children of single mothers who grew up in satisfying and happy environments, and went on to contribute to society. Every morning I watched my mother get up with the sun to head to work—a nurse anesthesia career she loved. It was that career that took us all over the world and helped pay for my education.

It actually started at St. Mary's Hospital and the full scholarship my mother received to go to nursing school after she graduated from Tucson High. Probably why I love nurses. Love them. Our home life wasn't perfect, but neither were the households of kids I grew up with who had both parents. I didn't meet my father until I was in my 20s, and I certainly wish I had had him in my life as a kid.

However, nope, my mother was an amazing example and continues be in her retirement life as she gracefully ages. And like her, I get up every morning to go to work, a work I love. I'm lucky to have a son who graces my life and I really look forward to a day when we can bury away these ideas that people need to be shamed in order to do what others feel is the right thing. Shame and blame get us nowhere. I know what works, because I saw it growing up—hard work, love, inspiration, creative space and a path to be an independent and free thinker. Let's go there. It's a great place to be.

—Mari Herreras

More by Mari Herreras

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