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Wisconsin GOP State Senator Says Single Parent = Child Abuser

Happy Monday! Time for me to weigh in on this wacky proposed bill from Glenn Grothmann, a GOP state senator in Wisconsin that would categorize single parents as child abusers. Yipes.

I’ve been a single mom for 4 years, so I’ve read all the scary stats, studies and blogged about Ann Coulter’s rant back in 2009 that claimed, “Any societal problem is really a problem of single mothers.” Part of me is immune to all of this negative talk, but the other part knows that it’s not all nonsense. There are in fact, single parents that work the system for a welfare check, abuse child support payments and laws. No one is denying any of this, certainly not me. But, I am so far removed from these umbrella statements politicians make that it’s laughable to me. I’m a magazine working, cute-shoe wearing, master negotiator, boo-boo kissing, sometimes dating, charmed single mom. My life replicates the lives of my married mom friends minus the husband. JD is no worse or better off than any of his friends. He karate chopped at the birthday party and played hide-and-seek in the park with them this weekend. He got new blocks just because. We are lucky, typical, happy, pasta-eating Italians from Jersey and far from what Grothmann’s proposed bill claims:

48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

The most disturbing thing about this proposed bill is the black-and-white statement. “Nonmarital parenthood is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” This is such bologna! I am red-faced thinking that someone is claiming my son is at risk for child abuse, but children with two supportive parents are not. First off, where are the absent parents? Why does their absence and irresponsibility correlate to a single parent’s lifestyle or how they raise their child, alone. Nowhere in this bill, or in general when single parent stats come out, is there talk about the fathers who abandon their responsibilities. It is constantly the single moms who are weighed down with scrutiny and shame—well guess what? Not me! I’m proud of my life and my child and I’m insulted completely, to my core, by Grothmann. It’s like saying all people who work in the magazine industry wear Prada and are devils. (We don’t. I own nothing w/ a Prada label. I'm told I'm bubbly!) I equate his proposed bill to my preschooler’s ability to see things black and white due to his age-appropriate cognitive limitations, smirk. Life is grey or a rainbow, as I tell JD—many shades to things, red, green, blue, purple, yell-OW, HELLO! 

I am sure my friend, Matt Logelin, whose wife, Liz, died 27 hours after giving birth to their daughter, Maddy, shares my sentiment, because there is no regard for his tragic situation either. One deceased parent = child abuse (but, wait, loop hole, he has Brooke in his life, so perhaps Maddy is better off than JD—what!?). My successful NYC editor friend and author of Knock Yourself Up is a Choice Mom and is also under this grim umbrella of so-called child abusers. Wealthy, celebrity single parents, too.  

In my mind, this umbrella is weathered and mangled from the harsh, cold, bitter wind. It doesn't work or make sense to use. It should be thrown out. It's GARBAGE. No more raining on my single mom parade! Non-marital parenthood does not equate to welfare, neglect or child abuse. Umbrella statements hold no relevance in my life. Single parents, I urge you to prevail. Do not be discouraged. Cheers! 

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