Sheryl Sandberg On Being A Single Mom

by Sumdima Rai
Amidst all celebration of Mother’s Day this year, a thought-provoking post was put up on Facebook that has caught the minds and hearts of many across the web. Posted by Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, her heart-wrenching post detailed her own realization of just how hard life is a single mom is. Last year Sandberg  became a single mom herself after losing her husband, David.

What really moved me about this post was that Sandberg represents a voice that goes beyond her personal struggle as a single mom. She goes on to address larger issues plaguing single mothers.

She writes:

“I realize how extremely fortunate I am not to face the financial burdens so many single mothers and widows face. Poverty is one of the hidden and devastating aftereffects of loss for women…Cohabitating and many same-sex couples who lose partners are particularly vulnerable as they are not afforded the same rights of survivorship that married heterosexual couples have.”

She also touches upon the issue of unpaid maternity leave in the US and calls for reformation of such policies. But the most powerful part of her post is the underlying message that if we desire change, then we have to be the vehicles of change by becoming better leaders, coworkers, neighbors and friends:

“Our widespread cultural assumption that every child lives with a two-parent heterosexual married couple is out of date. Since the early 1970s, the number of single mothers in the United States has nearly doubled. Today, almost 30 percent of families with children are headed by a single parent, and 84 percent of those are led by single mother. And yet our policies do not reflect this shift."

Read Sheryl Sandberg’s inspiring original post here.
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