"Single By Choice" Mothers

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Feb 02, 2009 5:41 PM
In this week's NY Times magazine, Emily Bazelon wrote about older, college-educated women who have children and remain single by choice.  Bazelon seem to be arguing, in part, that the mothers' determination not even to try to marry results in a reduced chance that children will experience the damaging "instability" elicited by divorces or break-ups.

Well, that's fine as far as it goes -- perhaps that's why Dr. Laura advises the newly-divorced with young children that their primary focus needs to be on their offspring, rather than on dating.

But what Bazelon's piece underplays completely the inherent value of having a father in one's life -- one who is committed to a child's mother through, yes, the traditional institution of marriage. 

Boys need loving, involved fathers. 

Girls need loving, involved fathers.

No matter how cute or how trendy it may seem to highlight the college educated "single by choice" mothers, there is one truth underlying all the happy talk:  Their children are being wilfully and deliberately deprived of an important -- often even essential -- buildling block of a happy, stable and successful life: A father.