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Single Parents' Day

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Mother being kissed by son and daughter (13-15) eyes closed, smiling.
Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images

What is Single Parents' Day?:

Single Parents' Day takes place each year on March 21. Simply put, it's a day set aside to honor and applaud the hard work single parents do each and every day in raising their children.

According to Mary Anne Britton, the International Vice President of Membership for Parents Without Partners, Single Parents' Day is a day for "honoring the single parent who is basically doing double duty" and "giving them some respect."

When Did Single Parents' Day Begin?:

The idea for Single Parents' Day began back in 1984 with an article written by Janice Moglen, a divorced mother of two who hoped that Single Parents' Day might one day gain the recognition many associate with both Mother's Day and Father's Day. In collaboration with the organization Parents Without Partners, Moglen began to petition individual states to declare their own recognition of Single Parents' Day.

It is believed that the day, March 21, was chosen to coincide with the inception of Parents Without Partners, which began 50 years ago, on March 21, 1957.

Why Set Aside a Separate Day?:

While some may conclude that Single Parents' Day is just a variation of Mother's Day and Father's Day, it is actually much more than that. Single Parents' Day is an opportunity for the children of single parent families to recognize the sacrifices both of their parents make to provide for their needs, collaborate with one another, and maintain a stable home environment where the children can thrive. It is also an opportunity for single parents themselves to celebrate their efforts and achievements.

Increased Awareness:

Single Parents' Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the determination and strength shown by the more than 14 million single parents who are raising children in the U.S. today. Britton notes that "Many single parents aren't even putting themselves in 2nd or 3rd place" as they work to raise their kids, "making sure they have the same opportunities as dual family units." While there is tremendous joy in the task, it is also a lot to bear all on your own, and it's time that we applaud the individuals who are up to the task, instead of tearing them down with negative propaganda.

Support Single Parents' Day:

Since its inception, both national and state proclamations in support of Single Parents' Day have been sporadic. You can play a role in changing that trend by requesting that both local and national leaders issue a proclamation in support of Single Parents' Day this March 21.

Celebrate Single Parents' Day:

Children of Single Parents:

Britton's advice for the children of single parents is this: "Call your mom or dad on Single Parents' Day and say 'Thank you for loving me enough to do what you did.' It doesn't have to be anything major; it doesn't have to be cards and flowers. Just thank your parents. Give them some respect, and tell them how much you love them."
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