Go Ask Your Dad

Let us now praise single moms

Go Ask Your Dad is parenting advice with a philosophical bent as one dad explores what we want out of life, for ourselves and our children, through useful paradigms and best practices. Share your insight at the CNN Parenting Facebook page.

(CNN)Roughly 24 million, or one-third of all American children under age 18, are living with an unmarried parent, according to a Pew Research Center analysis last year of US Census Bureau data. And 81% of those single parent homes are headed by a mom.

This has been a growing trend since the late 1960s. The number of kids being raised by mostly single moms has more than doubled between 1968 and 2017.
Yet despite growing up in the middle of this trend, in the 1970s and '80s, when divorce was increasingly common and "Kramer vs. Kramer" felt like the documentary of our childhood, and despite being part of a generation of latchkey kids who came home from school while parents were still at work, I was, I confess, embarrassed to be raised by a single mom when I was growing up.
For the majority of my 12 years of Catholic school, I was the only student who lived with one parent. And for that reason, I was also, demonstratively, the poorest kid in my school. We lived off one paycheck, or paychecks when my mom held multiple jobs at once. The modest child support went to school tuition.

    Go Ask Your Dad is parenting advice with a philosophical bent as one dad explores what we want out of life, for ourselves and our children, through useful paradigms and best practices. It considers old problems in new ways, and new problems that previous generations didn't face.

    Like most kids, I didn't want to be different. I wanted to be "normal." "Why can't we just be normal?" I'd often lament to my mom.
    I was embarrassed by our car, which broke down; embarrassed that we didn't seem to go anywhere for vacation; that I didn't have brand-name clothes (thank God for school uniforms that greatly leveled the playing field); or video games; or cable TV; or anything else that my classmates had. I was embarrassed tha