January 11, 2019
by Rachel O. S. Edmund.
I hate the term “broken home”. It makes me cringe and want to sock the person who uses it in a sentence!
Dictionary.com defines such as: a family in which one parent is absent, usually due to divorce or desertion.
If that is the actual definition of a broken home, then what is a home that has suffered the loss of a parent called? What about a home that was created because a woman chose to have a child without having the complicated input and responsibility of a co-habitational or marital relationship?
The connotation of brokenness to me leads to actual brokenness in that if you think that you are broken or that something is wrong with you, you will probably end up just that way! In the two scenarios that I mentioned a parent is absent yes but the home isn’t “broken”!
Brokenness implies that something needs to be repaired or there is some sort of dysfunction. How does one repair death or conscious choice? How do we make an already functional or operational unit “functional”? Divorce, incarceration and desertion as the definition juxtaposes causes broken homes but the reality is that they actually cause single parent homes.
I am a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to words and the English language; I am very attuned to words. I believe that the words “broken home” is suggestive of so many negatives and people just don’t understand how much I think in many cases of single parenthood that the home is quite stable and lacks very little because within that home can be found traditional moral values, discipline, kindness, a whole lot of love and care. In most of the homes that I know of that are run by single mothers the children are well rounded and well educated, they are healthy and have a sense of purpose and drive like I’ve never seen in children!
I came from a single parent home; a single mother home with one brother and one sister. I was the middle child. Though we didn’t have all the luxuries of the day we had food that was always hot and ready for us. I do not remember a time when I had to go without a meal. We had access to free education until secondary school and my mother ensured that we had a good education. Like I said before we didn’t have a lot of extras, in fact we never got an allowance, only money to travel to and from school or bus tickets which she gave to us every morning before school!
As a single parent you have to know and understand that there are things that must be prioritized. I never thought that I would follow in my mother’s footsteps with my own children but here I am. My children did go without many things but they didn’t go without an education. In fact, I am the proud mother two wonderful, well rounded and well-adjusted girls. My older who is now nineteen, was a model student and the winner of a scholarship to study at university and my younger who is twelve aced her Secondary Entrance Exam and was a top 200 student (following in her sister’s footsteps)!
My children never went without my love and support. My children had issues yes, as any normal child navigating this world will but they passed through the phases with the understanding that they were loved and treasured.
So whenever I hear the term broken home I still cringe because I don’t think that my family was broken in the least especially since I believe in God. The bible says that He is father to the fatherless and has a special place in His heart for the widow and the orphan. There is only wholeness in God. My family was simply missing a parent.
I understand the roles each parent should play and the responsibilities of each in a child’s life but I’m not dealing with that in this article; I’m dealing with the term which I cannot stand in the least!
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