Family

Single mother shares heartbreaking reality of parenting alone

Single mother and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has written a moving and poignant essay about the realities of raising children alone, after she tragically lost her husband a year ago.
Single mother Sheryl Sandberg

Single mother Sheryl Sandberg

After losing her husband Dave a year ago, when he suddenly dropped dead while exercising, Sheryl’s world changed forever.

Suddenly, the mother-of-two was tasked with raising her children alone, after years of playing happy families.

And in a heart-breaking post shared on social media, the Facebook executive wrote about the painful reality she now exists in.

“Dave’s absence is part of our daily lives and, for me, has redefined what it is to be a mother. Before Dave died, I had a partner who shared both the joys and responsibilities of parenting. Then, without any warning, I was on my own,” Sheryl writes.

As part of the post, which was shared earlier this month, Sheryl tries to highlight the incredible work single mothers do everywhere, despite their often difficult circumstances.

Sheryl and her husband Dave (via Facebook)

“I will never experience and understand all of the challenges most single moms face, but I understand a lot more than I did a year ago. Our widespread cultural assumption that every child lives with a two-parent heterosexual married couple is out of date.

“I think we all owe it to single mothers to recognize that the world does not make it easy for them, especially for those who struggle to make ends meet.”

The working mum calls on workplaces to rethink and broaden their understanding of what a family looks like.

“It takes a community to raise children and that so many of our single mothers need and deserve a much more supportive community than we give them. We owe it to them and to their children to do better. We must do more as leaders, as coworkers, as neighbours, and as friends.

“Being a mother is the most important—and most humbling—job I’ve ever had. As we rightly celebrate motherhood, we should give special thanks to the women who are raising children on their own. And let’s vow to do more to support them, every day.”

See the full Facebook post here.

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