Parenting News

Hollywood star's powerful essay on single motherhood

The actress penned an essay celebrating single mums everywhere.

Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum

Hollywood star Emmy Rossum has opened up about her childhood, and touched on how she was raised by a single mother.

The American Shameless star wrote a lengthy Facebook post about growing up with one parent instead of two, directed at anyone who had their own troubles through childhood.

"I had a single mom. I have a single mom. This isn't a secret. Growing up in a school — and a world — filled with mostly two parent units was difficult for me," Emmy wrote.

After hitting out at the traditions such as the 'Father Daughter Dance,' Emmy highlights the way some common customs exclude people who don't have a father figure.

"Some of these traditions are really hard for those of us who don’t have. Even today, the idea of no father/daughter dance at my wedding. No father to walk me down the aisle. All of these “traditions” are painful reminders that inadvertently re-injure us, causing a feeling of loss, jealously (of others who have what I didn’t), anger and confusion. Usually leading to us feel somehow inadequate."

And as the 30-year-old details, the number of children without two parent families is getting larger by the year.

"Today, 1 in 4 children is being raised without a father. Almost half of these are divorced or separated. A third were never married or “born out of wedlock”. (Side note: Can we get rid of the term “out of wedlock” please? It feels very antiquated. Although, my parents were never married and being called a “bastard” growing up was particularly painful too so I guess I’ll take “out of wedlock” over “bastard” any day.)"

"But if there’s any upside to this widespread loss — it is knowing that there are more kids that are LIKE YOU. And LIKE ME. And now there’s a place to talk about all this stuff. And lots of other stuff."

Emmy concludes by thanking her friends, family, and Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook CEO who prompted her to speak out.

Sheryl lost her husband, Dave Goldberg, in 2015 when he fell of a treadmill while on holiday. Faced with the task of raising two children alone, Sheryl speaks regularly on the subject of grief, resilience, and the place for employer compassion.

She has also written Option B, a book about facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy again.

You can visit the website here and read real life stories of those who have conquered adversity.