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“We need to understand that 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.” – Sheryl Sandberg
A year after her husband’s death, Facebook COO
Sheryl Sandberg is opening up about her new reality as a single parent.
In an emotional 1,100-word Facebook post published Friday, Sheryl Sandberg reflected on her first year as a widow and single mother, reports Mashable columnist Rebecca Ruiz.
The Facebook COO, who lost her husband Dave Goldberg in May 2015, describes a “new and unfamiliar world” of trying to succeed at work without a partner at home, struggling to comfort her grieving children and regularly encountering reminders, like father-daughter dances, that her family will never be the same.
While the post was deeply personal, Sandberg devoted much of it
to honoring single mothers and describing the challenges they face.
“For many single mothers, this is the only world they know,” Sandberg writes. “Each and every day they make sacrifices, push through barriers, and nurture beautiful families despite the demands on their time and energy.”
Sandberg, who authored the 2013 bestselling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, even gave credit to critics who said she didn’t fully understand or account for the choices single mothers must make when trying to tend children and excel at work.
“In Lean In, I emphasized how critical a loving and supportive partner can be for women both professionally and personally. Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right.”
– Sheryl Sandberg
“Single moms have been leaning in for a long time—
out of necessity and a desire to provide the best possible opportunities for their children.” – Sheryl Sandberg
She also marshaled statistics to illustrate the tough odds single mothers labor against, including the fact that 35% of single moms experience food insecurity and 46% of families headed by black and Hispanic single mothers live in poverty.
She criticizes America’s stance on issues like paid parental and sick leave as leaving families to “fend for themselves”and concludes with a call to:
“rethink our public and corporate workforce policies
and broaden our understanding of what a family is and looks like.”
Sandberg’s strong convictions and empathetic approach will likely quiet some of her critics, particularly if she continues to advocate for all single mothers and their families — and she seems poised to do just that.
4GGL thanks Mashable for this story!