- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2016

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Mother’s Day penned a heartfelt message honoring single moms, saying she never understood the struggles single parents face until she tragically lost her husband last year while vacationing in Mexico.

“This year I am thinking especially of the many mothers across the country and the world who are raising children on their own,” the mother of two wrote. “For me, this is still a new and unfamiliar world. Before, I did not quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home.

“For many single mothers, this is the only world they know. Each and every day they make sacrifices, push through barriers, and nurture beautiful families despite the demands on their time and energy,” Ms. Sandberg, 46, continued. “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.

“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,” she wrote. “The United States is the only developed economy in the world that does not provide paid maternity leave. Almost a third of working mothers don’t have access to any kind of paid leave to care for themselves or their families if someone gets sick. Instead of providing support, we all too often leave the families who are struggling the most to fend for themselves. The odds are stacked against single mothers in this country. Yet so many give everything they have and go on to raise incredible children.

“We need to rethink our public and corporate workforce policies and broaden our understanding of what a family is and looks like,” Ms. Sandberg argued. “We need to build a world where families are embraced and supported and loved no matter how they fit together. 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. We must do more as leaders, as coworkers, as neighbors, and as friends.

“Being a mother is the most important — and most humbling — job I’ve ever had,” she concluded. “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.”

Ms. Sandberg’s post has been shared more than 19,000 times.

Her husband, Dave Goldberg, the former chief executive of the online survey and research company Survey Monkey, died unexpectedly in a treadmill accident last May while on vacation in Mexico. He was 47.

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