How to Celebrate Single Parents' Day

Mother being kissed by son and daughter (13-15) eyes closed, smiling.
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Single Parents' Day takes place each year on March 21. This is a day of celebration where we honor and applaud the hard work single parents perform every day when raising their children. The International Vice President of Membership for Parents Without Partners, Mary Anne Britton, says that Single Parents' Day is a day for "honoring the single parent who is basically doing double duty" and "giving them some respect."

The idea for Single Parents' Day began back in 1984 with an article written by Janice Moglen, a divorced mother of two who hoped that Single Parents' Day might one day gain the recognition many associate with both Mother's Day and Father's Day. In collaboration with the organization Parents Without Partners, Moglen began to petition individual states to declare their own recognition of Single Parents' Day. It is believed that March 21 was chosen as the official day to coincide with the inception of Parents Without Partners, which began 50 years ago, on March 21, 1957.

How to Celebrate Single Parents' Day

While some may conclude that Single Parents' Day is just a variation of Mother's Day and Father's Day, it's much more than that. Single Parents' Day is an opportunity for the children of single parent families to recognize the sacrifices that both of their parents make to provide for their needs, collaborate with one another, and maintain a stable home environment where their children can thrive. It's also an opportunity for single parents to celebrate their efforts and achievements on their own.

There are many ways to honor Single Parents' Day. For instance, parents can write a personal letter to each of their children, telling them how special they are, and how much they enjoy being a part of their lives. Parents can also opt to get together with other single parent families to celebrate their collective successes. Recording the small triumphs enjoyed each day, in raising your children, is another way to celebrate. Simply jot down some notes in your personal journal daily. 

For children of single parents, Britton has some advice:

"Call your mom or dad on Single Parents' Day and say, "Thank you for loving me enough to do what you did." It doesn't have to be anything major; it doesn't have to be cards and flowers. Just thank your parents. Give them some respect, and tell them how much you love them."

Increasing Awareness

Luckily, anyone can help support Single Parents' Day. Since its inception, both national and state proclamations in support of Single Parents' Day have been sporadic. You can play a role in changing that trend by requesting that both local and national leaders issue a proclamation in support of Single Parents' Day on March 21. Do so by e-mailing the White House or contacting your local governor.

Single Parents' Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the determination and strength shown by more than 14 million single parents who are raising children in the U.S. today. Britton notes that "Many single parents aren't even putting themselves in second or third place" as they work to raise their kids, "making sure their kids have the same opportunities as dual family units." While there is tremendous joy in the task, it's also a lot to bear all on your own. It's time to applaud the individuals who are up to the task.