Single Parents are Superheroes: A Glimpse into the Stories of the Modern Family

December 10, 2018
Posted in Fall 2018
December 10, 2018 Francisco Perez

Single Parent households make up more than 12 million families in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Each and every family has a different story to tell of their lives living with one parent or being a single parent. The stories on this page are a fraction of what is out there, yet these stories are able to tell us important and emotional testimonies to living in a single parent household.

Families I have talked to all semester have given snapshots of their everyday lives. Children of single parents, single parents, and people who have come across varying degrees of this lifestyle. These people are in the community of single parent households. This community is prevalent and perseverant, they know their struggles and are able to stand tall and live to the fullest, even with one parent in their lives.

The Single Parent household has recently been given more spotlight, in fact ABC introduced a new show this Fall called “Single Parents” that highlights the good and the bad of single parent lifestyles. The show has a narrative that portrays the strength of single parents and how they love and support their children despite the hardships they endure.

The first family I met was Elsa Todd and Elena Perez, a mother and daughter duo who supported one another hand in hand. Elena Perez is a student activist who has been making strides in New Jersey for gun reform. Her mother Elsa is her number one supporter and a single mother helping Elena grow, and soon go to college. Elsa as a single mother works to make sure Elena is doing well in school and make sure she is happy doing what she does, and that is standing up for students who can’t do it for themselves. Elena recognizes their family’s struggles, but also their strengths. With their bubbly relationship and love for one another, Elsa and Elena told their story of single parenthood. How even with one parent, especially one parent, you can still change the world.

“There’s always a sun somewhere, even if we can’t find it right now.” -Elena Perez

The next family I met was Angelique Londino and her children Nina Starr Muro, Jaxx Lennon Muro, and Mark McCartney Muro. I sat down with Angelique and talked to her about what it was like to have small children ages nine, nine, and five while being a single parent. She is in charge of everything, and it is stressful at times, but very rewarding. Angelique said, “Do I like being a single mom? I love being a mother, it is the greatest role I have ever taken in my entire life.” This was amidst her chasing the children around a couple of stores we visited, very hectic, but she takes it and runs.

Angelique found ways to entertain the kids while we talked, and that seems to be similar to how their home life works. Once school and homework are done Angelique finds fun ways to entertain her children and then does what she has to do like cook, clean, or work. She is grateful though, her mother lives with her family, so she is a helping hand when Angelique might not be able to do everything she wants to. Angelique’s ex-husband is also in the picture as well. AJ Muro is a great father she says, and will contribute to the kids with whatever they need. He sees them on a schedule and Angelique and him are still friends. Angelique might be off at work teaching or at a show she is performing in and her mother or AJ might be watching the kids. The single parent household is full of laughter and love, and is teaching her children that life has hardships, but everything they do makes their future a little brighter.

“They are my chance to change the world, but also, dude I am so like, tired.” -Angelique Londino

The statistics surrounding single parent households shed light on more information than I expected. You are able to see in my infogram, the difference between Single Mothers and Fathers, their marital status, and poverty rates for single parents. All of these numbers represent the real people living in single parent lifestyles. The people I spoke to had very loving things to say about their single parents, these are only a few of the over 12 million stories that are here in the U.S. alone.

“She’s my best friend and my rock. Most importantly she’s my role model.”

-Krystal Aguilar

“As both mom and dad, friend, coach, counselor, Siri (before it existed), fortune teller, and biggest fan, my mom is the personification of true love and has shown me who I can only aspire to become.”

-Cheryl Ruiz

“She is truly a hero to me, and nothing could ever change that. Gloria. Her name is Gloria, and she is a compassionate, understanding, and intelligent mother, even 23 years later.”

-Stanley Wiercinski

Frankie Perez

Senior Journalism Major

I am Frankie Perez, a Senior Journalism student here at Montclair State University. I was drawn to making my multimedia project revolve around the stories of single parents because they deserve more recognition than they are given, especially my own mother who is my Superhero. The families I spoke to all semester had many stories to share and gave me a deeper look into what it takes to be a single parent.