The capitalist system creates an uneven playing field when it comes to raising children. In order to keep the “man of the house” enslaved through his labour, and through this template the family dependent upon it, they promote the nuclear family as the norm and show disdain for alternative family structures. The single parent family has become an everyday occurrence and yet the society we live in makes no allowances for such an arrangement, unless the second parent has little to no involvement with their children.
Where two parents are separated, sharing the responsibilities of parenthood equally, both working and providing financial security, a safe home and the best quality of life that can be afforded to a child, only one is recognised by the state as a parent. The state makes no allowances for parents who are on an equal footing and share time and sacrifices equally between them, as this requires an acceptance of equality between men and women in the family, and the absence of the nuclear family structure which has come to dictate our working class lives.
In families where there is no one breadwinner and one homemaker, the state washes it’s hands of any responsibility to the child. One parent may be working full time, more easily able to provide for the child whilst the other parent struggles to find work and maintain the standard of living. The state will provide for the child by way of benefits, but these are limited to one parent only, despite the equal split in parenting. This encourages the one parent to be dependent on the other, thus providing the framework, on paper, for a nuclear family outside of the accepted norm.
This enables the exploitation of the one parent who is overextended and forced to rely on the other parent. Where no relationship exists further than the parenting of the child, this system forces an unnatural dependency which is unhealthy and unequal. This further promotes the conditions required for the oppression of the working class through exploitation of the accepted family structure, the forcing of single parents into poverty by refusal to recognise their status as a full time single parent in equal standing with the other, and the limiting of opportunity for decent employment and education that results from this.