What Single Moms Want Their Married Friends To Know

by Alexandra Elizabeth

Hanging upside down on the monkey bars or gearing up for an underdog on the swings, who can remember singing the catchy first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage rhyme at the playground? {Raises hand.} For many mothers, myself included, this isn’t how life unfolds for us, and we move forward anchoring our family without a partner.

pinnable single moms married friends

Single parents often hear from their married friends phrases including I don’t know how you do it! or I could never be a single mom! or even you must be so tired! There is no denying a single parents life is different from married moms in a variety of ways – from income to flexibility to support. It can be easy to assume our lives are one way, when really they aren’t. So from one single mom here are three things I would share with married moms about parenting solo:

1. We don’t all want to be married – No more awkward  blind dates with your husband’s single cousin from out of town. Contrary to popular belief not all single moms want to tie the knot. Society has a fantastic way of pressuring us into thinking our households aren’t complete or adequate with a man and a ring. Guess what? Marriage isn’t for all of us, we can and do find fulfillment without a spouse.

2. Save your pity – We don’t want it! Yes, being a single parent is challenging, but not impossible. Will we face obstacles? Of course, just like any other parent, but it doesn’t mean we live in a constant state of darkness. Support us, but don’t assume we pity ourselves!

3. Your husband being away doesn’t make you a single parent – Your husband is on a business trip or golfing with his buddies for a weekend. You’re home to care of the kids. You’re used to his support, and in his absence it’s on you to juggle household responsibilities and the kids. However, there is a big difference in being a single parent full-time versus a short amount of time.

Are you a single mom? What would you share with married moms about your life?
-Or-
Are you married? What would you share with single moms about being a married parent?



Email Author    |    Website About Alexandra Elizabeth

Alexandra is a sassy high-spirited working mom to one sparkling daughter living in Boston. Her blog, Alexandra Elizabeth offers a candid view of motherhood, single parenting, healthy living, products reviews, and more! You can catch her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire Challenor July 24, 2012 at 4:36 am

You know what, you’ve got it in one. My best friend has recently become a single mother. Us girls got together and threw her a baby shower, we painted her toes, I was at the birth etc with no husband or partner in sight. She is a single woman with her son now, no partner wanted or needed. Some of friends understand that she is fine alone, she would appreciate dinner, a chat and hug when necessary but for others, it’s hard and the comments still come but they’re learning! Thanks for the post.

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2 JM July 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

This hit home for me. I was a single mom for 2 years & it was a struggle yet empowering. Now that I am in a healthy & stable relationship, I have that peace of mind knowing I will always be able to take care of myself & my children if I need to, it’s a good feeling :)

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3 MommyPage July 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Good advice! These are important things to remember that people don’t always consider. Thank you for the suggestions.

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4 The Mommist August 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

Awesome post! I’m not a single mom but most of my friends are and I applaud them for raising their kids on their own for years now. You’re right, it’s challenging but not impossible. Hard but attainable. Always.

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5 Au Pair agency Ireland August 10, 2012 at 11:01 am

Thanks for the post. I am married and have some single mom friends. I just want to confess I honestly admire them. It is not because I think that they have some superpowers, but it is the feeling that I have the same potential to be as effective as them but I like to have myself supported or helped to and that itself makes me feel weaker. I’m not searching for independence, but for the independent woman’s self-confidence. So, single moms’ fan here :)

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6 Anna Bradley June 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I was with you until you decided to point out that single moms aren’t like women whose husbands are gone. Why does it have to be a competition?

And if we’re going to compete, how about I point out that while my husband is deployed I don’t get a break 3 days a week, or every other weekend? I don’t get to go out with my friends or date… It’s like I’m a temporary widow. Yes, I have financial support but I get ZERO time alone, and there’s always the risk that my husband could, you know, DIE.

Anyway, my point is that as mothers without partners, whether temporary or permanent, we should build each other and support one another, not play the “Who has it worse” game.

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7 Cera September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Now imagine ALL THAT without financial support. Nobody wants to compete. But imagine no alone time, no break, no help, and NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT. No competition, just want “married” people to understand.

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8 Deanna March 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm

It’s not a competition..and we applaud your husband for serving. And yes, he is gone, so it’s just just for a weekend or a week for you, it is a long time. But like Cera said, imagine all of what you just said WITHOUT financial support. There’s nobody else helping to pay for raising our children. And that’s a definite thing until we are able to squeeze in a date somewhere here and there and find a husband. It’s a permanant thing. We dont get any visits from a husband ever, we dont have a spouse to even skype with or write to. We certainly aren’t getting a check. That’s not something we signed up for either…that’s just the way it happened. Single mom’s unite, army wives unite, and everyone’s got their own worries. Neither one is worse, but neither one can compare to the other.

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9 JoJo July 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm

I don’t think ANY mother who is a GROWN & MATURE WOMAN is or wants to play a “who has it worse” game!?! Regardless of ANYONES current situation… Being a Mama is NOT a burden and it’s definitely no where near a game! However, with that said…. I’m curious as to where these 3 “free days” a week and the “every other weekend off’s” are coming from? Lol… I am a single mother of an 8 yr old daughter and 3 yr old son and while I was with their Dad for 12 years (beginning at the ripe age of 14)… The toxicity of the relationship and the recapturing of my self worth made me realize I’d rather be alone and happy without any help/support, then continue on with someone who clearly wouldnt love & care for us as we deserved. My week for the last 3 years… M-F kids are dropped off at daycare at 6am, work Til 5, pick 1 up from day care, 1 up from after school, home about 6:30, unless my daughter has cheerleading then it’s about 7:30-8, dinner, homework/play time, cleanup, baths, bed for them! Laundry, dishes, hopefully catch my best friend on the phone and put it on speaker while cleaning, etc. And if Im done by 10pm watch my show or else a few Golden Girls episodes, FB and then bedtime to prepare for the same thing the next day, along with any other curve balls life has to throw in there! (Flat tires, sick kids, appointments, dying family members, major betrayals, friends taken too soon, etc.) From April 2013 to now… Aug. 2014 I have had an overnight babysitter 6 times! TRUST ME… Partying w friends and dates were hardly on my mind and I would give anything to be married with a loyal husband who loves me near or far and a father my children can not only look up too, but who could show my daughter what a Real Man looks and acts like… And teach my son how to become that Man. (Let alone teach him how to “aim” & not miss the toilet) lol… Let’s not forget about the $20,000 in back child support I’ve seen none of! JUST KNOW… NOT ALL SINGLE MOMS GET CHILD SUPPORT, WEEKENDS, or even a week a YEAR!!! ;)

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10 Ali August 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

It would be like if a married woman’s husband went on an extended business trip and that woman said “I am Army wife-ing it for the next few weeks.” Um, no … no, she’s not. I’m sure you, who knows the struggle of being in a military family, might find that statement erroneous if not outright offensive.

And you are making a pretty big assumptions about free days and weekends. Many of us have 24/7/365 solo responsibility with no emotional support, no logistical support, and no financial support. I wouldn’t presume to know what it feels like to be a military wife; I find it odd and offensive when married moms are quick and flippant about throwing around phrases like “Being a single mom for the week.”

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11 Laurel July 19, 2014 at 12:58 am

Anna, first of all I want to thank you and your family for serving. It’s not just our military men that serve, but their families who make that sacrifice with them and for that I am truly grateful to you, your husband and your children.

I am a single mom and while I’m not in competition with my married friends we do have a different perspective. When someone says “I’m single mommin’ it this weekend, my husband is out of town so I know how you feel. . .” I think we’ve all had that person in our lives who says “I know exactly how you feel” at a very inopportune time. I sometimes want to scream that they have no clue how I feel day in and day out. I think military wives and those whose husbands are gone for extended periods of time have the closest perspective. But I freely admit that while I can imagine how it might feel to juggle my current routine and be worried about a husband overseas in a dangerous area, I really can only begin to understand what it is truly like for you and other military spouses. There are things my married friends juggle that I can’t fully relate to either.

For me it’s more about respecting each other, our roles and our different experiences. Not trying to prove who has it better or worse but loving and respecting each other for the women we are and the strengths we bring into our current roles whether we be single parents, military spouses or married to the 9 – 5er.

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12 Shannon August 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Anna Bradley…I agree with you 100%…we should all support each other as moms but I don’t think the article was stating that single moms have it worse it’s just different and I grew up in a military family and was in the military myself. Many times my dad was deployed and my mom had to raise 5 kids by herself…the fact that she had financial support made a huge difference.

I’m a full time single mom…the mom who always has their child with no breaks….and there is a difference between the type of single mom I am and the single mom who gets every other weekend to herself.

I recently lost my job and having to worry about everything is challenging but I wouldn’t want it any other way! My husband leaving and cheating was hard but it’s turned out to be the best thing for me b/c without him I’m so much better off no job and all!

Bottom line….All women are great and we all have our challenges!

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13 Michele September 11, 2013 at 2:00 am

As a former military spouse and now a single parent of three, I have to agree with Shannon, support is important in any situation where “single parenting” is involved. That being said you need to remember that all single parenting situations are different. Not all single parents get every other weekend off. I have my children 89% of the year and honestly “dating” is usually not an option and it isn’t fun. On a side note as a military spouse who is dealing with a deployment you have the peace of mind that your spouse loves you, they are out there somewhere thinking of you and your children and they can’t wait for the day that they are able to be back with their family. That is a huge blessing and support that I don’t have anymore and it does make a huge difference, for me at least. I am very happy to be raising my children alone, we have a great life (even on a very limited budget) but speaking as someone that has dealt with deployment “single parenting” and actual single parenting you really can’t compare the two.

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14 Tara October 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Here’s the thing, I agree with a lot that has been said. Mothers in general do so much for their children that none of us really have any free time. I’m a single mom and yes my 2 girls go to their dad’s every Thursday and every other weekend. However that is not to say I have free time because they are gone. There are still things to get done. Mowing the yard, grocery shopping, car servicing, cleaning the house, etc. There is no time for dating, partying, going on trips, etc. On the rare occasion do I go hang at a friend’a house. That does not mean I do more than a married mother. My mom(married) is a school teacher and mother of 5 girls. She did everything for us and my dad wasn’t around. He left before we got up and got home to eat supper in his room and go to bed. He did not help my mom other than financially supporting his family, but she was too.
My point is that, women as a whole are amazing! We can do anything! And we can do it ourselves! We don’t need men to be there to help us. I was a stay at home mom for many years before my husband started cheating. Was it a struggle in the beginning? Of course! Was it good for me? YES! Am I happy? For the most part, I miss my girls when they are gone.
As a single mom, I DO NOT enjoy when my kids are gone! They are my pride and joy! They are my life! I agree with many things on this blog, with the exception that we single moms who get every other weekend to ourselves to go on dates or partying…..NO, it’s torturous! I count the hours to when my girls will be back with me.

In NO WAY am I saying my life is harder than anyone else’s. We moms all have a lot to deal with….just some of us don’t have to deal with men’s BS lol!

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15 Christy May 20, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Exactly. Everyone has their own struggles as a single parent. I would like to add that I do want to married. And just because I want to and am not, does not mean I live in darkness either. People assume way too much. I’m happy I get to raise my son without discussing the decisions I make. That is a pro most of my married friends don’t have. However, I’m not naïve enough to think that my son not having a strong male father figure is the best thing for him. He deserves to see his mom happy and have an example of what a healthy relationship/marriage looks like. Sadly, he just doesn’t get enough of that.

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16 Dina Farmer July 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm

For sure it is something to think about. I was raised by a single mother, so I can sympathize with this list. I disagree a little bit about the last one…only because I’m a military spouse and working myself. I do agree that it is not a competition, but it’s still a likeness to being a single parent because I do bring home a paycheck and still have to take care of the house and my child at the end of the day. I do have an additional pay check coming in but at the end of the day it’s still tough not being able to have another adult at home to talk to. I know that we choose this lifestyle and it’s still really tough to be apart for so long. We are on a 14 give or take a few months deployment.

I do have a lot of single mother friends that I would never dream of saying anything like that! I even have military single mother friends that I couldn’t imagine every saying anything like that or saying I’m a better parent because I have a husband. But I’m the first to offer them a night with out their kids.

Thanks for this article! I think it’s really enlightening. We as mother’s need to stick to each other and hold each other up.

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