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The CafeMom Newcomers Club The CafeMom Newcomers Club

Being a single mother is more than just being alone with your children

Since I've been a mother, I've seen a few times where married mothers will compare themselves to being a single mom.  One example was a friend of mine who posted "Now I know what it's like to be a single mom" (because her husband went out with his friends and stayed out until 2:00 am).  Another example was a friend who said "Thanks (husband's employer), for making me a married single mom".  I've also seen a few posts on CM where the mother is complaining about her husband having to work so much and how she feels like a single mom.

I understand that it must be frustrating to have your spouse/so not around as much as you'd like -- or how upsetting that must feel to have your spouse/so let you down by not being there when you feel they should be.  That said - it is still nothing like being a single mom. 

Yeah, some husbands may not contribute much at all and might always fall short or disappoint by not helping financially, emotionally, physically -- in which case I can't help but ask "If he is really that bad, why are you with him?"

But - a husband who works hard to provide for his family...or a husband who made a bad decision ONE night by staying out too late?  If I were him, I'd be offended to hear my wife say "I'm practically a single mother".  It's like saying "he might as well not even be in our lives at all" -- "he makes no positive difference to our family whatsoever"

I just wish these mothers could recognize and appreciate the support and contributions they get from their spouse/SO rather than only focusing on the few negatives.  I wish they could understand that being a single mother is about a lot more than simply being the only parent there with the child/ren.

by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM
Replies (71-80):
BoofersGurl17
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I agree 100%

KellBell0820
by Silver Member on Sep. 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM


Quoting one_on_the_way:


Quoting kansasmom1978:

My husband is away for work for weeks on end, I know what it's like to be a single mom. Having to take care of everything alone sucks.

Are you also solely responsible for earning money for your family?  The only one to worry about that kind of thing?  Do you never have your husband to talk to about the day....or to talk about decisions which affect your child/ren?  Are you the only one to worry about how your child is doing and whether you are making the right decisions for your family?  Does your husband never say "thank you" (I hope he does....if not, give me his number and I'll give him a piece of my mind!)?  When he IS home, does he do nothing to contribute, help, make your life easier...even for just a little bit? 

This is often what I want to say to people when it seems they just aren't getting it. However, I've been on both (maybe all) sides of this. I was a married mom with a husband that didn't help out too much, then he joined the military and we went through month long training exercises, deployments, etc. Then we separated and I was a truly single parent, no child support, nothing. He does pay support now though. I don't think any less of any other woman/mother's struggle but being a truly single/solo parent is very different.

boredmom47265
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 9:07 AM

 Even if DH did absolutely nothing, I would never compare myself to a single mom. Even if he spent all his money on himself I would never do that. Why...because being married is not single regaurdless of his involvement. Unless you have ever been a single mom, don't compair yourself to one. At least he is a warm body in your home (when he is there) instead of a pillow.

one_on_the_way
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM


Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

and being a married mother isnt just somehow easier or better because there is another person living in the home.
the two lifestyles have their own individual challenges and rewards.
i will never understand this single mothers vs married mother 'competition'. 

It isn't about competition.  It is about appreciation.  If a married mother claims that she is "a married single mother", she is expressing absolutely no appreciation or gratitude for the value her husband and father of her child(ren) adds to her life and family.  

If her husband adds nothing to her life and family, she should reconsider being married to him.  

It's about appreciation.


justhavingfun.
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM
True that! And maybe experiencing BEING a single mom would make them appreciate what men do!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
NDADanceMom
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM
2 moms liked this

I know single moms that get more support than some married ones.  I thnk we all have our own experience and you cant judge how they feel. 

incognito116
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM
1 mom liked this
People are entitled to their own feelings, they don't have to justify them to you.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
NDADanceMom
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I have a friend "r" she gets 5k a month in support from her x plus lives in a fully paid for $700,000 home.  She also has TONS of friends, family and her x is very supportive.  I know other married moms that are always broke, married to a useless ass hat, even worse he makes life harder.  

Marital status doesnt have anything to do with how hard your experience is. 

Quoting KellBell0820:


Quoting one_on_the_way:


Quoting kansasmom1978:

My husband is away for work for weeks on end, I know what it's like to be a single mom. Having to take care of everything alone sucks.

Are you also solely responsible for earning money for your family?  The only one to worry about that kind of thing?  Do you never have your husband to talk to about the day....or to talk about decisions which affect your child/ren?  Are you the only one to worry about how your child is doing and whether you are making the right decisions for your family?  Does your husband never say "thank you" (I hope he does....if not, give me his number and I'll give him a piece of my mind!)?  When he IS home, does he do nothing to contribute, help, make your life easier...even for just a little bit? 

This is often what I want to say to people when it seems they just aren't getting it. However, I've been on both (maybe all) sides of this. I was a married mom with a husband that didn't help out too much, then he joined the military and we went through month long training exercises, deployments, etc. Then we separated and I was a truly single parent, no child support, nothing. He does pay support now though. I don't think any less of any other woman/mother's struggle but being a truly single/solo parent is very different.


one_on_the_way
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM


Quoting pasteeater:

I knew some one and her and her husband have problems. They "split" up for a whole day and a half. They have kids. So she put on her fb that it's hard being a single mom. He was gone probably 18 hours when she said that. Lol I didn't say any thing to her but that was funny!

I had a friend whose husband stayed out late drinking - he had a hangover the next day.  She posted "now I know what it's like to be a single mom".  My thought was...So, your husband is a jerk one night, and suddenly you're a single mom?  Okay.  This same mom said a couple weeks ago, when her husband was out of town for two nights.....that "having the whole weekend with her child by herself gets to be pretty long" (so long, in fact, that she had to drop her child off at Grandma and Grandpa's so she could 'get a break').

It's kind of ironic really.  These married mothers say things like "I feel like a single mother" as a sort of 'complaint' (it is never a way to say "Hey, this single mom thing is really a breeze - don't know what all the fuss is about")....they say it as a way to imply that she is having a very hard time and is feeling stressed and alone.  Yet, when a single mother points out that "yes, it can be hard, can't it?" -- God forbid that single mother also ask the married mom "what does your husband contribute to the quality of your life and the security and wellbeing of your family?"  Suddenly, the married moms get defensive about how married life brings so many of its own challenges....all the while accusing the single mom of trying to make it a competition.   

Maybe if the married mom would simply not bring up the trials of tribulations of feeling 'like' a single mom, there would be no reason to point out the flaws in that logic.

one_on_the_way
by on Sep. 2, 2012 at 2:49 PM

My thought....that single mother you mentioned most likely does not have much to worry about or complain about.  I bet she is appreciative of the support she receives financially and emotionally.  I bet she is grateful her ex is an involved and loving father.  

And, that married mother you mentioned (especially if her husband makes life harder) should consider taking steps to make that 'asshat' her ex.  

My post, however, was about married mothers who DO have supportive husbands- ones who earn money to support their family - ones who are present and caring fathers - ones who share in decisions and worries -- ones who love them and whom they love in return.  Yet, if he suddenly works too many hours....or screws up one night and stays out late....that married mother decides to say "I feel like a single mom"....and, that statement is a complaint, not a praise about the joys of single parenthood.

That said, you are right that marital status does not define individual experiences.

I have a married friend who I believe would be happier and better off if she got a divorce and lived as a single/divorced mother.  Many of the mothers who 'complain' about feeling like single mothers would, in fact, have a happier life if they just got divorced and didn't have the stress a bad, toxic, relationship/marriage adds to their life and family.

Quoting NDADanceMom:

I have a friend "r" she gets 5k a month in support from her x plus lives in a fully paid for $700,000 home.  She also has TONS of friends, family and her x is very supportive.  I know other married moms that are always broke, married to a useless ass hat, even worse he makes life harder.  

Marital status doesnt have anything to do with how hard your experience is. 

Quoting KellBell0820:


Quoting one_on_the_way:


Quoting kansasmom1978:

My husband is away for work for weeks on end, I know what it's like to be a single mom. Having to take care of everything alone sucks.

Are you also solely responsible for earning money for your family?  The only one to worry about that kind of thing?  Do you never have your husband to talk to about the day....or to talk about decisions which affect your child/ren?  Are you the only one to worry about how your child is doing and whether you are making the right decisions for your family?  Does your husband never say "thank you" (I hope he does....if not, give me his number and I'll give him a piece of my mind!)?  When he IS home, does he do nothing to contribute, help, make your life easier...even for just a little bit? 

This is often what I want to say to people when it seems they just aren't getting it. However, I've been on both (maybe all) sides of this. I was a married mom with a husband that didn't help out too much, then he joined the military and we went through month long training exercises, deployments, etc. Then we separated and I was a truly single parent, no child support, nothing. He does pay support now though. I don't think any less of any other woman/mother's struggle but being a truly single/solo parent is very different.



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