5 Misconceptions About Single Moms

mom showing two children how to cook spaghetti in the kitchen

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.


I’m going to confess something I’m completely ashamed of. I hope it doesn’t make you hate me or never want to read my articles again.

When it became evident that my marriage was over, the declaration that came out of my mouth was, “I’m going to be a single mom. That’s so pathetic.” Yep. I said those horrible words. I was afraid, ashamed, and completely judgmental. All I can think now is how wrong I was and how sorry I am to all the single moms for even thinking that.

The strange thing is, even at that time, I knew plenty of single or divorced moms who were amazing. I just chose to focus on the stereotypes because of my fear. So now I want to clear the air and say the way single moms are often portrayed is far from the women I know or the woman I was. Here are 5 misconceptions about single moms.

1. Single moms have given up on love.

Are a lot of single moms carrying scars from divorce or the loss of their husbands? Sure. And those scars make it harder to take the leap that can lead to a loving, fruitful relationship. But speaking for myself, I was cautiously optimistic that the things I’d learned about love and marriage would make me a better partner for the next person I decided to be in a relationship with.

If this misconception about single moms is actually true for you, no one says you have to be in a relationship again if you don’t want to, but don’t close yourself off to love because of wounds that can be healed through time and counseling.

2. Single moms are desperate to be remarried (and after someone’s husband).

The opposite side of the coin is the assumption that all single moms are on the prowl, searching for a guy to bait and get to commit. And if she’s in the same room as a married man… you’d better believe she has her sights set on him. Eye roll. Most single moms who have experienced the hurt of divorce want to make better choices and not rush into a new relationship.

Where this misconception about single moms does have merit is for the women who are really struggling and need an extra set of hands to manage the kids, house, and bills. Is this you? You might not consciously look for a guy because of those things, but your fears might cause you to think the wrong guy is the right guy. Simplifying your life and standing on your own two feet, which you are fully capable of, will help you clearly discern which man is worth having in your life.

3. Single moms are bitter and angry.

I’ve seen single moms get excluded from social events because “they might bring the mood down.” I think the “bitter single woman” trope is bred by vocal women who are in pain and want to speak their piece. There are a lot of single parents who have ongoing issues with an ex, and that makes it difficult to let go of their anger. But most of the people I know just want to move forward.

Which leg of the journey toward healing are you on? If you’re still bitter, ask yourself if it’s serving anyone. If you’ve released yourself from the negative feelings, good job. Speak up about it so more women can have hope that there’s freedom in their future.

4. Single moms are barely keeping it together.

In both of my sons’ classes, the homeroom moms—you know, the mom who puts every detail of the parties together and tries to rally all the rest of us parents just to chip in a pack of napkins—are single moms. These women have their acts together and are wiping the floor with the rest of us. The misconception that single moms’ lives are falling apart is unfair and outdated. More women are discovering their voice, their worth, and their ability to provide for their families and do more than just survive.

If life is overwhelming for you, and you do feel like you’re barely keeping it together, know that a lot of married moms feel the same way. Give yourself grace and focus on loving your kids. That’s what they’ll remember most.

5. Single moms are superhuman.

“I don’t know how she does it,” some married moms say completely sincerely when they see single moms like my kids’ homeroom mothers. They wonder if those single moms have some genie in a bottle they can keep rubbing for wishes. But the single moms who look like they have it all together aren’t superhuman; they make choices, set boundaries, and make sacrifices. And when their heads hit the pillow at the end of the day, they’re dog tired.

If that misconception about single moms is actually true for you, and you are superhuman, wanna come make my kids’ lunches for the week?

What other misconception about single moms would you add to this list?

This article originally appeared on iMOM.com and reflects their mission and beliefs.

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