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11 UNFAIR Things Single Moms Put Up With, And How To Turn Them On The Head

Raising a child is no child’s play. Especially for a single parent.

While many of the set-in-stone definitions of ‘family’ are changing- and for the better- there’s still a certain stigma that pops up when single moms are discussed.  And if their parenting task wasn’t hard enough already, much of what they deal with as a result of this stigma compounds their trouble.

mother with her kid

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

However, it isn’t without reason that the zero-f*cks-to-give attitude is claiming the world like an epidemic on Prozac. While there is little single moms can do about the world around save hope for it to change, there are a few things they would do well to make note of- simply, to make their lives easy(ier) when the world keeps firing a volley of unfair shots at’em.

Suggested read: 25 invaluable nuggets of relationship advice from a father to a daughter

Here are some unfair things all single moms face, at some point or the other and what they can do to help themselves:

1. Social isolation: As frivolous a concern as a need for friendship may sound at the time, the need is real and all-important. Single moms are already dealing with abandonment/separation and the lack of a support group simply makes the struggle tough as hell. Not everyone understands their plight, supports the separation or is empathetic to the abandonment and is willing to lend a helping hand at a time when she could do with as many as she can find.

mother and daughter

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Look for environments that allow for some social engagement for you, while the kids are occupied or entertained. A church group that offers childcare, an exercise class at a gym with a kids’ space, or a play date with other parents, a single mom group or online forum will all work fine. If circumstances allow, splurge on a sitter once a month and head out with a real friend to talk your heart out. There’s no better therapy than human connection!

2. Judgment: In fact, a lot of people (even friends, relatives and/or acquaintances) add to the troubles of single moms by not just withdrawing support but casting an all-pervasive judgment trap- the sticky clutches of which are almost impossible to escape. From blaming you for a poor decision that may or may not have led you unto the abandonment or built into your current family status to judging you for the same, holding you guilty for spending time away from your child if you are slogging to make ends meet and conversely, blaming you for bringing a new life into a world of financial duress, in case you aren’t- there is no end to the cycle.

mother and daughter

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Guilt is therapeutic. You can actually morph the feelings of self-doubt, loneliness, depression, anxiety and guilt that you feel as a result of all the judgment levied on you into something positive. In case, you do have a part to play in landing yourself in this sticky situation, allow yourself to feel the guilt, own your mistake, learn from it and move on. In case, you aren’t responsible for your current family status, simply choose to forgive. The burden of anger isn’t a healthy baggage to tow while you parent and you’d actually be doing yourself a favor by choosing to make today and tomorrow better. So, instead of dwelling on the past, focus on today and channel your energies into becoming the best possible parent you can be. You’d realize you have enough love between you and your child to brave any challenges life throws your way.

3. Mommy wars: I have never quite understood the deal with the several mommy camps and the ways they try to one-up each other. In fact, I don’t understand why so many of’em exist anyway. Aren’t the formula mommy camp and the breastfeeding camp and the single mommy camp and the stay-at-home mommy camp and the working mommy camp and the dozen more- all united by the virtue of being moms? Why the hostility? Most of the moms enter into a tacit agreement to wage war on another, by virtue of belonging to one camp or the other. Often, the single moms are the worst hit and for no perceivable fault.


What you can do: When a mother tries to one-up you or indulge in mommy-shaming, play the ‘mommy’ card. All the women, engaging in mommy wars, are amenable to being convinced that most of us are doing the best we can when the diaper pails are overflowing and projectile vomit sessions are clashing with nap-time! Especially so when you are doing it all alone. If they still don’t get it, they aren’t worth your time anyway. Adopt the zero-f*cks-to-give approach and move your pram ahead!

4. Deadbeat dads: More often than not, financial woes are a consequence of dealing with deadbeat dads. You have no child support and you are rooting for things to change. In all possibility, they won’t.

mother and child1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Be proactive in making ends meet. I have seen single moms fight it out with two day jobs, an online gig at night and a cranky toddler at their hip, right as their overworked cranky self needs to throw back with a peg or two. But there isn’t a choice. If the father of your child isn’t stepping up to the plate and won’t let up, you need to stop depending on him. At the least, lower your expectations. You don’t need another reason for stress, do you?

5. The professional dilemma: Ticking the single mom box in all forms is never an easy thing. Plus, it’s easy to let things spiral way too quickly into the desperate zone, especially when speaking of your status to your boss.

What you can do: Let your merit do the talking. There might be situations that may need you to bail out on important meetings or even an extenuating circumstance that demands an advance check, however, ensure that you make up for delays in work on a priority basis and allow your work to speak for your worth.

Suggested read: A letter to my daughter on starting a new life

6. Parenting double standards: This one does not even need an explanation. While a dad bringing his kid out to the park only to struggle with his baby pack and froggy crib is cute, a woman who has probably forgotten an organic, sugar-free, gluten-free, God-knows-what-not-free snack for her kid is simply a mom who doesn’t have her sh*t together.

mother and daughter

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Don’t give a sh*t.

7. Dating woes: There’s a reason Brady Bunch is reel. The reality remains quite on the opposite end of the spectrum where single moms are continued to be seen as damaged goods. Especially so- when she does find a ‘decent’ guy to date (in itself, a feat) and people are leery of him.

What you can do: Again, adopt the zero-f*cks-to-give approach and move your pram ahead with your understanding partner beside!

8. Or simply dead-end dating: Switching from mommy to date-night-ready isn’t really easy. One may still manage the switch from vomit-covered mommy to clean-pajamas-mommy but to pull together the excitement of a date night to prep and preen oneself to a picture perfect date is quite THE task. Also, it is difficult to accommodate that much time and effort when you have a kid to tend. So, bye bye dating!

What you can do: Find ways to take a breather, even if it implies swapping child care time with another single parent. Steer clear of people who judge you for it. It isn’t selfish to load up on the fuel for the engine that keeps your home running: you!

9. The Madonna/whore complex: This does not even qualify for an explanation. Not only is the judgment highly unfair, it stings so bad, men who are guilty of this might as well have their nuts lopped off.

What you can do: Surround yourself with positive people. For the creeps, there’s always Mace.

10. Societal pressure, expectations and the consequent guilt: I judge people who expect single moms to do-it-all and do it with a smile, regardless of the struggles they face. The pressure to be a supermommy is an unhealthy imposition on the mom and her kid/s and can wear a single parent down in a hurry. Instead of building up the confidence of a single mom to believe she can do-the-best, the unnecessary pressure for being the ‘ideal’ mom for one’s kids is society’s unfair way of breaking a single mom’s convictions to parent well.

mother and daughter

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Do not feel the need to conform to the societal mandate of who an ‘ideal’ mom should be. Seek out trusted parenting mentors and peers and bounce off ideas on optimal parenting plans. I say this- coz even as the parenting decisions are yours’ alone- getting some help and feedback or even relating to shared experiences can lessen your anxiety and embolden you to do the hard things that parenting requires.

Suggested read: 6 lessons every mother should teach her son before getting him married

11. The pain: At first, it is easy to let the ‘crazy’ vortex of emotions claim your head all the time but the pain is real- and all yours’ to deal with, alone.

woman crying

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

What you can do: Trust in God to heal the wounds and focus on creating a happy world for yourself and your kid. 

To all you brave moms out there, this too shall pass! Lots of love :*

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
11 UNFAIR Things Single Moms Put Up With And How To Turn Them On The Head
It ain't easy for single moms- but it doesn't have to be tough!
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."