For the record, I don’t believe any “kind” of mum is better or harder than any other kind of mum. Every mother has their own unique motherhood journey with highs, lows and everything in between.
However, as humans, we do have a tendency to compare. For this reason, and from my experiences as both a married and a single mum (coparent and solo parent), this article focuses on the good parts of single motherhood … and why some married mums might be a wee bit envious.
And, in case you are wondering who I am …
I’m Lucy, a single mum and the founder of the website you are on. I spend my time helping other single mums embrace independence, redefine their paths and be the best they can be, all whilst being brilliant single mums. You can get more in-depth, personalised support from my “You’ve Got This” Single Mum eCourse, which has already been downloaded by 2k+ single mums from around the world.
WHY MARRIED MUMS ARE A TEENY BIT JEALOUS OF SINGLE MUMS
OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY
Us mums parent fiercely. We do it with a passion and love that is stronger than any other relationship tie known to humankind. And we do it our own way.
Try and question another women’s parenting style at your peril!
Partnered mums have to relinquish control on their way of parenting if dad doesn’t agree or wants to do things differently. There is definitely give and take required when you all live together.
Whereas single mums are able to solo-parent or co-parent in their home, their way. This gives single mums the opportunity to raise their children with clear values and boundaries that will affect the way they interact with the world around them, now and in the future.
Laying down the law on parenting in your own home, is a real trump card of being a single mother.
IT’S JUST EASIER
The general consensus is that being a single mum is actually less work around the house.
Less clothes to wash, less food to cook, less people to please.
More cereal for dinner, more control of the Netflix remote, more space in the bed.
I’ll leave you with this article and you decide: Is being a single parent twice the work?
Suddenly being the “one and only” in charge of income and everything financial, can be daunting.
As part of a marriage or de facto partnership, the monetary load is shared, from decisions through to the payment of bills and loans. It certainly sounds easier, doesn’t it?
If you and your husband/partner do not have the same financial intentions and discipline, then finances can be a bone of contention which causes stress and worry.
Instead, as a single mother you have complete and utter control over what you save and what you spend your money on. It’s actually very empowering and waaaay easier.
No more forking out for a carton of stubbies every weekend … that is, unless you want to.
THE BELOVED BREAK
Look, I get it … spending time away from your kids can be heart-wrenching. It goes against all our motherly instincts. If you find it particularly hard, see this article: How to deal with separation anxiety as a single mother.
But sometimes, there is no denying that having a break can be rather lovely.
The simple sentence said loudly at school pickup: “The kids are with their dad this weekend” can make some married mum green with envy. Just think a WHOLE kid-free weekend to with as you please.
Having a break from your children allows time to reset, recharge and prepare for their return, meaning time spent with them is higher quality and more engaged.
Note: This particular point doesn’t apply to solo single mothers with children who don’t go to dad at all.
WHY MARRIED MUMS ARE A TEENY BIT JEALOUS OF SINGLE MUMS (cont.)
“Friends” can be a tricky issue for single mothers, many of whom lose some or all of their friendship circle after separation. Then, life as a single mum gets so busy, who has the time to make new friends?
This article might resonate with you: How can I be so busy but still feel so lonely?
Yet, as time goes by single mothers gravitate towards wonderful new friendships, often with other like-minded single mums. And, because we are all parenting alone, we lean on one another more, thus creating the most meaningful friendships of our lives. My friendship circle is completely different to the one I had when I was married, and I consider my friends to be family.
Added bonus: No more time spent with your partners friends who you can barely tolerate but kinda have to because that’s what’s expected of you.
For more about lost friendships post separation see: Where did all my friends go? Dealing with lost friendships after divorce.
THE SEX/DATING THING
I couldn’t do the marriage thing, but I am in genuinely in awe couples who have made a long-term relationship work, especially those who have kids AND still enjoy a good sex life.
This is not the time to discuss mine or anyone else’s sex life during marriage, but if your marriage has become droll and sexless, having the opportunity to ignite the fire with someone more suited to you can be wonderful.
I have a few married friends who live vicariously through my dating adventures. They listen wide eyed and are almost as excited as me by the plot twists. Of course, not all dating adventures are successful. There are plenty of dating disasters that balance out the narrative and leave them gratefully hopping into their marital bed at night.
Just for laughs: 37 Dating stories that actually happened.
DREAM DREAM DREAM
Being in a harmonious partnership where you both have the same visions for the future is wonderful. Having two people working towards the same goals is easier than doing it alone.
However, often (and understandably) each party has different dreams and as part of a couple you must sacrifice a little to find middle ground that you are both content to work towards.
One of the first things we do on my eCourse is work out what your dreams really are now that you’re a single mum. It’s a really exciting exercise because for the first time in a long time, you don’t have to factor in a partner. For women who have come out of a long relationship, it can take a while to actually work out who they are and what they really want from life.
Working toward your own aspirations when it is just you and your kids is so bloody empowering. You will quickly discover that living life your way on your terms is not only a journey of discovery but an opportunity you might have missed had you not become a single mother. Now that’s a scary thought.