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Single Moms' Open Letter to Married Moms

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Straight talk for attached parents, from two single mothers ...

Woman looking up

Guest blogger Rachel Sarah and Dr. Leah Klungness: We are single moms who figured out a long time ago that our lives are immeasurably better if we can finesse at least a seemingly pleasant social relationship with our fellow mothers.

Particularly when you have young children, you're in it for the long haul with fellow mothers. High school graduation is at least a decade away, so cooperating with other moms is crucial as you try to nurture your kids' relationships with peers.

We're sure you agree, right?

This is why we're asking you for a bit of empathy and understanding.

Have you ever stopped to think how a single mom feels when you sing out over the din of kindergarten dismissal or the chaos of the soccer field:

"I'm a single mom this week! My husband is traveling, and I don't know HOW you do it!"

Talk about condescending! You're a single mom "this week"? Hello!

Maybe married moms are trying to find common ground as "buddies" -- or show a bit of empathy? -- but it just doesn't some across that way.

We feel you're snubbing us.

Your husband might be out of town for a few days, but he's still present. Your husband contributes to the household budget and occasionally makes dinner.

He kills willingly things with many legs residing under the kitchen sink, brings out the recycling after only being reminded once, puts the kids to bed, and takes you out on Friday nights.

Your 24/7 life is very different from ours.

That's why we're asking you for a bit of understanding. Could you please try to remember that single moms' lives are radically different from your own?

If you'd like to be friends, terrific. We'd love to, also. I'm sure we have many common interests, and we'd love to share some conversation.

But please don't pretend -- even for a second -- that you have any idea what it's like to be a single mom.

next: Birth on a Plane?! Try a Car!
26 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 24, 2009, 8:10 AM

Thank you for this post. I think I will send it to all my married friends even my mother who when I vent about how hard it is responds “well, your father worked all the time” uggghhh! Thanks!

Mrs. Collins March 24, 2009, 9:34 AM

I totally agree. My sister is a single mom of two, and I have seen firsthand how hard that can be. I don’t know what I would do without the help of my husband. Hopefully most single moms have someone else to depend on, like my sister had her sisters and our mom. Its still a struggle for her though.

Amy March 24, 2009, 10:58 AM

Ok, I am over the victim mentality of EVERYONE. Life is hard, period. It doesn’t matter if you are a single mom, married mom, stay at home mom, or working mom. Everyone has their struggles. And this constant attacking back and forth is just stupid. I read the first article, and it was just a mom trying to say that she gets it, so why attack her. No one can ever know how your life is, even if they are a single mom of thirty kids, any more than you can understand how their life is. So quit whining, grow up and realize that YOU made the decisions that got you where you are now. And unless you are a widow or had a husband that just left for no reason, you made choices contrary to what is right….. yes I just said RIGHT and you have to deal with it. Yes, I said it, and yes it was judgemental.

Bottom line, life is hard for everyone. It is part of the human experience, so quit attacking someone for trying to empathize the only way she was able to with the plight of single moms, and GROW UP!

K&C's mom March 24, 2009, 12:03 PM

I have been on both sides. I totally agree, it is very hard!! I am now blessed with a wonderful husband who is going to adopt my 8 year old, and we have one together. I feel for all the single moms out there, I was one for 3 years!!

Anonymous March 24, 2009, 12:14 PM

I’ve been both, and yes being a single mom is much harder. With that being said, even thoug it’s rough, try to play nice. Trying to get the sympathy vote won’t win you any brownie points with the married moms. They will just move on to someone else. If they don’t get it, they don’t get it. So what. It is tough out there but you’ll get farther by not whining and by making friends with the “other side”.

ame i. March 24, 2009, 1:13 PM

The 4 years between losing my late-husband and remarrying were harder in some ways but not any different in others. My late-husband was terrified of bugs, so I was the bug squasher around these parts for over 20 years. He didn’t get up with the children at night. He was bedridden for the last 18 months of his life, so I not only cared for our home, 18 month old, 3 1/2 year old, and him.
My “new” husband of almost 2 years works in a city an hour and a half from our home. I still handle most of the things I did before we married but if he’s home he will squash bugs ;)

Veronica March 24, 2009, 2:22 PM

The writter’s attitude surprises me a bit. I was a single mom for many years ,due to the bad choices I had made in my life, and I never viewed married mothers as being insensitive towards my situation. If anything, I envied them, because they made the right decisions in their lives and now their children were reaping the benefits of a two-parent home. I met a lot of awesome married women in my church who were great examples to me and challeged me to become a woman that would make better choices for myself and my daughter. I never felt like they looked down on me, but if I did happen to run into married moms that I felt didn’t understand my situation I actually felt greatful that those woman and their children did not have to go through what my daughter and I had to go through each day. Maybe the writer of this article is having a problem with her own regrets and is taking it out on married moms rather than holding her own self accountable. I know from experience that being a single mom is hard and it’s even harder on the kids. I’ve always carried around a guilt that I didn’t make better choices for my daughter and for myself. All I can do now is make better decisions.

Grace March 24, 2009, 4:29 PM

Umm, Single Mom, get over yourself!

What your married counterparts are staying is they sympathize with you… nothing more. If it’s friends you want, you definitely need to lay off this “us vs them” attitude.

Danielle March 24, 2009, 4:59 PM

I’m a single mom and my life is pretty damn fabulous. I love my life, being single, and being a mom! No sympathy needed here!

Anonymous March 24, 2009, 9:15 PM

Amy - how can you say that every single mom made choices that weren’t right, aside from a dead husband or one who left for no reason? Are there NO other reasons that a woman could be a single parent? How about my sister, whose husband was great for a while, then turned into an abusive a—hole and tried to kill her? He’s fresh out of jail now, and she’s PROUD to be a single mom. Did she make a “wrong” choice by leaving him?!
Besides, your definition of “right” isn’t always the same as everyone else’s. Some people choose to be single moms for one reason or another - regardless of what YOU think is right. Get over it.

andrea March 24, 2009, 10:45 PM


mom-of-izzy March 24, 2009, 10:50 PM

there are 2 differnt types of single moms, ones who are proud and one who want u to “quit snubbing” (feel sorry for) them. guess we know which type u are.

Roxanne March 25, 2009, 1:38 AM

as a single mom, I say: aw, that sucks. now move on. don’t let thoughtless comments get the best of you. they’re just that: thoughtless. meaningless. like when people wish “merry christmas” to a jewish person. you can choose to correct them, judge them, get hurt by them … or you can choose to live your friggin’ life. you’re a single mom! you have enough to worry about.

AS March 25, 2009, 2:06 AM

I’m married and my life doesn’t look anything like what you describe. My husband doesn’t contribute to the budget, kill things, nor take me out on Friday nights. Life’s hard. I think you need to develop a better external filter and move on.

Suzee March 25, 2009, 2:41 AM

I have a different view of single moms: sympathy and envy. Sympathy because I know being the only adult in the household to manage kids, time and resources can be very taxing for one woman 24/7. Envy because you probably have peace and space not having a man around to aggravate you in a dead-end marriage. I am a married wife and mother—and I haven’t been on a date w/ my husband in ages. My parents divorced when I was 7 and it was a relief, A RELIEF, when they did. The travesty wasn’t the divorce, but that my cheating dad abandoned us and didn’t pay child support. Single moms, stay strong and be proud. Your kids will be proud of you.

Theresa March 25, 2009, 2:43 AM

OMG!!! Instead of moaning and groaning about how hard it is or isn’t. To be or not to be a single mother.Why don’t you all stop and say to one another.IT’S NO LONGER ABOUT YOU OR YOUR NEEDS!!!! Come on ladies, once we gave birth to our children, it’s always going to be about them. NOT US !!Quit griping already and appreciate the hear and now.Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Q-mom March 25, 2009, 7:19 AM

Wow - one of the most offensive blogs/articles I have ever read!
- Single Mom with lots of married mom friends!

Elizabeth March 25, 2009, 7:24 AM

Oh, boo hoo……I have been both, and let me tell ya….being married is harder. He’s just another person to take care of. I wish he took the recyclables out, killed things, and dated me…NOPE…not every married mom has advantages, you know. Now I have a husband, 3 kids, a dog, and my mom who moved in to take care of…not that I’m whining, but it’s a lot of people to coordinate. If he took someone somewhere, just once, I’d have a heart attack…

Tammi March 25, 2009, 11:02 AM

I would rather be single (and I am) than be in the abusive marriage I escaped. I have many mom friends who are both married and single. I don’t feel “snubbed” when any of the married ones say to me “I am a single mom this week, and I don’t know how you do it.” I feel more connected to them because I know they now have a better understanding of my day-to-day life. Having been a married mom for a while I would have to say that each role has its own unique challenges; not necessarily harder, just different.

PS) Amy~ Be careful of a self-righteous attitude. Pride cometh before a fall. Nobody needs to be so harshly judged. The measure you use to judge others will someday be used to judge you.

Heiddi March 25, 2009, 7:18 PM

I think the article writer makes too many assumption about both single moms and married moms. Either way all moms have different issues to deal with regardless of marital status. I’m single and my life is good, but that’s because I’ve been blessed. I like sharing my time with married and single mom friends. We all have things to gripe about and shouldn’t waste our time doing a “we vs them.” No one’s life is perfect. Can we move on now?

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