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True Definition of a Single Mom


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True Definition of a Single Mom

My intent in writing this blog is not to upset anyone, especially, a Single Mama. Everyone is different and has their own situation. I understand and respect that. It just bugs me when women think they are a Single Mama when someone else is taking care of them and/or their child while they sit around surfing the web and watchin' soaps.

The most common description of a single mom is a woman who has been left by the father of her child to raise their child(ren) alone but it is not that simple. Depending on who you speak with the definition of a single mom will vary; thus, the concept becomes more complex and debatable. For example, some woman who live at home with their parents or other family members consider themselves a single parent. Woman who have a new significant other living in the same home believe they are single mom's, too. Another example is a woman who still lives with the father of her child, but feels as though she is a single mom. This woman can even be married or engaged. So you see it's not as simple as it first sounds.

Personally, I believe that a woman who contributes more than 50% of the child raising responsibilities is considered a single mom. This belief is applied to woman who are in the following situations: 1) living with a family member 2) living with the father who does not support the child 3) woman who live with a man who does not consider the woman's child to be his, but they are living together and 4) the married woman. Yes, the married woman! The married woman who is unhappy in her relationship and the husband is distant.

As a woman, in general, we are nurturing and emotional. The majority of the time we are constantly multi-tasking and taking care of everyone but ourselves. Mothers support their children financially, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually more than the father. Just because the husband supplies a paycheck does not mean he is doing his part. Of course, if the husband and wife agree that she will stay home and he will work, then that is not what I am speaking about. As I described above, being a parent entails more than just providing a roof over the heads of the family members. It's about teaching their child, discipline, love, time and so much more.

As a single mom, if your parents are raising your child more than you are then you are not doing your job. There are exceptions just as there is with anything else. Extenuating circumstances such as, a natural disaster or the loss of a loved one name only a few.I know there are many other hardships that occur in one's life. Legally, if the man and woman do not reside in the same household then the woman is considered a single parent. Some may even believe that if the woman is not married, then she is also considered single. Today, there are over ten million single mothers in the United States. Unfortunately, many children are growing up without guidance from the male model that they need in their life. The mother is left to complete the two-parent job by herself.

Do you feel like a single mom? Are you a single mom? Is your partner not contributing as much as he should? If so, what will you do to address the issue(s)?

Upcoming Blog: I will describe some of the steps to take when he leaves you to raise your kids alone.

© 2009 ZJM None of the work written here may be reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without my permission.

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cma on May 09, 2015:

I have an 18 month old bb girl, I am still in my parents house but they are sick. I help them with bills and pay my own, I clean and cook and when one of them is ill I take care of them. I have my own business to run and I get no help from my child father. So im technically running two families. and I still don't call myself a single mother im just a 200% parent and a great daughter.

jc on January 02, 2015:

If any single mom or pregnant mom and single moms needs a place to stay please let me know my name is jc I live in brick NJ my name I jc and my number is 732 908 6306 my email is

bettybarnesb from Bartlett, TN on August 06, 2013:

I noticed that this article was written several years ago, just wondering how you are doing and to let you know that many who read your work were blessed. Stay encouraged.

nn on May 07, 2013:

this is all a bunch of stupid crap! like anyone on here has the right to say what a single parent is. also there's a difference between a single mom or dad and a single parent. a single parent is someone who's doing it alone. a single mom or dad is when two people are raising their kid alone with or without help from another parent because you're not together. I agree when a person who raises their child the majority of the time is the one is more of a single parent but your situation doesn't determine what you are or what praise you should get for it. I admire the people who do it all. who raise their kids, being both mother and father but everybody needs help and most, not all but most eventually get it one way or another whether it's from a family member or not and the one's who do are blessed to be able to because all wish they could when they can't. no one chooses how things happen sometimes, for instance in getting a divorce. divorces happen just as dating couples break-up. sometimes it's warranted and better than kids living in a house with parents that shouldn't be together because stuff like that happen. don't sit here and say what a single mom is or a single parent is because I know plenty who are but it surely ain't what they chose or tried to get just because they wanted money. they work, have worked to better themselves and provide for their kids whether they had any kind of help or not. cuz trust me there's not enough money in the world to help take care of a kid unless you're truly rich. it's everything else that a person does for the kid and loving them and raising them period that makes them a parent. if that parent is doing it alone in without the other one in their house with them, providing the majority of that care that makes them single. when you downgrade another person because of what they may have and what you don't that's just called spite and jealousy. trust me I hope I can make it own my own and I admire everyone who does it despite what help they may or may not have because no one knows what's going to happen from one day to the next.

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McCormick on March 08, 2013:

I agree with "Grandma" ^^^ above. My husband has a child with another women about 6 years ago, he has been in his child's life since day one never missed a birthday, holiday, had visitation, paid child support, provided medical/dental/vision insurance, paid for half of his expenses.

However, he still gets it thrown in his face about how he isn't doing "enough" or how life is harder for her because she is a single mom. Mind you, she only has him on her days off where when he is here we have to work around work schedules, school schedules, as well as we have other kids.

I understand being a single parent is hard (mom or dad) but hey if the dad is doing all he can do and being apart of everything he can be especially when the parents live 3 hours apart and he is not only providing for his household but half of his sons needs at his mom's house hold, credit should be given.

I think alot of dad's are giving up and walking away because too many women are using their kids as a tool or weapon against the dad's rather then just being happy that the other parent is doing as much as they can.

Grandma on November 06, 2012:

What about the so called "mom" who uses the child as a weapon against the father who wants to be there but the so called "mom" always wants to argue and has even said to the dad the only reason you took us to lunch is to see your daughter" . I was a true single mom - never asked or received anything and I truly believe most females know how to play the game very well. they know how to get negative advocates who feel sorry for them

shown on September 18, 2012:

why is the definition of single mom shows only black child?

kim on June 23, 2012:

I really meant to put MENTALLY cause feeling like your alone with a child/children that u had with someone else who left u to deal with the responsibilities all alone got to be a hard mental thing as well. Ant "no body" super woman I hate when I hear a female talk like they dont/didn't need NO help along the way. U got to crawl before u walk!!!!

kim on June 23, 2012:

I hate when people degrade other people situations. Everyone is different everybody may have different situations n mind frames meaning it may be a lil harder n seem more difficult for other thn some. Mybe u grew up n a house hold that made u that way n maybe they didn't so it may take them longer to get where they should be. I'll say this if u have no help from the father or the father's family or even ur family and friends everything is completely on u then u ARE a single mother n I knw it has to be hard to maintain physically not to mention everything else. If ur trying to better ur situation I give it strong thnk God 4 what u do have even if its just being thnkful for ur kids. Take it step by step and DON'T GIVE UP!!!

Francesca25 on May 23, 2012:

mOmmytimes3, suuure, you know your talking about yourself when you talk about watching maury all day and being on welfare!!

m0mmytimes3 on May 11, 2012:

I get so irritated to all the women who claim to be a single mother yet they receive full child support for their children, or full alimony payments. Or the worst is when they are on welfare, stay at home and do nothing but collect government money and want to talk about how hard it is. Let me give you an example of a real single mom. She has 3 children, divorced, youngest is just two weeks old, still works full time for 30K a year, has two other children who are older. I am that mom. My oldest is 12 and a type 1 diabetic, and plays sports, I have a 5 year old and a two week old. I still work full time, go to baseball practice and games, stay up all night with a brand new baby, and go to school full time. I have no child support. I make too much money for public assistance, I do not live with my parents, I do not have medicaid or food stamps, I have a car payment, rent, utilities, insurance, medications, groceries and everything else that goes along with day to day life, and I do it 100% alone. I am not complaining about my lot in life I love my childern and I love my career, but please stop complaining if you stay at home, collect govt. money and watch Maury all day long

farmer boy on May 09, 2012:

I don't like to hear the comment "single parent" from someone who is divorced; you chose to be divorced! Wives of soldiers killed in Irag, Afganistan and all our other wars are literally single parents; or a parent whose spouse is killed in acar crash, That's a true single parent!

MIranda on April 27, 2012:

Mark, I wish I would have read your comment before I posted mine. True, some people should not be parents. I do not have an explanation to excuse why I was not on birth control. I know I was out of it, and needed to get the refill, and I was irresponsible. But, my son is an amazing, talented, gifted child, and I cannot fathom life without him in it. (Literally, he has an IQ of 139 and is so inquisitive) I also stayed in school (was a sophomore in college when he was born) and graduated when he was 2 with a degree in sociology and psychology. I studied some child development while taking psychology courses. Anyhow, I am sorry that you feel the way you do, but just think, if your mama hadn't had you, you wouldn't be here. Maybe having a dad around wouldn't have been everything it was cracked up to be.

MIranda on April 27, 2012:

I was a single mom for 5 years. (Knocked up at 19, didn't want the father to be around, and he didn't do much to step up to the plate). We were better off without him. Met my husband when my son was about to turn 5, and now have 2 more children with him (ages 4 and 9 months, and my oldest will be 10 soon!). It is a challenge doing it on your own, and even now I feel like a single mom sometimes because my husband is in the military and I stay at home. Even though I am not working now, somedays I would much rather be at work than at home! At least then I would get to talk to an adult and get a break from being a mama for a few hours. Point being, whoever the primary caregiver is of the kids kind of has to do things on their own while their partner is at work. In my situation, for the longest time my husband also though he should get to sleep in on both weekend days AND that he shouldn't have any night duties either, because I can 'sleep in' and 'take a nap whenever I want.' This issue has lessened thank goodness, but imagine staying home with kids, being with them every weekend morning, and being pretty much the only one who gets up with them at night for 4+ years. AGHHH! Somedays I WISH I was a 'single mom' again, because I actually had more help from my family, had more time with friends, had a job, felt like I had a LIFE other than being just a mom. Not saying being a single mom is easy, cause it's not...but that doesn't mean married mamas have a walk in the park either. It's just different. And, at least when you are single, whatever plans you want to do with the kids, what you teach them, how they dress, what you spend the money's all up to you and you don't have to convince another adult who has different views to do things your way. Example: Me-How about a trip to the zoo this Saturday? we have to? Can't we just pretend our kids ARE the zoo? (with sarcasm) Me- (gives evil look) C'mon, it will be fun...the kids really want to go. Hubby-Then how about you guys just go and I'll stay and sleep in? (sheepish look on his face cause he's half joking and wants to see my reaction). Anyway, you get the point. I hate having to convince my husband to do things, whereas when I was single, we planned all sorts of stuff and were enthusiastic about it, without anyone bringing us down.

Mark on April 11, 2012:

I was raised by a single mother. And I see how in many ways it was not good for me as a male. I have also researched the stats and children without fathers around have more problems, depression, use if drug and male have a very hard time with women later in life.

Not there are situations that you can not control, like the father dying, or leaving. But so many women get pregnant by not being responsible (ever heard of condoms and birth control?)

Then they say I'll have the child and I don't need a man. WRONG THE CHILD DOES! I have always felt if you are not responsible enough to prevent a pregnancy you are no where near responsible enough to raise a child. Think about it. Using birth control is not that hard. Raising a child in a quality manner is hard.

Single mothers are extremely touchy and have chip on their shoulder and don't want any parenting advice at least from men. Even when the guy is right. They are overprotective and over defensive, or swing the other way and neglect the child while they let others do the work.

Don't think your doing the child any favor bringing it into this world, to be raised in poverty, ignorance and with out a fair chance in this world. Choosing that is for a child is nothing but absolute self-fishiness and is not helping the child or the world. We have enough people on this planet. We only need intelligent, educated people that can contribute to the world at this point.

And if you have not studied, how to raise a child, nutrition, child psychology and don't have the temperament for raising a child you have no business raising one.

All off the adult men I meet that are the most lonely and miserable have a single mother latching on to them, suck their life from them. Don't be an emotional vampire and look to your child to sacrifice their life for you because you chose to raise them alone.

ED on March 29, 2012:

I am a single mom with 4 children 11, 9, and 6 year old twins. I do not get any help from their father because he is now an addict living on the streets. My parents live out of town. Along with being a single parent I am also F/T University student. 100% single mom - No babysitters because I really have no time to do anything except take care of my children and my University work. :P

kim on March 17, 2012:

I am a solo mum, I am doing a degree and I work part time I have 2 preschoolers and a 6 year no one looks after them and the father gives no money - wether or not you consider someone a solo mum is irrelivant. If a woman has no partner wether it is the DAD or not they are a solo mum, if they live with their parents well great for them if their parents help raise the child well lucky them it is good for the mum and good for the child/ren, you need to get a life if this is what bugs you......mind your own business if you have not had or got a child on your own you will never ever ever know the kind of knots you can get in your chest. If someone is helping a sole parent in some way that shares the burden great.....but out and get bugged by something else this is not your concern or any of your business

strkngfang on March 12, 2012:

Anne3- I couldn't agree more. My unwed 22 yr old stepdaughter has a now 15 month old, works part time,lives with us and we are the primary babysitters. She loves to talk up the "single mom" thing and it infuriates me. She got pregnant by a druggie boyfriend who is thankfully non existent and continues to make bad decisions. I would almost vote on a law for birth control for any girl not married or independent, to cut down on all of these "kids having kids". It's all for attention and the children are the ones that really get screwed. I was adopted as an infant because my mother was also young, but at least she made the right choice.

Whatever on March 11, 2012:

I feel like I am a single mom eventhough I do not raise my baby by my self her dad and I are not together and I am currently not dating any one. to me that makes me single and a mom. I think you guys just look way to deep in what a single mom is. I really give props to the ladies that have to do it with no help.Its hard with help so I could imagine with out any. I live by myself and pay my own bills I do not get child support but he does have her half the time and also buys everything for her. He is a great dad but wasn't a great boyfriend so to me he is also a single dad because he does not have anyone either.

@progress on February 23, 2012:

Please can i get the real scope of single mama

anne3 on February 20, 2012:

I get so tired of self proclaimed single mothers, who only have their kids half the time. All while claiming how difficult it is to be asingle mom! I am a true struggling, single mom to 3 young children. I have been for 5 years. I don't receive a break every few days while they go to dad's. I don't have someone to pick up the slack with sports, school events, or homework. I'm not able to put them on their dad's insurance. And their is no dad for me to turn to with big decisions. I am a SINGLE mom because my husband was tragically killed in a car accident when our kids were 4 years old, 22 months old, and I was 8 weeks pregnant with our third. I do this ALONE. 24 hours a day. I don't get a break, I don't go party on the weekends while the kids are gone to dad's. I don't go buy luxury items with child support and alimony checks. I struggle. I am a certified teacher who struggles to make ends meet with 3 children to support and raise on my OWN. So yes, I am tired of the misuse of the term 'single mom'....its an embarassment to those like myself, who are truly raising our kids alone.

Supermom on February 20, 2012:

I have two children. Their father flat-out left me. He moved about 700 miles away. I'm not exactly sure where. I don't really understand what the point of this blog was, except for people to give their definitions of a single-mom. You know what I say? I say their Dad leaving is the best thing he could have ever done for them. Yeah, I'm really tired. There are so many things to get finished each day. Lets not even get into how many lies and excuses I have to give my boss each time one of them comes down with a fever, is up sick all night, or the one time my daughter got sent home with a head of lice and wasn't allowed back for 3 days (lice is an awful creature for little girls with long hair). My parents live a mile down the road, however when we visit-- we all go toether. When I am not working, I am working on these kids. I'm spending every waking moment breathing all of life's beauty down their throats. Being a single-mom doesn't deserve a congratulations. I wouldn't walk up to a married mother with children and say 'congratulations, you're a mom! You made it!' That seems silly. If you got divorced, broke-up, your man/woman left... you're still a parent... now you are just a parent with more responsibilities than you had originally bargained for. It's scary as hell, knowing you are the only thing they can count on. You're the only income, and you are responsible for making their dreams come true. You work hard and you never get ahead. Why do you even need a 'night-out'? That's some crap that other people tell you that you need because they don't feel like putting in the energy to give you any real advice or help. My 'me-time' is with the kids. That's all ME needs.

BCMom on February 11, 2012:

Um, you can tell how tired I am by my post - the above should read "2 long weekends per MONTH" - there is, of course, only one weekend per week. :P

BCMom on February 11, 2012:

I feel like I definitely qualify as a single parent. I have my children all the time, except 2 long weekends (court ordered) per week with their Dad. I do get alimony (for another 1.5 years) and child support, but he is trying his best to get out of that. I am a full-time student, upgrading my career skills to get a good paying job and support my kids. I take care of pretty much all the childrens' day to day needs. I have to transport them to AND from their Dad's place (a ferry ride and about 2 hours driving each way) for the long weekend visits, which is exhausting and tough with my school schedule. I don't really get much help from family. I am SO jealous of my neighbor. She is also a student, but her parents take her son EVERY weekend for the whole weekend - overnights and everything! She gets to go out, date, and have plenty of time for homework. Not me. I wish I got that type of help from family. My Dad and Stepmom have never taken my kids for an overnight, and they are 6 and 4.

Anyway, I got on here because I was feeling really down, but I have to say I'm grateful because some of you have it a lot harder than I do. And I already feel pretty overwhelmed!

I say we should spend less time judging one another, and more time commiserating with and supporting each other. It's a hard job being a single (or even mostly single) parent!

Dave Connelly on February 03, 2012:

I've got a novel idea--keep your legs closed & try courting a gentlemen for over a year before you jump into bed or into the back seat of his car or wherever. That's how the Victorians did it!

bestfather on February 01, 2012:

It is my opinion that this blog is bristled with prejudice against the opposite sex and lacks an inordinate degree of veracity. No one will dispute that there are many women out there in society who have to struggle to raise their children without the help from the father. However there are also many men who are in the same both. Many woman chose to be single mothers. How many mothers that are part of society because of apathy of the father deny access to that father

to see his children. How many mothers refuse to work or get an education? I know many men like myself who have to work a fulltime job, go to university and receive absolutely no help from the mother of our kids. I am diametrically oppose to this blog because it does not represent in truth what goes on in society.

Monika Da Rugna from Vancouver, British Columbia on January 28, 2012:

My mom was a REAL SINGLE MOTHER. She immigrated to Canada, fell in love with my father, married him and had me when she was 29. She worked her way up in the it industry,knowing nothing about western business. my dad was an alcoholic so she had to divorce him (when I was 5) because he was drinking and smoking their money away (he had a job in cabinet making)... She absolutely did EVERYTHING she could for me and made many sacrifices (bought a piano, enrolled me in dance,gymnastics, soccer (funny thing she enrolled me in boys league; made me tougher) without making it seem like a burden to me..... That is a single mother... Also she never seeked help from the government and i found out my father did not pay his child support... love my mom!!

strkngfang on January 23, 2012:

This is an excellent hub and congrats to being a "real single mom". I live with a 21 yr old stepdaughter that loves to say she is a hardworking single mom and your first paragraph describes her to a tee. This infuriates me to death too. She only works part time and is 100% dependent on us for everything. My wife loves having a grandchild so this plays right into her hands. There are few things that tick me off more than girls "playing house" and calling themselves single mom's.

Debbie on August 23, 2011:

I agree with Shelby. I had someone once tell me that I was not a single mom, because I received court ordered child support ,that was deducted from his check and my kids were on his medical insurance. I fought two years for both of these rights due my children. I raised them alone, he never called, did not want to see my kids on the weekends, winter or summer break. I paid childcare year round and I was the one missing work to take them to the doctor or stay home when they were sick. I was also the only one clapping for them at sporting or school events. Yes, I received child support, so I did not have to get government assistance for food or rent, but I was still a single parent.

Shelby Johnstun on July 12, 2011:

I think that it is great that you are using your voice to share your opinions. And I agree with many things you have said. However, I think this can be such a touchy subject to so many single moms or dads that when you say there are exceptions to the rule, there are just so many exceptions. And evey circumstance is different. I do not think it is fair to place judgement on someone based upon money assistance, or how much time they have them, or if parental help is there or not. I believe that every single person is doing things based on what they know at the time and act accordingly and everyone is unique and their situation is unique to them, not anyone else. So I think it would be a much better use of our time to have compassion and understanding and not focus on stats and opinions on who falls in the proper category of a single mother. I think our time would be better used loving eachother and sticking together and sharing our talents and resources to be a better parent so we can focus on what is really important....the children.

Marylander on June 26, 2011:

I have my son about 70% of the time. His mother and I are no longer together and she is a musician who often travels for her work.

She often refers to herself as a "single mother", and it gives people the wrong impression.

She is single and she is a mother, but in this case, I don't think it's fair to put those two words together. It sounds like I don't do anything for my son. Most of the time, I do it all: lunches, financial support, picking up from school, weekend trips, playdates, buying clothes, cooking dinner.

I don't think there is a simple definition, but whenever I hear someone say they are a single parent, I am skeptical. I don't think there are that many true single parents.

Lanre Folayan on June 19, 2011:

I really like this blog. Matter of fact I just wrote a blog dont have to be a father to be celebrated today. Happy Father's Day also to the great single mothers.

Fromagerie Bressard DeLeCroix on June 06, 2011:

Three scenario's - Please consider:

1) "War-Widow": The child-rearing widow of an American hero, a man who earned the Medal of Honor while defending our freedom. She raises his sons or daughter as best she can, having paid a dear price for her husband's service.

2) "Rape Victim": A girl with a baby, attending college on a full acedemic scholarship after she was raped and impregnated by a priest at the age of fourteen.

3) "Tragic Divorcee": A woman who endures a personal hell, changing from one battered womans' shelter after another, having divorced the abusive man who has vowed to kill her and his/her child.

4) "Literal Whore": A woman who gave or sold herself as a sexual plaything to one or several men... whether for money, food, drugs, gifts... or just plain fun. She would do anything for the baby who transformed her entire reason for living, but cannot ever wash-away or transform what she once made herself into being (a whore).

Once could argue that a "label" is useful only insofar as it describes a person or thing in a way that is meaningful and accurate. I would argue that a label which (by design, and by intentional abiguity) treats synonmously all four of these examples as though they were equivalent, synonymous or even equal... the the very dirtiest and filthiest of lies. It was created to help the dirtiest and filthiest of people... to hide... behind other good and decent people.

N E Wright from Dover, Delaware on December 23, 2010:

My siblings and I grew up with both our parents. My story ideas come from my thoughts of my mother. I had a great father, but my mother did everything for us four children. He worked. LOL.

I am a single mother with no one to give me a break. My break is right now while my son is in school.

When I planned to go up state New York a week ago, I was taking my son. People thought that was crazy, but I do not have anyone to watch him that I trust so what am I suppose to do take a chance with his safety?

I really appreciate this Hub, because there are woman with husbands the are not really around and the wife is doing it all as if she is a single mother. That was my mom. I thank you for her.

Thanks for sharing.

msthurnell on July 10, 2010:

If you have children and the father has died or is non supportive and the father of another child is only interested in supporting his new child then you are very much still a single parent, however the government does not treat you that way. Here in Australia partnering with someone means you cannot get benefits for yourself or your existing children if your new partner has a substatioal income because your entitlement will be based on your income and your new partners income.

This causes conflict, damages re-partnering efforts and often traps women in finacially abusive relationships. Childrens entitlement should always be based on their natural parent's income.

If you have three children and he has one then he has a child and you have a family.

Cara Moffat on June 03, 2010:

We should not get hung up on the technicalities of who is a single parent and who is not. We all have our struggles and should support each other!

Cara Moffat on June 03, 2010:

I am a single mom with an unusual story. I don't depend on the father for anything. He lives 10 minutes away and has paid about 6 months of child support in the last 10 years. Doesn't provide health or life insurance, clothes, or shoes. Occasionally he picks them up for the night. About once a month, typically. What bothers me more than anything is the inadequacy of the court system to enforce fathers to be responsible. I would have a huge legal bill trying to get him to pay as he has been self employed since he left. I am not even sure he pays Uncle Sam because if he filed taxes, he would be flagged that he owed child support. See my hubs for more background info. Because the system is so inadequate many single moms and children fall through the cracks and end up homeless! We need to do something. This is a huge injustice.

James on April 20, 2010:

I'm not sure what to think. I have my kids 50% of the time, and pay 1/3 of my income in support to the other parent, which equates to 100% of their support with me, and my CS is twice what I spend on them directly. I therefore contribute around 150% of their financial needs. However, I don't feel like a single parent. I co-parent with my ex, and it works well for the kids.

donovan on March 30, 2010:

wow I just bought my first computer so spelling is not great. It is so wonderfull to finally read that someone else out there gets no child support. I have an 11 year old daughter with type1 diabetes I pay about 800 a month just in medical I am a barber now for 30 years and only make 25.000 a year. So yes I get pretty damn tired of hearing about single moms that get all this money they have noooooo clue. What it realy is like to not have enough. So bravo to other mommys like me!!!!

Playathome2 on March 26, 2010:

Preach on girl.. I agree with you on this one. I am a singe mother by definiation and in reality. I just recenlty left a relationship with my son's dad, he was living with ME in my home and he did not contribute at all, so I was still a single mother. In all actuality he was just like another "child" that I had to cloth and feed.

If a woman is lucky enough to have help from other family members and friend she still in a single parent. It's just that everyone needs help sometime and if a person is helping out with the children whether it be buying them clothes, food, or even taking them out to give the mother a break, the single mother title does not go away. Not in my eyes.

bjT on March 06, 2010:

I believe the term single parent is a parent that takes care of his/her children 100% of the time physically (other than child care to work) and financially, receiving no help from the other parent.

According to Single Mama's definition I believe 90%+ of mothers in the US would be considered single parents. Although men contribute significantly more overall, I believe that mothers still contribute significantly more than 50% of the physical care of the children and often over 50% of the financial support as well, even if they are married.

I am happy for single parents that have what I consider the minimum of support from the other parent; every other weekend visitation and financial support. I know it is a hard job to have the bulk of the responsibilities, but I still do not consider this a single parent.

honeycookies on February 17, 2010:

I have two kids and consider myself a single mom. Their dad contributes a paycheck, but we are not together and although we live together, I do the complete raising of the children. I am unable to hold down a job since I have my children 24/7 and loan my car to their dad so he can continue to work. I do not have any family to help, nor am I able to afford a sitter so I can work. Also, I am unable to move out since I have no funds of my own. Am I considered a single mother in your eyes? If anyone could offer some advice as to how to better my situation and move on (I.e. Not be romantically alone forever), please let me know. This is a very upsetting and stressful situation. I am home with my children all day and night and don't get to leave the house but one day a week when their dad returns my car to me. When I leave to do errands on that one day per week, my children come with me. While their dad is home after his work, he watches movies and plays video games to "relax." He does not agree what I do all day is also work. Thank you anyone for your help.

edlina on January 31, 2010:

single parenting is can be vary difficult sometimes, especially when u have to face all the difficulties alone. A single mama need to physically and mentally strong 24/7.

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along...

sandwichmom from Arkansas on October 04, 2009:

I am with you- I did not get child support on a regular basis- and have raised my kids with minimal aisstance from family. I have friends who get help from every direction- I am not sure we can relate- they lack for nothing and those that live with family have opportunity to get a break and have nights out

janddplus4 on September 11, 2009:

I like that you see single parenthood as a continuum. My husband works out of state and pays our bills, but we hardly ever see him. So I change all the diapers, do all the parenting, cooking, cleaning, I make all the day to day decisions, I do everything but pay the bills. I have long hated how the traditional "single moms" get put on such a pedestal while I get no recognition whatsoever for doing all the same things. And the traditional "single mom" typically has one or two children, whereas I have four under the age of five! Traditional single moms out there: yes, I respect that you have more direct claim to the title. But give us "virtually" single moms some credit too!

Single Mama (author) on September 08, 2009:

@queenbe you cannot believe what?

queenbe from NY on September 07, 2009:

Holy cow I cannot believe this. A single mom is "single" on her OWN raising a child or the children without a husband, boyfriend, significant other or any family help. I am this person. Until you truly experience "single motherhood" you do not and can not call yourself a single mother. Sorry

Paul Marshall from Australia on September 05, 2009:

I had never considered the various degrees to which one could be called a single parent. I am the "classic" single parent where I live alone with my child. I am resposible for all of his needs. I do all this with no aid from parents or extended family. The only difference between your subject & my situation, I am A Single Dad. Check my hub on the subject of life as single dad.

HarleyKat on July 04, 2009:

This is a pet peeve of mine...probably because I raised my children as what I deem a TRUE SINGLE PARENT.

"SIngle" has no reference pertaining to their ROMANTIC maybe we should refer to it as LONE or SOLO parent? ;O)

To ME, a TRUE SINGLE PARENT, is one who has the SOLE CUSTODY AND CARE of their child(ren) and not one who gets to have every or every other weekend free, or "shares parenting" with the other parent and gets rid of their kid for a week or two.

Here is a great summary. I get cards on Mother's Day AND Father's Day from my four children (who are now all adults.) Why? Because I, being a TRUE SINGLE PARENT, was their mother AND father. :)

Kudos to you all who do it alone! (and without bitterness!)

Single Mama (author) on May 23, 2009:

adiciastar- true it is frustrating to see women (and men) have children when they do not even know how to be responsible for themselves. i'm not sure if single fathers have it harder or not, i will definitely look into that topic.

adiciastar on May 23, 2009:

I feel you, while I try to take nothing away from the single mom, especially the (great) ones that I know. There are many out there that are about nothing. They use their children as crutches. They continue to have children (by sperm donors) without any means of support, not financially, emotionally, educationally or otherwise. Those females (for lack of better terms) raise their children with the government and only keep them in the home so that they can continue to receive benefits from social services. I can't stand that mom. She usually gets high, has a filthy home, has an empty fridge right before the food stamps come and the children's clothing are stained! I really can not stand this type of single mom. I know of one personally. I also know of one single mother who suffers from lupus, diabetes and she has had two strokes. She attends college, her child needs for nothing, the house is clean and she supports her son with every fiber of her being hand he knows it. I also know of a single dad who is raising his daughter, It is sometimes unfair that a man has to fight a little bit harder to receive the same help that a female could get when it comes to, financial assistance from the government, to childcare and even respect. The struggle is totally different but just as hard if not harder. I give it up to the real single parents out there, God knows. I have my daughter's father in our lives but I could only imagine life without him. Knowing the woman that I am, I know that I would make it because I raised my little brother alone. Well I will not say alone because, my Father was and is still with me every step of the way. That is why I glorify His name daily. Sorry to keep rambling on, this topic is soo sticky. I just give it up to all the single parents on their grind! Singlemamawoc, you are great! KUDOS TO YOU.

Single Mama (author) on March 20, 2009:

thank you jxb! my son is like 2 kids in 1. moms that have more than 1 kid i give so much props to them. i know a few single mothers with 3/4 boys. i'm like wow...

James Brown from United States of America on March 20, 2009:

Single Mama:  gret hub!  I support your efforts 100% as I know the challenges of single parenting - from a male perspective.  I was a single parent with three kids before I was married but I was able to financially support them myself.  I knew quite a few single mothers during that time and I can honestly say, from my viewpoint, that the single mother's situation was much tougher and they had to endure much more than I did. 

I could only imagine the challenges a single mother faces without financial, emotional, or even spiritual support from the child's father.  You have to be a mother, a father and everything in between to provide a balanced home..........and it's tough.

My hat is off to you and other single parents.

thanks for sharing.

Single Mama (author) on February 12, 2009:

Hi Ken,

If you and your daughter's mother are involved 50/50 then I would just call that "equal parenting." However, say that she had her 60% or even 51% of the time I would say that she is a single parent. The same goes for you! You have to consider all that she is doing while you are not there. Raising a child is mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and financial. Let's say that you are working day in and out to support your little girl and the mom is left to do the rest of the work, then I can understand that you are not able to be their as often as you like. Yet, the reality is her mother would feel like she is doing it alone. However, grateful she should still be that you are working and putting in effort.

ken on February 12, 2009:

Interesting points, but I have my daughter half of the time, have a separate home with clothes and belonging. Her mother and I attend parents evening and event for our daughter together, have a universal grounding policy. Would you consider her mother in that circumstance as a single mother?

ajcor from NSW. Australia on January 13, 2009:

I commend you on your need to help other women in this situation - so many things out there that you have no knowledge of or indeed ever thought in your wildest dreams that you might ever need - I really was a single mum for 17 years raising two boys alone - my first husband went back to live in Sth. America and did not ever contribute to our finances (not even a property settlement)  so if you get any and i repeat any financial help at all you are doing extremely well in my book!

Single Mama (author) on January 05, 2009:

About half of the single moms receive child support. Alimony I can't find any actual numbers. But I did learn that alimony can be used as a tax deductible for the person that gives it and is taxable for the person receiving it. Child support does not work the same way as alimony, in that respect. The grocery store lady is correct- being a single parent is too common. And I agree with her Barack statement. I do not think that he would have been an acceptable candidate if he did not have a family with a stable marriage.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on January 04, 2009:

OMG!! 10 Million single mothers. How many of them get alimony and child support? I go to our nearest grocery store and the lady there is an African American woman who is also a single mom. I was very concerned about her and she told me it is not so uncommon. I was shocked and mentioned about Obama then she said because he is a politician he can't afford not to have a family image. Now forgive me for asking this since I never looked at singe mom from a race point of view but is their any truth in it?

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