What makes a single parent?

[deleted account] ( 57 moms have responded )

I saw this on another board and some of the answers really annoyed me so i thought, heck, i'd bring it here and see what the majority of you thought.



So what makes a single parent? Is it when they are 100% in care of their child get no breaks from anyone or they get breaks every other weekend from the father but live alone??

Or any other way it might work.



what's your take?

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[deleted account]

You'll notice in my post that I didn't apply any gender to the single parent!

Caitlin, April. You may feel like you have no assistance in the childcare aspect of your relationship but your husbands are working hard to financially support your families. That shouldn't be overlooked.

Single parents either have to work as well as taking on 100% of the childcare duties OR they claim benefits and are then looked down on as lazy scroungers.

[deleted account]

I don't think you should feel guilty for wanting your husband to contribute more in little ways around the house. I would often like to kick mine in the ass for not getting off it on his days off. It's reasonable to want that help.

I just think it would be the greatest insult you could pay them, would be to class yourself as a single parent, as it suggests that their contribution to the family is worthless in comparison with yours.

Krista - posted on 03/15/2011

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Jodi, by your definition, though, most wives throughout history have been single moms. I think that if you are in a live-in relationship, where that other person COULD help you if needed, then it's not really accurate to call yourself a single mom. To me, a single mom is someone who does not have that backup. I think of my sister, for example. She and the boys were deathly ill with the flu recently, and even though she just about wanted to die, she still had to take care of her boys. Because there was nobody else there to do it.

[deleted account]

Single parents do it all. 100% care and support for their kids. Someone with 50/50 custody and loads of family support... not a single parent. Single parents look to only themselves for financial support. That's the scary part!



I FELT like a single parent when my husband was deployed for 2 years, but was not scared or worried about income. So that disqualified me. Sure I had to fix the furnace, window screens and hide everyone in the basement for storms, but I was not stressed about bills, a roof over our heads, food or daycare/school costs.



Edit: The "single" in single parent, to me does NOT refer to the relationship status of the parent, but that they, ALONE, singularly support the kids without outside help.

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Jodi - posted on 01/18/2012

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I have to say that being a single parent is having no support from the biological parent in anyway what so ever. My ex has never seen my daughter in her whole life and he does not pay child support so I have had to support her emotionally, mentally and financially her whole life. We have a man in our lives now so I don't consider myself aa single parent anymore, because I have help now.He helps with decision that involve her and he spends time with her and he is more involved than her father ever has been.

Angela - posted on 07/19/2011

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Hmmm I see your point Shannen... Wow I keep going back in forth but that is what a debate is suppose to do huh! Give us insight and make us think outside our views.
some one said "How women see themselves is there own personal view." I am not sure who... but a part of that is true. I saw myself as a single parent and that many thought I was shameful to be one. So I was very proud to achieve career success and success with my now young adult children. I also envied anyone who got any support, like having a parent to babysit...for me a luxury and privilege I wished to have but never did. However.... that does not mean one is less of a single parent if they have a bit of support.
I have to say in America I was defined as a Single Mom, never married hussy, stupid, and more.... So I lied and said I was married, in fact,I found if I said I divorced vs. never married was seen in better light. Yes lied a lot so as to get a job or try to get my kids invited to birthday parties. It was rather pitiful really when I think back on it. now I am proud!!! At the time I was doing the best I knew how to do for my children. When it came to getting a job I don't regret lies...but when it came to helping my kids make friends....that was dumb. Why would I want friends who would judge my children on my choices? Not now I say but I was very young. At the same age as when you wear all what everyone else wears to fit in. I was also trying to fit in to a very much more mature crowd.... 20 and 30 somethings who had already finished high school and university....
Even here you say if you have more than one father you feel you are being accused as a hussy....
I have children by different fathers. That really does not make a difference as to what kind of Mother I am. i am a good Mom. I was just young and made poor choices. I did not know about sex except when I had it... I did not know about babies except when I had them.... That sounds terrible but I do not think I am alone. I think a lot of young teen Mom's are and were like me. Well I have to say their is more awareness of sex and babies now.... that was 20 years ago or so...
Having a baby with a man by choice (which I have btw0... is so different than when I was a teen and oh shit I am pregnant! Hell back then their was not even internet sites like this, hell their was not even a Internet really. Support was scarce... the only support I got was a free pregnancy test :)
But I think like I originally said it just is not black and white... and it can be personal.... but by country and law I am not sure of the legal definition.
I have to say despite it getting better unwed moms have a stigma... and we and single moms probably do to I just never been there.. I was divorced with children but they were not his... so that is different.

Bernie - posted on 07/19/2011

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To me a single parent, is a parent of a child who has sole custody of said child without any financial support from the other parent.
My Husband gets to see his child to his ex only 6 times a month, pays child support, wants to see his child more but BM prevents it from happening.

[deleted account]

Shannen - The assumption of the busy bodies being you were never in a stable relationship let alone married. If you answered their "great husband" comment with "I thought I did but he walked out on us after X years" I'm sure they would be "oh you poor woman".
People make lots of assumptions about single parents regardless of how they got there.

[deleted account]

Angela, I classify myself as a single mum. I am single and a mum. My ex on the other hand is in a relationship and does not have the single status because he is living with his g/f and she helps while my kids are there. I get no support day in day out from anyone unless i have an appointment and ask my parents to look after the kids and every second weekend when they go to their fathers. I have support but only from my parents and i feel like in the past few months they have done more then necessary to help me. so i have support but it is very limited and thats why i define myself as a single mum.

I have had people ask me how many children i have and when i say 3 they always say "oh you have your hands full you must have a great husband" This statement drives me up the wall because when i say no they look at me as if i'm devils spawn and then they look a the kids to see if they look alike. I have even been asked if they are all from the same father, which they are, like i'm some two bit hussy.

Angela - posted on 07/19/2011

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@Laura I don't think that is accurate, I know of many single Moms who have not any support. Day care is not support, it is paid for, so one can work to pay bills, and schools teach they don't support and in fact can add more to the problem. There is only one parent to go to school meetings etc. And if anything goes wrong their is only one parent to call or blame. Family support is a misconception of people who have family...Some don't' many do not especially in when people live in poverty. I was one of those people.. Babysitters again how is that support? Friends well as a former single Mom I did not have many friends because I hardly had the time! I worked at one point 3 jobs...I hardly felt the babysitter or day cares were support but were paid care providers while I worked and many of them sucked in fact I came home early one day to find my daughter saturated in her own poop and pee in her bed.. while the babysitter was having sex in my bed with her boyfriend...

What little friends I had were not parents because I was a teen Mom and when I got older I had nothing in common with SAHM, Working Moms with partners...and they did things I could not afford or have the time to do. I only had one friend once who was helpful. But I had to work so much it made it hard to make real friends.

BTW my children did not even have the fathers name on their birth certificates, he was not around to sign.... So I feel I was a real single Mom. They put on the birth certificates father unknown!!! I was like bullshit I know but he does not want to be a father. Funny even if I did not want to be Mother they know my name! Because well they came out of me. But their is a stigma in the USA of single Moms especially teen Moms and I had to fight it daily. In fact I even had a fake wedding ring so when I went to a job interview they would take me seriously and not prejudice me for being a single Mom.

After thinking about it more i define a single mom is someone like myself and a couple others on here who had no help at all... but legally I have no idea of the definition.

Merry - posted on 07/18/2011

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My brother in really a single dad.

His wife has every other weekend rights to see the kids, she doesn't always take them though, her son refuses to go with her so it's just her daughter.

Marc is really a single dad. And btw he's great at it :)

Merry - posted on 07/18/2011

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SIngle parent is when you have no partner.
Even if dad doesn't have partial custody most single parents have some family or friends or babysitters or daycares or schools that help with their kids.

Angela - posted on 07/18/2011

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@Kaleigh I feel you, I was in the same boat, was a teen Mom the father bailed, my family bailed(but they never helped me much most of my life) and I was alone.
I had not any finacial support, help etc it was all on me! I have to say it was hard and I envied other Mom's who had some kind of help/support.
That being said. I lived in a Military town and I saw many young (most were Moms') whose spouse/signifcant other were deployed and gone for weeks and months... they very much felt like single parents. The only difference was they had some kind of help with the money but other wise they were all alone.
I also feel if you remarry sometimes you are still the single parent to a child. I married a man who was military and he wanted nothing to do with my kids. In fact he stated I married you not your kids! I very much felt like a single parent to my kids at the time. I left the guy because of his attitude towards my kids amongst other things.
I am now remarried....he is in all definations a good father and step father! He helps me, supports me, helps my kids and takes on the role 100 percent I no longer feel like a single parent.
So on one hand I understand why some may resent people complaining etc when they have a husband etc but there is a few grey areas. It is just not so black and white.
I do not consider a SAHM/F who does most the child rearing etc. a single Mom/Dad for example.
However I consider many divorced or separated parents single .... even if they share responsibility in their environment they are alone with the child as a parent thus single parent.
IF you happen to have that perfect situation where two parents really co-parent then I would not consider that single parenting. I rarely see it unfortunately. Oh and lets not forget single parents by choice. ...

[deleted account]

@ Sharon this is not so..A single parent can have all the help in the world,and still be "single"..What's with the confusion?

[deleted account]

I was a single mom in every sense of the word, my son's father bailed completely, I lived alone with my son and was the sole caregiver and fincanial provider no breaks no visitation or weekends no child support no one to share the worry while at the hospital for an asthma attack no one to share the moment of seeing first steps, no one to grab that pack of diapers I forgot to get at the store, nothing it was just me and the baby. Now my ex calls himself a 'single parent' because he does have a biological child and his relationship status is single....I'm sorry but I find that insulting and it diminishes my title as a single parent not that the title is something anyone wants but to me it made it seem like well what the hell am I then if you're a single parent? He's missed every birthday, every milestone, he has no idea who my son even is. Now some people still refer to me as a single mom...I disagree my hunni co parents with me he is here to help and share the work load, financial strain, woes and joys. He shares the same worries and milestones, successes and struggles and we're a team. I'm not on my own and he is just as active as I am even though Aiden is not his biological son so I don't really get the attitude that once a single parent always a single parent. If you're a single parent you're it, if there are two 'single' parents involed its co parenting, if you share everything 50/50 and live together then you are both equal parents. I don't get why people NEED some extra title whats wrong with just being mom or dad?

It does bother me when I meet people who claim to be a single parent and they really aren't. It may seem kind of rude but when a guy tells me he's a single dad (usually trying to use it as a pickup line) I ask 3 things: how often they see them (any less than every day I laugh) how much a pack of diapers costs (single dads know that they cost such and such but if you go to this store you get them at 2 bucks off) and what their kids cutest moment was so far (if they say their kid is 6 years old but their cutest moment was when they were a month old chances are they haven't seen said child in years). And yes when I have some guy bragging about what a great single daddy he is and he is obviously using it like some sort of attention grabber to get a date I give them what for because I think that is just wrong and it personally offends me. My mom is single and has me and my little sister but she will tell you right off the hop the difference between being a single parent and not. With me she was a single mom she had me 24/7 and was on her own with everything, my sister lives with her father so no it doesn't even compare. If she gets sick though she worries she still isn't the one in her pjs sitting in the ER with no sleep, she has visits but she doesn't have the constant pressure of being the sole provider when my sister gets in trouble my mom isn't the one being told shes hated instead she gets to be the good guy and hear about the situation later, and no she doesn't provide child support (biased courts wont ask a mom pay child support for their kid here) I could go on but you get the point. Now this doesn't diminish her role as a mother in my eyes and I still acknowledge my son's biological father as such but people need to appreciate that being a single parent is a whole other ball game and stop throwing that word around because real single parents deserve more than to be lumped into the same catagory as people who aren't involved with their kids. Lol good way to tell is if you want the title of being a single parent then you probably aren't one, its hard enough being a mom to begin with who wants to add extra of anything and that is what being a single mom is twice the workload, pressure, and stress not to mention the stigma attached with it. One is a very lonely number I'm proud that I managed being a single mom as long as I did but I thank God every day that I'm not still in that situation, sharing the credit is worth having someone to share everything else with. Single parents are very strong and I have the upmost respect for them, all other things aside I know how hard it is to to hear your baby's first word and be the only one clapping and making a fuss....very lonely place to be and it really isn't fair.

Bridget - posted on 03/17/2011

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I think one of the biggest differences between never married and divorced moms is the search. I think never married's are still hoping to settle down and want to find someone, whereas divorced moms have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, so they are more wary of "going back out there." I am a never married, and my social life basically went on life support after the birth of my son. I regret none of it, but now, turning forty this year, and my son turning fifteen, I wish and pray someone will come along, but now I feel too old to be "out there." I have spent over half my life caring for others--my mother when she had her stroke (and I still do to this day), and my son, and I work with children, so there's them, too. After so much of that, and not regretting it, mind you, there is a part of me that yearns to know what it's like to have someone there for me, and want me.

Bridget - posted on 03/17/2011

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WOW, OKAY. Let me give this a whirl:

A single parent is a parent who is not married and has full custody of their child with very little help from the other parent, if any.

A divorced parent is someone who was married but is presently divorced and childcare can be divided into one of two roles: full custody with or without visitation from the other parent WITH financial help as mandated by law. This means the full or vast majority care and raising may be with one parent though expenses are shared.

A co-parent is a parent perhaps with joint custody and/or maximum interaction with the child(ren). The two parents equally share in expense, care and raising of the child, but do not reside in the same place.

Just an opinion.

These are all single parents, but if you want to categorize it, fine. I will say this, though: A single never married mom is viewed and treated differently than a divorced one, no matter the character or skills of the parent. My friend lives in the southern US in a small town; she divorced her husband for very good reasons, and yet, she is viewed and scrutinized. I am a never married mom living in the Heartland US city, and I am viewed a certain way I simply am not, also.

Isobel - posted on 03/16/2011

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My definition is somebody who is not in a serious relationship and has their children on a regular basis...I considered myself a single mom and my ex a single dad (both) before I moved in with my husband(type).

My take would be that when you ARE in the act of being a parent, and providing for your kids you are alone... and if that's two weeks out of the month, then so be it, to me co-parents ARE single parents.

[deleted account]

Also if the man is not in the home, you are seen as a single mother, if you claim you will have to claim single parents.I think its just if you live on your own with your kids single parent is the term.How women see themselves is there own personal view.

[deleted account]

For me i think if i was a single mother, it would mean to me.Doing the parenting all by myself including, working to provide for my children and rasing them in all areas.To me personally thats a single mother.If my partner left me but was 100% involved in the up bringing of his kids, i wouldnt see myself as a single mother.Yes i would live a lone but i would not be a single parent.As there father is very much in there life.I would be proud of that fact.

[deleted account]

by half of your standards ive been a single mom this whole time and didnt even realize it...makes me feel a lot better.

Sal - posted on 03/15/2011

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when the primary care giver doesn't have a partner living in with them, if they have a partner who isn;t the childs father they are not a "single parent" as they are not single, if the other parent has part custody that doens;t stop the other parent being a single parent if they are indeed single, i was single and got loads of help from my parents but was single as it is when you go home you are alone with your child, you have no one to help with the load, to pop out and get milk at 10pm if you are short for a coffee, no one else to get up in the night if you both have a tummy bug that is what i feel makes you a single parent,

Jane - posted on 03/15/2011

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I think of a single parent as a person who is not married. That's it. If the parent is the primary care giver 100% of the time, I would consider them as parenting alone without the other parent. If both parents are involved but not married and living in separate households, they are not parenting alone.

I hate the phrase "single parent" because it can mean so many things to so many different people. So if someone says they are a single parent to me, I ask them to explain what they mean. I always get a look like "what the hell are you talking about?" so I have to further explain and ask "do you parent alone or are you just "single" and your childs other parent is involved?". I guess I'm a little anal with wording :)

[deleted account]

Thanks for the link Erin. I'm just not sure how open he will be to the idea of anything after the visit i had this morning.

Erin - posted on 03/15/2011

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Shannen, I really hope that with a bit of time he will wake up to himself. Even if that means you can't be together, he needs to lift his game and help you parent those children. You may want to consider mediation in a bid to sort out a mutually acceptable parenting agreement. My friend is going through this right now with her ex-husband. They try to get things laid out to avoid court for custody disputes.
Here is the link:

http://www.relationships.com.au/

[deleted account]

I am considering myself single.
Right now i have the kids 24/7 until he can get himself a house and even then i will be single because he will have them for 2 nights a fortnight. I have to do everything by myself. Financially i am responsible. Yes he will pay child support but i can tell you now it is not enough for 3 kids.
I'm not even sure what sort of place he will take in their lives. ATM it seems drinking is better for him.

JuLeah - posted on 03/15/2011

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I was a single parent while married and a single parent now; not married. I like it better this way as there is less work and more fun.

Jenni - posted on 03/15/2011

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My husband works a lot of hours. 12 hour shifts at a manual job. When he gets home, he is tired and although he does make an effort to help a little. I wouldn't expect him to.

When he's on nights he works all night and sleeps all day. Wakes up and has just enough time to make his lunch, shower and eat dinner. So zero help there as well.

He works hard to support us and I personally would NOT want to trade places with him. ;)

My job's is far more easy and rewarding than his job. Although I do 99% of the childcare I would never consider myself to be a single parent because I have him providing for us. Putting food in our fridge, a roof over our heads and clothes on backs. If I were a single parent I would be doing both, providing financially and childcare.

Even (most) single parents who receive support from the other parent still have to suppliment with some other kind of income.

April - posted on 03/15/2011

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Krista, he was coming through the door from work and was on his way up the stairs to get ready for bed. He passed right by the napkins! I asked him to grab me one and was like, "But I am already standing on the stairs." Never mind the fact that I was holding a bowl of yogurt over my son's dripping chin. Yes, he would have had to walk back through the kitchen but it's only like 8 feet from the stairs! He was acting like walking that far was going to prevent him from getting that much extra sleep!! He DOES take it for granted that I do everything. Not making excuses for him there. Not getting me a napkin was him being an ass. I think he thinks that his job gives him a free pass and that being a SAHM is my job, so I SHOULD do everything. He really is physically unavailable 90% of the time. Is it stupid to get upset over a napkin, though? I do feel guilty for wanting more.

April - posted on 03/15/2011

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P.S. Caitlin, your life sounds a little bit like mine! Even though I know he needs his sleep, it does annoy me sometimes that he is RIGHT THERE, but I have to pretend he isn't there!



Krista, I like your example about your sister! Even when I'm sick, I don't get help. The closest I've ever came to help when I was sick was my 1 year old (at the time) rubbing my back and saying, "Are you okay, Mommy?" Another time, the baby even held the throw up bucket for me!! Dad just wasn't home. Home is like a temporary resting space for him, he is home for about 8 hours at a time and then it's back to work again!



**Despite all of this, I don't consider myself a single mom. There is always a CHANCE my husband could help. The potential is there, lol. With Krista's sister, however, there's no chance.



Also, I think putting a roof over my head is VERY helpful. I think part of being a true single parent is taking care of the *most* finances. If I was really a single parent, I wouldn't get to be a SAHM for sure.

Krista - posted on 03/15/2011

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Jennifer raises a REALLY good point. When we talk about a single mom, it's taken for granted that she's the primary caregiver. If the mom didn't have custody, and only saw her kids every second weekend, most people would not think to refer to her as a single mom. But with a dad, those things aren't assumed. We don't refer to a guy who NEVER sees his kids as a single dad, but we do use the "single dad" moniker for everything from biweekly visits to sole custody.

Kind of an interesting illustration about gender roles, no?

Brandi - posted on 03/15/2011

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With a dad I would assume he doesn't have his kids. It is hard for the United States, it is hard for a man to get full custody of the kids. The mother has to be a completely horrible mother in most cases.

Jenni - posted on 03/15/2011

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I wonder if context can come into play when interpreting the term "single parent".

An example: You're on the dating scene. Your friend calls to tell you, "Hey! I just met this single dad I think would be perfect for you."

Would that necessarily mean his children live with him? Or could she just mean he's single but has children?

I think I would take it as undetermined whether or not he's the primary caregiver.

[deleted account]

If you don't have a partner.... you are a single parent.

I think you can still co-parent and be a single parent, but I can't say for sure as I don't have a co-parent. Yes, he calls them and sees them, but we can't talk about ANYTHING.... and seeing them a few times a year does not make him a co-parent He is still their dad, but he does less 'parenting' of them then my friend does.....

Brandi - posted on 03/15/2011

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I don't consider myself a single parent anymore since I am remarried. I have help now. My husband picks up the slack that my ex husband leaves me with... including money and time. So, I think if you are in a relationship and they help you out, you are not a single mother.

Krista - posted on 03/15/2011

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April, even if your husband's job is demanding, it can't be so demanding that he can't go get you a damn napkin. Has he considered looking for a different job -- one that doesn't suck the life out of him and leave his wife with the burden of doing everything herself?

Brandi - posted on 03/15/2011

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single parent means is not with the father of the children or is not with any man at all. Basically, lives alone with kids.

April - posted on 03/15/2011

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"Single parents do it all, with no help." I guess that makes me a single parent even though I've been married for 4 years. My husband doesn't change diapers, doesn't take our kid to lessons, doesn't put him to bed, doesn't clean up the toys, doesn't read him books. He has not participated in helping me toilet train either. He pretty much goes to work and then goes to bed (erratic hours). He isn't trying to be an ass, but it does come off that way, and once a month (when i get my period) i get really pissy with him. I sometimes resent having to do it all myself because my husband's job is ridiculously demanding. It is one of those jobs that just sucks the life out of you. You are nothing but a machine to his company! I do wonder how much more help he would be if he had a normal 9 to 5 job. Whenever I ask him to do something small, like go get me a napkin so I can wipe our son's mouth, he says no.

Caitlin - posted on 03/15/2011

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Lol, sometimes I say i'm a single Mom, which may piss a lot of single moms off. I'm married of course, to my kids father, quite happily, but he works nights, sleeps during the day and goes to school during the evening and studies on the weekend. I have no close family help, so I am responsible for the kids 100% of the time. Thank god in May i'll be off the hook a bit, because my hubby will be finished school, but for the last 2 years, all i've had really is extra laundry, extra dishes and the occasional nap on the weekend when I was sick. It's really hard to define "single parent" in my mind.

Cathy - I'm trying not to come off as whining about it and all, and it's not really that he doesn't help out enough, it's almost worse because he wants to help out more, but he also needs his sleep and he needs to do his papers and study so he can finish his damn degree! Oh and sadly he's not really a shoulder to cry on, because I tal to him more on the phone than I do in person because I wake him up, serve him lunch, kiss him goodbye and then see him the next morning. I consider my situation to be pretty exceptional though, at least there is an end in sight!

[deleted account]

I've been the 100% single parent. Living alone, dealing with the finances, primary caregiver.



I actually get annoyed with people in a live in relationship (be it married or unwed) complaining about being single parents because the other person doesn't help out enough.



The weight of responsibilities is divided,not always equally, but atleast there is someone there for a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on etc. when needed.



In regards to step parents they may not be responsible for major decisions in that child's life but they still play a constant role. When I get sick now, there is someone else available to feed the kids, take them to school. Someone else to share the good and bad of my day with.



The only time I can understand someone in a stable relationship using the term single parent would be in military families where one partner is deployed in some far away country. They take on 100% duties while the other is away.

Jenni - posted on 03/15/2011

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I've always thought of a single mom as a mom not in a relationship. Like the children not having a stepfather.

I'd consider my SD's BM to be a single mom even though my husband has visitation to his daughter, she allows him to see her whenever he wants, is a very active figure in her life and pays child support.
I would still consider her to be a single mom because she lives on her own and is the primary caregiver.

Jenni - posted on 03/15/2011

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Yeah, I seen it too. Looked up the definition:



Single-parents (also lone parent, solo parent and sole parent) is a parent who cares for one or more children without the physical assistance of the other biological parent in the home. "Single Parenthood" may vary according to the local laws of different nations or regions.



Single parenthood may occur for a variety of reasons. A few possible scenarios are by choice, as in, divorce, adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood, while others are the result of an unforeseeable occurrence, such as a death, child abuse, child neglect, or abandonment by one of the biological parents.



The living and parenting arrangements for single parents are diverse. Some single parents live in households with family, other adults or alone in home, apartments, condos or government assisted housing. When parents separate, one party, usually the primary parent, has the children the majority of the time however, non-custodian, secondary or 'non-resident' parents continue to share some type of parenting time and responsibility, to some extent, with their child.

-wikipedia.



Other sources of the definition were similar. It doesn't necessarily have to mean they take care of the child 100% of the time. In some cases it can refer to the primary caregiver. Also the definition can vary slightly depending on geographical location, culture...

Jodi - posted on 03/15/2011

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See, I disagree with the "in a relationship" thing. I am remarried, and yet, I am still responsible for my son. While my husband helps around the house, it is still 100% my responsibility to raise him and i still do most of the parenting.

Krista - posted on 03/15/2011

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What Erin said: if you're not in a serious, live-in relationship, and you do the lion's share of the parenting to your child, then I consider you a single parent.

Jenn - posted on 03/15/2011

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If I weren't in a relationship now and had the twins, I would be a single parent to my son. My ex only asks to visit him when it suits his needs, which is about once every 6 weeks or sometimes longer. He isn't involved in any other way - he doesn't pay child support, he doesn't have anything to do with his schooling and probably couldn't even tell you what school he goes to.

Erin - posted on 03/15/2011

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If you are not in a relationship and are the primary caregiver to the child, you are a single parent. Co-parenting, to me, is when custody is split 50/50.

Bonnie - posted on 03/15/2011

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Technically you are considered a "single parent" if you are the main carer, ie. you are responsible for your child more than 50% of the time, & have no partner.
Having said that, I believe there are different degrees of being a single parent. There are those who have support from both family & the other parent; there are those who have a good support network from family & friends but where the other parent is not involved; there are those who have limited supports from either family, friends, or both; & then there are those who have no one whatsoever.
Everyone has the right to complain about being a single parent at times, we all need to let off steam sometime. What really peeves me though are those who whine about not being able to go out when they want but still have family/friends/babysitter to have a night off occasionally. One should never complain about something when they at least have some of it, especially when it comes to the luxury of having a night away from the kids, however infrequent!
Personally, I'm definitely a single parent. My son's father isn't allowed near us & it took me having a complete mental & emotional breakdown for family to look after my son. They only had him for a short while & they made sure I knew how much I was inconveniencing them!

Johnny - posted on 03/14/2011

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There's co-parenting and single parenting. I think it is entirely possible to be a single parent while being in a relationship. One parent may end up being the breadwinner and doing the majority of the child rearing, single, in a relationship or married. One of my girlfriends does not really participate that much in her children's lives. Her husband works, pays all the bills, and does the majority of the childrearing. He makes all the family decisions, attends sports and after school activities, does the cooking and the cleaning. She does not participate in any of that stuff. She plays with the kids when he's around, that's about it. I consider him to be a single parent, despite being married to his children's mother. She contributes less than many actually divorced couples I know.

On the other hand, my co-worker and her ex-husband have a very equitable and amicable co-parenting relationship. I hear her talking to him on the phone on a daily basis. They work well together as parents, just not as partners. She would be the first to tell you that while she is single, she's not really a "single parent".

It really depends on the amount of financial, emotional, and practical support and time a parent contributes.

Sharon - posted on 03/14/2011

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LOL Jodi you were a single parent.

its like you defined 50/50 is the best but even in some marriages it doesn't work out that well. But yeah, close to that.

and if a dad takes the kids every weekend or every other but is there during the week when needed/wanted for the extras, he's doing pretty damn good. Alot of those dads get that schedule becuase kids need a stable home with a regular sleep pattern and driving a few hours to dads every other night fucks them up. It isn't always the dads' fault he can't be more involved. (hubbys ex moved an 8 hour drive away - kind of hard to be an involved parent when shit like happens.)

Jodi - posted on 03/14/2011

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In some ways, I still think of myself as a sole parent in many ways, even though my husband takes up some of the slack. But it isn't HIS responsibility to raise my son, it is mine (and his father's, but we all realised LONG ago that ain't gonna happen).

[deleted account]

yea co parenting is when the parents are equalish caregivers. every other weekend is not co parenting, that is like the minimum and the primary care giver would be considered a single parent in my books.

Jodi - posted on 03/14/2011

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Sharon, what do you define as *involved*? Even though my son goes to visit his dad, I wouldn't call him *involved*. he has NEVER been to my son's school, he never takes him to sports training, he only goes to matches IF they are on his weekend, he never gets himself involved in school projects or homework, and he pays child support sporadically. So yeah, he is kind of involved, but I would still say I was a single mother of my son.

Personally, I think if you have the children mostly on your own, you are a single parent. Before I remarried, I was a single mother. I think co-parenting is more appropriate only where the parents are sharing the responsibilities pretty much 50/50 (or 60/40). It doesn't count where there is an every other weekend parent, which seems to be the most common arrangement.

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