What's the biggest misconception people have about single parenting?

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27  Answers

0 0

When it comes to parenting, it's more a matter of quality over quantity. I hate it when children from single-parent homes are automatically considered "at risk". My kids may only have one parent, but they are far from neglected. They are surrounded by people who love them, and they know it. Having one great parent has to be better the two crappy ones. The only thing they are "at risk" for is being spoiled too much.

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Many people have the misconception that I must be a single mother because the father "left us". It seems a really odd concept to people that the mother could choose to walk away from the unhealthy relationship. Even further, people are really judgmental about the fact that I did end the relationship with my son's father. But I know that what I did was best for my son and I, and that is all that matters!

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Perhaps the greatest misconception re single parenting is the same as for any parenting - that there is one best way, or a narrow definition of how kids will react to various situations, and how we - as parents - should respond.

My experience of single (virtually solo) parenting is not the same as that of a mother who co-parents 50-50. My challenges with one artistic, introverted child and the other, gregarious and emotionally aware, is not the same as another parent's challenges. Finances and health are huge factors in overall stability in any home, and even more so the solo parenting home. Challenges in the teen years with only one parent are dramatically different than early years.

There is no one-size-fits-all single parent family, and no one-size-fits-all set of solutions to the issues that will present.

1
0 0

That you must be single because no one wants you! Heaven forbid it be through choice. Or that you must be somehow a 'scrounger' - not working out of pure laziness and taking advantage of the benefits system.

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0 0

I think the biggest misconception is that the kids will always grow up maladjusted. Some kids will, some wont. This is no different than kids in two parent homes. I think it's a combination of the home, the child's inherent personality and the community around that shapes the outcome.

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0 0

That being married is the best thing for a child. People think: "Couldn't the father and mother try harder and make it work?" People don't understand that sometimes the absolute BEST thing for a child is for their parents to be separated. Society is changing. Just because I'm a single parent doesn't mean my son will be deprived of anything or be less beneficial then if I where with his dad. We are on great terms and able to get along due to not being in a relationship with each other. That is what is best for our son.

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0 0

That single parents are poor, uneducated, bitter individuals.

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3 0

I have struggled with the misconception that my boys are somehow less off or disadvantaged in some way because they do not come from a two parent home. I have felt first hand prejudice against me and my family because I am a single mother and most discouragingly prejudice from the school system and my children's teachers. I resent the assumption that single parent households are in some way less than two parent households and would even suggest that a happy, functioning single parent household can be a healthier place for a child than an unhappy, dysfunctional two parent home.

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7 241

I think one of the biggest misconceptions of single mothers is that we are all scorned in love. I think we've just learned from our mistakes and only acceptable men would make the cut.

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0 63

The only misconception that bothers me is that we're simply parenting solo. Being a single parent doesn't mean that we're just alone with the kids; it also means being the only adult in the house who earns an income, who can take the kids to the doctor and who is responsible for every single need the kids have. Being a single mom is more than a full time job, without vacations or overtime pay, and very rarely comes with merit raises :)

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0 0

The biggest misconception is that as a single mum you couldn't possibly work a full time job! You also must have no time or other interests outside of parenting. Although my son is the centre of my universe I am in no way defined solely as a mum. I work, I exercise, I am a member of a choir, I write a blog, I'm writing a book, I socialise when I can and I've just completed a 6k run for charity raising over £800 as part of a team. It's important to make time for your own interests and your own 'me' time so that you can project positive energy towards your children. The majority of your time outside of work is focussed on them. It's important to project yourself as a role model with a positive attitude because children will do what they do best: imitate.

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25 0

Stereotypes show that single parents don't have high aspirations for their children, that they are generally poorer and uneducated. Single parents do have more challenges, its true, but no single parent is the same and generally they are no longer in the relationship with the other partner because it was better for their lives and that of their children's not to be. Poverty and conflict are what damage children, not raising children alone. If this message was clear then there would be much stronger support and policies to assist all parent avoid these consequences rather than label parents with unhelpful perceptions.

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2 0

That it's almost impossible to do. But although it is wrought with challenges, it has rewards. Families can be whole with one parent.

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0 25

I think that as a single mom we are always struggling. We make bad choices. We can't keep a relationship. That its our fault that we are single parents. That we put ourselves above the needs of our kids.

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0 14

I think most people just don't understand how difficult and overwhelming it is. I used to tell people I was a single parent even when I was married, because I did the lion's share of the "work" at home, but now? It is chaos sometimes. Utter. Chaos.

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1 0

So many people presume that we all just sit at home, expecting the government to support us with large handouts. Could not be further from the truth for many of us. I work, look after a household, do all the cooking, cleaning and gardening, with very little help from the powers that are.

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8 0

That's a hard one. Some politicians certainly got into trouble with female voters last year after insinuating that single moms sponge off the government, are un-educated and contribute to child abuse and neglect. (See this letter from a single mom to politician Rick Santorum: http://navigatingvita.com/2012/03/13/guest-post-a-single-moms-letter-to-rick-santorum/). These views are from ignorant men. We all know, especially on circle of moms, that intelligent, hard-working and caring women become single mothers due to a host of reasons. There is not a one-size-fits all description for single parents.

Another stereotype that hurts women AND men who venture back out into the dating world after divorce or death of a spouse, is that single parents are desperate and looking for a mommy or daddy figure for their children. But this stereotype gets chipped away little by little with each strong single parent who puts her children first and waits many months to introduce her children to anyone she dates.

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8 0

I don’t think people realize how difficult it really is, especially for the families with younger children who are completely lacking the presence of a father, and don’t have relatives helping out with the children.

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9 11

I think the biggest misconception people have about single mothers is this notion that we don't have "real" families." I take great offense to that preconceived idea that my family isn't real because it consists of me and my daughter. I've had people say, "oh it's only you two?" Our family is very real and I think other single moms probably feel the same. We provide our children with loving, stable and nurturing homes just like any other 2 parent household. We instill values and morals and provide a good foundation for our children. My daughter and I sit around the dinner table just like any other family. I know that some other single moms who are Christian really struggle with guilt about not having a traditional family and that is part of the reason I started my blog. I want other mothers, especially moms of faith to know that it is okay, you can provide your children with spiritual foundation and every bit of of love that a two parent family provides. Does having a one parent household come with it's challenges? Absolutely, but so do 2 parent households. I hope all single moms out there realized that they do have 'real families,' and it is up to them to create the family they want.

The other misconception is that single moms must not be happy because they are always working so hard to provide for their children. This is so untrue! Most of the single moms I know are very happy and content with their lives. Being a single mom is a challenge, but being a mother in general is the hardest job around! But, it is so rewarding! Most single moms work hard, but it is for the most precious gift... their children, those incredible beings that God blessed us with. It is my experience that when a woman is happy within herself regardless of her marital status that happiness spreads to every other area in her life.

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The fact that we actually have a lot more commonalities than differences. We are all trying to balance unrelenting schedules, do the best for our children, find a bit of time for a personal life, stretch dollars as far a possible and discover joy and ourselves along the journey.

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0 0

That we are all lowlifes that strip and are looking for a man to support us. lol Hey, I was married for 10 years, was a stay at home mom, and my ex just happened to go off the deep end with mental illness and disappeared. I'm all about the white picket fence but it didn't work out that way, so I deal with what I've got.

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0 0

While the idea that single parent homes produce inferior children (or worse, criminals) and that a single parent home automatically means an unstable family seems to be slowly fading, I think that some people still see my children as coming from a "broken home." I assure you, my home was far more broken when there were two parents under the same roof.

The idea that one parent cannot do as good a job at raising kids as two parents just depends on the situation. Of course, the ideal would be two great, devoted, stable parents, but sometimes ONE good solid parent with heart and soul and determination to make life better is a wiser choice than stumbling along with a completely dysfunctional family unit.

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0 0

Honestly, I don't really know what misconceptions people have about single parenting. It takes all of my energy, effort , and thought to provide for my boys physical and emotional needs. I try to focus on the things I can control, and not worry about others assumptions or misconceptions about single parenting.

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4 16

I think we are ignored more often than misunderstood. The one thing I hate to hear is married women calling themselves single moms when their relationships are in trouble or husbands are simply away on business.

A single parent is unmarried. Many if not most of us get no or limited child support. There is often a lack of support from the non custodial parent. Sometimes they are completely missing or gone from the life of the child or children.

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4 0

Augghhh YES it drives me insane when married friends go on and on about what an ordeal it is when hubby is out of town.

0 0

I don't know exactly. Maybe it's that we single moms got knocked up pretty bad, that's why we have kids out of wedlock. But we each have our own story. We are where we're at right now because of varying circumstances. It's unfair to judge us.

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0 0

That our families are dysfunctional and that kids who are raised by a single parent will suffer for it. Of course it's true in some cases, but dysfunction doesn't care how many parents there are in a family..it's an equal opportunity thing. My kids have had to deal with some less-than-ideal circumstances but kids being raised in two-parent families aren't immune to it. Sometimes I think children are better off with one really committed, loving parent vs. two parents who are doing a half-assed job.

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2 0

I love all of these comments! The pattern here is there is no stereotypical single parent (mother) and all children are different. That being said why would we all be the same? I especially love women pointing out that they're single by choice not because a man left them. Awesome insight.

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