There has been a ton of debate around “who has it worse” in the mommy wars battle between single moms and married moms who feel like single moms because their spouses are often not around.
I’ve been in both situations and my vote, if I have one, goes to the bona-fide single mom. Here’s why:
When I was single, I wished and hoped I would someday meet a nice boy, fall in love, and we would have beautiful children. When I was single, I did everything by myself and since that’s all I’d ever known, there was no comparison. I worked, dated, paid my bills, did my own cleaning and waited. Then…
I became a Navy wife and felt like a single mom
I got married. It was fun to have a partner to do things with, someone to discuss problems, come up with solutions, share the responsibilities and the perks … when he was home. My first husband was in the Navy, stationed on board ships that were gone as long as six months at a time. Enter a baby …
Ten days after our daughter was born, the baby daddy went to sea on a six-month deployment. I was an official “married single mom.” This was in ancient times when I’d receive a letter a week (that’s right, folks, snail mail), sent two or more weeks earlier. Sending an email meant waiting two full days for a response, and phone calls were incredibly few and far between because it cost $4 a minute. We were stationed in Hawaii, far away from family, which meant I was going it alone … but I had the benefit of those emails, letters and calls, not to mention that twice-monthly deposit of his paycheck. Just knowing “daddy was out there” and he wanted to be home was mental peace of mind. But….
Then I became a divorced mom, doing it all alone
I moved to another state with my daughter, with no friends or family to speak of. I had upgraded to “single mom” with no support in sight. Was there a difference? You bet. Not having another adult living in the house meant all chores and responsibilities were 100 percent mine. There were some fantastic aspects to that, and I’ll be writing about that in a future post. But for now, suffice it to say in the “married single mom” vs. “single mom” conversation, single moms have it tougher. They just do. Not having a spouse, significant other, supportive baby daddy and his love, support and income makes a huge difference.I spent six and a half years fully 100% a single mom.
Then I became a married mom with a helpmate husband
I’ve been with my current husband for 7 years. He doesn’t have to travel much. I’m a grateful married mom, with support and love and extra hands most of the time. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars.
Bottom line: Not having help is difficult, period
It’s hard to say that married single moms don’t feel as isolated, alone, overwhelmed, and frustrated as bona-fide single moms. It’s like asking two people, each who have broken their leg, who has more pain. They will both say, “Me.” It’s all relative … someone’s personal experience is their personal experience, and when you’re having a tough time, it doesn’t matter that someone else could be having a tougher time. The tough time you’re having is the tough time you’re having, thank you very much.
I can say it’s different and harder to be a “real” single mom, because I’ve experienced both and I know the difference for realz. But I will say this:
I think it’s time to everyone to come together, stop judging and start collaborating and cooperating, for the good of all moms and kids everywhere.
About the author: Honorée Corder blogs at The Successful Single Mom and has written many books you should check out, especially the ones about single parenting. Click the titles below for more info.
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