What kind of single mom has it the worst?


Recently a single mom friend was complaining that as a choice mom who has her kids 24/7, she has fewer hours to spend on community service when compared with divorced moms.

I hear that often from moms who follow me here: They have it worse than other kinds of single moms.

The moms with the MIA dads who get no child support or help with the children. The divorced moms with difficult exes who make their lives hell. Or the married moms who can’t stand their lazy husbands and identify with single moms, but are not part of the single-mom club and therefore even more lonely.

It all reminds me of my kids’ bickering last night:

My pumpkin is the best! 

No, MY pumpkin is the best! 

MOOOOOM! Helena says her pumpkin is the best!!!

All of which I respond: WHO CARES?! You’re so annoying! 

In the hierarchy of misery, which genre of single mother wins?

I don’t know if I can answer that, but the loser is definitely the mom who competes for top position.

After all, it’s all relative. I know moms who were left when pregnant and with scant financial resources, but had warm and supportive families and the gumption to pull their careers together and create an amazing success story.

Or broke and very alone moms who created a non-related support system, and a full life of her own design.

I’ve met single moms by choice who had brilliant careers and the perspective and resources to hire out child care and domestic duties and create a comfortable life for their family.

I know divorced moms with shared custody and ample money who struggle for decades by way of contentious relationships and perpetual bitterness regarding their exes.

I also know moms who are married to affluent and emotionally involved men, but for various reasons can barely cope with their family lives.

And any number of scenarios in between.

I’ve said it time and again: You never know what goes on in people’s personal lives and inner thoughts. External challenges do not equal misery, just as external blessings do automatically translate into a joyous existence.

Life is messy and full of things you cannot control, as single motherhood will teach you (day in and out). But you can control your reactions, and you can control your energy. And by mastering these powers, you have a control over your own happiness — and to a large degree, your destiny.

So ladies, let’s all assume loser status in the collective misery-off. Instead, focus on tapping into your infinite power to organize your time, earn untold money, create a circle of support, and be grateful to live in a time and place when you have access to the freedom and resources to do so.


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6 thoughts on “What kind of single mom has it the worst?

  1. The single mommmy-wars are pretty incredible. What I’ve seen is people jockey for is the special position…that they are a single mom but not THAT kind of single mom. Just perpetuating the stereotypes about single parents and otherizing each other in the process. With a very few bright spots, the single moms club has been pretty ugly.

  2. I have noticed that a lot of people have this tendency to want to talk about about how they have life worse than everyone else. and that I hear about it more and more. It’s so odd to me – why this interest in a race to the bottom? Life is long and weird, and many people have phases that are really difficult. I know some people have it though. But I also know that a lot of people like to whine, and they are so busy trying to make their life seem like the worst possible life anyone in the history of the world could ever have because, say, they only got a 3% raise that they are downright miserable to be around.

  3. Love this! It is sooo all relative. But, also, I sometimes feel like it’s not that one type of single mom has it worse than another as much as they have it simply different. I think like with anything, we all have different struggles. And, just because another mom has it “worse” than me doesn’t mean that my situation isn’t rough. I think that’s the part I have the most difficulty with. That by suggesting you have it worse you’re trivializing my struggle. Why why why do we as women have to tare each other down to feel better about ourselves? Media? Society? Can of worms opened?

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