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Single Parenting: Don’t Judge Because I’m A Single Mother

singer mother standing with a bag of flowers and bare feet

Don’t Judge Because I’m A Single Mother

Growing up I never planned on becoming a single mother. I grew up believing one day I would marry and have kids. I wanted lots to be the kind of Mum who had lots of children and it never crossed my mind that I might end up solo parenting.

(Last Updated 21st July 2018)

Becoming a Single Mum or a single Mom was one of the hardest things I ever did and today I’m sharing my experience and thought on why we should not judge single Mothers.

Single mother

Not long after my daughter was born, I left her father. It certainly was not something I had planned or wanted to do but I needed to keep me and my child safe from a man who was physically and emotionally abusive. We did have difficulties during my pregnancy but I hoped things would improve. However when Sylvia was a few months old, I had to get out. I had to leave and move away on my own.

Within a day I went from being married and having people helping with my baby, (often controlling me and helping too much I might add) to being separated and becoming a single mum overnight. Luckily when I first left Sylvia’s birth dad, my first port of call was going to my parents.

Choosing To Be A Single Mother

I guess if you had to choose between being a single mum or being married to a man who is destroying your soul, you would choose being a single mum every time.

I’ve been through some experiences in my life but nothing quite prepared me for my separation. I knew it was coming. Not only was there abuse and domestic violence there was also adultery and other things which made the relationship impossible. Apparently it was my fault he cheated because I was too fat. Fat because I had just grown a baby inside of me. Anyway, on with the story…..

The Emotional Struggle Of Being A Single Mum

I quickly got used to being a single mum. It wasn’t too difficult. I had been looking after my baby for some months and knew what to do. The hardest part I think was the emotional torment I was going through which everyone suffers during a messy separation and pending divorce. It was not easy emotionally and sometimes I just wanted to go out for a long walk and have time to myself.

When your a single mum, you don’t always get the luxuries others get. You can’t ask your partner to watch the kids while you go to the gym or walk around the block. Walking has to take place in the day. I am not too much of a social butterfly so staying home with my baby a lot wasn’t too difficult. It’s what most new mums do anyway, however I did attend a class one night a week and my mum watched Sylvia whilst I had the evening to myself.

I attended a number of classes, the first being called Breaking the cycle. It was a tricky class to attend and there were many women some of whom had left abuse and some who were attempting to do so. After this class ended I did a course called reclaiming myself and then for fun, and to continue my Thursday nights out I took a class called Anger management. I really wasn’t and never have been much of an angry person but the women in these groups were my strength and I enjoyed having one night a week just to go and talk.

I am fortunate that I had my parents to support me when I first became a single mum. However due to a protection order and other issues, I ended up moving to a women’s safe house and then eventually moved to the UK to keep Sylvia and myself safe.

A Fresh Start As A Single Mum

Moving to England was very difficult. As a single mother I had less family support and the responsibility of solo parenting became even greater . Once my daughter was asleep for the night, that was it for me. I could not nip to the shop or go for a walk or do any of the things one might want to do without giving it a second thought. I often liked to go to Asda late at night to buy marked down items but this was not possible as I needed to settle my daughter into bed. Once she was asleep that was it, I was stuck in the house and that’s where I would stay.

Adapting to single parenting was a little tricky and I sometimes felt like some people did not understand how difficult it was. I never found it hard to care for my child or meet her needs. the main issue for me was not ever having a break. Single parents hardly ever get a break, unless they have a strong support network or family willing to step in but all too often that is not the case.

Financially raising a child on my own was difficult. As a single mother the income was much less than that of a couple with kids and I often felt the pinch on the purse strings. Some parents choose to stay home and raise a child whilst the partner works but for me I was reliant upon a benefit system. The money was really low and the pressure to find a job and put my child into child care was really strong.

singer mother standing with a bag of flowers

Choosing To Be A Stay At Home Mum

I chose to be a stay at home mother with Sylvia. I worked hard to make and sell little things on Facebook. I did car boot sales, shopped on a budget and friends often gave me second hand items they did not want for me to sell on Ebay. This helped me to get a little extra cash so I could stay home with Sylvia but still make ends meet. My plan was to go to work once Sylvia started Nursery school and I even went for a job interview when Sylvia was four but the following week we were struck with a terrible injustice and my daughter was removed from my care.

It’s a long story but I was wrongly accused of spending time in a psychiatric unit overseas which was not true. As a result certain stories were made up and Sylvia was whipped away in a way that should not have happened. The good news is that I fought in the courts and got my child back. There was also a government investigation and we ended up with a statement stating it was a mistake and should have never happened. We were also given a written apology and compensation for what the council ย agreed was a terrible injustice.

Whilst my daughter was away I was unable to work. In fact I spent every day working, writing and fighting for my child. It was a full time job in itself. Also, had I taken a job at that point I would not have been able to go to supervised contact sessions with my daughter or been able to pay for a lawyer to fight in the high court.

Working As A Single Mother

So my plans to work went on hold and once Sylvia returned I needed to put my every effort into rebuilding our lives and helping my little girl transition back home. My plans to be a working mum went on hold and I was back to being a single mother relying on benefits to get by. Not long after my daughter returned I met John my now husband.

Single Mother dating when having a young child can be really tricky. In fact there were a lot more phone conversations and skype calls over the computer than actual physical dating. I did have grandparents and a good friend who were able to help out from time to time so John and I could catch a movie or go bowling but I must admit it is not easy to date when your a single parent.

There is always a silver lining to everything and for me I was able to build my friendship and emotional relationship with John first and the physical stuff came later. I do think that is a good thing. Introducing John to my daughter was something I gave serious consideration to. You don’t want to introduce your kids to any old person and so that waited until things got more serious.

Once John and I knew we wanted to be together, we discussed marriage and the prospect of becoming a step father. There was a lot to consider but we made the right choices and never looked back.

Other things I found difficult as a single mum was shopping. I could not afford a car and so I had to push a pushchair and carry all the groceries. That was never an easy task. Also being judged was something I found difficult. I was once at church and someone said something about being divorced. A lady came up to me and said, she had not realised I’d been married and thought I’d just got myself knocked up! Even if I had what business was it of hers?

Don’t Judge Single Mother’s

The thing is I do think there is a stigma even in today’s society when your a single parent. Rather than sit and judge it would be better for people to help and support. It’s almost like when a father chooses to be a stay at home dad and people assume he is a single parent. I guess assumptions are often made in life and we have all been guilty at some point. Going back to my point on single parenting. I do think people judge single parents at times but the truth is you never really know someone’s story. You never really know how or why they ended up a single parent.

Some parents split up, others lose partners to cancer and horrible diseases and yes some parents even choose to single parent right form the start. I guess the point I am trying to make is we should worry less about why some one is a single parent and think more about what we can do to help and support because single parenting was not and never will be easy.

Angela x

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81 Comments

  1. I would not judge any single parent. I don’t have kids but seeing my parents raising 5 kids, I can only guess how hard it can be for two, let alone for one. I think you are incredibly brave. Leaving the father was super brave, especially in your situation. You should be incredibly proud of yourself coz you’re doing amazing. You’re right, you can never know why someone becomes a single parents so the only thing people should focus on is supporting you no matter what

  2. This is so true. I’m recently divorced and the amount of people that assume (and what they assume) is hurtful, crazy and just plain rude. I’m still learning not to let it affect me, but its hard.

  3. Sometimes I think that it is better to be alone and happy than together a not, a child picks up on that, it is best to do what is right for you as it is best to be right for you both.

  4. It saddens me that you were abused by this horrible man but well done you for escaping and raising sylvia. I always admire single mums, my aunty raised her son- my cousin as a single mum after finding her cheating husband with another woman and my foster mum has been a single parent for years. The point is we should not have to stay with people that are toxic but seek an escape route as things can get dangerous! xx
    Abuse is never ok x

  5. I hope everything you have been through has made you stronger. The single Mums I know do an amazing job at being both parents and being everything to their children.

  6. You have been through a lot but just remember how far you have come when ever you need to look back! Single or not moms should always find a way to support each other, its so important to stick together

  7. I am happy that you ended a toxic relationship and raised Sylvia all alone. She has all the love she needs to grow and become a beautiful person, because her mother has set an exemplary example for her. Hats Off! for overcoming all the hardships and torment. God Bless you both and give you more strength.

  8. I always have big respect for Single moms. Growing up and up to now, I believe that they’re the real superwomen!
    stay strong Angela and thanks for sharing this post.

  9. I’m glad you got out. It’s not as easy as some people think. Honestly, people are worried about all the wrongs things and need to let people live. Parenting is hard enough without being judged.

  10. This is a really honest post Angela, I can’t imagine how hard it was when Sylvia was taken away. And the decision to move & to leave her father in the first place too – you have conquered so much, you should be proud of all you have achieved x

  11. I often get questioned about being a single parent because my ex is very involved with his kids. His involvement though are visits, overnights, and phone calls. I do everything else. School meetings, doctor’s visits, grocery shopping, car pooling, you name it, I do it and I do it alone. When I was dating someone recently a friend of his said I was no longer a single mom. Uh well lets see, does he pay my bills? Does he take care of my children and do EVERYTHING under the sun to care for them? Does he help me out at all? No he doesn’t. I think people get confused about what single parenting is and they get weird ideas about it too. I Think you’re an amazing mother and you did the best thing by getting away from your ex and what was the result of that? Both of you are happier and healthier and you were able to meet someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. The way both of you deserve to be treated. There is nothing wrong with single parenting but people judge all the same. We develop a thick skin and move on from it. I don’t let those people dictate my life. I’m really happy for you that you are happy now! You and your beautiful daughter deserve all the love and happiness in the world:)

  12. Beautiful post, a lot of this mirrors my own life. I left my husband for very similar reasons when my kids were 2 and 8 months and old. Being a single parent is hard and there was so much stigma
    , so much so that I felt I had to explain my reasons for being a single mum to everyone.

  13. I have only respect for single mom’s out there after becoming a mom and seeing for myself how hard it can be to raise kids. Hang in there you are doing fine!

  14. I am so sorry that you had to deal with so much hardship immediately after having your beautiful child. Single parenting is never easy. You are an amazing mother, and by sharing your story you are an inspiration to others who are experiencing similar situations.

  15. I salute persons like you. Continue to become an inspiration to others. It is not important about why someone is single or a solo parent, as long as you love and you are giving your child the things they needed, you are a complete hero.

  16. I’m so sorry you went through so much! But it looks like you did the right thing and chose a life that’s better! Don’t listen to others, they don’t know your struggles. I think you are Wonder Woman!

  17. Very sad to hear that people are judgmental without knowing the actual situation. You are very strong to face life bravely without listening to others. Best luck!

  18. It sounds like you made the best choice for yourself and your daughter to leave when you did. The challenges were present, but you serve as inspiration that it can be done.

  19. I am so sorry for everything you have gone through! It sounds like you have had a rough road. I am glad that you made I through, and you have your daughter. You have to do what is right for you and your child and staying married isn’t always what is right especially if you are in an abusive relationship. You are so strong and a great example for others out there that might not know what to do.

  20. You are doing great. I understand the difficulty but deciding to be a single mom than to raise a child in an emotionally unhealthy household was the best choice. Just turn a deaf ear to those negative people. Let them try to walk a mile in your shoes before they judge. Hugs to you and your daughter and stay happy!

  21. People judge because they know nothing. Those are not important, we are living not to hear and get hurt about what they are saying, we are living for those who build us not for those who wrecked us. And you are such an amazing mother because you became strong no matter how hard the struggle was.

  22. I have so much respect for single parents because my grandmother raised her 5 daughters single handedlly. My grandfather was killed during World War II, and my grandmother was pregnant with their 5th child when that happened. Widowed at 31 years old, my grandmother did everything to raise my mom and her siblings. Single handedly provided for their needs and education. All 5 of them graduated from university. My grandmother is my epitome of strength, faith and perseverance. You are likewise a strong woman and I admire your decisions because you put your daughter’s welfare first before anything else. Kudos to you. Your are your daughter’s pillar of strength.

  23. Hi Angela – I was a teen mom and then a single mom. Being a single mom was by choice for many of the same reasons you shared here. Yet, the judgment I felt as a result was never easy. I had to get to a place where I trusted my decision in spite of what others thought. Thank you so much for sharing your story . . .

  24. I myself am one of those that don’t know the hardships of parenting and growing a child. Your writing gave me an insight to what parenting is like, great heartfelt writing.

  25. I am really sorry that you have been through that hell. But one thing is for sure, no one is judging you and I personally see you as a hero. There are many women who stay in an abusive relationship afraid to raise their voice or do something.

  26. Why should anyone feel they need to judge you or feel they have the right! I know a few single Moms and they didn’t choose that but they’re doing amazing jobs, Clearly you are too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I can feel your pain in your writing. It is true that despite all development in society certain things haven’t changed. No one knows how hard it is to be a single parent. Quite like riding a single wheel cycle. Thanks for writing and airing it out, at least we all know what hardships of a single mom is and how it feels.

  28. I know it is hard for you. I am sure every single parent has been through a lot before deciding to be one. I don’t judge single parents but I admire them instead. I salute you for being brave enough.

  29. Hi Angela, sorry to hear that you went through all this! Single parenting is tough and hats off to you for all that you’ve done for your daughter! You’re no lesser than a wonder woman!

  30. I don’t judge any single parent.I can really imagine how hard the life is.Even living with my husband and with his full support,I sometimes feel like I am a single parent.Simply,I have to take care of my kid whole day everywhere till my husband comes home at late night.I understand that he has to work hard.But it is really hard to keep eye on the kid.So you are doing great even with other things such as financial responsibilities.

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