I have been a single mum for about eighteen months now. It has been an adventure. There are some great things about being a single mum, things that make me really proud to be part of the single parent community. There are also some things about being a single mum that are really tough. The toughest thing about being a single mum is facing the single mum myths that are out there.
Let’s explore a few of these single mum myths:
- Our kids are not baggage. I can’t tell you how many dating profiles I have read where men put on their profiles that they have “no children, no ex-wife, no baggage”. Well, I’d say that their ignorance is pretty heavy baggage. Grrrrrr.
- Single mums are not desperate for a dad for our kids. Our kids often have a dad, and often, whether we like it or not, the dad is still on the scene and involved, to some degree, in their kids’ lives. If they are not on the scene it’s also fine because single mums are just great at being great.
- Kids of single mums do not suffer. The only disadvantage that kids of single mums face is the judgemental attitude that others have towards their mother. Trust me, I feel this judgement daily.
- Only a small percentage of single mums are on benefits, and those that are really need to be. That is the point of the benefits system, it helps those who need help. A lot of single mums work. Some single mums are highly successful. If there is one thing that is probably true of all single mums, it is that single motherhood makes us more resilient, determined and gives us a great sense of perspective. Many of us are better in the workplace because of this!
- Single mums are not all teenagers. In fact the average age of a single mum in the UK is 37. I would love to be in my teens, but unfortunately I am not.
- Single mums are not trying to steal your husband or boyfriend. We have the double bed all to ourselves. We sleep like a star fish in the middle of it. We rarely have to change the sheets because without a man in the bed they just don’t get dirty. It’s brilliant!
- Single mums don’t resent happy couples. We are happy for them, like really happy. A happy couple can reinforce our decision to leave the father of our child. Now this may irk a few of you, but happy marriages don’t end in divorce. Sorry! If we are honest with ourselves, our marriages, if indeed we were married, were probably not happy ones.
- Single mums didn’t mess anything up. Many of us are really proud to be single mums. Many of us chose to embark upon this journey as single mums from the outset. We are single mums by choice. Single motherhood has made us better people.
- Single mums are often very happy. We have great kids. We have a hell of a lot to be happy about.