Single mum myths and the lies behind them

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.

single mum myths

Let’s explore a few of these single mum myths:

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  
  4. 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! 
  5. 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.
  6. 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! 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.
  9. Single mums are often very happy.  We have great kids.  We have a hell of a lot to be happy about.


  1. September 16, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Well said. There are definitely a lot of judgmental people in this world who make far too many assumptions. My mum was a single mum for a long time and she was fantastic, she worked hard, she loved us fiercely and we never suffered for it one bit.

    • thesingleswan
      September 17, 2016 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Alana,

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

  2. September 18, 2016 / 2:11 am

    Child of a single mum here. My mum worked three jobs at once and and was only on benefits later in life due to seriously ill health. I did not suffer. We were better off not having my dad at home.

    • thesingleswan
      September 18, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Glad to hear it! thanks for your comment. Pen x

  3. September 18, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Let’s hear it for the single mums ! I was raised by one – nothing but admiration for my own Mam and all others doing it alone . I would have thought that by now all the prejudices would have been blown out of the water but sometimes ignorance is deep rooted #kcacols
    Themotherhub recently posted…What a way to make a living.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      September 18, 2016 / 7:38 pm


      Yes, unfortunately, ignorance is deep rooted. Oh well. Onwards and upwards. Pen x

  4. September 18, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    This is a great post. Some people can be so judgement and subscribes to stereotypes it’s infuriating. It wouldn’t hurt for people to open their minds a little eh. Also how insulting is that – no wife, children or baggage!! xx #KCACOLS
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    • thesingleswan
      September 18, 2016 / 7:36 pm


      Yes, extremely insulting. Looking on the bright side though, it is always a relieve to see a prospective match display such ignorance on the app. It saves a painful half an hour of non conversation as you try to have a drink together. I’ve had a few of those too! Pen x

  5. September 18, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    True, true, true! I have to say, I don’t really feel like people are judging me for being a single mum, but many do assume that I must be sad, and there must be some dreadful sob story behind my being a single mum, and I’m like no, believe me, I couldn’t be happier! #KCACOLS
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    • thesingleswan
      September 19, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Hi Min,

      Yes, I agree with you. It is that sense that we must have done something wrong or made some terrible mistake. I am really worried that Cygnet will feel that sense from others about his mother when he gets older. I, like you, and walking on sunshine at the moment. Pen x

  6. September 19, 2016 / 12:30 am

    Well said! I was raised by a single mom and I agree with this post! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Jen recently posted…STEAM Kids: Let’s make Learning Fun!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      September 19, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Hi Jen,

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

  7. September 19, 2016 / 12:36 am

    I remember all too well what it was like being a single mom. You’re right these are definitely all myths. I worked hard and didn’t need any help from my ex or the government. I actually had more things in my favor when I was single. My kid was happy too.

    Found you on #KCACOLS.
    Crystal Green recently posted…Motivation Monday Linky PartyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      September 19, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Hi Crystal,

      thank you for sharing your story and you should be really proud of yourself for working so hard and being such a great single mum. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      September 19, 2016 / 7:57 pm

      thank you. Pen x

  8. September 20, 2016 / 12:24 am

    It can def. be hard! I was a single parent for a while with my oldest, but I was blessed with close family which did help at the time.

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    • thesingleswan
      September 20, 2016 / 9:28 pm


      I am also blessed with a close family – I don’t know what I would do without them. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  9. September 20, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Wow I am very shocked by some of this and agree with much of it. Kids are not baggage they are a part of you. Those men are obviously not the sort of man you want in your child’s life anyway. I can’t believe you get judged by other women. I hope these are not people you concider friends, they also clearly don’t deserve your time. I agree about the benefit system. There is a large amount of abuse of this system but not usually by single parents. It is in place to help people in exactly these sorts of situations and people shouldn’t feel bad for needing to use it if necessary.
    I concider myself in a happy marriage, I am lucky and truly appreciate it. My parents divorced and they really were not happy. Like you say if they had been happy they would still be together today.
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    • thesingleswan
      September 20, 2016 / 9:26 pm


      thanks for your comment. So, it is probably worth me clarifying that the judgement is not universal and there are those who do not judge and who judge favourably if they do. There are people who do judge however and who think that you must have done something wrong, or made poor decisions or who think that your child is worse off because they do not live with their father. This is quite difficult to get your head round when you are trying really hard to make things the best they possibly can be for your child and you can see that your child is happy. Anyway, a long reply. I appreciate your comment. Pen x

  10. September 21, 2016 / 6:44 am

    I frigging love this (hmm not sure if the word frigging is valid if we are not in the 80’s). I spent years content as a single mum, I was not a teen, did a Masters, was not trawling the internet for a new dad and did not secretly wish all my happily coupled friends would all break up 🙂 I still with great sadness remember the cold judgement of people, or the quiet sympathy, much love xx #brilliantblogposts

    • thesingleswan
      September 22, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      thank you Jade. Pen x

  11. September 21, 2016 / 11:47 am

    I have been in the single mum position and can wholeheartedly agree with you! I have to say that, after the initial kerfuffle had all sorted itself out, Grace had a far happier mum in a much better place in her life. A great post. #TheTruthAbout

    • thesingleswan
      September 22, 2016 / 9:35 pm


      thanks for your comment. Yes, I totally agree. I am entirely confident that Cygnet has a far better mum and I believe he has a better dad also, that he ever would have had if we had stayed together. That is a really nice thought for me. Pen x

  12. September 22, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Great post Pen. Having just joined the dating community I am suddenly very aware of what you’re saying about men who say “no ex wife, no kids, no baggage”. It’s a massive turn off isn’t it? I also agree that being a single mum, so far, apart from my problems with the divorce etc., has been very positive and I feel like I am involved with so many more people now than I was before which is brilliant, plus – like you say, star-fishing in a lovely big empty double bed is one of life’s pleasures 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up this week X
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    • thesingleswan
      September 22, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      Hi Sam,

      Yes, I agree, being a single mum, or indeed just being without a partner does increase your social circles. I really like it. It is liberating. Good luck with the dating – i hope you have more luck that I’ve had, and if you don’t, I hope to read about it in an amusing blog post. Pen x

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