When you’re a single mother…

  • The Centre for Social Justice bring our reports bemoaning the rise of single parent families and talking about “disposable dads” – as if you deliberately went out and tricked a man into getting you pregnant, then ditched him once you had your grubby council flat.
  • Weekends are just two days when everyone else is busy with their partner and you are alone with your child.
  • You go to sports day and school plays and feel terribly alone because all the other mums brought their husband with them.
  • People assume you got pregnant just to get benefits. If they’d ever tried depending on benefits themselves, they’d realise what an absolute joke that assumption is.
  • There’s nobody to help if you’re ill or tired or you’ve injured your leg and your toddler wants to be carried around the shops. Bad back, hernia, stomach bug. Life goes on. You’re on your own!
  • People assume you’re scamming the system/benefits scum/dragging your child up/spending your money on booze and fags. Meanwhile, single dads are “such a great dad” and “doing such a good job” if their kids turn up to school in matching shoes.
  • When your child is ill again and you have to leave work again to collect her from nursery, your boss asks whether there’s nobody else who can collect her.
  • Everyone asks you if there’s someone else who can help out.
  • It’s socially acceptable for people to just come out and ask you personal questions about your relationship status, your finances, and anything else they want to know.
  • On Mother’s Day and Christmas and your birthday, there’s not much hope of a big boquet of flowers, and no point in writing a Christmas list. You’ll get the card your child made at nursery, and that’ll be it.


  • Because there’s rarely anyone else around, you have actual, proper conversations with your child on a daily basis.
  • You get to do things based on what you and your child fancy doing, not on whether someone else is interested
  • You can have your child in bed with you and cuddle them all night, without anyone else complaining about getting kicked in the back or losing their pillow space.
  • Because it’s just the two of you, that bond is so strong and all that love, all those cuddles are just for you.

Just so you know, that last point cancels out everything in the top section of this post.

Becoming  a single mother has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Every day I look at my daughter and marvel at the wonderful person she is. When she says “I love you lots mummy” my heart explodes. I am proud of her, and I’m proud of us. We’re a fantastic team.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Thismummylark · 15/09/2015 at 11:24

Great post. The 1 thing i struggle with probably on a daily basis and something that from reading your post i know will probably continue is feeling lonely. Not having company or the other parents support. Depending on what day im asked varies my response. 99% of the time i love being on my own. It’s all about me and my boy. No compromises. No waking up in a morning next to a grumpy bum knowing it will be another blah day. I guess as my son gets older and he can converse with me and we can have daily adventures etc it will feel easier. Right?

    Vicky Charles · 16/09/2015 at 19:31

    I definitely found things more lonely and isolating when S was a lot smaller. I felt like an idiot talking to her all the time but there was nobody else to talk to! Now she’s 3 and we can have proper conversations. We go to cafes together and chat over our ice cream like real people and it’s lovely. Hang on in there; it does get easier!

Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life · 15/09/2015 at 22:10

I was nodding along to every single point you made . I was a single mum until my daughter was almost nine and yeah it was hard and I felt judged but like you say the good points far outweigh any bad ones. The bond me and her shared was amazing. Now I have met someone and have two other children and I have realised that I don’t have that same bond I do with them that I did with my first. I love them just as much it is just different, its just a more special bond with my eldest as it was me and her against the world for so long. I often miss being a single mum now I am no longer a one which may sound strange to some people xx

    Vicky Charles · 16/09/2015 at 19:28

    Thank you, you’re the first person I’ve ever known to say they miss being a single mum. It’s a very special position to be in, for mother and child. It’s hard, but so are a lot of things. Your comment means a lot to me x

Life with Six Kids · 22/09/2015 at 16:44

I couldn’t agree more. It is the hardest job in the world yet also the most rewarding.

    Vicky Charles · 23/09/2015 at 18:51

    It definitely is. I love it, I wouldn’t change a thing about our lives… just maybe about how we’re perceived.

Mrs C · 24/09/2015 at 17:37

You’re so right. Although I can’t say I loved my time as a single mum but I grew all the stronger for it. I recently wrote about single parenting: Ninja style. I cannot high five single mums enough! Mrs C x

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