I used to feel sorry for single moms: So frazzled! So vulnerable! Then I got to know a few of them who made me do a 180 and think: Man, they have it better than me. Yes, on most days I don't envy single moms, but there are a few moments when I do. And while I'm sure I'm romanticizing what it's like a wee bit, here are five reasons single motherhood still looks pretty darn good from a married mom's perspective:
- Single moms have zero expectations for help from a spouse, and thus are never disappointed. Since I have a husband, I often expect him to help out… then he doesn’t. So I constantly have my hopes dashed that hubby will be home in time to help me cook dinner, clean up, give my daughter a bath, and put her to bed. As a result, I am perpetually resentful and bitter. Single moms have no one to be angry at, at least not on a daily, in-their-face basis.
- Single moms don't have to compromise their parenting practices. I don't mind if our four-year-old falls asleep in my bed, only my husband hates it. I prefer to brush my daughter's teeth to make sure it's done right; my husband thinks she's being a baby and should brush her own. As a result of these differences, my husband and I argue, a lot, and I'm forced to compromise what I think is best for my child. Single moms, on the other hand, get to raise their kids the exact way they want to, no compromise necessary. That is, assuming the dad is out of the picture. Or if the dad is still around, that leads to my next perk...
- If the dad is in the picture, single moms get plenty of time to themselves. Joint custody sounds like heaven: You get to drop off your kid for weekends or even entire weeks! You get to meet your friends for lunch, dinner, drinks, parties, all-night benders, and it doesn't cost a dime in babysitting. Of course, single moms might miss their kids a little, but the benefits outweigh the downsides here, at least in my book.
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- Single moms get to date. When I hang with my married mom friends, conversations revolve around sleep training and preschool applications... boring! With single moms, though, there's no shortage of drama about guys they're dating, dumping, sexting...all in all, tons of vicarious thrills. Sure, dating as a single mom may be brutal, but it also sounds way more exciting than my life.
- Single moms can feel intensely proud of themselves. Sure, as a mom, I do pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for keeping my kid alive so far. Still, I share that responsibility with my husband, so it's not quite as impressive as going it alone. Single moms may face a hard road, but at the end of the day, single moms can pat themselves on the back and say they did it: They got Jimmy to school, made dinner, paid the bills, fixed the dishwasher, etc. and have no one to thank for this feat but themselves. That must feel pretty darn cool.
Do you envy single moms for anything they get to do that you can't?
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