Have you ever noticed that often when a mother is being recognised for her remarkable accomplishments she isn’t necessarily seen as a human being, as an individual?

Somehow her marital status is usually brought into the spotlight – but a majority of the time that only happens if she’s single.

“Single mum of two loses 30kgs”, “Single mum of twins meal preps for a month”, “Single mum wins the lottery”…

When did we stop seeing these strong women as independent individuals and start branding them by their relationship status?

I mean we hardly ever see the same lead up as part of the title when it comes to partnered mothers.

Against All Odds!

Is it purely to signify what these ladies have been through? That in the face of adversity, they somehow managed to succeed despite everything they had working against them?

Are mothers who are partnered better off? Do they face less obstacles? Do they have more support?

In an ideal world, I would have to agree and say that yes, mothers who have a partner are most definitely in a far better position in life….Or at least that is what we are often lead to believe or to hope for.

Bad Relationships

What about the mothers who are in awful relationships?

The ones who face emotional, financial or physical abuse?

Mothers who can’t excel or find their passion because they’re simply struggling to keep their heads above water – but we don’t see that.

No, all we see is a partnered mum who must be doing well because she has a spouse.

It’s Not Always Married Bliss

Perhaps he works, and they supposedly have a great income, maybe he spends time at home and people assume it’s ‘family time’.

What if he does work, but he uses all his money on gambling, alcohol or drugs? What if he does spend time at home, but during that time his partner is petrified of what could set him off next?

Of course, we can look at broken circumstances and think ‘well she should just leave’. Sadly however, statistically, most women don’t.

So which is harder then?

Being a single mum, or a partnered one?

We have all read the rants on social media relating to slack partners who refuse to help out in any way- this goes for current as well as ex-spouses.

Single mothers often do have to do absolutely everything on their own. Physically, emotionally and even financially sometimes. And that kind of hard must be intense!

Some partnered mothers do have to bear a majority of the workload as well. Perhaps their spouse just doesn’t help out around the house or with the kids or spend time at home. That sort of hard would also be quite challenging.

Which Is Harder?

Personally I can’t even imagine what is worse or which is harder because honestly I wish these scenarios didn’t exist!

I wish everyone just had fairytale relationships. But I know it’s an unrealistic dream.

I look at what I have, and I am beyond grateful every single day. I see what my friends experience on both ends of the scale and I feel deeply for them.

Single mum vs. partnered mum. Which is actually harder?

I actually don’t believe you can compare the pair- other than to say that no matter what, all mothers fiercely love their little ones. Regardless of their partner’s presence or lack thereof.

We would all move heaven and Earth for our young. Nothing changes that.

Don’t Judge!

One thing is for certain though, saying that one group has it easier than the other isn’t fair at all, because until we have walked in their shoes we have absolutely no idea what they face on a daily basis.

We as individuals each have our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses which assist us depending on the environment we’re in.

I believe the role as mother is challenging enough as it is without any added pressure. Without those posts on social media telling one group how lucky and how much better off they are not to have a “man child” to look after.


Last night I saw the most awful rant on social media telling single mother’s how much easier they have it- and even though I’m not in that situation, I found it incredibly offensive.

Since when is that up to anyone to decide for someone else anyway?

It’s In Your Attitude

The main thing is that we are happy within ourselves, so that we can radiate that to the ones we love, regardless of our marital status or external uncertainties.

How easy or hard life is could quite possibly be heavily dependent on our own personal outlook on life. And maybe the reason why some mothers succeed in the face of adversity all comes down to their unbreakable attitude towards it all.

So whether you are facing this parenting gig on your own, or as a couple – I really hope that you know you’ve got this!

Who do you think has it harder – a single mum or a partnered mum? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • It’s not a competition and no-one is in the same situation. I like to think we all do the best with what we have.


  • All mothers do the best with what they have or haven’t got to do


  • Good points! I’m a married mum and I admire all mums out there.


  • I HATE the term single mum!!

    There once was a father and it is the minority of single mums who have no other choice than exclude the father from the child’s life.

    In most cases selfishness is makes a single mum rather the separated parents.


  • Totally agree it depends on circumstances.
    Hubby’s mum was partnered with his dad but his dad also used to beat up his mum so that definitely would not have been an easy road to be in.
    Having kids is definitely a challenge whether you do it on your own or have a partner to help.
    Kudos to all who are doing all they can to raise their kids in the best possible way.


  • Raising kids is hard work! I take my hat off to do it completely alone. Don’t get me wrong I do the majority of work in my house but it’s nice to delegate some chores to hubby and have freedom to go for an early morning run or go out with friends occasionally.


  • Every family dynamic has its own difficulties, single, fifo, married.
    I am a mum who is married to a very hands on husband. We have three children, two are special needs. Could I manage without him? I highly doubt it! But does having him make parenting our children easier than, say a single mother of 5 non special needs kids who behave and help out. No.

    I totally get annoyed by the labels to all people, not just single mum. Like autistic/Down syndrome/adhd etc etc person does this… why can’t it just be person does this? Yes special needs does make things difficult SOMETIMES, but if it doesn’t relate to what they have done then just say PERSON!


  • I’ve been both and being a single mum is much harder. Even though I was in a bad relationship, I thought I’d be rid of all his crap when we separated/divorced, but because we have kids together, I still had to put up with his crap – plus all the other pressures of bringing kids up alone. Having said that, I’d still rather be single than with the wrong person.


  • Honestly, I was partnered and now I’m single, I found being partnered with a child was a lot harder for me, than what it is now with it being just my daughter and I. When I was partnered it was like I had another child to look after, I was having to do everything myself, plus look after him and my daughter, clean up his mess as well as hers, pay his bills as well as my own, make all his meals, get his snacks, get his drinks, drive him everywhere. He literally did nothing for himself. Hence why I’m now single. Now its just my daughter and I, the house is always clean, except for her toys of course, i get more time to myself to do things I want to do, things my daughter wants to do, we have no one telling us what we can and can’t do, no one holding us back, no one wasting our money, etc. We are so much happier now and more relaxed and free.


  • I think instead of thinking about it as who has it harder, I think we should be encouraging and building up all mums. We all would do anything we possibly can for our kids and we should be praised for just that. It’s not a competition.


  • Both have there challenges and it’s not healthy to think you have it harder


  • Everyone has a burden, no matter what your circumstances. Choose to be kind to everyone regardless of their situation!


  • Noone knows everyone’s story. Choose kindness!


  • At this time with social distancing I would think being a single mum would be sooo much harder as you have no “out”. Normally I would still think being single is harder. You’re a one man band and then when you don’t have the kids around I would imagine it could be quite lonely. Even though some down time would be lovely and I think we’d all like some time alone – when it’s forced upon you it would be hard.


  • It will make easier for you if you have understand you and supportive partner.Being a supportive partner can mean a lot of different things. Some of it will depend on your partner, but everyone needs support.


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