Are You a Married Single Mom?


photoFirst Lady Michelle Obama recently made a slip up on a TV interview and called herself a “busy single mother”.

She quickly made the correction and said she only feels like a single mom sometimes! Her slip of the tongue has started a lot of noise around her choice of words.

The First Lady is not alone in feeling like a “married single mom.” I feel like this sometimes!

I have a husband who travels a ton for work and when he is gone, I feel like single mom. I am sure there are a lot of other mommies that feel like this too.

It is not uncommon for me to get my daughter dressed, fed and off to school in the mornings and then come home from an intense day at work and immediately go into dinner and bedtime routine without a moment to breath. Those days I fell like I’m in survival mode.

My daughter is notorious for acting out when he travels, so that takes a day or two to get under control. Once my daughter and I get into our routine daddy comes home and all heck breaks loose again because she want’s all his undivided attention.

There are single moms that feel like it’s insulting for married moms to think they know what it’s like to be a single mom. I actually know just the mom. I was talking to her [single mom]  recently and was expressing how difficult my week was because my husband was traveling for work and how it is such a struggle to manage my full time job, preschool drop-offs, dance and soccer practice alone and then suddenly she said to me, “Well, I had three children to manage all alone for 10 years with no husband there….ever!” That sure shut me up fast!

Now, don’t get me wrong I truly believe being a single mom is extremely challenging and my hats off to all the single moms, but that shouldn’t discount the struggles a married mom has when often alone with her kids!

Michele Obama’s slip of the tongue may very much be an internal voice speaking how she felt and but I don’t blame her if she feels like a “married single mom” at times.

Married moms do have an emotional connection with their partner and some single moms may not have that in their lives. That may be the big difference from being a single mom vs married single mom. What do you think?

Do you ever feel like a married single mom?


  1. I’m not sure why moms feel the need for such competition regardless of their situation. Even if you are a married mom whose husband doesn’t travel and is around all the time, there are going to be days when it is tough and we should all be allowed to vent a little. I just don’t understand the need to play the “I have it harder” game with one another instead of being encouraging. Single moms, married “single” moms, married moms, stay at home moms, working moms – it takes all types 🙂

    • I love this! I so agree; none of us knows what another person goes through. Comparison is a bad habit in so many ways. Being a parent is hard. Period. Let’s all support and encourage each other!

  2. When my husband was away working for most of Fall 2012 I felt like kind of like a single parent in ways of child care responsibilities. I would never say that to a single parent though because I still have financial support from my husband which is huge. You cannot under estimate that major difference. I have a huge amount of respect for true single parents who do it 100% on their own with little or no help from others. I can only say I can relate in a short term, partial way.

  3. I signed up to be a SHM (Stay at Home Mom) and it was a BIG adjustment. I’ve been working since I was 16 and stopped working when I was 38. It takes time to adjust and you question if you made the right choice, what about your career, will you get bored…etc. I do sometimes feel like a Married Single Mom and when I tell my husband this, he kicks it into full gear so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. Communication and letting your partner know what you need goes a long way! My husband is very supportive and he understands how tough it can be to raise three boys (10,9 and 2) I do feel bad for the moms out there that don’t have the support of the husbands. It makes a huge difference!
    My mom was also a single mom to 4 kids all two years apart, if she can do it, I can do it with a part time husband 🙂

    • Maria – I love that you reflected back on your mom and how she was single mom and did! My mom was a single mom with two kids and a business she decided to run and you are so right, if they can do it we so can do it! 🙂 Thank you!

  4. Woot woot, what a shout out to an underrecognized part of the Mommy population. Being a “married single mom” has given me such perspective and appreciation for the true single parents out there – it takes a lot of energy to run your own life, the lives of your children, and press forward to make it more than just survival mode. Hats off to you.

    At the same time, for my segment of the population, it takes a different type of energy to help your family adjust between “Daddy is gone” and “Daddy is home.” Children act out each time transition happens. You want to cram in me-time when a partner is home, since you get so little when you’re alone, yet you want to spend time as a couple, and as a family too. You have to adjust your expectations about who does what when the freight train you were running suddenly has a co-conductor – does he make dinner? Will he remember that today is trash day? What do I ask for help with, when I know I can do it all myself if I have to? It requires a significant amount of reflection and communication to make sure things run smoothly when there is regular disruption in your lives.

    All that said, this is the “normal” that I married into – a traveling husband – so I wouldn’t have it any other way. And yes, I absolutely appreciate the emotional connection that I get being a part time “married single mom,” even if it only comes in the way of a daily 5 minute phone call from halfway around the world. It’s great knowing that someone else has my back if I need it.

  5. I have experienced both sides of this. I was a single mother for 6 years only to get married and when the recession hit my husband having to travel for work. Each hold their unique challenges that really cannot be compared.

  6. Thanks for writing this article. I have recently become a stay at home mommy because teaching special ed preschool + being a mommy + my husband taking a promotion at work, requiring him to be out of town 50-75% of the month depending on which month it is….almost got the best of me. Before trying to do it all at the same time, I had NO idea what it was really like for single parents. And my scenario was only a small fraction of what their reality is like every single day. Through the experience, I gained a perspective I never would have, which I’m grateful for….I also say hats off to all the single parents. I honestly think the world of you and don’t know how you keep up with it all in the fashion you do.

    Even though I’m staying at home full time, there are days that I feel like a married single mommy. Yes, I have the financial support of my husband, but money isn’t everything. Yes it can make life easier at times but it doesn’t do any of the things money can buy…like reading bedtime stories with daddy or eating dinner with daddy. Reading this post & all the comments put into actual words how I feel sometimes. It’s a different kind of tough…but it’s also a different kind of enjoyable at the same time. It’s hard to figure out how to get in the routine of daddy being here vs. daddy being at work….especially as our baby has become aware that daddy’s office is usually our guest room and he isn’t sitting at the desk when he goes in to say good morning to him….which starts our day off rough sometimes.

    I just wanted to say thanks for letting me see that I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. And that there’s more than one person who feels like I do sometimes. It’s comforting to know that there are other mommies out there that are trying to navigate their way through being a “married single mommy” just like I am.

  7. I think moms who have the opportunity to stay home with their kids dont understand how painful it can be for a mom who HAS TO WORK. Not a choice, but must go to work everyday, and miss out on picking up or dropping off kids from school/daycare. Whether single or married, we all have our own challenges, but any mom who can stay home with their kids is one lucky mom in my opinion.


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