Woman's Coworker Told Her She Has 'No Right' To Call Herself A Single Mom Because Her Rich Parents Help Out

She always felt proud of the label but now she's wondering if she's claiming a title that isn't really for her.

Mom and daughter, person handing over money Mdisk / Shutterstock, Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

A woman is reconsidering her choice to label herself as a "single mom" after someone claimed that she was undeserving of the title.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) subreddit — a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them — she wrote that since her daughter was a year old, she's been raising her child on her own.

She was ridiculed by her coworker for identifying as a 'single mother' because she gets help from her parents.

In her Reddit post, she explained that after discovering her daughter's father was cheating, the two of them separated. He eventually left the country to avoid paying child support and he hasn't been around for their daughter since.


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"Since my ex-boyfriend was the sole breadwinner and fled without any warning, I had to start providing for me and my daughter," she revealed. Her parents were gracious enough to let her and her daughter stay with them, rent-free, until she was able to land back on her feet.


The writer of the post acknowledged that she was extremely privileged to be able to rely on her parents, who have more than enough money, and pointed out that not many other single mothers have the same advantages. After living with her parents for some time, she was able to save up enough money to move out.

For the last four years, she and her daughter, now 7, have been living on their own in an apartment. "I work full time at a nursing home and my daughter is thriving at her school."

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On her social media profile, she describes herself as being a 'single mom.'

After recently creating a Facebook account at the insistence of a few of her coworkers, the woman wrote in the description of her page that she was a "happy and devoted single mom."


"I honestly never thought there was anything wrong/misleading with this description. I am a single mother and have been for several years."

However, the description seemed to bother one of her coworkers, who was also a single mother, and claimed that she was offended by the woman's Facebook bio. Her coworker immediately texted her, saying that she had "no right to claim that I'm a single mother when I've never had to deal with the hardships that come along with the title."

When she tried to argue that she was indeed a single mother and had been for the last several years, her coworker wasn't letting up.

"She snapped back, 'Have you ever had to sacrifice a meal so your child could eat? No! Have you ever had to beg and panhandle for measly sums of change to buy diapers? No! Have you ever had to rely on government assistance, only to walk away with some food stamps? No!'"


Her coworker accused her of not having to struggle enough as a single mother, and that when things got tough, she had her parents' help. 

While the title of being a single mother isn't just reserved for the people who have struggled the most, it does seem as if the woman's coworker has trauma of her own experience trying to raise her children without help from anyone.

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According to data acquired by Gallup, almost half of single mothers worldwide (44%) struggled to afford food in the past year, while in the U.S. alone, 40% of single mothers struggled to afford food; 27% could not afford shelter.


For single mothers, especially those without a support system, the likelihood of their mental health declining is quite high. A study conducted by Psychiatry Advisor found that approximately 30% of single mothers reported symptoms of depression or anxiety compared with just 14% of partnered mothers.

A greater proportion of single mothers reported high general stress (37%) and high parenting stress (26%) compared with partnered mothers (18% and 16%, respectively). 

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Most Reddit users agreed that she was not in the wrong for referring to herself as a 'single mom.'

"Single motherhood looks like a lot of different things. You have had it better but that doesn't mean it's easy," one Reddit user wrote. "She's exhibiting hostility towards you because she has had it so much worse ... that's not your fault though."


Another user added, "You are what is the definition of being a single mother. Being poor is not the same as being a single parent."

A third user expressed sympathy toward the woman's coworker, writing, "Your friend sounds like she has coped with hardship by investing her identity and self-worth into the struggle, and so when other people 'threaten' her definition, they are threatening her self-worth."

"We all have different struggles, and some of us have them harder, and some of us have them easier, and we swap places over time."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.