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Single Mom 'Genuinely Believes' Married Parents Have A 'Pretty Easy' Life

Photo: Mike Kilcoyne / Unsplash 
mom pushing baby in stroller

The mom of a 17-month-old girl wrote to Mumsnet, an English parenting forum, wondering if her family situation was harder to navigate than her friends who are part of a couple.

The single mom ‘genuinely believes’ that married parents have a ‘pretty easy’ life.

She described the multitude of challenges raising her daughter on her own, saying, “I feel put upon massively.” She emphasized how high her stress levels are, as she has to deal with managing the household in between work and taking care of her kid.

“I never feel [like] I have a moment to myself,” she said. Her ex pays child support, yet only sees their toddler once a week, so the mom feels a major imbalance in childcare responsibilities

The mom explained that a friend told her that “when I moaned about these things as if it was only me because of being single, that others in the wider friendship group felt they couldn’t share how hard they find things when I’m around.”

Single Mom Believes Married Parents Have A Pretty Easy LifePhoto: Mikhail Nilov / Pexels 

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“I was surprised by this as I genuinely believe as a couple life with one child is pretty easy,” she shared. “I never [considered] anyone in a relationship with a child could find it harder than me, I imagine it being plain sailing.”

   

   

She asked if she was being unreasonable in her assumption that married parents have easier lives, and the resounding response from other parents on the forum was that she wasn’t being considerate of other people’s challenges.

One parent noted the various difficulties a coupled partner with kids might go through, saying, “They might be a couple with a child where the child is ill. They might be a couple with a child where one of the parents has a disability. They might be a couple with a child where one of the parents has severe postpartum depression.”

“It’s not a competition,” someone else said. “It may be harder for you, as a single parent, but that doesn't mean that it's easy for others, just because they have a partner.”

“Having a baby is hard,” they continued. “Just because you believe you have it harder than your friends doesn't mean it's plain sailing for them either.”

The mom responded saying, “I know people have struggles, I’m usually very understanding. I suppose I just think how can it be harder than being alone?”

Single Mom Believes Married Parents Have A Pretty Easy LifePhoto: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels 

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She also shared a vulnerable and tender part of her inner thought process, saying, “I’ve definitely got in my head that anyone in a couple has masses of support and I feel I’ve got a huge gap in my life.”

Some parents noted how isolated the mom seems to feel due to being a single parent, suggesting that she connects with other single moms. 

“It sounds to me like you are really struggling in a way that only single parents understand,” said one mom. “I had a strong group of single mum friends and we really pulled together as a team.”

   

   

Another single mom commented, saying, “I still listen to my friends moan about their kids and how difficult it is. Because parenting is hard. It's hard by yourself, as a couple or even if you have the most supportive family. It's all subjective.”

“Parenting is hard, full stop,” said someone else. “I agree that support networks and the support and involvement of a loving partner make things more manageable but I don’t think it’s ever easy.”

It certainly seems like both the single mom and her friends are working out how to connect and how to support each other through their own unique parenting difficulties. While the mom’s perspective may be narrow, in holding tight to the belief that everyone else has it easier, she also deserves grace, as most people struggle to see outside of their own situations. 

The reality of childrearing shines through in the comments left by other parents: It’s all hard, and the best thing parents can do is lift each other up as they go.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.