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Knowing Our

October 7 or
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September 17-23

Single Working Moms

Three of us who are single working moms met recently and shared experiences. Here is what we said we liked about being single working moms:

• We get to try an unlimited number of things.

• We get to make many decisions and learn from them.

• We are fully in charge of our relationships with our children and are the undisputed    leader of our family.

• We have close and respectful relationships with our children.

• We get to think freshly.

• We understand capitalism—it’s much harder to have illusions.

• We get to be a team with our children in figuring out our lives together.

• We get to openly care in every way—practically, unequivocally, and on a day-to-day  basis.

• We learn to prioritize, be efficient, and do lots of things at once.

• We have to be physically fit.

• We don’t depend on anyone to take care of us.

• We get to trust ourselves and take risks.


Being single working moms is also difficult. Below are some of the things we said were hard:

• The amount of work is overwhelming—no one else ever buys a container of milk; the dishes are still in the sink when we get home.

• We have to spend a lot of time away from our children.

• Nobody understands our life and how complicated and challenging it is—the thousands of details we handle—except other single parents.

• We try to make ourselves available to our children whenever they need us; we are always ready to put aside other priorities for that.

• We’re exhausted.

• We don’t have time to reflect on our accomplishments.

• We sometimes miss having someone with whom to think about decisions.

• There is no one to tag-team* with.

• Isolation, a reality for all parents, is especially heavy for us.

• We often have less money and fewer resources than parents who are not single.

Randy Karr
Jacqueline Barton
Sharon Peters
Brooklyn, New York, USA

* “Tag-team” means take turns doing the work.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00