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Definition of Single Mother

Does Marriage Define Single Motherhood?

Sandra Bullock is a single mother. The actress finalized her adoption of adorable Louis Bardo Bullock on her own. She will likely raise her son without the help of her soon-to-be ex-husband, Jesse James. But are women who coparent (participate actively, physically, emotionally, and financially) with their child's biological or adoptive father still considered single mommies?

Meg Ryan is the single mom of Daisy. Will Halle Berry be deemed one too since she has split from her boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry — even if he maintains his role in their daughter Nahla's life? Modern relationships have evolved into more than just conventional couples, but has the definition of single motherhood changed with the times? Or does marriage or a commitment between two parents decide a mama's status? What's your opinion?

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grablife365 grablife365 7 years
I just think of it as the status of the mother. If she is single, not married or otherwise engaged, she is a single mother. That has nothing to do with the amount of help she's getting from anywhere just the status of her relationship. If she's in a relationship and doesn't consider herself to be a single mother then she's not.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
askingthehard, you're right about the "married single parents." I actually have more parenting help now than I did when my ex-husband was in the house.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Asking, as much as that would be a less-than-ideal situation, unless the woman (or man, whichever partner is doing most of the raising of the children) is also working full time and paying the majority of the household's bills, the other partner (the one not typically with the children) is actively participating in raising them by providing the financial support they need to survive and thrive. While I'll admit that often one parent works and has little interaction with his or her children, it's extremely rare that both partners would work full time and one would take on all of the child rearing responsibilities.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I agree with lilkimbo in that there's no hard and fast line. I think that if someone has a partner they live with, then they're not a single mom even though they're technically not married. Whether or not someone considers themselves a single mom is up to that person based on their own feelings and circumstances.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Kris, would you say the same if a father has primary custody of the kids? In the end, I think it comes down to the individual. If a woman wants to consider herself a single mom, that's fine with me. But, if the father has an active role (I'm talking beyond seeing the kids one weekend a month and for two weeks over the summer), then, no, I wouldn't say she's a single mom.
KrisB KrisB 7 years
My mother raised my brother and I by herself. She is divorced from our father. Yes he was involved in our lives but for the most part my mother did the parenting day in and day out. So in my opinion, unless the women has a partner in the same household helping to raise the children, she is a single mother.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
That is an interesting question! I don't have an answer. I'm a divorced woman, and I am a mom. My daughter's dad is an active partner in her upbringing. We talk every night, we attend family events together, she spends half the week with him; we are both still her parents no matter what our marital status says. On the other hand, I am single. I am not in a romantic relationship. That makes me single, and a mom...but I have another parent's help and input. Words are confusing. I will say that I play the "single mom" card whenever I'm hit up by solicitors, though. :D
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