What it REALLY Means to be a Single Parent

Let me start with a little background. I am a divorced mother of three who lives in the suburbs of Northern Virginia with my kids, mom, and sister. My ex-husband is involved in our children’s lives but the situation is a little complicated. Long story short, he does not see the children on a regular schedule (i.e. every other weekend) nor does he pay child support monthly. However, he does provide for them when he is able to, he sees them as much as he can, and he talks to them every day.


So, when I wrote an article about my parenting resolution for 2013, I got a lot of mixed feedback on my use of the term “single parent” to describe my situation. My ex-husband was the first in line to tell me that I am not a single mother and should never use that definition. So, this got me to thinking: how do you define single parent? Is it based on your marital status? Is it based on your support network, or lack thereof? Or is it based on being a one-parent show?


The definition of single parent is: a person who has a dependent child or dependent children and is widowed, divorced, or unmarried. Technically, my use of the term is correct. But, I don’t do this alone. Their father is involved, and my mother and sister help me (I would be lost without them).


Together or not, the kids come first...always.

Together or not, the kids come first…always.


After reading what is a single parent? on Circle of Moms, I concluded that while I am technically a single parent, I am actually more of a co-parent.

Although my ex’s circumstances limit what he is able to give or do, he is still very involved. We discuss all major decisions, including disciplinary actions, and we have joint legal & physical custody.


I want to hear from you!

What is your definition of a single parent? Please leave a comment below and let’s have a discussion!

Comments 4

  1. It’s good that you have a working relationship with your ex. That is very important to the kids. Thanks for posting!

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