Parenting is Often Lonely on Either Side of the Fence-Single or Divorced

Mother confronting child

Parenting is Lonely

For all the differences when parenting single, there are so many plots of common ground with two parent homes.

I was recently in the Houston airport returning from a fantasy trip to surprise my daughter and granddaughter, Kaylin at Disneyworld. (My son-in-law was in on the surprise.) I was floating from one terminal to another on clouds of nine. Also scurrying along was a mom with twin boys, about four years old. “Mom” was obviously not the Happy dwarf. Her demeanor was very like Grouchy instead. When one of the twins lagged behind, Mom grabbed his tiny arm, jerked him sharply, and chewed him out royally and loudly. I cringed wishing I was back where children squealed in delight and parents enjoyed everything childlike. A few minutes later I guided the precious boy out of the way of an inner-airport cart and wondered if the mom was a single parent. Then I noticed Dad coming along–catching up finally with his hostile wife. They didn’t speak. Dad seemed to know he best keep his distance for some unknown reason. I went on towards my gate and they were soon out of sight.

It made me think. Parenting single is not lonelier than parenting in a house divided.

Single moms at a SMORE for Women meeting discussed that many of the things they face are the same things parents face who are married. I’ve come to know many single moms who are excellent mothers. Their children are respectful and love them dealy. They manage their homes in an orderly way and create a secure environment for their children.

Yes-it is different parenting single. It’s often very difficult. But parenting in a two-parent home has its troubles too. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded:  every two-parent home is not the ideal it may appear to be on the surface.

Most of the daily dilemmas of parenting are common ground on either side of the fence.


  1. This is so true, Donna, and that ‘isolation’ word is the key. I wonder if this is a choice that single moms make because they feel out of place. More and more I see the need for mentoring. I am glad that there are more mentoring programs available.

  2. So many single Mom’s tend to isolate themselves from married Mom’s. We can learn so much from one another. We realize that things are not always greener on the other side of the fence and we have so much in common.

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