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"I enjoy it much more now": 4 single mums tell us what their Mother's Day looks like.

Most women don’t look like the mums sitting on the front of Mother’s Day cards. Today, Mamamia celebrates all kinds of mums. For more stories about the reality of motherhood, check out Mamamia’s Mother’s Day hub page.

Mother’s Day is the day is the one day of the year mums expect to wake up after a long relaxing sleep in to freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade pancakes dusted with icing sugar, and a posy of flowers picked from the garden.

We’re supposed to watch on as our children tell us how much they love us, our partners nod in agreement, and all members of the family smile at each other knowing this is the start of the perfect Mother’s Day.

But the reality is, that rarely happens in real life. And for the majority of us, Mother’s Day doesn’t look like a stock image but this is especially true for the mums doing it solo.

These are the things mums never hear on Mother’s Day (or any other day for that matter):

Video by MMC

So Mamamia spoke to four single mums to find out what their Mother’s Days look like:

Lauren: “I’m more excited than ever this year.”

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This will be Lauren's first solo Mother's Day. Image: Supplied.

Lauren has been separated from her husband for just under a year, so this will be her first Mother’s Day as a ‘single mum’.

“The biggest difference will be not being able to leave it up to my partner to organise,” she said.

“Last year I was spoiled with my favourite restaurant for lunch, this year I have asked my kids what they would like organise for Mother’s Day and we are doing their ideas."

Mother’s Day has always been a difficult day for Lauren.


“Since losing my mum myself, Mother’s Day had always felt a little empty in ways,” she said.

As well as this feeling of emptiness she is also a bit apprehensive about what it will be like seeing other families with both parents on the day for the first time.

But despite this she says, “I know I am lucky and am grateful that I have two amazing kids to spend the day with, a lot more than some.”

“I'm more excited than ever this year to really make it special between my kids and I rather than just being all about me.”

Leonie: "I didn’t mind if the kids were with their dad."

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For Leonie, Mother's Day isn't a big deal. Image: Supplied.

Leonie was a single mum on Mother’s Day for about 13 years. And in the first few years after she seperated from her ex-husband, he made the effort to help their children celebrate her on the day.

“Their dad would give my kids money to buy me something at the school Mother’s Day stall… but then that wore off," she said.

"On occasion, I gave them money myself because they said they would feel bad if they couldn’t get me something. In the end, I just said bring me a cup of tea and toast in bed.”

For Leonie, Mother’s Day isn’t a big deal and is something she has celebrated more as an extended family with her mother, sisters and children, rather than being a day that is just about her. And the thought of spending it alone also didn’t bother her either.

“To be honest, being a full time working mum with the majority of care for my babies, I didn’t mind if the kids were with their dad for some of the day. If it was his weekend, it meant I could just chill, sleep-in, eat what I want and when I want."

Leonie’s children are both grown up now and this has made Mother’s Day even better.

“I probably enjoy it much more now than I ever did, it’s just nice to be together.”

Nama: “The day is what you make it."


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Nama has been a sole parent for the majority of her parenting life and, for her, Mother’s Day has been much better when doing it alone.

“The worst Mother's Day I've had was when it fell on the same date as my then-husband's birthday... and let's just say that one of us did not approach it as the joint celebration it should have been!

"Since then, every Mother’s Day has been special because we celebrate it just the two of us in some way, and then with my own mum later in the day. Simple and peaceful, and just about mums, as it should be."


Being with your children and celebrating what you’ve created is for Nama the most import pat of the day, regardless of whether you are a single parent or have a partner.

“The day is what you make it. I think one of the points of Mother’s Day is to be with your kids so if you make a conscious effort to do that - to focus on what you do have - it's a very special day.”

Margaret: "The day is more special now."

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For Margaret, the meaning of the day has changed as her daughter has gotten older. Image: Supplied.

Margaret has been a single mother for the entirety of her daughter’s life, now 34 years. The occasion has changed for her over the years, although it was originally one of tradition.

“When my daughter was younger we would go to my mum’s for Mother’s Day and have lunch. It was really a celebration for my mum, but it still felt like it was a bit for me too.

"When she started school, they would have a Mother’s Day stall and you had to take five dollars and would buy something for me. That was nice too because it was a surprise."

But once her own mother passed away in 1992 she says it just felt like any other day because they didn't really do anything.

Today, Margaret's day has changed now that her daughter has grandchildren.

"The day is more special now that they're involved because I don’t have to cook which is always a good thing. It makes me feel good inside now.”

Are you a single parent? How do you plan on celebrating Mother's Day? Tell us in a comment below.

Shona Hendley is a freelance writer from Victoria. An ex secondary school teacher, Shona has a strong interest in education. She is an animal lover and advocate, with a morbid fascination for true crime and horror movies. Shona is usually busy writing and raising her children: three goats, two cats and two humans. You can follow her on Instagram @shonamarion.