parent opinion

"From one single mother to another, you're definitely not alone on Mother's Day."

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. 

To my fellow single mums on Mother’s Day,

I’m here to tell you what you already know, but may need to hear; Mother’s Day is going be a good day. Because, just like everything else, you’ve got this.

Yes, you’re a single mum – you’re parenting by yourself – and I know, from a decade of doing it solo, it’s not easy. But the thing I want you to remember on Mother’s Day especially is that you’re not alone, not at all.

Firstly, there’s all the other single mums who are in your position – like me. I know sometimes it feels like you’re the only one, because you’re the only single parent family in your child’s class, or at work.

But I promise, we are there; and those of us who’ve been doing it for a while, we’re thinking about you.

I remember the early Mother’s Days after my separation; you wake up, and think about the father of your kids not being there.

You think about your friends whose husbands have made lunch reservations at fancy pants restaurants, and are ready to present beautifully wrapped gifts to the mothers of their children, for, and to whom, they’re ever so grateful and #blessed.

But at your house, there’s no other adult cooking you breakfast in the sunlit kitchen, playfully buttering toast, giggling with the kids as they try to keep their excitement down, because they’re about to surprise you after your two-hour sleep in.


Oh. Wait.

That only happens in television commercials for Mother’s Day.


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Don’t do that to yourself. If you’ve been partnered previously, you’ll know that Mother’s Day is 50 per cent a fallacy.

You’re aware that in those other households, there will be forgotten lunch reservations, or a partner who claims to have the man flu, or insists on going to golf “just quickly”, and the day will be like any other Sunday; forced family time with a side of bickering.

(Or, in other words, normal.)


One of the best mental tools in single mum’s arsenal is knowing that the grass is most definitely not always greener on the other side.

But still. You’ll think of your friends who do have the respectful partners, and it will most likely make you think of the father of your kids. That’s natural, so let yourself do that for a bit.

Maybe you’re still angry with him, and maybe you’re still angry with yourself about him.

A little resentful that you had to make the lunch booking yourself, and buy yourself something nice so your kids have something to give to you.

You may think, ‘Why couldn’t he do that? Why didn’t it work out? Why didn’t I deserve that?’

That’s okay, process those thoughts – but then remember that your single mum sisters understand, so please take comfort in that, and be buoyed in the knowledge that we get it.

And then, think of your Mother’s Day this way.


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Think of the freedom you have to design your own Mother’s Day. A day free of deflated expectations, a day which you have full control over.

That’s the best thing about the single mum Mother’s Day; the choice is ours.

Oh wait, that’s not the best thing. The best thing is our kids. Those angel ratbags who do our heads in half of the time, and whom we can’t get enough of the other half.

We can celebrate our amazing creation of them, regardless of whether their other parent is involved or not – just like anyone else, and just like any other family.

Enjoy. You’ve earned this.


A mum who happens to be single, but is definitely not alone in spirit.

Nama Winston has had a decade-long legal career (paid), and a decade-long parenting career (unpaid). Now a Mamamia Contributor and freelance writer, Nama uses her past experience as a lawyer to discuss everything from politics, to parenting. You can follow her on Instagram: @namawinston and Facebook: @NamaWinston.

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