parent opinion

'Every woman has a story.' In 2023, the stigma attached to single mums must stop.

In a world that has witnessed remarkable progress in shifting perceptions and embracing diverse perspectives, it remains disheartening that single mothers continue to face unjust stigma. 

As a mother myself, I wholeheartedly understand the immense challenges that come with motherhood, and the strength displayed by single mothers is truly awe-inspiring. 

It’s our responsibility to advocate for a society that embraces empathy, understanding, and support.

Watch: Single mum Canna Campbell can turn your finances around. Story continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

The stigma associated with single motherhood has evolved over time.

I believe it stems from the period when mums got the 'baby bonus' for having a baby. There was the perception that women kept the children for the money. Often that was a generational pattern, and sure, it was also one that was a choice. The irony is that if we value choice, and a woman empowered to make her own choices, then shouldn’t we respect that?

In most cases, the mother never truly planned to be a single parent, relationship issues have caused the situation, and circumstances are out of her control. I think that’s something we often forget.

There is a story behind every woman, and we need to challenge these outdated beliefs and shift our perspective.


Motherhood, once seen as an unquestionable role, is now viewed by some as an optional choice. As a result, judgments and questions arise, such as, "Why didn't you choose termination" or "Why did you decide to have another child and burden yourself with additional responsibilities?"

These notions fail to recognise the remarkable resilience, resourcefulness, and bravery that single mums demonstrate daily.

So many are struggling with the increased cost of living and with the increase in interest rates and rent. 

I see this daily in my role as CEO of Diamond Women, an organisation that provides compassionate care, professional support and counselling to assist women and their families facing an unplanned pregnancy.

One woman used to get $70 a fortnight in rental assistance. Childcare subsidies have gone up, but so has the daily cost of childcare.

Using all your mental energy and focus to live in a way so that you won’t lose your housing hinders your ability to think about goals, jobs, and training opportunities.

Another single mother poignantly shared her experience, saying, "I didn't even have a bed to sleep in when I left *Steve. He gave me $100 per month in child support, and then Centrelink would take out $100 per month from my single parent benefit. It's not an easy path. The issue is there are no incentives to 'do better' unless you have a lot of guts and courage. It's hard."

This mum went on to study nursing and is currently a Registered Nurse at one of Sydney's private hospitals.

Breaking the stigma associated with single motherhood requires a multifaceted approach that involves raising awareness, promoting empathy, and providing tangible support.


It’s time we shift our collective mindset to celebrate their strength and acknowledge the inherent value of every child's life. I believe continued education and awareness are always a good way to help people understand.

In my conversations with new and expectant mothers, the perceived judgement of others is not their primary concern. However, as their child grows older, concerns about being judged come to the forefront and single mothers often feel like they are under the most scrutiny, particularly in the era of social media. The rise of online platforms has intensified the feeling of being constantly under the microscope.

Empathy and compassion are the keys to dismantling stereotypes and replacing judgement with support.

The stories of struggle should remind us of the profound challenges they face on a daily basis. It is essential that we empower single mothers to strive for personal and professional growth, and shed light on the financial hardships and limited incentives that often hinder single mothers from pursuing better opportunities.

It is crucial to establish support systems that address their specific needs. Initiatives offering assistance with childcare, affordable housing, access to education and training, and financial support can make an extraordinary difference in their lives. 

Listen to This Glorious Mess, On this episode, Jacinta Tynan a single mum to two joins us to talk about why she transformed her own life and what she learnt from other empowered single parents. Post continues below.


By creating an environment that offers unwavering support, and educating society about the realities faced by single mothers, we can challenge misconceptions and foster a culture of understanding. 

By understanding their unique challenges, extending a helping hand, and raising awareness, we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society - one that recognises and celebrates the strength, resilience, and immeasurable contributions of single mothers.

We often hear, “I can't afford to raise this child.”

This isn’t untrue. It is hard. That’s why support like what we offer (12 months of free baby goods and maternity gear) alleviates the financial burden for the first year, plus assistance connecting to government support and other NGOS. 

It's why our work is so important. 

But it’s equally important to note - and wonderful to see - how resilient, resourceful and gutsy women in Australia are. 

They do it tough, but they do it. Women have survived greater economic and social crises than these through the years, and some of the most influential and ‘successful’ artists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists were born in periods of immense hardship. It speaks to the power of women and the importance of community support.

Together, let us champion their journey and create a world that cherishes the power and beauty of single motherhood.

To see the support services Diamond Women offers, you can find out more here. If you would like to donate towards the services that Diamond Women provides, you can do that here. 

Feature Image: Getty

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