Divorce

The 15 Biggest Misconceptions About Single Parents

The number of single parent households has skyrocketed in recent years. But despite their growing numbers, single parents still have to contend with lingering misconceptions about what the experience is like. (No, every weekend the ex has the kids is not a non-stop party. It's more like a non-stop laundry and sleep-fest.)

Below, HuffPost Divorce readers share the most annoying misconceptions about single parenthood they've encountered through the years. See what they had to say, then share your experience in the comments.

1. "People think that the kids, especially the boys, desperately need fathers no matter how amazing the mom may be."

2. "Contrary to popular belief, we're not all desperate to find a significant other. It didn't work out the first time and actually, being a single parent makes you more fussy about who you want around."

3. "People always ask 'How do you do it [with three kids]?' How wouldn't I do it? You don't think about it, you just do what you have to."

4. "There's a misconception that every divorcé has to be a single parent. Some are fortunate to have a good parenting relationship with their kid's other parent -- there's a big difference between single parenting and co-parenting."

5. "That we at least 'get a break' while they are with the other parent. I don't know about everyone else, but my 'break' normally consists of doing everything I can't do with the kids. Oh, and sleep -- much needed sleep."

6. "I can't stand it when women say they know what it's like to be a single mom because their partners work a lot! No way in hell is that the same thing. You still have the emotional and mental support, financial stability and your kids have a father. Your family is intact and you have the comfort of knowing he loves and misses you. He gets home and helps out and it's all back to normal again. A single parent has none of that."

7. "The term 'single mother' conjures ideas of hardship. It's definitely hard but it's no hardship."

8. "Outsiders think that we all 'chose' to do it on our own and because of that, we shouldn't complain because it's our own 'fault.' Right..."

10. "They think that when the kids are with my ex, they're not on my mind. My kids are on my mind just as much, sometimes more, when I don't have them. I worry a lot and even though it's been three years, I still cry at night when I see their empty bed or their toys."

11. "That a person can successfully do it all by themselves. Married or not, it really does take a village."

12. "Too many people seem to think we're all either on welfare or that we got half 'his' stuff. Oh, and that we ditch our kids every chance we get for drunken sexcapades and wild girl's nights out."

13. "That as a single stay-at-home mom, you have too much time on your hands and must be bored. Hah!"

14 "One misconception I've come across is that I must be pretty miserable or feel trapped as a single mom. I am so much happier as a single mama than I was in my marriage."

15. "That the kids will grow up to be screwed up in some way. The truth is, divorce often leads to a happier home environment and the kids grow up to be fit adults."

16. "That it's not a choice to be single. Single parents can be happy, fulfilled and complete."

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Sandra Bullock
AP
“The only man in my life is my son, and it’s probably going to stay this way for a while ...I go to bed wearing a very baggy one-piece cheetah suit, just because it makes my son laugh. My sexy lingerie has been locked in a drawer for a while!” -Sandra Bullock, mom to LouisCORRECTION: An earlier version of this caption misspelled Sandra Bullock's first name.
Madonna
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images
"I'm not going to lie -- it's hard work having four kids and doing all the work I do. Sometimes I cope with it very well, sometimes it's a struggle ... It's a challenge juggling everything -- multi-tasking is my middle name. I try to express that." -Madonna, mom to Lourdes, Rocco, David and Mercy
Liv Tyler
"I found it tricky to figure out how to work, and be a mother and be a single mom. Milo and I have been in such transition -- I've been rebuilding and trying to be patient. And I've just put all of my focus on that. Because I can't go to work and be happy unless he's happy and feels secure." -Liv Tyler, mom to Milo
Padma Lakshmi
AP
“In truth, I am a single mother. But I don’t feel alone at all in parenting my daughter ... Krishna has a whole other side of her family who loves her, too. And so Krishna is parented by me, but also by her grandmother and aunts and cousins and uncles and friends. The more who encompass her, the more different kinds of people who are in Krishna’s life, the better off she is." -Padma Lakshmi, mom to Krishna
Jennifer Lopez
American Idol 2012 via Getty Images
“I am a non-traditional family. Me being a single mom, their dad doesn’t live at home with them. They have three stepbrothers from two moms…that’s not traditional. [But family] is about love and that’s what I constantly remind myself of because I kind of let society get inside my head, ‘Oh, it shouldn’t be like this. I did this, I did that. I failed.' And it’s like, no. They’re happy, they’re healthy, they’re loved more than anything in the world and they’re going to be fine. I want them to know that." -Jennifer Lopez, mom to Max and Emme
January Jones
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images
“People keep saying, ‘Oh poor you, being a single mom,’ but I don’t want to be pitied. I can do anything I want to do. I work, I date, I have friends. I have time for everything I had time for before. I just have an added amazing thing in my life. I have a great family and friends, and I know they’d be there if I needed help, but I feel like I’m doing fine on my own.” -January Jones, mom to Xander
Teri Hatcher
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage
"The one thing I never feel secure about is the way I parent." -Teri Hatcher, mom to Emerson
Michelle Williams
AP
"You make it work. You keep getting out of bed. Sometimes it's just because you know there's a cup of coffee downstairs." -Michelle Williams, mom to Matilda
Solange Knowles
Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images
[Motherhood] is definitely a balancing act, and it is not at all easy. I do the best I can, which involves a lot of saying no to things, actually, and a lot of really organized scheduling and a lot of help, to be honest." -Solange Knowles, mom to Daniel Julez
Heidi Klum
Michael Tran via Getty Images
"Schedule. You have to schedule. When you have four kids especially, they all have different things that they like to do, different friends, and different interests. So, to make sure that they all get what they individually deserve, you have to make sure that they get it." -Heidi Klum, mom to Leni, Henry, Johan and Lou
Sheryl Crow
AP
"The only advice I have is that there will never seem like a great time to [adopt as a single mom] -- just like when you're married, it never seems like the perfect time to have a baby. So you dive in and make your life work." -Sheryl Crow, mom to Wyatt and Levi
Mary-Louise Parker
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
"Becoming a mom is the best thing that's happened to me. I'll be the first to admit that it can be very hard to raise two kids, but I absolutely love it. I can't imagine what my life would be without my children." -Mary-Louise Parker, mom to William and Caroline
Minnie Driver
Alexandra Wyman via Getty Images
“It’s the greatest love affair of my life, with this baby. I’m a single mom, [but] his dad is amazing and in his life. I don’t feel alone. Babies attract love…They attract people who love them.” -Minnie Driver, mom to Henry
Connie Britton
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images
“Being a single mom is challenging, but never in a million years would that have stopped me. You get an idea in your head and you’re going to do it ... People can tell you how hard marriage is or how hard it is to birth a baby, but we do these things. We want the journey of that.” -Connie Britton, mom to Yoby
Denise Richards
Alexandra Wyman via Getty Images
“The best gift a parent can give children is time ... Single moms need to know it's okay to have a little 'me' time. You'll feel refreshed and you'll be a better mom!" -Denise Richards, mom to Sam, Lola and mom to Eloise