6 Simple Ways to Support Single Moms

I have been married to my husband for eight years and we have four wonderful children. When people ask me if having four kids is hard, I shrug and say, “Nowhere near as hard as it was being a single mom.” After spending my first few years of motherhood as a single parent, I still look back and wonder how I did it. 
When I was in the midst of single motherhood, I experienced firsthand how much others judge single parents, moms especially. Often times, single moms develop a layer of steel so they can deflect harsh comments or condescending looks. Because of this, these warrior mamas can also be the last people to ask for help. But there are lots of small ways partnered parents can help their single mom friends out and be sensitive to some of the more subtle hardships single moms face. Here are six ways you can support your single mom friend…without her asking!
Mom Friends

1. Take pictures … with mom in it!

While ALL moms are often behind the camera more than in front of it, this is especially true of single moms. With no partner around to take candids on-the-fly, it’s up to a single mom’s tribe to step up and snap some pics from time to time. Take the photos and send them to her; I promise that she will be forever grateful!

2. Avoid phrases like “I am single parenting this weekend”

As a single mom, I never had the guts to tell my friends how much this phrase hurt my feelings. As a married mom, I have no qualms about telling partnered women they need to zip it if they say anything of the sort. The hardest part about single parenthood is that it is never-ending. By nature, these phrases indicate only a small window of struggle. To suggest that a few days without a partner is in any way similar to years of zero financial support, constant stress, and nobody to turn to when it comes to big child-rearing decisions belittles the full picture of what makes single parenthood so hard. Perhaps try “I’m flying solo this weekend,” instead.

3. Think of her around the holidays

As silly as it is, Father’s Day is not pleasant for a single mom, nor Valentine’s Day, or even Mother’s Day and children’s birthdays (my son’s bio-dad always forgot). A simple text with a “You’re slayin’ it!” Bitmoji on Father’s Day could go a long way.

4. Invite her and her kid(s) over for dinner

Cash-strapped and exhausted was a combo that never made me enthusiastic about eating out as a single mom. If my kiddo started acting up in a restaurant, I had nobody to tag on kid duty so that I could scarf down my meal in style. Restaurant outings were also costly and simply not enjoyable. Save the single moms you know some money and bring her into your home, feed her and her kid(s) something simple, and give her the opportunity to eat “out” and socialize without the stresses of money or public behavior expectations.

5. Offer to carpool whenever possible

This is a small but HUGE way parents can help out other parents, single or not. When you’re the only one who can do the drop-offs/pick-ups, grocery shopping, home maintenance, laundry, doctor’s appointments, and EVERYTHING ELSE, there is simply never enough time in the day. Taking a single mom’s kid somewhere or handling a pick-up can give your mama friend a well-deserved break and a few extra minutes.

6. Play matchmaker if she is interested, but drop it if she’s not

I was certain I would never date anyone ever again. How do you even go out and meet someone as a single mom? How can anyone afford paying a babysitter and going out on the town in the hopes of finding a mate? At the time, I might have appreciated a pre-screened connection courtesy of a good friend. However, the stresses of single parenthood essentially left little space in my life for dating, so I might have turned down the idea, too. In any case, think of her if you know of a good person and see what she says, but don’t press the issue if she doesn’t show interest. Also, don’t bug her about “needing to get out there;” she already has a lot on her plate!

What other ways we can all support single moms? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Lee Ann
Lee Ann moved to Portland in 2008 following an eight-year stint in Paris, France, where her eldest was born. Though she thought nowhere could compete with the City of Lights, the City of Roses immediately stole her heart. As a great place to raise kids, she loves getting out and exploring the city and the PNW with her husband and four young children. While in France, Lee Ann earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master's in Linguistics at the American University of Paris and L'Universite de Paris - La Sorbonne, respectively, before returning stateside to become a Speech-Language Pathologist through the Portland State University graduate program. Throughout her studies, she kept one foot in the digital world, writing content for publications and creating websites for clients. After many years as a medical Speech Pathologist, she left to the field to continue freelance writing, become the owner of Portland Mom Collective (!), and to create a crafting/workshop space for PDX makers. She likes to spend whatever "me" time she can muster making soap, geocaching, jogging, sewing, and staring at the wall with no small humans talking to her. Get in touch by sending a note to leeann {at} portlandmomcollective {dot} com, or follow her on Instagram.


  1. Love this, Lee Ann! I didn’t know that you lived in Paris – I went there for the first time earlier this year and fell in love with the city!

    • Thanks, Dennise! Yes, it’s hard NOT to fall in love with Paris. I miss it, but fortunately Portland is pretty awesome, too. 🙂

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