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Moms: Is it easier being a single mom? Many married moms think so

By Katie Powalski

OrlandoSentinel.com/momsatwork

Published: Saturday, July 4 2009 1:02 p.m. MDT

Single moms actually have it easier when it comes to parenting — just ask married women.

A recent survey by Babytalk Magazine found that many married ladies feel it might sometimes be easier to go the mommy route alone.

Of these women, 76 percent liked the idea of not fighting with a partner over the best way to raise a child. Other pros to being single were not having the chore of keeping up a healthy marriage (69 percent), and not dealing with in-laws (30 percent).

And single moms agree.

Almost two-thirds of the unmarried moms felt that it would be harder to be a parent if there was a man in the house. Of the single ladies, 55 percent said that they feel relieved to not have to worry about working on a marriage too, and 38 percent said they feel freer to follow their own dreams.

Being a single mom, I think the survey makes some valid points.

I like that no one complains when I leave my sweaty workout clothes on the bathroom floor overnight, or that no one cares when I decide that it's going to be cereal for dinner (again). Some might call that a lack of accountability on my part — but hey, don't we all do better work when someone isn't looking over our shoulder?

But on the other hand, even if married women only get an hour's worth of help from their husbands each week, that's one hour more than I get. Do you know how many gossip magazines I could tear through in that hour? Or how many people I could follow on Twitter? Or, realistically, how much laundry I could fold?

One quote that really hit home came from Amy King of Kissimmee.

"I would rather be single than in an unequal relationship. and I'm too tired to put in the effort."

I think that maybe Amy is secretly driving up from Osceola County everyday to read my personal journals.

I already have a bossy little girl who demands that I sing the Tigger song 100 times a day, and who regularly bullies me out of my breakfast. The last thing I need is a man who needs. well, anything that takes effort on my part.

That being said, I know some great dads who also function as wonderful husbands. My brother is an example. Some days he works from sun up to sun down ripping old shingles off houses and fixing furnaces in damp crawlspaces — but he happily takes the evening responsibility of his daughter so mommy can go to nursing school. I have a colleague who literally never sleeps because when he's not at work, he's doing the grocery shopping and keeping up with his high-energy 2-year-old. So I'm not totally bashing men here, because if I find one who doesn't mind picking up diapers on the way home in exchange for my winning smile, I'm keeping him.

I just think that any way you slice it, being a parent is challenging and this survey represents a societal shift toward respecting that fact regardless of your marital status.

Find more advice for moms at orlandosentinel.com/momsatwork.

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