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..."
9. "Nope, our families are not 'broken.'"
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."