If you have ever read the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, you know exactly what the Scarlet Letter means. Women who didn’t fit into what society labeled as acceptable had to wear a red letter A of shame. The entire community could recognize their shameful deeds. Society still uses negative labels like that, especially for single moms. If you Google “single moms are…” Most of what pops up is negative. Words like awful, annoying, easy, delusional, stupid, and toxic are what pop up more than positive descriptors. The letter S for Single Moms stood more for shame.

The Letter S For Single Moms 

I never wanted kids because I was raised by a single mother, and I didn’t want to become a single mother. I only wanted to have kids if I was married so my children could grow up in a two-parent home. Single moms wear a scarlet letter no matter what circumstances put them in the position of being a single mom.  In some ways, I looked at my mom like society looks at single moms as a badge of dishonor. I am 49 years old, and I am a single mom of a 10-year-old boy. Not only am I a single mom, but I am also older than most moms. 

S for single momsI wasn’t really in a relationship when I got pregnant with my son, so I pretty much became a single mom as soon as I was pregnant. But I did try to make a two-parent home for my son. I tried to force a relationship because, in some ways, I resented being raised by a woman who struggled mostly alone.

So many things in my life are similar to the life my mother lived as a single mother. 

In 2022, being a single mom still puts a scarlet letter of shame on women, even though moms end up in that position for a variety of reasons. Some moms raise kids alone because of divorce, incarnation, death, etc. I blamed my mom a lot as if she could control everything, including the circumstances that put her in that position. I blamed her for the badge of dishonor we all had to wear as kids raised by a single mother. 

S for single moms. Sarah's mom raised her a a strong single mom. Strong Single Moms… 

Being a single mother has given me a new appreciation for the struggles my mother went through. Not much has changed from the time my mother became a single mom in 1973 to when I became a single mom in 2012. 

My attitude towards single mothers has changed dramatically during that time, though.  My experience becoming the very thing that I grew up resenting has made me constantly fight to change the image of what it means to be a single mother in today’s society. 

Sarah Murphy shares her thoughts on the modern Scarlet Letter S. S for single momsWomen don’t intentionally seek out the life my mother and I were forced into by circumstances beyond our control. We do, however, make the best of our circumstances. My mother was an advocate for women, especially women raising children by themselves. I have become a person who does the same, not because I am a single mom but because I learned it by watching my mother. I used to be annoyed when people said I looked like my mother.

Now it’s a badge of honor just to be associated with a single mother who did her best in spite of the cards that were dealt to her. 

Single moms wear scarlet letters even though just being a mom is a hard job. The letter doesn’t have to be a badge of dishonor, though, because single moms are “Strong.” Single moms are also “Superheroes.”

I wear my Single Mom S proudly. 

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