Single Moms Rule!

Simmer down for a second before you blow your top at the suggestion that a single mother is better than a married mom. Nobody is saying that.

New research, however, does show some interesting things about single moms vs married ones.

I always assumed that single moms got less sleep and had less time for fun than married moms. Seems logical. If you’re the only one around to feed and bathe the kids, and put them to bed and get them up in the morning, then you would necessarily have less time for yourself.

This is wrong. At least according to a survey published in the journal Demography. The researchers obtained data from over 23,000 mother living with children under age 13. These moms fell into several groups:


Never married

Divorced or separated


Turns out, the single mothers got more sleep and spent more time watching TV and doing other leisure activities, even while spending the same amount of time on child care as the married moms.

What gives? The conventional wisdom would be that if you have a spouse in the house to help out, you’d have more free time.That, however, did not turn out to be true. The presence of a spouse was associated with moms spending more time on housework, not less.

This data seems like an invitation to trot out the old cliché’ that husbands are really just another child to take care of, but I don’t know if that’s what behind the results here.

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