Meet Today’s Single Mom

I’m delighted to introduce you to my friend and author PeggySue Wells. I asked PeggySue to help us understand how we can better support the single or solo mom in our circle. Here’s PeggySue—

Who is today’s single mom? Let me introduce you.

  • One in four homes is single mom led
  • 50 percent of kids are expected to live in a single parent home before reaching age 18
  • 3/4 of single moms have full-time careers
  • less than half receive government assistance
  • most single moms who do receive government assistance, do so only until they can support their family on their own
  • less than half receive child support
  • for those who do receive child support, the average is less than $6000 yearly
  • 40 percent of single moms are over 40 years old
  • 100 percent wish the cleaning fairy showed up weekly to leave everything sparkling and something delish simmering in the oven
  • 85 percent do not attend church
  • most feel alone, isolated, and judged

Yet, single moms are not alone: nationally 15 million solo moms are raising 22 million children.

Most solo parents began in a committed relationship and never anticipated raising a child alone. The unwanted companion to this change in relationship status is the trauma that frequently accompanies.

Good Decisions

The tricky part about trauma is how our body reacts. In a natural occurring sequence, trauma causes the thinking part of our brain – the cerebrum located in the front of our head – to go offline. In an emergency, the flight, fight, or freeze mechanism takes over, while the thinking part of our brain is disconnected. That flight, fight, or freeze part of the brain, the amygdala, is adjacent to the memory-making department which is why a smell, sound, or taste can trigger an unwanted ricochet back to the trauma we prefer to not recall.

All parents need the ability and skills to make wise, discerning decisions. Single moms often feel too overwhelmed to focus and be decisive when they most need to. Decision-making is critical in the best of circumstances, and the process can be daunting for a solo parent.

What Does the Single Mom Need?

Scripture provides guidelines for making life-giving decisions. Hope and healing come from relationship with Jesus. Church provides wholesome community among those who share relationship with Jesus Christ.

Invite a single parent family to church where the single mom and her child can find that the door is open, there is a place for them, and someone will introduce them to the Source of hope, salvation, and unconditional love.

Invite a #singleparent family to church where the #singlemom and her child can find a place for them, and someone will introduce them to the Source of hope, salvation, and unconditional love. @PeggySueWells Click To Tweet

A church offers

  • Regular childcare
  • Excellent children’s programs
  • Welcome and inclusion in church life (Many single moms prefer not to be relegated to the singles group)
  • Support, mentors, and friends
  • Hope more than advice

Like others in the congregation, single moms want

  • Genuine friendship
  • People to do life with
  • Someone to sit with
  • The occasional hand with household maintenance
  • Fun and laughter
  • Voices other than her own to sort through life decisions
  • A small group
  • The Word of God

Those who attend church, and those yet to come, share two common denominators; we all long to connect and belong, and we all need a Savior. At its best, church is the place where grace is lived out, and where relationship with Jesus Christ grows.

Consider inviting the single mom in your circle and her family to church, Bible study, or small group.

The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make

Recognizing the transition single moms experience as well as their need to make excellent parenting decisions, co-authors Pam Farrel (Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti) and PeggySue Wells (The Slave Across the Street) offer support and encouragement in The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make and the companion, resource-rich website,

An excellent resource for the single mom in your circle.

Bio: PeggySue Wells is the single mom of seven children, and the bestselling author of 29 books including The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Connect with her at and at

Click here to comment.


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  1. Michele Morin

    This post and Peggy Sue’s ministry is filling a big hole in the church ‘s understanding and response to the unique needs of single mums. Thanks for Sharing!

    • PeggySue Wells

      Michele, thank you for checking in. It’s helpful for the church to understand that single moms are already feeling vulnerable and awkward when they come.

    • Debbie Wilson

      She certainly is. Thank you, Michele.

  2. Theresa Boedeker

    So often the single moms are over looked. Thanks for this information.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I found her post very enlightening. Thanks, Theresa.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Theresa, you are right. There often feels like a hesitancy to engage. Hopefully the info in the article helps dispel some myths about solo moms.

  3. Lisa notes

    Those statistics at the top are so important for all of us to be aware of! Single moms definitely need our attention and respect and our assistance. Parenting is hard enough with two adults, but more than doubly as hard with just one. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Debbie Wilson

      You said it well, “more than doubly as hard with just one.” Thanks, Lisa.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Added to the mix is that the children as well as the single mom have broken hearts. The wounds can be frequently reopened with visitations and holidays and other reminders that their family is altered.

  4. Ann J Musico

    I know how challenging it was to raise 3 wonderful children with a caring, involved dad – I can’t even imagine doing it alone. This was eye-opening.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I feel the same, Ann. Many times I had to back off and let him deal with them.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Thank you, Ann. Often, solo moms are not just parenting alone, but parenting despite an unkind, absent, or even cruel ex-spouse.

  5. J.D. Wininger

    Much more than an under-served demographic, single moms and their children are a much under-recognized need for ministry. I pray daily that more churches extend their welcome beyond folks who are “just like them.” Great post ladies. Thank you both!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, J.D. And that’s a great prayer.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Thank you, J.D. I believe Mary was a solo parent to Jesus and his sibs sometime after Jesus was 12. From the cross, Jesus gave care of his mother to John which would not have been necessary if Joseph was still able to care for his wife.

  6. Barbara Latta

    Thanks for shedding the light on these difficulties single moms go through and for the statistics. We do need to reach out to offer them support and encouragement. They do need to know they are loved and not alone.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I agree. I needed this awareness. Thanks, Barbara.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Thank you, Barbara. I think pretty much everyone knows a single mom in their circle of influence.

  7. Sarah

    Wonderful notes on this often neglected population. Really appreciated the numbers to better understand the circle. Single moms rock!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes they do! Thanks, Sarah!

    • PeggySue Wells

      Thank you, Sarah. There are myths about single moms and I appreciated the opportunity to share the stats.

  8. Jeanne Takenaka

    Debbie, reading this is a good kick in the pants to be more intentional to reach out to the single moms in my sphere of influence. Our church has some wonderful ways of ministering to single moms. Maybe it’s time for me to be the bridge between some of the single moms I know and the church. Thank you for this post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jeanne, PeggySue knows firsthand what it’s like. I’m thankful she’s opening our eyes.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Jeanne, you sound like the kind of friend many of us would be delighted to know.

  9. Candyce Carden

    Very helpful post. Single motherhood is so prevalent today but I don’t always know the best way to help. Great suggestions.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Candyce, thanks for reading.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Candyce, friendship, connection, and Jesus is what we all need most. These are our common denominators no matter our relationship status of single or not single. Thank you for connecting here!

  10. Paula Short

    Debbie, thank you for sharing these insights and statistics. And thank you PeggySue what a wonderful resource for solo parents. Blessings.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Paula.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Paula, thank you for your encouragement!

  11. Tammy Kennington

    Debbie and Peggy Sue,

    Thank you for sharing this important post! Both my mother and mother-in-law were single parents for a time. Women raising children on their own need the support of those in the church–not judgement.

    Many blessings,

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! thanks, Tammy.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Well said, Tammy. Blessings on your family.

  12. Sylvia Schroeder

    Great post! Thank you Peggy Sue for the statistics and wisdom that went with them.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sylvia, thanks so much for dropping by. I appreciate PeggySue’s post too.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Sylvia, thank you for reading and encouraging Debbie and me.

  13. Lisa Blair

    Debbie, thanks for introducing us to Peggy Sue. I will share this article and Peggy’s many resources. A church we attended in the past always took an offering and blessed single moms in August for the extra-expenses of school supplies and clothes, then took a second offering in mid-December to help with extra Christmas expenses. The church also had a support group and provided childcare free of charge. This church was very supportive of single Moms and brought them to our attention to consider, encourage and practically bless.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lisa, what a wonderful ministry! I think your church was in tune, and I applaud them for taking care of the families in their flock.

    • PeggySue Wells

      Lisa, your church showed creativity and inclusion for solo parent families. I’m adding those caring ideas to my list of tangible helps. Several times we were able to quietly provide scholarships for kids to have music lessons, art lessons, sports equipment, and opportunities to go to camp.

  14. Nancy E. Head

    I was a single mom with five young ones. Thank you for this message! Church support and friendships make all the difference for the moms and the kids!

  15. PeggySue Wells

    My hat is off to you, Nancy! Well done.

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