What to Know Before You Marry a Single Mom

What to Know Before You Marry a Single Mom

Hey Stepdadding,

My best friend just two years ago became a single mom. We’re in Canada and she lives half way across the country with her two year old son. I’ve always been in contact with her and still am but there’s been a secret I’ve kept from her for some time . Ever since I met her in grade 10 during high school I’ve always had a crush on her but just didn’t know how to tell her and as it turned out, I couldn’t in time. She got married and had been for three years until last year when she became single again. I feel like it’s time I told her how I feel even if it means I might eventually have to move to be with her and become part of an established family . I just have doubts and worries and I felt asking guys who knows a thing or two would feel right. What can you tell me?  Looking forward to hearing from you .

Sincerely I.S.


Hi I.S,

People are starting to understand how tough it is to be a Stepdad. These marriages fail at a higher rate than others. The divorce rate is around 70%. There are many factors that cause stress and pressure in these relationships. The laws as well as maternal instincts make being a Stepdad very unappealing, The laws in Canada are especially hard on Stepdads. Did you know a Stepdad can be forced to pay child support for a step child if the marriage fails? The trend is growing. At least 21 states in the US have the same rule. mom-1408267_960_720You may not mind this, but these kinds of things are important to know before you get serious about a single mom.

When you look closely at the details, you realize becoming a Stepdad is a huge commitment. Before you jump in read Stepdad 101. This book lays out all the pitfalls involved in being a Stepdad. It tells you the ways the laws put Stepdads second. It will also help you understand single moms better.

If you still feel like you want to date her after reading that… read The Stepdad’s Guide. This book outlines important conversations that will improves your odds of a successful marriage as a Stepdad. It will also help you lay the groundwork to be a better parent. Good luck. Please feel free to reach out if you have more questions.




  1. Chris
    November 18, 2019

    Hello Step Dad,

    So this might be a different norm I think. I am a single mom with a 4 year old son, I am about to get married and I am wondering. My son has a good relationship with the Bio dad but am wondering what if calling my husband a daddy and his bio dad, daddy will be confusing to my son. Please what is your advice.

    Worried mum

    • Joel Wesley Hawbaker
      December 1, 2019

      Good morning, and thanks for your question! I would say that yes, having your son call his stepdad “dad” or “daddy” or anything like that will be confusing, especially since (as you said) he has a good relationship with the bio dad. Consider other names (e.g. my kids call their stepdad by his first name, and they call their stepmom by her first name) or titles (e.g. “Pop” or “Pops” or something similar) as a way to make it easier for him. Hope this helps!


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