Monday, March 4, 2013

Things you should never say to a single mom

I often avoid talking about my situation by all costs because people are bound to say every sentence that makes me sick to my stomach and if not nauseous, it either hurts or leaves me feeling inadequate. Maybe lots are meant with good intentions but I am baffled that so many people don't think before they speak.

1. Where's the dad? Does he pay? Is he involved?
It's always first on the list, it's often six quick questions in succession that people expect you to explain not thinking this might be a touchy subject or something that's personal that I don't feel like explaining to every stranger I meet. In time I will tell people about it but in general, no I don't want to talk about it, he's an ass, who cares where he is.

2. I don't know how you do it? (with a look of utter pity on your face)
I do it just like you do it, now if you said this without the pity face it probably wouldn't irritate me so much because I don't need pity, I need HELP people.

3. You look so exhausted, it's because you alone/it's because you never get 'you' time.
This is probably something you shouldn't tell any mother, we know we look tired but reminding me I'm alone is just plan mean and don't tell me I need 'me' time, offer to babysit.

4. Don't worry you will find somebody to love you again?
This baffles me, I mean really, I'm a mother not a leper, I have a kid not a demonic plague.

5. My partner/husband works late/travels a lot, I know how you feel?
5.5 My partner/husband doesn't help much, I'm basically a single mom.
5.6 There's no difference between a single mom and married mom.
No, no you don't and no you not. One nappy change, one bottle made and one pee alone that your man gives you, is one more than a single mom ever gets. Doing it alone every day, all day, without a minute of someone helping you cannot be compared to a day your husband worked late or a few days he went away for travel. Oh and it has a lot more to do with emotional support and sharing an experience than the physical aspects.

6. Men that rape and beat woman are products of a single-mom home!
What the actual f*ck, I'm not even going to sit and explain why this shouldn't be said because if you don't get it then I would actually prefer it if you just don't talk to me all together.

7. Why didn't you get an abortion?
Another one that I just don't get, especially when people say it in front of my beautiful boy.

8. Did you not think of adoption?
Don't you think I'm doing a good job.

9. If more woman fought for maintenance less men would leave/it would make a difference/they shouldn't complain if the don't fight.
Honestly if you haven't been in the situation you have absolutely no idea the war we fight on the inside every day wondering what is the right decision for our child. We can complain because a human being shouldn't abandon their child, it won't make a difference because men leave the responsibility and it is rather easy to work your way around maintenance court and because some of us are not ready just yet to start yet another war in our lives.

10. I feel so sorry for your child.
Don't, he's fine, he will be fine, he has a loving family, I'm a good mom.


  1. Oh how very true. Those questions were the story of my life. I'm not a single mom anymore, and my son is a grown up, but I raised my son on my own. It blew my mind on a regular basis, how people thought they needed to pity me or knew better than me, and how no topic was private!
    Like "...children need their fathers, you know..." Actually, if their father is a cowardly wanker then no, they don't need him.
    And "...I pity your boy growing up an only child, children should have siblings..." Excuse me!? You already think I'm not doing a good enough job, and you want me to have another child!?

  2. Wow. Why didn't u have an abortion has got to be the worst! Thanks for sharing this with us Jess & reminding us to maybe think a little before repeating some of these cliches. I have a friend who is a single mom & I try my best not to use most of the typical platitudes like "i don't know how you do it" because, well...what choice does she have? we all just do our best in our respective situations and do what we have to do & get on with it.