Things NEVER to Say to a Single Mother
Being a single mother, in the situation I am in, I seem to hear the same lines over and over again. Here is a list of the ones I’d really rather you didn’t allow to escape from your pie-holes. (yes, I am a grumpy bitch; what of it?)
- I don’t know how you do it/I couldn’t do it – Oh right, so if you were left alone with a small baby to care for, you’d … what? Giveup? Sell the baby? It’s a matter of having no choice but to cope. We all just get on with what life throws at us.
- Where’s her dad? Not bloody here, obviously.
- I’m almost a single mum; my partner works long hours /is only around at weekends/doesn’t change many nappies – No. You. Are. Not. Even if you have the worst, most useless partner in the world, you still have someone to hold the baby while you go to the loo, or someone to stay with the baby while you run to the shop to top up the gas card.
- You’re so brave! – Yes, and I fought a lion on the way to work this morning. I’m a single mother, not an imbecile. Don’t talk down to me.
- You’re so strong! – See above, and kindly knob off.
- Good for you, for going back to work! – No, good for you – now you don’t have to feel bad about being friends with benefit scum. Also: see above. don’t talk down to me.
- Surely you get some time to yourself, though? – Yes, when I go to the toilet at work, and 2 hours when S goes to bed, if the noise from outside/next door doesn’t wake her. Those two hours are spent cleaning up after the day, preparing for the next day, attempting to catch up on the washing, and studying. And often sitting on the sofa, staring into space and wondering how the chuffing hell I’ll get through tomorrow.
- I’m sure you have someone you can leave her with, though! – Yes, I do. For a couple of hours, here and there. When that person doesn’t have a better offer, which, as the weather gets better and the novelty of looking after my child wears off, they invariably do.
- You get lots of benefits though, and me and my partner don’t get any help! – Well, boo-hoo for you. I don’t get any help with sleepless nights, nappy changing, shopping, meal times, bath times, teething, colds, nursery drop-off and pick-up, going out without my child, eating a meal that hasn’t gone cold, getting the buggy up and down the stairs to my flat, telling my neighbours to STFU when my child is trying to sleep, popping to the shop to get the one thing I missed off the shopping trip I dragged us both around earlier, peeing and bathing without an audience. There are often days where I speak to nobody but my child and shop assistants. Should I continue?
- Oh, you must be so tired! – Yes, thank you so much for reminding me. Really, it’s so helpful when you stand there and state the bleeding obvious. In other news, water is wet and the Earth is round. Now shut up.
- I know exactly how you feel – Just fuck off.
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I get a lot of these, although because my son's dad has him for overnights sometimes there are one or two I manage to avoid. Then again, add "oh he sounds like /such/ a good dad!" to the list. Yeah, he's great, emotionally abused me to the point where I had to leave and still treats me like crap whenever he can, just wonderful!
Very well said!! It is hard, very hard! And not something most expect when finding out your expecting ...to end up a single parent. You go through alsorts of feelings and emotions and silly remarks from people dont help BUT its very rewarding. Thats the 1 thing i find or struggle with having alittle break to myself asking people to watch my son for an hr or 2 (rarely) is like asking for the earth. Thismummylark recently posted...Productive day
Hahaha ,,I should do a list of things NOT to say to a baby-minding Grandma: Bet you love it really ....being at top of list for responses (usually said as I am struggling to get into a lift) carol hedges recently posted...The Sun has got His Hat On (Adventures of L-Plate Gran)
Yes, yes, yes, a thousand yesses!!!!! Number 3 was one I heard a lot. Jog on! X Josie recently posted...Mummy and her monies
Very funny post LOL... I was a single parent for over 10 years (my daughter is 21 now), but the worst one for me was "oh does your daughter still see her dad then?". I mean... honestly... why can't mind your own business and F-off? Such a rude/nosey and personal question!!! Totally infuriated me!!
"oh I suppose you have to work because you're on your own" yes because all the married families have free money and food followed by "you want to get yourself a boyfriend"......."then you won't have to work" yes it's what year now? Any pointed comments of 'struggling' and then an explanation of 'if you had a man around' CAN THEY HEAR THEMSELVES??????
What are acceptable things to say if someone is trying to be supportive in their own way or trying to make conversation and it's on the topic of you being a single mom? It sounds like it's brought up at some point in the conversation with new people unless it's unsolicited comments by people who already know your situation. So I'm wondering what people SHOULD say? I'm asking this question not to be snarky but as an actual question because I too have written posts of things not to say to (fill in the blank) and then I realize, well, I should offer things that ARE acceptable to say so the post becomes a lesson to people who don't know any better. I honestly think that most of the time people don't know what to say and they are trying to make conversation if the topic comes up. But I do agree with you that so many of these things said to you are incredibly rude and tacky like asking where is the dad, etc. but do you still feel offended if a friend or loved one who is truly in your corner tells you, "you're so strong!" I'm having a hard time seeing how that would be offensive. Another way to look at things too, if someone says,"I don't know how you do it!", they might actually NOT be strong enough to carry on after a divorce. Some people can't actually do it alone. They have to move back home permanently or feel too depressed to make it work. I personally know people who have just left their lives and left the care of their children up to family members because they just can't make it work all by themselves after divorce. So sometimes that comment isn't even about you. Sometimes it's about them and they truly don't know HOW you do it. Anyway, just offering a different perspective and another way to look at the comments. But the rude ones are just that! No excuses there! I enjoy your blog and feel you offer a great insight on mental health and motherhood. Thanks!
Niki / PlayTravelLife
You know which question I hate most? Do some sport you'll loose the weight in no time.... Yes. Ofcourse... every hour the kiddo is in day care is one I am working. ... So go in the evening ? Euh... what do you mean after coming home at 6pm, cooking a fresh meal, feeding the kiddo (which is taking for-ever) tidying, putting her to bed (we are nearly 9pm now)... then go? Do you mean YOU have energy to go to the gym 9 at night? At are you paying a babysitter to go for a bloody work-out... I hate it. Hate it. Hate it that question. I wish I could AND have career, AND be a good mom AND go to the gym... but paying a sitter, results in having to work more hours ... etc circle goes round and round..... So the excercise I get is taking the bike to go grocerie shopping (we don't have home deliveries in Belgium) or going cycling with kiddo on the back during the weekend. However from sitting in a bike chair the toddler doesn't get tired, resulting in her being hyper in the evening... :/ Coming from Single Mother with NO parents, NO brothers or sisters to look after the kiddo etc....
Okay I won't say any of those. What I will say is I don't know how you manage to run a blog when you have to do it all alone as a mum. You either have insane time management/organisational skills or barely sleep or write quickly or all of the aforementioned! Please don't tell me to eff off.