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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