I’ve had a few conversations lately that have seen me bite my lip, take a deep breath and rise above it. As a single mother, I can often find myself doing that; it’s easier and more harmonious to just rise above it, than to enter into a debate. I’m well past the point of feeling the need to justify myself or my lifestyle to anyone else.

Here are some of the things I rise above, as a single mother:

  • People assuming you got pregnant on purpose, to get benefits and a council flat.  – only people who have never tried to survive on benefits, in a council flat, think this.
  • People assuming you’re uneducated. – as it happens, the majority of single parents are older and well educated. But well done for believing the Daily Fail.
  • Comments about “benefits scum” – really?!
  • The government and right-wing media  – yawn. No, the current economic crisis was not my fault.
  • Other mothers acting like you’re out to steal their partner. – yep, I definitely want to steal the lazy, smelly partner you’re always slagging off. 
  • People asking where S’s father is.  – not here, obviously.
  • People having an opinion without knowing the facts  – yes, I’m sure you know exactly how my child will fare, without a father in her life. I’m sure you’ve even read an article about it.
  • People thinking I need to know what my ex is up to.  – I honestly do not care what that miscreant gets up to; none of it has any bearing on our lives. Stop trying to get your drama fix here; go back to Eastenders.
  • Missing out on things because you’ve no childcare.  – I don’t just have a partner at home who can stay with S while I go to things; my childcare is limited, and therefore so is my social life. 
  • The head on one side thing.  – ohh, you’re a single mum? I bet that’s hard. No, it’s just my life and I just live it. Put your head back on straight and go feel sorry for someone else.
  • “I’m just like a single mother…” Even if your partner is only home one night a month, he still brings a paycheck with him. You’re not just like a single mother unless you are a single mother. Shut up.
  • Gender inequality – it’s rife everywhere, but there’s little more riling as a single mother than to be judged for everything you do and don’t do, while a single father is often “so brave” and “doing so well” when his kids turn up for school wearing shoes.

Okay, rant over! 

Do you have any to add?

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Alan Herbert · 23/08/2016 at 12:19

What you didn’t have S just to get a luxury council flat in the nicest part of town. You shock me Vicky.

Terrible in this day and age that people still have the same misguided assumptions as they did in the 80’s and 90’s.

Newcastle Family Life · 23/08/2016 at 13:31

I was nodding along to every single one of these. I was a single parent for 8 years , from when my eldest was born until I met my current partner. I hated that people assumed as I was a single parent I got lots of benefits, I wish I had of done as I used to work 60 hour weeks in social care just so I could buy stuff for my daughter and pay the rent. The thing I hate the most is when people say oh I am a single parent , when there partner is at work for a few days
Or something. I wanted to shout at them you have no idea, they still had someone to ring up if their child was ill / done something amazing. They still had an extra income coming in and knew they would have someone to share the load in a few days time. Now I am in a relationship and have two more children I kind of miss the single parent days as the bond me and my daughter had was amazing and I could do what I liked xx

Jacqueline stolton · 23/08/2016 at 21:16

I totally agree with all these!! Especially the I’m just like a single parent or I wish I was a single parent!! No you blinking dont love trust me its not all as glamorous and easy as I make it look!! And the thoughts that we all just did it to ourselves to get a flat/benifts totally ridiculous I work nearly full time and about to take on a foundation degree course alongside working. I no longer revive any help with rent/council tax and haven’t for several years. All in all i say bugger off judgy mcjudgson and concentrate on your own perfect lives!!!

Caroline A. Slee · 24/08/2016 at 23:40

I was a single mother for 6 years. I can relate to these. Strangers (grocery stores, dangerous places, I tell you) would always seek to give me advice out of nowhere. New introductions in my life always included the “and their father?” question. Eventually, I began to reply with “Ah, well, they both sprang from my helmet, fully formed.” If the questioner understood the mythology reference and laughed and moved on, they might not be terribly judgmental people. :) I hope people lay off of you soon – motherhood is a very involved job, more so without a partner to rely upon. Hugs to you!

Carla (@CarlaRTOATSblog) · 26/08/2016 at 22:09

‘oh I couldn’t do that’ -Especially when you have more than one child too!
Good because it isn’t your life and I hope that one day you don’t end up a single parent because you’ve just admitted you couldn’t do it!
Of course all that is in my head when I used to get these comments!

Elias · 29/08/2016 at 00:16

An excellent read about the daily struggles of single mothers. It’s quite tragic there’s a lot of ignorance and misconception about this. Though I knew quite a bit of the issues raised in this blog entry I would myself admit I did not understand the true scale of the hardship my own single mother ex partner was facing everyday. And no I won’t pity her for the challenges she faced each day without me as a helping hand because as the writer of this blog put it it is a fact of her life and she never once made a fuss about it. She got on with it and didn’t once ask for my assistance. She managed just fine doubling up as a mum and. a dad. Though I’ve always admired her stamina, reading this has made me appreciate the sort of strong woman she really was even more.
I wish she would read this blog.
Any way , thanks for enlightening me on an issue I only wish I had understood better a little earlier.

Alexandra Gibbons Humes · 31/08/2016 at 17:10

My best friend is a single mom. She works harder than anyone I know. I can’t beleive in 2016 people aren’t more respectful of just how challenging it is I suppose the vast majority of people can’t relate to an experience until it happens to them.

April S · 05/10/2017 at 18:05

My favorite: Other mothers acting like you’re out to steal their partner. – Yes, I want the man you constantly complain about, the guy who won’t fix the dishwasher, or help with the kids. That is exactly what I need in my life to help me! I can’t believe you knew.

    Vicky Charles · 07/10/2017 at 09:48

    lol April you’re so right. For some people single mother = will pounce on any man who crosses her path!

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