Nine Things You Shouldn’t Say to Single Mothers

I’ve been a single mom for a while now. Since the beginning it  seems that I get to hear the same questions and comments lines over and over again. Here is a list of nine of them that single parents don’t find helpful, and really don’t need to hear again.

  1. “I couldn’t do it.” or “How do you do it?”

Things NEVER to Say to a Single MotherOkay, so…if you were alone, and you had a baby to care for, what would you do? Sell the baby? Give up? I do it because I don’t have a choice. I have to do it. I have to cope. Everyone has to get on with whatever life throws at them.

  1. “Where’s the father?”

Um, obviously, not here!

  1. “I’m almost a single mother.”

No, you’re not. Maybe your partner works long hours, or is only home on weekends. Maybe he doesn’t do diaper duty. Even if you’ve got the worst partner out there, you still have someone you can pass the baby to so you can use the bathroom, or someone that can stay home with the baby so you can dash to the store to grab a quick something for dinner.

  1. “You’re so strong and brave!”

Yeah, and I fought off a pack of wolves on my way in to work today. I’m a single mom, not an idiot. Please don’t patronize me.

  1. “Good for you! You’re going back to work!”

Things NEVER to Say to a Single Mother

No, good for you! Now your tax dollars don’t have to go towards my benefits. Also, see number 4. Don’t patronize me, please.

  1. “You must get some time to yourself.”

Yeah, if I use the bathroom at work. And for the hour after I put my son to bed, if the the neighbors aren’t being too loud. That hour is then spent, by myself, cleaning up the apartment, getting ready for tomorrow, catching up on the laundry, and studying. And every now and then, staring off into space and pondering how I’m do it all again tomorrow.

  1. “You have someone to leave him with!”

Yes, for a random hour or two, here and there. If that someone doesn’t have a better option which, when the weather is nice or the novelty of hanging out with my kid has worn off, they usually do.

  1. “You get government assistance, but my partner and I don’t!”

I don’t get government assistance with sleepless nights, diaper changes, grocery shopping, meal planning, bath time, teething, illnesses, daycare drop-off and pick-up, going out by myself, eating a hot meal, getting the stroller up and down the steps to my apartment, telling my neighbors to be quiet when my son needs to sleep, popping out to the store to grab that one random thing I missed because I had to drag my son along on the big weekly shopping trip, and using the bathroom without an audience. I have days when I don’t speak to anyone except my kid and clerks at the store. Shall I go on?

  1. “You must be so tired!”

Yeah, thanks so much for the reminder . It’s so helpful to hear the bloody obvious. In other breaking news, water is wet. Thanks for the update.

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