I’ve been a single mom for four years now and I’ve learned that there’s often another side to those annoying comments we hear. So single mamas, be proud and hold your head high cause we’ve got this.
When you hear other mamas exclaim “I’m just like a single mom” because their husband travels/ studies/is a lazy ass, just know that while they may not have a clue as to the level of stress and loneliness associated with actual solo parenting, they also don’t realize all the benefits they are missing out on. As a single mom, we escape the smelly socks, the compromising, and the feelings of resentment when our other half doesn’t pull their weight. This life ain’t all bad.
When friends reject you again for weekend hangouts because that’s their “family time,” just know that it’s them missing out on having fun with you and your kids. There’s a whole other way of living that many single mamas embrace. Yes, we have family time, but we also make time for dates, friends, and fun. If you ask nicely we’ll let you join in too.
When someone tells you it’s a shame your child is from a broken home, just smile politely and know they haven’t got the memo that a broken home isn’t about your relationship status but about how the adults in the home interact. If you really want to get your point across, you could always remind them that “broken homes” produce people like Obama, while “happily married homes” sometimes spit out people like Trump. #justsayin
When people tell you it must be great to get every (other) weekend off, after restraining your desire to punch them, remember that they are probably just jealous. The rest of the real world knows that the situations single moms are in are as diverse as butterflies. Many moms don’t get that time “off,” and for those who do, it can be hard, but ultimately the one thing keeping us sane.
When you’re struggling and well-meaning friends and family suggest you just do X, Y or Z to make life easier, tell them you’ve duly noted their excellent advice. Meanwhile, rest assured that we single mamas know you’ve probably already tried every other letter of the alphabet and sometimes “just” doing X, Y or Z can be too much. Is it fair life hits some people harder than others? No. Will you get through this? Hell yeah. Just like every time before.
When friends say they can’t do something because their partner is away, try not to scream “how do you think I cope?!?” and relax in the knowledge that single motherhood has made you strong, independent and wise. Nothing stands in your way, least of all the lack of a partner. You go, mama.
When people talk about all those lazy single moms on benefits, just sit back and laugh because I know you know the truth. Most of us single moms work outside the home as well as inside it, and any benefits we receive are meager at best regardless of our employment status. We single moms survive financially through efficiency, cunning, and hard work, so raise that head a little higher mama.
When you’re told your son needs a male father figure to be a real man, just know that we single mamas are one step ahead. We’ve gotten away from the toxic masculinity in our lives and we aren’t about to recreate it in the next generation. What’s more, our sons multitask and put down the seat because they have a woman teaching them how to be a good human.
If you’re a solo mother by choice and you’ve had enough of the looks, grunts, and comments about how you chose this life, know that your relationship status makes you no different to coupled-up parents. Parenting is hard no matter what. Solo moms have just as much right to lament their kids latest shenanigans as married folk.
When people tell you “I could never do that” and you want to scream “I wish I didn’t have to, either,” whatever it is…. traveling solo, taking the kids to activities alone, managing it ALL, know that that you are awesome for doing this everyday, all day. This might not have been your choice of life path, but you’re kicking it out of the park.
When things get too much and people tell you to focus on the positives, just know that they haven’t yet experienced the pain you are currently going through. Life isn’t fair, some people get thrown more shit than others, some have fewer tools to cope with it all. There’s no shame in struggling, mama; one day the positives will outweigh the negatives. Until then, you have a whole network of single moms out there who have your back.
When people tell you “don’t worry you’ll soon find love again,” just know that they aren’t aware that not all of us need a partner to get by. Sometimes the love you have with your kids is more than enough. And the benefits of solo-hood aren’t always outweighed by having a partner — they’d have to be one pretty amazing person for me to want to give up all the good bits of being a single mom, that’s for sure.