Let’s face it, from the moment you tell people you are pregnant you feel as though you are being judged for something. Anything. Either you are judging yourself or being judged by others.
Add being a single mum to the mix and there will be those maddening single mum comments to contend with. Everyone seems to have an opinion and advice which can be less than helpful.
How do you rise above it?
We’d like to recommend stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum worthy of a terrible two year old. But, instead we will just say “breathe”.
HOW TO KEEP COOL AROUND INFURIATING SINGLE MOTHER COMMENTS
The ‘I feel like a single mum’ comment
Really? You do, well isn’t that nice. Oh, but wait, your husband is away for the weekend? He’s working late? Or, he’s addicted to Fortnite and hasn’t picked up a dishcloth in six months? Compare this to carrying the financial burden alone. The disciplining. The mopping up of spew. Dealing with teachers, bedtimes and birthday parties. Alone. Not quite the same thing is it?
Guess what though, single mums have a secret. Because, there are plenty of women who have left men who made them feel like they had an extra child. And, if this is the case, being a single mum can actually be easier. There’s no man flu and there’s no washing of giant shirts. There are no whiskers in the basin and no pee on the toilet seat. So, maybe it is those women with the Fortnite playing husbands who deserve the sympathy of single mums. Not the other way around.
The ‘Your kids have no male role model’ comment
There is no doubt that kids need good male role models. The keyword is ‘good’ and this isn’t always the case with fathers (or admittedly some mothers). This comment is irksome, especially when you are doing your best. Is it REALLY better to have a bad male role model than no male role model?
To this we say NO. When women are strong and independent it is teaching their children a valuable lesson. Our daughters learn that anything is possible and settling for the wrong person is not the answer. Our sons grow up respecting women and this will see them grow into good men. Everyone is happier being raised in a calm home rather than a volatile one. It’s not like there are no men besides the ex around. Half the planet is male (OK, technically there are more women, but you get the point). There are teachers, coaches and uncles for them to look up to. And, if the time comes when the single mama does find a new man, a man who treats her well, they will learn from that too.
The ‘How is the Love Life?’ comment
There are quite a few variations to this one.
- ‘Don’t worry you will find one soon’
- ‘Why are you still single?’
- ‘Can I set you up with my brother? He just got out of a serious relationship’.
If you hear these comments enough, you might just want to pull one of those so-called fish out of the sea and slap the person across the face with it. Again, we do not condone violence. Not to stereotype but there are three types of single mums. There’s the mum who is done. No more men, her life is full and she is happy. Then, there’s the mum who isn’t quite ready to date yet and she’s taking her time. She doesn’t need to be pressured. Finally, there is the mum who is looking for the right one. Dating as a single mum is hard, but she will get there. These types of comments can be frustrating, especially if you are already feeling lonely and unlucky in love.
But look, as someone who was a long-time single mum and now married I can shed some light on these comments. Some people just want to hear your dating stories. It’s excitement and adventures while they sip on cups of tea and watch movies in bed. Other people just want you to be happy and don’t understand you can be happy on your own. Take your time when it comes to dating, and only do what you feel comfortable with.
The ‘You’re lazy’ comment
Ugh. This one is by far the worst. And a complete single mum myth. There is nothing lazy about being a parent. Being a single parent is double the work. When you are trying to get overtired, cranky kids back to sleep at 2am as you sit there crying you wish you could be lazy. Then there is the finance. Government support is there for those in need, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Trying to live on it alone is a struggle and most mums in this situation have to make sacrifices in order to feed their kids. Between family payments and of course the child support, being lazy is a breeze, right? According to the haters, all this free cash pays for a high-flying lifestyle of champagne and diamond coated cupcakes. Perhaps there is even a pet unicorn in your backyard. Of course, when the father has the kids you must have so much spare time to ride said unicorn. Insert maniacal laugh here.
Oh wait, but what about that painful electricity bill which is being paid in instalments? And, the baked beans your kids just had for dinner because you needed petrol to get them to school? Most mums are just trying to get ahead, and we all do it our own way. Each situation is different, and some mums do it full time, some mums work and some mums study. No matter what, there will be comments but just remember you’re doing a good job!
The “I don’t know how you do it” comment
Somehow it is difficult for those not living your life to comprehend how you ended up as a solo mama. While this comment could be taken either way, there is something condescending about it. No one expects their relationship to not last. Some people making these comments could end up a single mum at some point in their life. They don’t know how you do it? Well, you do it because you have to. What choice is there? To not do it?
Ok, so now let’s look at this one glass half full. After all, we are a positive bunch. People don’t know how you do it because you are amazing. Because you are strong and independent and parent like a boss. You are running your home solo with no other grown up to fall back on. There’s no ‘just wait until your father gets home’. It’s more like ‘go to bed or I’m cancelling Christmas’. Yes, you do it because you have no choice. But, you also do it because you love your kids and wouldn’t have it any other way.
We say, ignore those maddening single mum comments, and focus on what’s right in front of you. Your beautiful kids!