As a mom, it's typical to receive unsolicited advice from friends, family, and intrusive strangers. In my experience, though, no one receives more input, opinions, or advice about their parenting and their personal lives than single moms. As a single mom I was made to feel as though I had to work twice as hard as other moms, but without making a single mistake and while constantly apologize for simply existing. And when I asked other single moms to share the worst unsolicited advice they've ever received, I learned, once again, that single moms really can't win.
When I was a single mom, people were overly generous with their unwanted advice about how I should parent my kids, what I should and should not do, and how I should fix my clearly broken life. They told me I needed to find a new husband so my kids would have a positive male role model in their lives, while simultaneously expecting me to never actually leave the house without my kids. So, how was I supposed to find that man I supposedly needed?
I can't tell you how much shade I received if I dared to post a picture of myself having fun without my kids on social media. But in a very short amount of time I learned that when you're a single mom self-care is not optional. If you don't take care of yourself and get a break once in a while, you can't be the mom your kids need. And when I was given the space, time, and trust to parent the way I knew I could, like most single moms I was handling life just fine... and so were my kids. Still, and unfortunately, that didn't stop people from giving me some really bad advice, like the advice the following moms received: