Honestly, being a single parent is kind of great. We don't have to routinely share our beds with anyone else (except maybe your kids from time to time, but hopefully not all the time, because boundaries). We don't have a partner whose needs we have to prioritize. We get to evolve and change as much as we want without considering the impact that change will have on a partner. So it's great, until you experience some of the cruelest things people do to single moms. Then all that goodness? Yeah, well, it doesn't go away, but like the old saying goes: it can be hard to see the forrest through the trees of other people's unnecessary and rude bullsh*t.
Look, I'm not trying to describe some picturesque life in which parenting is exponentially easier without a partner. We all know there are rough things about being a single mom, and we're generally aware of just exactly what those things are. In other words, there's no need to dwell on the negative.
But what you might not know, as someone who has a beloved single mom in their life, is that there are some things you can do to a single mom that, while seemingly innocuous on their own, are so decidedly mean that they're almost unforgivable. The sh*t on this list is blatantly savage, but we are aware that it's possible you just don't know. Well, until now. Now you're very much in the know, my friend, so don't do these things to a single mom. Ever. Just don't.
Cancel Plans To Babysit
We could honestly stop the list right here. Like, we would prefer for you not to do the rest of the things we're about to go over, but seriously, as long as you don't back out of plans to babysit for us (especially at the last minute), we can withstand just about anything else.
It can often feel like it takes the actual movement of mountains to keep our childcare schedules coordinated, and there's genuinely never enough time to do everything we need to do, and doing almost all of it is substantially harder (if not impossible) with our kid(s) in tow. All of that considered, if you are a part of our childcare plan at any point, please treat that with the gravity befitting its importance to us, and take cancelling just as seriously. I mean, we're humans and we know sh*t happens, but make sure some sh*t is really happening before you back out of babysitting because it will bum us out a lot more than you might think.
Act Like Being Single Means We're Miserable & Lonely
Man, I don't know. Maybe some single moms are super sad and starved for adult interaction all the time, and definitely we all feel like that on occasion (but hey, who among us, partnered parents?), but the notion that our singleness is a wholly negative thing or that it's the one quality about our lives that defines how we feel all the damn time is entirely false. The logistics of our lives look way different, sure, but on the whole, we kinda have the same emotional ups and downs as anyone else, regardless of relationship status.
I know it might rock you to consider that single moms experience comfort, love, joy, contentment, and intimacy as a part of their regular lives, but I promise you it does happen.
Act Like Being Single Means Our Life Is A Party
We're not sad cat ladies (side note: that stereotype is offensive to single women and cats, as it is truly intolerable), and we're also not hot mess party girls. Being single doesn't mean we're out until 4:00 a.m. getting drunk and bringing home random people to sleep with in the hopes that, I don't know, one of them sticks? (OK, maybe this happens, like, once a year when our kids are spending a week at the beach with their grandparents, but you try making sensible decisions about how to spend your free time when you don't have any 51 weeks a year.)
Anyway, there's nothing that makes us feel more alienated from our parenting peers than catching up at drop-off on Monday morning and getting the "I bet your weekend was wild!" eyebrows from the married moms. It's like, nah girl, I spent Saturday night handling my eyebrows, shopping for shoes online, and going to bed early. Because the reality of being a single mom is that it doesn't make you "free" so much as it makes you "extremely tired."
Call Early In The Morning
Do not call us early in the morning. Yeah, we're probably awake since kids are basically demons sent here to steal our sleep, but on the very rare off-chance that our offspring decided to sleep past 6:00 a.m., do not let the first thing that rouses us be you on our phones. It's just mean.
Talk To Our Young Kids About It
There will inevitably come a point when our kids will notice that, hey, there aren't two grown-ups living in their house, and two grown-ups live in a lot of other houses. So, yeah, they'll have questions about that. And believe me, us single parents been thinking about how we'll answer those questions since pretty much the day we became single parents. So let us handle it.
I had a babysitter once tell my 4-year-old son that I was on a "date" and, then I had to explain what that was. Oh, and for the record, telling a kid that a "date" is just "two friends having dinner together" will definitely result in them saying they're on a "date" with you and everyone they know, which gets into some murky areas that I would've much rather not navigated and wouldn't have to if you hadn't brought up my sex life to my young child.
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