When I decided I was ready, willing and able to become a mother, I knew the road ahead would be difficult. I wouldn't get sleep and I would doubt myself and the decisions I made for my kid would be questioned on a regular basis. What I didn't realize, however, was how frequently my relationship status would be questioned, too. As a mother who isn't married, I've been on the receiving end of some very prying questions. I'd like to think curious, well-meaning people just don't realize they're angering moms who aren't married, but there's a part of me that can't pretend that our society values marriage so heavily (and assumes every woman wants to get married) that when someone meets a woman who isn't married, all social etiquette is thrown out the proverbial window in favor of more information (or, sadly, judgment).
To be fair, I get that people just like to strike up conversations. I also understand that our culture has created a "check list" of life decisions, so-to-speak, so when people deviate from the "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage" manual of life, people are genuinely confused. However, times are changing (thank the freakin' heavens) and there is no "normal-looking" family anymore. Families are vast and diverse and come in all sorts of combinations. Some parents are the same sex; some parents are divorced; some parents are step-parents; some parents aren't married. It's kind of the best, you guys. Arguably, for the first time in our nation's history, we can truly say that "family" is whatever you make it to be, and not be lying our faces off.
Which is why it can be hard to grit my teeth and smile and nod my way through the following situations. While I try to be understanding of other people's naivety (especially when it's not their fault) I can't help but simultaneously think, "You guys, it's 2016. Marriage isn't a necessity anymore. Let's, like, move on." So, with that in mind, here are a few ways you may be pissing off a mom that isn't married.