Stupid Things People Say to Single Moms

Single motherEverybody and their mama’s mama is putting out a “Sh*t Girls Say” inspired video. I’m now hip to stuff gays say, stuff broke people say, stuff drunk people say, even stuff vegans say. Everyone has something to say, it seems, and people have moved at Mach 10 to post their clips up on YouTube.

But single mothers are right up there when it comes to being on the receiving end of folks’ foolish comments. Typically, those remarks are cloaked in the façade of genuine concern about the woman and her children, complete with the pity face and the “awww poor baby” pout. After all, single mothers are the sign of the breakdown of good ol’ fashioned marriage and relationships, no? Sad face for us.

Every once in a while, someone will come up with something originally offensive to verbally backslap us with, but these are the classic lines that people say to nuclear family rejects like me.  

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In reference to our children:

“Is his father in the picture?” Ugh. That’s so rude. Why would you ask that question like he isn’t? And even more importantly, why would you feel comfortable enough to pose that, like you’re inquiring about where I got my sweater or who did my hair? Rude party of one. 

“Maybe she’s acting out because… you know… dad’s not around.” Maybe she is. So what’s your excuse?

“Who’s his daddy?” Wow. Well, since we’re tossing social etiquette to the wind: how much do you weigh? What did you bring home on your taxes last year? Make you feel uncomfortable? OK, that’s how we feel too.

All up in our love lives:

“No man is going to want you with all of those kids.” Mmm hmm. Mmm hmm. Thanks for making that point. And what, praytell, would you suggest I do with these kids now that I have them? Trade them in for the man? Or give up on the man and just resign myself to a life of singleness? Bigger than that, that’s just a really mean thing to say. Sheesh.

“I’ll pray for a family for you and your daughter.” Before you get into that, you might need to go on ahead and pray that my hand doesn’t accidentally land across the back of your head. Contrary to what you might think, my daughter and I together are a family. Yep, just us. Adding a man does not make us better. We’re doing just fine by ourselves.

“You’ve got all them kids and now you want to be celibate?” Blank stare. No comment.

About our lives in general:

“I don’t know how you do it!” I don’t either. But it gets done, so let’s not overanalyze the logisitics. I’m walking on water here and I’m trying not to look down.

“Where’s [insert name of child]?” You know, I actually stopped being pregnant 13 years ago. That was the last time we were physiologically tied together. Sometimes she does gnaw loose from that coffle that apparently keeps up attached at the ankles.

“You look tired.” That’s because I am. But thank you for your transparency and honesty. Care to watch over my household while I take a nap?

OK single mamas, what do people say to you that just grates your last nerve?


Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr

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