Can I get an amen for all the moms out there? Regardless of how you came to be a mother, it’s the best, toughest job out there, and no matter what your parenting situation looks like, all moms who are trying their best deserve a high-five and a pat on the back.
Of course, not all moms get that affirmation -- especially the single, divorced, or otherwise unattached moms. For some reason, people think it's okay to say the rudest things to those of us moms who don’t have a man in the house. Thanks, Mommy Wars! Not.
Anyway, you wouldn’t believe what people feel entitled to say to single moms. One I’ve encountered recently is being told I’m not a single mom -- I’m just a divorced mom. OK ... I’m not really sure if one is better than the other, but whatevs. We all have our own paths to follow and struggles to overcome. But you know people -- always sticking their noses in it.
We asked the CafeMom community to find out what kinds of outlandish things real husband-less moms have heard that made their jaws drop on the ground and want to cover their children’s ears. The gall of judgey people!
Here are 35 real life examples of what not to say to single, divorced, or widowed moms.
- "Oh, so you get like half the week off when he's with his dad, right? That must be nice. (Not half the week, just Sundays.)" -- Adriana
- "Because his dad isn't around, people have asked how well I knew the guy ... hinting around to find out if it was a one-night stand situation. Wrong, I was married." -- quickbooksworm
- "A comment I've gotten is that I 'must be lonely.' I was too busy surviving and struggling to really notice I didn't have a man by my side." -- PandTsmomjuly
- "Have you thought about getting your tubes tied?" -- Anonymous
- "Someone told me, 'It's a shame you couldn't work it out even if it was just for the kids.'" -- April
- "Have you started dating yet? Will you re-marry? Did you try therapy? Did you exhaust all options before divorcing? Oh geez ... I've heard them all." -- Teri
- "People assumed that my life was exceedingly rough and I must’ve been wading in misery every day. After I processed my feelings about my failed marriage, I was happy ... truth is my life became much easier when I kicked my ex out." -- 1likeme
- "People would wish me a Happy Father's Day to imply that I was the mother and the father of my kids. It made me uncomfortable. I wasn't their father. I was a woman who chose to have kids by a man who wasn't yet ready to be a father." -- Brandyns87
- "People always tell me it would better to be with my daughter's father, despite his abusive ways." -- brittybby2010
- "As a widow and mother, I'd appreciate not being bundled in with divorcees." -- Elizabeth
- "I get annoyed when my kids have an issue that is normal for a young teen and people jump to blaming the divorce. Yes, there are negatives to divorce and is not the 'perfect' situation, but whose life is perfect?" -- mantyangel
- "People often think that I am always broke or that I struggle. I actually have a healthy savings account with no debt." -- Callaly
- "I just feel worse when they mention that they told me not to marry my husband. That they were always there for me but I just seemed to avoid them. I avoided them to keep the peace with my husband ... so he wouldn’t hit me." -- Anonymous
- "What I hate the most is people saying, 'He needs his father.' I completely agree with this statement, but he keeps lying about wanting to see him and never makes an effort to. What more can I do?" -- Reese2010727
- "It's been nine years since DH died. Two weeks to the day after he died, his aunt called to tell me that I was still young and there were plenty of other fish in the sea." -- Ginger0104
- "[When people ask about the father], I can answer one of two ways: 'Yes, I know who her father is, but we are better off without him,' or 'Evidently not. I thought he was one person, but come to find out he's not the man I thought he was.'" -- TXHulaMama
- "[People think] that my son is going to join a gang, do drugs, and commit suicide because ALL boys from single moms do that ..." -- Connorsmommy13
- "Most people think that I should get out more and do things without my kids. Really, there isn't lots to do in the town I live in, and I would much rather spend time with my kids anyway. I enjoy being around them." -- Tigrera
- "My jaw dropper especially when they were littler was, 'Do they have the same dad?' YES, especially since they LOOK so much alike but either way ... seriously, who asks that?" -- MamiJaAyla
- "[People assume] single mothers are lonely. I can't speak for all single mothers, but I can't wait to one day have a house all to myself. Career, kids, and friends keep me really busy so that when that time comes, I can definitely say I won't be lonely." -- Anonymous
- "People ask me often how I do it. My thinking is how can I not do it? I really don't remember someone asking me one day if I wanted to raise three kids alone. I hate it when people ask me that." -- MysticLove
- "I hate when people say how hard it must be to be a single parent, that they could never do it. I know they mean well, but it doesn't seem that hard to me because it is all I know ... they could do it if they had to. They would have to learn. They would have no other choice." -- pce68
- "I'm 25, single, with two kids, and I ALWAYS get asked, 'Do they have the same dad?' They do, but why is it OK to ask?" -- keriley1
- "People assume that I either hate my ex or I'm still crazy for him. We have a great relationship, and we agree on parenting before either of us makes a major decision. Shared custody is only ugly if the parents make it ugly." -- luvmygirls59
- "The worst comment I've gotten is, 'So how much of the child support do you put towards the child? You should use some on yourself.'" -- MysticIceWater
- "Most people assume the other parent is involved and helping out with emotional and financial support. When I tell them he's been out of the picture since day one, they look at me like I just told them I'm dying. It's annoying." -- Anonymous
- "I have heard, 'There is no way you raised those kids on your own. They are amazing (or polite or outgoing).' I hate that misconception that you cannot raise amazing or good kids on your own without two parents there." -- Malissa1578
- "People assume my ex is a deadbeat loser and it bugs me." -- LukeWarmwater
- "For a long time people assumed that since I was young, I was poor or uneducated. They were incorrect." -- webgirl8369
- "Sometimes people assume I get child support, but the fact is, I pay alimony." -- Perle1
- "People presume, because I am 52, with 4 children ages 17, 15, 12, and 10, that I am a divorced mother. I have never been in a relationship, never married, and have in fact never had sex, but I wanted a family and chose to go through medical technology to have children. I don't need to be with someone to care for my family." -- Anonymous
- "I don't like it when men assume single mothers are 'looking for a daddy for their child.' My child has a dad ... he just doesn't live with us." -- pedritosmama
- "I had friends who were constantly trying to hook me up and family members who were always worried about whether or not I would get married and 'make it right with God.'" -- FireMoonGypsy
- "The most annoying thing I get is, 'That's why you shouldn't have married an asshole.' If he had presented himself as such in the beginning, I wouldn't have married him." -- CadesMum
- "I've heard, 'There is someone out there for you regardless how many kids you have.'" -- Kim
What's the most annoying thing you've ever heard said to a husband-less mom?
Image via J.K. Califf/Flickr