By Naomi

Normally, being a single mother doesn’t phase me. I’m so used to it, it’s my normal. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy just because I’m used to it. This past week has been hard. Ill kids, ill mommy, technological failures… the list goes on. You name it, we’ve experienced it this week.

Admittedly,  I’m ill and exhausted but I don’t think even that excuses my attitude this week. I have to confess, I’ve been a little less than  tolerant when I’ve been asked yet another crazy question about my life as a single mom. Probably for the thirteenth time in a row until I can’t take it anymore. Hence why I compiled a guide for the things not to say to a single mom, unless you want her to scream.

“How Do You Do It?”

If I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked this over the past two years, I’d be ‘doing it’ with a nanny, personal chef and cleaner in tow. I get asked this a lot. Truthfully, I don’t know how I do it. I’m sorry to say that there is no big secret or a master plan. I just know that I have to do it. There is literally no other option. My kids need to be housed, clothed and fed. It’s that simple. Either I do it or it doesn’t get done.  Failing my kids is not an option.

Single mother


“Do You Feel Guilty For Working?”

No. Not at all. I’m not going to lie, I used to. And if I’m brutally honest, I occasionally get the odd twinge of guilt when I miss my kids’ things. But that usually stops when my rational self reminds me that it’s either attend every sports day or have dinner on the table every night. Contrary to what my children’s father believes, I don’t work full-time for a life of luxuries, I work full-time for gas, electricity, food and the occasionally self-bought luxury. So if you’re trying to make me feel guilty, whilst my kids have food in their bellies, a warm home and clothes on their back, it isn’t going to happen. I work for them.

“Do You Want More Kids?”

My youngest is crazy. What is it with second kids by the way? So the answer is always ‘absolutely no chance’ or ‘never in a million years’.  As much as I love my kids, I am counting down to the days of no childcare costs and not being accompanied to the toilet. Can. Not.  Wait. But on a serious note, as I’m a single mum and hell would freeze over before I would reconcile with my ex, I know that having more kids would involve complicated scenarios and I’m not sure I want that in my life. Not to mention the fact that I know that relationships fail catastrophically. My own marriage is proof of that. I’m not sure that I could honestly go into the situation again as the youthful optimism has been replaced with cynicism.

“Can We Meet Up Tomorrow Night For Dinner At 7:30pm?”

Er no… I’m a single parent. If you want to meet up with me during an evening and have an uninterrupted adult conversation, military precision is required. I’m talking about 3/4 weeks notice to organise a reliable babysitter (otherwise known as Grandad) and ideally make it not a school night, assuming you want me to be awake after 8 p.m.

Single mom


Please note: the same approach applies to spa weekends, hen dos and adult only birthday parties. Unless it’s on the midweek 14-hour overnight slot that my children go their father’s but even then you’ll find me cleaning or editing blog posts.

“I Feel Like A Single Mum When My Husband Is On A Stag Weekend…”

This comment sends me absolutely insane! Lots of mothers, even happily married ones tend to do the bulk of the childcare. Don’t quote me on this, it isn’t a scientifically proven experiment. Instead, it’s anecdotal evidence gathered during mother and baby groups and chats at soft play centres. But the fact remains that married, single or everything in between, mothers tend to do the most day-to-day stuff.

The thing is, being a single parent is about more than just being solely responsible for the childcare. It’s about being solely responsible for everything. Every bill, every sleepless night, every single thing that your children need. As well as often dealing with custody battles, absent fathers and the joys of the Child Maintenance Service.

So yes, you may be having a weekend of having to do everything whilst your partner is living it up on a beach, beer in hand. But unless he has taken all of his financial contributions to Costa Del Sol with him whilst simultaneously cancelling his weekend with the kids leaving them distraught, please don’t compare your life with mine. Especially as you know that at the end of the weekend your live-in support system will be back to allow you to have an uninterrupted toilet trip. I’m suspecting mine next unobserved wee will come in 2032.

“I Bet It’s Great To Get A Weekend To Yourself Every Weekend!”

Firstly, I want my kids with me every weekend almost as much as their father avoids seeing them on a weekend or any day that ends in a y, I like spending time with them. But seriously, as I work full-time, the weekend is the only time that I get to spend quality time with my babies. I enjoy our routine of action packed Saturdays and lazy Sundays. They work for us and I’m grateful for them.

Single mom


The down side is that occasionally I’d like an evening out or weekend day to myself (makeup shopping is a million times harder with a toddler in tow) and this is when I have to rely on my aunt or my dad for help. I don’t like to ask them too often as to be honest, they’ve had their kids, they should be relaxing and enjoying their weekends! That’s definitely what I’m planning  for my 50s truth be told.

“Do You Miss Being Married?”

Only when I have to put the rubbish out or a spider appears in my flat. And my dad is out and The Boy is busy. Otherwise, no. Not at all.

“Is It Hard Being A Single Mum?”

Imagine doing your job everyday for a week without a break.  Even during the night, without pay. That is parenting for you. But imagine now doing your job without all of your colleagues. This is single parenting. Is it hard? Incredibly so. Is it rewarding? Yes. When I see how amazing my girls are and knowing that I take all the credit. It’s worth giving up precious hours of sleep.

“Do They They Both Have The Same Dad?”

Like it or not, there is still an air of judgement about single mothers. It gets to me, because obviously we all made these babies by ourselves… Most people seem to assume that single mothers intentionally get pregnant by a string of unsuitable men in order to get benefits. Not true. I get asked a lot if my two have the same dad. To be fair, they do look different so that might be a factor. My reply remains the same… ‘do you think I’d be stupid enough to make the same mistake twice?’

10 Things Not To Say to a single mom

“Is That Mum? It’s Your Daughter’s School…”

To be fair, this phrases strikes fear into the heart of any parent. But on the rare occasion that I get this call, I panic because there is only me. Which means I have a logistical nightmare trying to arrange childcare and/or time off work. It’s stressful.

This week, my youngest broke her leg at school and I have to say I cried more than she did. I cried because I was worried about her but also because I was panicked. She is currently unable to walk and as she’s too little for crutches, I am having to carry her everywhere. And honestly, right now, I don’t know what the plan for her is now that she can’t go to nursery. It’s tough.

The nurse in the hospital made me cry when she explained that she couldn’t do my daughter’s much needed x-ray until I could get my eldest supervised. Couldn’t I call someone? My mum? Her dad? I tearfully explained that my mum had passed away and despite the calls and texts, her dad had refused to come. It was my day after all, I had to deal with it.

Luckily, a lovely receptionist came to my rescue but that didn’t mean that my heart wasn’t racing at the fact that I had just had to leave my daughter with a stranger. She’s 5.  All sorts went through my mind.

But sat at home by myself after putting the girls to bed after their extra long visit to A&E, I realised I will cope because I always have and always will. Being a single mom isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible. My girls are happy. My girls know who is there for them and know what’s important. So,  I don’t make it to the majority of school events, I’m not the only parent that misses things. My girls know that I’m absent because I’m working hard for them and their opinion of my mothering skills is all that matters. No one else’s.

Which annoying questions do you get asked? 


48 Replies to “10 Things Not To Say To a Single Mom”

  1. I am Lucky that My Mom raised me. Although she was widowed but still she managed and thank goodness no one gave my Mom tough time. And I am happy with the situation. And as for speaking about post, as I said nothing happened to me or my mom. But I did like the write up.

  2. Sometimes people are just inconsiderate and lack common sense. I mean how do you expect a single mom with a full time job to “do it all”? There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice to make it work. I applaud you for being such an awesome mom to your kids and keeping it together.

    xo Sheree
    Posh Classy Mom

  3. I don’t have kids yet, but I have many friends and family members that are raising their kids in single parent homes. I applaud you for keeping it real in the post. I think that some people say things without thinking and instead of providing encouragement, their words can be discouraging. Thanks again for sharing these points, you’re awesome and I love how you’re bringing awareness.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your little girl’s injury! I hope she gets well soon! I don’t have kids, but have seen my best friend raise her son all by herself. Everything you’ve just mentioned really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing your experience and for being so candid! I enjoyed reading.

  5. I’m so sorry about your youngest kid hurting herself! Though I don’t have kids yet, I can’t even imagine how you must feel about your baby being hurt. You are definitely a superwoman for doing it all alone though. People should give you more props for that and stop judging!

  6. It is bad that people still judge single mothers, especially when single mums are so strong and should be admired. I can imagine you would flip if someone said “I FEEL LIKE A SINGLE MOM WHEN MY HUSBAND IS ON A STAG WEEKEND…” because that is ludicrious. A one off weekend is nothing in comparison to 24/7! x

  7. Ah, Nay, I really loved this post. It’s so raw and real, which is a breath of fresh air. I don’t have kids, so I have absolutely no idea how hard it is as a single parent or in a partnership. I know how hard it was for my Mum raising three of us, and it’s like you said you don’t have an option and there’s no secret to making it work. Your girls are so lucky to have you and you should never feel bad about working and anyone that asks that needs to sort themselves out. You’re an inspiration and proof of how strong women are! Thanks <3

  8. Being a single mom seems really tough, I can see it from my friends that tries to raise their kids diligently – Also getting involve to another relationship seems a challenge for her, tries to consider a lot of things. This is a very well said article, describes how should we properly treat one another – thanks for being honest and brave.

  9. This is definitely a great post. Being a mom isn’t easy so I know being a single mom definitely isn’t. I love the bluntness that you have shown in this post and how truthful you really answered the questions.

  10. I sympathize. I am not a single mom anymore because of a wonderful man who took on the responsibility of dad but I know what it’s like to be a single parent of 3 boys. It’s not an easy task by any means but you get a bond that no other can break. The thing I hated the most was when people would look at me and ask…”How many children do you have? And where are their father’s”…yes I said father’s, like I’ve just picked some random stranger off the street to have children with. Some people just don’t have a clue. Like really?

  11. Oh how annoying! I forgot to add ‘why are you single?’ to the list as clearly there must be an issue with me! I hope people ask their dad why he doesn’t want to be a father anymore!

  12. I think rather than judge single parents we should admire them since they work double hard to raise their kids. Peope who ask these insensitive questions are ignorant and don’t really think before they speak. You should be proud that you are doing such a great job raising your family the best way you can.

  13. You know what I have think I have found my new fav Mumma blogger. I love this post and it totally pees me off when people ask, oh so lets go out tomorrow, err no bloody way love, A I have a toddler, what should I bring her with me B I am too bloody knackered love ha!

  14. I was a single mother so some of these questions people ask do really get on your nerves. The question of “Do they both have the same father.” always irritated me along with how do you do it. Thanks for sharing the things not to ask a single mother.

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