Things you should never say to a single parent…

Posted on by Christine Lewandowski

There’s a long list of things you should never say to a single parent and I bet we’ve heard them all…..and probably smiled sweetly through gritted teeth.  The list below usually ends up as one of my greatest rants, even though they’re always said with the best of meaning:

1. My partner’s always away working, I’m just like a single parent.”

Of course you are. Apart from the fact you’ve someone to share the bills, the emotional load, someone to discuss your children / issues / news with. Someone who will be home in between to relieve you of the parenting. Apart from those major differences, it’s exactly the same.

2. “It must be difficult to find someone to take on the kids

I can’t repeat the answer to this one 😉

3. Why are you single?

Because watching your relationship with your partner is enough to put me off for life.

Because the relationship I had with my partner was enough to put me off for life.

Because no one has convinced me otherwise.

Because I love it?

4. “You’ll find someone soon

Don’t threaten us.

Is it really inconceivable that someone can actually be happy single? Or indeed choose to be so?  Or is it only those of us who’ve lived and loved ‘the other side’ that know the secret?

5.  (When hearing you’re a single parent) “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that

Why exactly? I’m not.

Perhaps I’m becoming too radical / evangelical with age …..or perhaps I’ve just heard them all one too many times.


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Lisa Mason says: March 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

The I’m like a single parent because my husband works away a lot’ really gets to me. As it just means the responsibility of earning income and childcare are split. Wish couples saw this blog!

Linda says: March 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

No 1 really gets to me too! Even if their husband is away for months at a time there’s still communication, someone to make decisions with and money going into the bank account. And whether the husband just works long hours or works away he still comes home and helps at some point!!

Elizabeth says: March 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm

I love being single! Me and my ex partner have such a better relationship now we are separated and our children benefit for the more harmonious atmosphere. My best friend is married and keeps on at me to try and find someone else so that we can have dinner dates again… since when do I need someone to enjoy dinner?!? Nah – I love having a glitterball in my kitchen :p

Lucy says: March 19, 2016 at 5:43 pm

My husband works away a lot. One year I only saw him 17 days. I don’t get to communicate with him whenever I want. More so, I miss the intimacy, and I get lonely. I’m not free to meet someone else, at least if you’re single you are. Exactly how is your lot worse than mine?
And didn’t your choices lead to your situation?
I’m sick of single parents whinging. You had children, hold the father to account to do his share. End of.

Krystie says: March 31, 2016 at 10:40 am

Lucy. Wow, I am appalled by your lack of empathy and understanding. Not all single parents are single by choice. Some parents become single parents because a partner died, I truly hope you never have to experience this. Some parents were in abusive relationships and did the best thing they could to protect their children. Blaming them for becoming single parents is victim blaming at it’s finest. You are clearly unhappy with your life. Make changes. Talk to your husband, tell him you miss him and the intimacy, ask him to consider working closer to home. If he can’t/won’t consider leaving him so you are then free to meet someone else who can meet your needs. Your choices lead you to your situation, your choices can help you make changes. Stop this game of “who has it worse” and deal with it.

Jaxon Melanson says: April 2, 2016 at 3:53 am

I’m not a single parent BUT I will definitely keep this in mind when I encounter single parents 🙂 thanks for sharing

Chrissie Lewandowski says: April 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Lucy I’m not sure if you’ve seen our Facebook page, but single parents have been quick to tell you why it’s different – so very, very different.
You get to talk to your husband – not possible if you’re a widow or your partner has simply left you in the lurch.
You have joint incomes and don’t spend your time potentially worrying about how to make ends meet
Your situation is likely to be through choice and for financial reasons. Most single parents don’t have that choice. How many choose to be left alone? Or to have to get out of a bad relationship because the children are suffering? Or for their partner to die?

How many single parents even have the time to think about new relationships? (If you were a single parent you’d really know the answer to this)

Your post suggests you’re bitter about your own circumstances and the fact you’re posting on a single parent blog may mean you’re wondering about what it really is like on the other side? Ask most of us if we’d prefer to be in an unhappy and unfulfilled marriage or single, and I suspect we’d choose the latter. It’s bloody hard work, usually without appreciation and with a host of challenges but I for one would feel I was selling my soul staying in a relationship making me, my partner and my children unhappy.

The blog post below sums it all up quite nicely and I hope that you find a way of finding the happiness in your relationship that looks to be so sadly missing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soloish/wp/2016/03/10/i-cant-understand-what-its-like-to-be-a-single-mom/

LucyG says: July 8, 2016 at 8:41 am

No one CHOOSES to be single for one reason or another a relationship breaks down and separation is the only option or in my case my wonderful husband died aged just 33!!!

I never whinge about my situation – yes its hard work and it gets me down sometimes but when I hear people comparing their partners working a lot to being a single parent it really does irritate me!

I’ve also had some people say divorce is like a bereavement! – god don’t get me started on that one!!

Kelly says: October 31, 2016 at 8:14 pm

I’ve been single for 4 years and have 3 children. I’m not unhappy being single but not content either. After hearing about this group I thought I would take a look. we still go on holiday, day trips, all the things families like to do, except like you say, there is no one to share the chats about your children’s laughter and to carry the worries at the end of the day.
I really was surprised to see the comment from the lady about single parents moaning. It’s not what I expected from the group but everyone’s entitled to their opinion. X

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