Now, before I begin, let me tell you that this is what I’ve learned during my time as a single mother from 2005-2009 and again from 2017-2019. This list probably doesn’t apply to everyone…but, I’m an analyst. So, I analyzed things in my own life & those around me. I’ve talked to others who judged me, or judged others close to me. I am aware that some people avoid facing their issues by becoming addicted to things, sex, drugs, alcohol, work, the gym, etc…but this list is mainly what I have experienced or have been told.
Please feel free to add to this list!!
10. We Don’t Want To Come To School Events – We probably can’t come to school events during the day. We WANT to, but sometimes our schedule just won’t allow it because we had to take other days off for appointments already that month. Or, we have to save vacation days just to transfer the kids with their other parent. Or, we NEED the income from our job desperately.
9. We Are Too Busy for Friends – We long for other mom friends, or even just female friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, gay, straight, a parent, etc. We just want adult company that isn’t work related. Or, sometimes, even family. And DRAMA FREE!!
8. We Spend Child Support on Ourselves – We put ourselves last. This may mean skipping meals, workouts, self-love anything, dates, girl’s nights outs, etc. Many of us find other ways to make extra money, like shopping for someone else to afford Christmas, or even accepting gifts from others who WANT to help your family. I am not a fan of taking charity but I’ve also been in a place to give charity many times so when times were REALLY tough for us, I accepted help. And I still do.
7. We Don’t Know How to Clean – Our house is probably a mess. Especially if we have multiple children. It could be a depression/anxiety/PTSD thing…it could just be exhaustion from doing everything alone. I LOVED helping friends get their houses in order during their lowest times & I’m forever grateful for my friends who helped me get my house together during my lowest times. I remember I worked to make my house perfect and someone would STILL find something to complain about. So, now, I just make sure people know we are making memories in our house…and our dogs are hairy!
6. Dating is a Priority – We don’t need you to fix us up with “the perfect” guy. We need to make mistakes dating and find what our new normal would be like. Many times dating is pushed to a backburner. I remember when my kids would visit their dad I would create a YES policy. I would say YES to anything & everything…so I’d go to concerts, baseball games, hiking, kayaking, dinners, etc. I put myself WAY out of my comfort zone but I had to. I NEEDED to find my authentic self. I spent so many years walking on egg shells trying to keep people happy who were determined to find any fault they could with me. This was a HUGE growing point of mine. I didn’t have a type. I also learned I was willing to sacrifice my own happiness to make sure others found theirs.
5. We Don’t HATE our Ex(es) – Single parents realized that as unhealthy as the relationship was, we are forever grateful to the other party for creating this perfect creature we get to raise…many times without the other party. We don’t NEED to vent to you and tell you about how horrible they are, or how their new partner is the “trailer park trash version of you.” We will remove you from our lives just to have some peace. So, please, let us drive conversations about our exes unless we are seriously thinking about rekindling something with them…then a slap in the face is most welcome!
4. We Are So Strong We Don’t Need Help – We will gladly accept help from friends and family…for meals, babysitting, playdates, school pickup/drop-offs. I felt like a burden to my friends & family so I only asked for help when I was drowning. Looking back, I wish I had the guts to just ask for help. My oldest son would force me to leave him to babysit…he would shove me out the door just to grocery shop or go exercise. I’ll forever be grateful for the help I received while a mother, even now!
3. We Don’t Want to Be Invited Places – Our children aren’t going to be able to go to every birthday party, sleepover, camp, etc. Most of those expenses are handled 100% by the custodial parent alone & we can’t swing it a lot of the time. This doesn’t mean we don’t value your child’s friendship with ours, we’re just not in a good place financially! If you can afford to treat our children to anything PLEASE let us know. Also, my group of friends I made while single truly helped me survive. Many times they treated me to things & even though I felt guilty on my own they never made me feel the guilt. It was me wishing I wasn’t such a burden!
2. We Can’t Afford Our Kids – We are not all on welfare, WIC, state assistance, or handouts. Now, some of us may have had to get on it for a period of time, or file bankruptcy, or need some sort of help in the beginning…but transitioning from a stay at home parent to a single parent without the other party’s help is TOUGH on a lot of us! Please extend grace. Sometimes an unexpected expense surfaces and we need help…but, if you’re believing the absent parent who just bought a new motorcycle or got a new tattoo that his ex is spending “his” money on anything but the kids you need to re-evaluate yourself.