Monday, April 20, 2015

Things not to say to a single mom



So, I have been separated since October of 2013 and officially got divorced in august of last year. So I in no way claim to be an expert on single mothers everywhere, I only know from personal experience and what I have read. These are things that people say, and I know they mean well, but sometimes it's just a little too much. Some of these things I have never personally heard, some of them far too often. This is less of a "shame on you" rant, and more of an informational piece. If you have never lived it, you may not realize that your words, even with good intentions, can hurt.

1.Where is your child?
Sometimes I would like for my response to be "OMG, I have no idea, will you help me look for her?" The fact is 90% of the time if she isn't with me, she is with her dad. So, thank you for reminding me that tonight when I get home I will be all by myself. That I won't be getting goodnight kisses and getting to say our night time prayers. It will be quiet and lonely. I know that's not what you mean, you are most likely genuinely curious, and I am not angry for that. So, lets just assume she is with her dad, so you don't unintentionally make me feel crappy about it. And when people say things like it must be nice to get a break from her for on a weekend... umm no. In fact I HATE weekends she is with her dad. And if she cries when she leaves and says "Mommy, you come with me?" well I cry when she leaves too. I feel like she grows so much on her weekend away, and I feel like I miss out on so much of her life. Not fun at all. And if you do see me out on a rare occasion without her when you know she isn't with her dad, assume that she is being watched my someone I love and trust. I think its OK for me to occasionally have a life!

Want to be helpful? Maybe if you think a single mom might not have her kid for the weekend, maybe ask he if she wants to hang out. Go to dinner or come over and watch a movie... She will quickly tell you if she can't because she will have her kid, but she might be appreciative of the kind gesture either way.

2. Are you dating?
Ha... well of course I am completely open for a great guy to come and sweep me off my feet. But I don't believe when most men are filling out their dating resume's that they check yes, what they really want is a single mom. Why? Because single moms are busy and they aren't always fun. We work, some more than one job, and then we are busy with our kids, and cleaning house and doing homework... and well you get the gist. Most single mom's who aren't pawning their kids off all the time, don't have a lot of free time. Sure we can go to a movie, but I can't guarantee I won't be fighting to keep my eyes awake. And well if I do find someone that meets my standards, trust me, people will know.. because well that would be kind of a big deal. Until then, just assume I am not, or not serious enough to make an announcement about it, and that I am perfectly happy until Mr. Right decides to come along.

Want to be helpful? Don't just invite single moms to hang out in couple settings. I am OK with being single, but sometimes I just don't want to hang out with a bunch of couples. 

3. Any extreme negativity toward my ex
I get it, this divorce didn't just affect my daughter, my ex, and my self. It affected a lot of people that are close to both of us. I get it, you are angry and hurt too. But most of the time, I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about him. We aren't together for reasons that are non of your business but we still get along great and parent well together. He will always be part of my life. But I can't hate him, because without him I wouldn't have the most amazingly wonderful kid on the planet. He isn't perfect, and sometimes really makes me angry... but mostly we do well working together to be great parents to our little girl.

Want to be helpful? Just don't bring it up if they don't, and if they do, maybe listen and don't feel the need to interject your own input.

4. So you get along, well my ex and I..
Like, I think for some reason the fact that I am divorced makes other people think I really just want to sit and dish about it all, or listen to them. Its awkward. Like, when I am hearing about your constant arguments and such, like I have no idea what to say, because well that's not how my divorce went. Now, if we are sitting having a hear to heart about what you are dealing with personally, then yeah, lets get coffee and chat! But I have no desire to hear you degrade your ex, I have no desire to hear about you giving up, because well I am not divorced because I gave up, and it kind of makes me a little angry to hear about people who run to divorce lawyers so quickly.

Want to be helpful? Stop trashing your ex... Be a grown up... enough said.

5. Going to church must be so hard.
Umm, why? Because I am divorced? I think you are going to the wrong church if this is your attitude. I have made TONS of mistakes in the public eye of those I go to church with. Not once have I ever felt unloved or like I didn't belong. Church should be the place you run to, not from! Now, church people aren't perfect, and sometimes they don't know how to act in certain situations. I would kindly point them in the direction John 3:17, and ask if God didn't send his son to condemn the world, what exactly gave that individual the authority to do so?

Want to be helpful? Maybe ask a single mom about church, maybe she has had a bad experience. Maybe you could be the one that can show how Christian's are supposed to love like Jesus.

6. Any sentence at all that says or implies that you feel sorry for me
I despise pity more than just about anything in the world. People seem to be much more upset about me being a single mom than I am. Don't get me wrong, at times it isn't easy, but my life is good. Seriously, take your pity where its appreciated, because it isn't here.

Want to be helpful? Want to know how a single mom is doing? Ask her genuinely and without a somber look on your face. If you can't manage that conversation without portraying pity, maybe just don't say anything at all.

7. It must be so hard, I don't know how you do it.
I mean, like what other option do I have? Put my 3 year old in a basket and leave her at the door step of a church? Of course not! Wanna know how I do it? I just do. I am sure this is meant to be encouraging, but if you were in the situation you would do the same. I wake up every morning and just keep moving forward. I mean, I really don't know what other realistic option that I have. I love my kiddo more than anything in the world, as I am sure you love your kids too. You do what you have to do. You have to let the chips fall where they may and just deal. I am not some super hero, I am just a mom who loves her kid and would do anything for her... being single didn't change that.

Want to be helpful? Tell a single mom you think she is awesome. Tell her you think her kids are well behaved and it must be because they have a great mom. Tell them what they are doing right, don't remind them that it isn't always easy. She knows.

8. You look tired
Thanks, that is so helpful for my self-esteem! Want to know why I look tired? Because I am! This is just hateful to say in general... so don't.

Want to be helpful? Ask a single mom if she needs help with anything, offer to give her a night off, bring her a coffee, encourage her... never tell her that the single parent life is starting to show.

9. I feel so bad for you daughter
HOLD UP! You want to make a single mom mad, please tell her you feel sorry for her kids. WHY?? Because she has a ridiculous amount of people who love her? Yeah, so her dad doesn't live with us, but guess what, he loves her too. I think my claws would come out on this one. I worry enough about my daughter's future, and I try my best to make sure her father and I have a healthy relationship. Please don't try to tell me that she is doomed for serious relationship issues in the future. I would ask you to show me your crystal ball that tells you my daughters future. And well I know that having both parents at home is ideal, but that's just not how it worked out for us.

Want to be helpful? Be a positive roll model to her kids. Kids need lots of role models. Maybe they have a dad in the picture and maybe they don't. Be a friend that the child can talk to and learn from. 


I love being a mom! Olivia is honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. So what can we learn from all this, I mean I'm not sure I can write a blog without a moral of the story so to speak. I think if someone reads this, and feel inspired to love, support, befriend, or help out a single mom I think that's what I want. I am beyond blessed to have a crazy amazing support system, but not everyone does. That life line of support is the reason I am able to do and be and accomplish everything that I have. So hug a Single Mom today, and let her know she is awesome!


I found this list of scriptures for single parents, but I think this list can relate to parents everywhere!

  1. When You’re Overwhelmed
    But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 (GNT)
  2. When You’re Tired 
    “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28(GNT)
  3. When You Feel Alone 
    “’The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.’ So says the Lord who loves you.” Isaiah 54:10 (GNT)
  4. When You’re Worried about Money 
    “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:19 (GNT)
  5. When You Need Wisdom 
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Proverbs 3:5-6 (GNT)
  6. When You’re Unsure about Your Kids’ Future 
    “We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.” Colossians 1:9-11 (CEV)


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