30 Things Single Moms Want You to Know

Being a single mom is the hardest job I've ever done. I also happen to love it more than anything. I work around the clock — there are no sick days (definitely no personal days either). I raise my daughter completely on my own and still make all the money as our sole income. There's no partner to vent to at the end of the day or someone who comes home to pick up half the slack. I pay the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, carpool to gymnastics class, and still find time to spend with my daughter, who I do everything for.

So, the next time you want to judge a book by its cover (or a single mom by her unwashed hair and unbelievably messy house), try to remember people go through things you might never understand. But just in case you want to try, here's what us single moms really want you to know.

  1. Some of us are single by choice.
  2. We're independent, but we don't mind being offered extra help when it's necessary.
  3. Sometimes it's hard to accept that help.
  4. When you date us, you date our kids, too — period.
  5. We're used to being in charge.
  6. We still like to go out but might cancel our plans more often than most. We're burned out most of the time from doing all the work and sometimes we can't find a sitter.
  7. We might not have a "traditional" family, but we're still damn good moms.
  8. Don't feel too sorry for us — we're much better off being a single mom than staying in a toxic or abusive relationship.
  9. We're programmed to be "on" all the time.
  10. Our dating standards are extremely high. It takes a certain kind of person to date us.
  11. We wear a lot of hats — mom, dad, cook, maid, breadwinner, friend — but we know we don't always rock them effortlessly.
  12. If we had to choose between a spa day and a chance to sleep through an entire night, we would probably choose sleeping.
  13. It might seem like we're harder on our kids, but that's because we have to be both the good cop and the bad cop.
  14. Just because it didn't work out with our partner doesn't mean we're bad people (it doesn't always mean our exes are bad people, either).
  15. We don't always want to hear about how many wonderful people are out there for us to date — some of us aren't even interested in dating.
  16. But if you do get to take us on a date, make sure it's not to see a movie — unless you want us to fall asleep.
  17. The weight of the world is on our shoulders almost all of the time.
  18. We've been through it all, so not too much fazes us.
  19. Getting "me" time is extremely rare. And it usually takes place in the five-minute shower we squeeze into our packed schedule.
  20. We might know more words to a Nick Jr. theme song than a song from Justin Timberlake's new album.
  21. Yes, we do it all.
  22. Don't judge us — not every parent is perfect, especially when you're parenting on your own.
  23. It can be difficult for us to trust people since we've been hurt, lied to, or disrespected before.
  24. Lorelai Gilmore makes it look easy, but trust us — being a single mom really is harder than it looks.
  25. At the end of the day, we're all our kids have. It's a heavy responsibility we take seriously.
  26. Our kids sometimes eat fast food (*gasp*) because we can't always be in two places at once — like at home cooking and at the office working.
  27. We love our kids, but we still crave time with adults, too.
  28. We're not looking for a person to solve all our problems.
  29. We enjoy being a strong role model for our children, even if it isn't always easy.
  30. Our kids don't have a disadvantage just because they have a single mom — we're more than capable of giving them the love and affection they need, with or without a partner.