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4 Questions Not to Ask a Single Mom

4 Questions Not to Ask a Single Mom

Just the other day when I was meeting a friend for coffee after a Saturday morning run, I was reminded once again that I am a single mom — or at least of the image I must wear on my sleeve that propels inquiring minds to ask outrageously insensitive questions.

There I was, sipping my latte with my friend when a soccer mom I haven’t seen in years barged over to our table and into our conversation. Her inquisition about my kids and my life since my divorce jolted memories of comments I have heard over and over again in the wake of the split.

Here are my "favorites," the questions that truly drive me nuts as a single, divorced mom... and the answers I'd give if I could really speak what's on my mind.


1. Q. Are your kids okay? You must be so brave. How do you do it?

A. Well, member of the Uncouth Mom Club, actually, what other choice would I have? Think about it!

2. Q. What happened?

A. Really? Really, you are asking that? I am going to divulge to you, a mom from the soccer team whose last name I don’t even know, the details of my marriage's breakup?

Why exactly do you need to know?

Here's a new concept: how would you feel if the roles were reversed and I asked you the same nosy question?


3. Q. Do you still live in the house? (Or: How do you afford to maintain two households?)

A. By that are you asking if I leave the kids at the homeless shelter and treat myself to an occasional coffee in running attire? 

I don’t maintain two households, I work hard and maintain one, because I am resourceful, resilient, and am making lemonade out of lemons, which is much more than I think you could ever handle. Yes, I still live in the house, because guess what, I work. I’ve always worked. In fact, I also earned a living during my marriage, and as a matter of fact, it was more substantial than my spouse's.

(Or maybe I should just say, “No, it was horrific, we lost everything and had to flee in the middle of the night to a studio apartment and now we’re on food stamps.")

4. Q. Did you hear so-and-so’s husband left her, too?

A. Um... am I supposed to beg you for the juicy details and then spill my own dirty laundry? And why are you implying that I am some kind of victim who was "left" when you have no idea which of us did the leaving? Has it ever occurred to you that sometimes it's not the wife who is "dumped" and left in shock?

Life is a little less black and white than that.  

What are some of the rudest things people have said to you as a single mom?

Image Source: Aloha Lady via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
LouiseKavanagh LouiseKavanagh 5 years
I agree as a single mum we have less time than when we were married. I'm 43 and my little was was a total surprise 2yrs go. I work as hard as I can during both working home hours, I'd love to be able to just go have a night out. But to be honest when I have it seems to be full of couples not getting on with each other...I'm happy on my own!
LikaSaliscente LikaSaliscente 5 years
I guess I just laugh at them, for their ignorance. Because seriously? As a single mom, you have less time than a married mom, since you don't have a partner to help bring in the groceries and put them away, you have to work full time yourself AND keep up on the "woman's work" inside as well as the "man's work" outside, AND still have to be a mom. Work? Sure. But we are women. We go through puberty with sore budding breasts that the boys want to hawk. We bleed in places we didn't know where it was. Then we have our children, that the labor we go through makes us hurt in places we never thought we had, just to forget how painful the labor was just to hold our precious bundles... Then there's the power surges and the mood swings... And we are the weak ones? No. I don't think so. We are women. We are strong. We love like no other, and are as fierce as lions. It's not bravery or scrounging that gets us through, it's the power of motherhood that springs us forward. Those who don't understand probably don't understand their full potential as a mother, either.
amber71530 amber71530 5 years
I have had plenty of rood comments and questions as well ~ I have been a single mother for 5 years now......however, my biggest complaint would be that most women just do not think before they start whining and complaining about how tired they are or how much work they have to do........most times they have less children than me and guess what else they have? A husband! LOL! And yet they complain TO ME about how exhausted they are and how they never get to go out with friends.........if they only knew ;)
DeniseCampbell15942 DeniseCampbell15942 5 years
Wow! Did this article ever bring back memories. I was asked by members of my ward where my husband was, did he get his "girlfriend" pregnant and a host of other very personal questions. My favorite was when the teachers I worked with were so surprised that my childrens' father was so nice when he came to Parent-Teacher Conferences. Never mind that he came just to look good for the teacher he student taught with or that he didn't come before that particular teacher was teaching one of his daughters or afterward. For people who think that people couldn't possibly ask such personal questions of single moms think again. I am not sure why people are so sure that what single moms do or do not do are any of their business. It makes what is already a stressful situation more stressful for the mom and the children.
DonnaFick52865 DonnaFick52865 5 years
rudest question? how about do both of your children have the same father LOL I would dearly love to say no, but didn't your husband tell you one of them is his?
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