Considering the facts that Indonesian people have a tendency to suddenly become an expert when they’ve heard about marital problems or divorce, here I’m compiling things you shouldn’t say to your friend/acquaintances if she happens to be a single mom. Personally, I’ve heard plenty of these lines for over a year now since I came out about my status and sometimes I have to hold my breath, gritted my teeth just so I won’t punch some people in the face. Take it with a grain of salt!
- “Why don’t you give it another try?” – here’s the deal, if she’s brave enough to sport her new status regardless the legal proceedings, do not ask her why can’t she try to fix her marriage. It means she’s way past that stage!
- “You shouldn’t leave your husband!” – you don’t really know what’s going on behind closed doors. If she decided to walk out of whatever situation she’s facing it means she’s strong and brave enough to make a change. Support her don’t stone her!
- “Don’t you feel bad for your child?” – without you sounding them, I betcha she already has guilt but she doesn’t need to hear them echoing from people who don’t know the whole story.
- “You are so brave!” – Single moms sometimes became single parent outside of their own choices, believe me, no married couple would wake up one day and say “Hmmm…being single parent sounds like fun. Maybe I’ll give it a try.” No! Sometimes being brave is the only way to go.
- “I pray that you will someone new again soon.” – Why thank you for the prayer but most newly divorced/single mom will vouch that remarried is the last thing on their mind. Would be better if you pray that she can get rich, so she doesn’t have to worry about her kid’s future especially if the ex is a deadbeat!
Without a doubt, most people mean well but sometimes it is best to keep your advice to yourself. We don’t need a marriage counselor, we need friends/normal people who can look at us beyond our status. Sometimes a hug could say more.
So next time you meet a single mom try to see past her marital status and see her as a person.
16 thoughts on “5 Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Single Mom”
Great read Maureen and *all* five points should be _duly noted_ to those who read them! I wanted to stop in and say _hello_ and to let you know that I found you via my very dear Aussie friend, Jane Furey.
I have raised six children, for the most part, on my own, after leaving a 22-year marriage that was extremely toxic a little over a decade ago. I hear your heart and I support _your efforts_ to move forward. I know for me, _many times,_ it was literally from one moment to the next. I was not even able to think about future as my present was *so* overwhelming.
Just as it takes time to adjust to being married, it takes time to become acclimated to being single with child/children. Wishing you the _very_ best dear one and I shall try to catch your posts as often as I am able to. Love the photo of you and Li’l A – you are _both_ *beautiful souls* 🙂
Oh, and a little something that I try to remind people of if need be is that no one will _ever_ walk in anyone’s shoes but their own, so what works for one person will not always work for another. _In other words,_ while many women have painstakingly had to end toxic marriages, no two of them hold the same set of circumstances as we are all _unique_ individuals with _different dynamics_ to our relationships. It is _only in ignorance_ that anyone else would ever give you advice as to what you should be doing or how you should be conducting yourself.
*Kudos* to you Maureen for having the courage to share your personal struggles with your readers. You will, _ultimately,_ be helping many others who are currently, or who are yet to find themselves, in the midst of ending a bad relationship 🙂
Big hugs …
Linda, thank you so much for your kind encouraging words. It really touch my heart and warm my soul. I agree with you, every divorce is different so what might works for others sometimes doesn’t work for everyone else. To me, blogging my pain through the whole process has been really therapeutic. Thank you for sharing your own experience. I am still trying to taking it one day at a time and I do feel I am getting better although there are times where I feel I had taken a step back but it will not stop me from moving on. Thank you again so very much!
It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant some people can be. My mother taught me that, unless I have something nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. I remember when my colleague’s three year old daughter died, another co-worker told her she should have another baby right away so she could feel less sad. As if one child replaces another… Pay no mind to them, only you know what is good for you and your son.
OMG, Maria really?! What kind of comment was that? That’s so uncalled for. Sheesh! Thanks for all of your support 🙂
great advice. It is really annoying, no matter what’s going on in your life to have people second guess the decisions you’ve already made or tell you what’s best for you.
It is annoying but I guess I’ll just have to change how I react to these comments instead because I could never change the way others thinks.
I seriously gasped out loud when I read the top one!
What is wrong with people!
As if I didn’t mulled over that same questions for years? Hah! Yeah, some people are just amazing.
Great post and well said!
Thank you Maria 🙂
Salam kenal. Looking forward to visit again. 🙂
Salam kenal juga 🙂 Makasih sudah mampir ya.
Mom X loves to stress out the no-husband status of some single moms at my kids’ school. Mom X is not nasty or anything, she would kindly say: “Oh, I help her to look after her kids because you know she’s a single mom.” or if the kids of that single mom got trouble at school, Mom X would say: “Ah with no father around, no wonder her kids misbehave.” I found Mom X very nasty! Some people love to backstab the others, one way or another!
I can only imagine how bad it is in Jakarta! Our people just love to meddle, don’t they? Be strong, just ignore them!
Oh wow, that is harsh! It irritates me a lot when people say the “no-father-around” comment. Who says with a father around the kids would turn up to be a great individuals if the father treat the mother like a living breathing punching bag? (for example).
Thanks for all your support Santi! You are an inspiration 🙂
Hi Maureen, all this single mum stuff actually prompted me to start a second blog (as above).
My favourite line:
Oh you’re so LUCKY because you get every second weekend without your children and I NEVER get a break. I’m JEALOUS
Yep that’s just what a single mother wants to hear.
In that particular case I responded in a pseudo-lighthearted way with: I tell you what, send your husband my way and let me look after him for a bit and see how you go on your own just for a couple of days. Then we’ll see who the lucky one is.
the point was graciously taken.
(yes, every other weekend supposedly for me is good. I love my children to bits, but that break of a scant 48 hours gives me almost enough time to recharge for the next two weeks. Except that I usually work most of it as there’s no kid interruptions, clean the house during the rest of it, and occasionally splash out and get a takeaway and a dvd – not exactly the life I signed up for.)
Hi Susan, thank you for sharing your own experience. That is so true what you said, although I don’t have people saying that to me since I’m the only single mom at my office but I can totally feel how it would feels to have someone make that kind of remarks about the every second weekend thing. My son is also spending every second weekend with his father – just like this weekend.