What are your pet peeves about being a single parent? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-03-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 2 huge ones, ok 3.

1) People who ask "who is the father?" In what world is it acceptable to ask "who are/did you have sex with?" (only Dr's have this right or if its in question another man is the father then that right is reserved for the men involved! NOT the general public.)That in itself is opening a can of worms and making assumptions that this was an accident and not intentional via traditional or artificial means.

2) Is the father involved? Please explain to me why this is any of your biz? 99% of the time its from people I don't really know and your again making assumptions! I swear the next time someone asks I'm going to tell them, "NO, my wife left me to go star in adult films and left us behind" or some other smart arse answer. If were good friends then I've probably already told you but to ask someone you barely know? That's just rude imo.

3) The married moms saying "I feel like a single mom" yes I know they don't mean any harm but dang if I don't feel insulted and belittled when they do. In the end I'm the one who handles EVERYTHING, I don't have a mate bringing home the bacon to pay the bills or relieve me when I'm at my wits end or to even offer emotional support and even the military moms try claiming it because there DH's are stationed over seas or what ever but still they have the fathers income coming in (which in itself offers a lot of support) and they still can get emotional support even if its just from a phone call or a letter. Single moms don't have that!

ok, pet peeve rant over, what are your single mom pet peeves?

Seriously?
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Well I'm not quite a single mom yet,but I'm anticipating a lot of people asking who and where the dad is and other questions about him. It's really not anyone's business but mine and you know,it's fine for my doctor to ask as well. Not random people though.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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Are you asking specifically about questions/reactions you get from other people? I've never had anyone ask me number 1, and number 2 & 3 don't bother me.

What does bother me is having to make major decisions on my own. Although my ex does visit the kids, and talks on the phone, etc., he does no "parenting." He will not participate in decision-making about the kids. So it's up to me to do the research, the thinking, weighing the options, etc. Then I tell him and ask him to let me know if he has any questions/feedback. He never does. It's a lot of responsibility, and tiring.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you asking specifically about questions/reactions you get from other people? I've never had anyone ask me number 1, and number 2 & 3 don't bother me.

What does bother me is having to make major decisions on my own. Although my ex does visit the kids, and talks on the phone, etc., he does no "parenting." He will not participate in decision-making about the kids. So it's up to me to do the research, the thinking, weighing the options, etc. Then I tell him and ask him to let me know if he has any questions/feedback. He never does. It's a lot of responsibility, and tiring.
Never been asked #1? wow, I don't think there was a person who didn't ask while I was preg with either kid. Its like everyone loses there filter when your single and asks every question possible. Almost surprised no one asked what position they were conceived in! Although when people find out #2 was from ADI they start asking really really personal questions. Detailed questions if you know what I mean..

Seriously?
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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The only thing that bugs me is not "having a man around the house," y'know, if something breaks or whatever. I get a little jealous when I see friends with husbands that take care of their property. But then I remember that my ex never remotely pulled his weight around the house, wouldn't mow the lawn for months, wouldn't fix broken stuff unless we had a huge fight about it, etc. And then I realized that for a small fee I can pay the neighbor's kid to mow the lawn or the handyman to fix the broken stuff, and it's so much easier that way. (And now that I'm not supporting my ex, I have money to pay the handyman.) Friends have also been super big helps.
Right now I have some foundations problems that should be under insurance, but I have to coordinate between two different companies that have previously leveled the house. Then I have to fix drywall and tile cracks that formed as a result of the shifting. I would ADORE it if someone else, aka a husband, would just come and take care of it for me. But even if my ex were around, he wouldn't have been any help at all. So I'm fine with the concept of putting on the big girl panties and taking care of it myself. I have realized, though, that I don't particularly enjoy home ownership, and unless I'm married to someone who really takes ownership of the upkeep, then I'll just rent or maybe buy a condo in the future.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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Any comment that I hear over and over is kind of annoying after a while. I get "Wow, you're busy!" and "You sure do have your hands full!" a lot. People mean well, it just gets old hearing the obvious repeated, well, repeatedly. I've been asked if the father is in the picture, or if he's involved, and yeah, that does bug me. I get the feeling people are all set to envision this whole picture of life as the child of a single mother. These are always people who have no idea what my life is actually like.

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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I think I'm too new at this for this thread, because my answer is... um... everything. I am NOT having any fun with this! But I suppose more specifically I would say just not having the emotional support, someone to turn to, to help, to be there. Feeling alone. I could go on and write a novel about why this whole single parenting thing sucks, but I'm sure nobody wants to hear that!

As for your #3, be careful not to judge too quickly. I can see it being annoying if the woman has a loving husband who just happens to be physically gone. But for the last 6 months before stbx and I separated he was a lousy husband/father, I really was doing it on my own, and in many ways it was just as hard as it is now. And I'm sure other women have been in similar situations.

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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"Do they all have the same father?".....first these are clearly people who have seen my three identical children. secondly, SERIOUSLY!!!, do they realize what they are asking me? its so insulting. I have never even kissed anyone but their dad. I was a virgin on my wedding night. and now all of a sudden strangers open with "do they all have different dads" all because HE left me for another woman. grrrr....grumble grumble....

another good one is "how do you handle everything around the house? how do you do it all?" umm, well the same way I took care of the house while I was married and the same way I did it all whil I was married but now I don;'t have to put up with his judgments and criticism about the way i get it done. so um, much easier I guess. I am not helpless. i know how to paint and do basic home repair. (actually I am the proud owner of my very own sledge hammer and crow bar and I am not afraid to use them.) I love the way everyone just assumes he was this great handy man and care-er for his home and family. um no. i took care of the hosue, did the yard work and snow removal plus all the "girl" jobs. homeschooled the kids, worked full time, and got by with very little money. all while under his ever watchful and judgmental eye.

the whole "i feel like a single mom" things does not bother me at all. I was a flying solo long before I told him to get out. he did not come home at the end of the day. child support is much better than shared finances. he even helps more with the kids now. I was every bit as much as a single mom as I am now. plus I had to do his laundry and cater to his demands all while he spent loads of money on his girlfriend. now I don't have to worry about that but i do have to put up with his games and crap.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:55 AM
 
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pet peeve no. 1 - 'oh you poor thing. you are doing this alone.' that just coz i am a single mom life must be miserable for me.

no. 2 - life must be sooo hard. i really hate hearing that. yes life is hard, but not that hard.

i hate this whole connotation that life must be sooo difficult and such a drugery being a single mom. no joy no fun ... just responsibilities and that you are always trying to manage something - pay bills, or find babysitter or....

so so so so not true.

yes its hard. yes its scary taking all the decisions by yourself. but once you settle in and become the single mom - things do go smoothly.

i hate the negative connotation of being a single mom. i hate being pitied.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:17 AM
 
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"Oh, having a baby is hard enough, having a baby ALONE must be so much harder..." or some dumb-ass variation. Yes, there are some situations when being a single parent that which are more challenging. Like choosing to have a UC as a single lady, required me to hire someone to doula for me so that I would have someone to massage my back but more often I find the advantages of being a single mom. This culture of pity for single mothers is really offensive to me, it victimizes women on the sole basis that we don't meet the social norm. It perpetuates that because we live outside of the cultural expectation of babies only within marriage we are somehow deprived. It re-enforces the "wrongness" single motherhood and the associations of promiscuity and poverty.

Case, and point, last weekend at the LLL meeting all the women were talking about the difficulties they had co-sleeping with their children. Nighttime parenting is so much eaiser without having to factor in a third person who might have to get up for work the next morning in the bed.

I realize for many single mothers it hasn't been their choice, or at least has come as an unexpected twist which has felt rather traumatic. But honestly, the assumption that single parenthood is "harder" or "so much more difficult" is misguided. As singled or coupled parents we might experience some situations differently (like how we cope when we get sick) but that difference isn't better than the other. More of an impact on how "hard parenthood is" our own personalities (or that of our spouses if we have them), support system and attitude.

So now when I get the comments that "doing it on your own must be so hard!" with a pained look and I respond with, "Why would you assume that?" Yeah, it's hard sometimes, but that has nothing to do with being single and everything to do with the reality that parenthood IS hard! We're raising people!

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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pet peeve no. 1 - 'oh you poor thing. you are doing this alone.' that just coz i am a single mom life must be miserable for me.

no. 2 - life must be sooo hard. i really hate hearing that. yes life is hard, but not that hard.

i hate this whole connotation that life must be sooo difficult and such a drugery being a single mom. no joy no fun ... just responsibilities and that you are always trying to manage something - pay bills, or find babysitter or....

so so so so not true.

yes its hard. yes its scary taking all the decisions by yourself. but once you settle in and become the single mom - things do go smoothly.

i hate the negative connotation of being a single mom. i hate being pitied.
I could have written that post! I actually tried yesterday but was too tired. Thanks for wording it

I can totally see women in relationships having as hard a time as single moms. Been there. Being a mother and in an abusive relationship is WAY harder than being a single mom. No comparison. Being a single parent is hard in many ways, but being in a bad relationship is worse.

A pet peeve is all the freakin practical stuff that noone is helping me with. I sometimes idealise a perfect relationship where a loving husband cooks me dinner and gives me a massage after tugging the kids in..
Working on getting that though. Being a single parent is not the worst thing ever, but I would really rather be in a good relationship!

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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#3: I was doing 95% of the childcare and household stuff AND was the primary income (the only steady income) AND trying to make things easy for STBX so that he could study/heal/sleep/succeed at SOMETHING. In the couple of years before we separated, the happiest/calmest time in my life was when STBX was sent away for the military for a couple of months. I had to do a phone call a day and the rest was just me and DS.

To tell the truth, it was more work doing it alone while married than it is now that we're in separate households. I'm really lucky and grateful because he's local and wants to be involved and DS adores him. So for the time being, I'm getting time to myself. I haven't had time to myself in years and it's amazing what that time to recharge does for my well-being!

I can cook, decorate, watch, listen, etc ect...all according to my own and DS's preferences. The other night I made squash for dinner. Nothing else. Sometimes we have scrambled eggs and tomato soup. STBX rarely complained and claimed that he didn't expect me to cook (though if I didn't, he'd go get burgers), but he was definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Financially I'm WAY better off single. Emotionally I'm better off -- I did some serious grieving, but not for the man. Lifestyle in general, I'm just better off, happier, able to make plans about the future...

So, no serious pet peeves. The tiny pet peeve:
His inability to look at a calendar more than 2 days in advance, despite the best of intentions. And if he does manage to make a schedule a few days early, chances are the military will come up with something last minute or he'll get sick. Good thing I don't have a social life! But, I don't think this is so much a pet peeve specific to single-life....more of a personality complaint.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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I'd say my pet peeves would include people who either only ever want to talk about the fact I'm a single mom or the events that led up to it and people who only either always badmouth my ex or give me a weird confused look if I have good things to say about him.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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3) The married moms saying "I feel like a single mom" yes I know they don't mean any harm but dang if I don't feel insulted and belittled when they do. In the end I'm the one who handles EVERYTHING...
This one bugs me, but only because of the sources the few times I've heard it... It has always been from SAHM with six-figure income husbands who love their kids, but tend to be workaholics. Seriously? The one who said it the most was my former SIL. I'm like, WTF? You BUILT a house, you go shopping to get out of the house, you sleep in and complain about laundry being soooo hard with a baby to take care of... Yeah, that's the life of a single mom... right there...

Another one that I got was, "you are lucky to be single cuz you don't have another person to take care of... you don't have to do anything but take care of a baby"
My actual response was "yeah, thank GOD for the laundry fairies, and I'm sure I don't need to eat, or pay bills, or shop"

The last pet peeve has more to do with the dating aspect. I broke up with the father of DC2. Several people responded to this news with a variation of "OMG, what are you going to do?!?"
I'm like, I broke up with HIM... for a reason... I'm going to go jump off a bridge

But these are just annoying... just shows how so many people open their mouths without actually thinking.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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I don't like people assuming that life is hard for us or that single parent homes are disfunctional places to raise kids. My biggest pet peeve is people assuming that I want to change my marital status though. It implies that I should be unhappy with my life and I am really much happier and have things much easier now than I was when I was married.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I thought of another... people who, a week after finding out a couple has split, ask "so when are you going to start dating?" or some variation of that!

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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i do the loud, proud single mama thing, and it helps me dodge most of the comments. as in, i announce before i'm asked 'i'm a single parent, thank GOD. and my kids are the most awesome people, ever'. after a good offensive like that people don't tend to put me on the defensive. the only ones that give me unwelcome pity parties are my parents, but we don't talk much.

as far as the life of a single mama, i have a hard time with illness. i can't take a sick kid with me to drop off a healthy kid at daycare, i can't go buy cough syrup with a sick kid, and when i'm sick i'm pretty helpless. this morning i woke up puking and couldn't move, i was shivering so badly. i got a friend to take my kids to daycare for me, but i need to recover enough that i can go get them later. this is the one and only area that my life is harder as a single mama.

otherwise, no men in my house!
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:32 PM
 
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I hear ya! I actually started mowing the lawn when I was still with STBX because he was so lazy. I also took out the trash, put up Christmas ornaments, shoveled snow...you name it I did it. It wasn't worth having huge fights with him over. It is less frustrating now because although I am on my own at least I don't have the frustration of a husband that won't do anything!

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The only thing that bugs me is not "having a man around the house," y'know, if something breaks or whatever. I get a little jealous when I see friends with husbands that take care of their property. But then I remember that my ex never remotely pulled his weight around the house, wouldn't mow the lawn for months, wouldn't fix broken stuff unless we had a huge fight about it, etc. And then I realized that for a small fee I can pay the neighbor's kid to mow the lawn or the handyman to fix the broken stuff, and it's so much easier that way. (And now that I'm not supporting my ex, I have money to pay the handyman.) Friends have also been super big helps.
Right now I have some foundations problems that should be under insurance, but I have to coordinate between two different companies that have previously leveled the house. Then I have to fix drywall and tile cracks that formed as a result of the shifting. I would ADORE it if someone else, aka a husband, would just come and take care of it for me. But even if my ex were around, he wouldn't have been any help at all. So I'm fine with the concept of putting on the big girl panties and taking care of it myself. I have realized, though, that I don't particularly enjoy home ownership, and unless I'm married to someone who really takes ownership of the upkeep, then I'll just rent or maybe buy a condo in the future.

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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This one bugs me, but only because of the sources the few times I've heard it... It has always been from SAHM with six-figure income husbands who love their kids, but tend to be workaholics. Seriously? The one who said it the most was my former SIL. I'm like, WTF? You BUILT a house, you go shopping to get out of the house, you sleep in and complain about laundry being soooo hard with a baby to take care of... Yeah, that's the life of a single mom... right there...
I so know what you mean!! My sister has a friend that says her life is so hard. She has two little girls but she also has a full time nanny, a gardener, a housekeeper, and they even pay people to put up their Christmas decorations and hand out candy on Halloween. She gets to sleep in, go shopping or to the gym or out with her friends when she wants. Her husband is a brain surgeon and they live in a mansion. She says she is so lonely but geez at least her DH has a good job and works really hard. Mine was not only mean but also lazy. I also never understand when women say things like all their husband wants to do is work on house projects and doesn't spend very much time with them. I am like are you kidding?! I would kill for a handy DH!

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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and they even pay people to ... hand out candy on Halloween.
*choke* SERIOUSLY???? I have never even heard of that! When I don't want to hand out candy, I turn the porch light off. Problem solved!
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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*choke* SERIOUSLY???? I have never even heard of that! When I don't want to hand out candy, I turn the porch light off. Problem solved!
Well they live on a street where lots of trick or treaters go and sometimes there are hundreds of trick or treaters, plus I think they go to an adult Halloween party that night and so they want kids to get candy but don't want to have to be at home to do it.

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Old 03-05-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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1. It would never cross the mind of most of the couples I know to socialize with a single person -- even if I'm friends with both of them. I thought having DD would move me into the "acceptable to hang out with" category but it hasn't.

2. People who don't understand that every penny in my budget is squeezed to the point of screaming. I can't drop everything and go out for lunch; yes, as odd as it seems, I actually have to save up to go out for a sandwich.

3. My DD's school requires 30 hours of volunteer time from every family. No matter how many parents. So the single moms get to do on their own the same number of hours as a married couple gets to divide between themselves. I've brought it up with administration; no changes.

4. Thanks for suggesting how good it would be for me to go the gym. When in my 6:00a.m.-to-midnight day would you suggest I do that? And will you be watching DD while I'm there? And paying for my membership? Yeah, I didn't think so.

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Old 03-05-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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4. Thanks for suggesting how good it would be for me to go the gym. When in my 6:00a.m.-to-midnight day would you suggest i do that? And will you be watching dd while i'm there? And paying for my membership? Yeah, i didn't think so.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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I sometimes idealise a perfect relationship where a loving husband cooks me dinner and gives me a massage after tugging the kids in..
what i need is not a 'husband' but a 'wife' - someone who cooks and cleans for me. that is the part i really dont wanna do nor do i really care about it. i enjoy it once in a while, but it is a waste of my time. so that's when i read this essay by a woman saying she needs a 'wife' and that's when i learnt man she is so right.

i am not the cleaning lady and either 'wife' pays for it or does it himself.

you know i have come to the point where i am no longer willing to put up with anyone's bull$hit or their hangups. i am so done with games i see people around me play. even my good friends. if that means i have to be single for the rest of my life, then so be it. i absolutely have no regrets.

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Old 03-05-2010, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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what i need is not a 'husband' but a 'wife' - someone who cooks and cleans for me. that is the part i really dont wanna do nor do i really care about it. i enjoy it once in a while, but it is a waste of my time. so that's when i read this essay by a woman saying she needs a 'wife' and that's when i learnt man she is so right.

i am not the cleaning lady and either 'wife' pays for it or does it himself.

you know i have come to the point where i am no longer willing to put up with anyone's bull$hit or their hangups. i am so done with games i see people around me play. even my good friends. if that means i have to be single for the rest of my life, then so be it. i absolutely have no regrets.
ditto, I've joked for a long time that I don't need a husband, I need a wife! Someone to cook, clean, raise the kids and pamper me after I go play with the grown ups at the office I don't put up with BS in relationships and yes I do stay single because I do have high standards and don't do BS.

Seriously?
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:05 AM
 
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People who insist I need to internet date!
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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People who insist I need to internet date!
omg! my own KIDS keep doing this to me! The dating thing really drives me nuts, though. Firstly, it's apparently not healthy for me to be alone like this. I should at least try! After pointing out that I've asked out just about every single man either one of us has ever met over the past (we won't go into how many years it's been), and guys just aren't interested in a single mom unless she is an easy lay or wants him to move right in (another BIG peeve, btw)...I get told I'm being turned down because of my low self esteem. I apparently don't think I'm good enough for anyone. I've been totally misunderstanding reality, it seems. High self esteem is when you let someone do whatever they want to you just to avoid being alone. Low self esteem is when you expect the same level of respect you did when you didn't have kids. My bad! PEOPLE! (I'll buy that my standards are too high, though. I just can't see any fat to trim off that budget that wouldn't be an unhealthy cut)

I would love to meet some of these pitying people you speak of though. Can they be hit up for help with household repairs, cooking, cleaning, child care, or any of the like? Arms to hold me and a shoulder to cry on from time to time might be a bit much, but just throw some crust my way? Cause I'm beyond fed up with hearing how strong and capable I am and how much everyone looks up to me. For once, I'd like to be able to lean on someone else's shoulder instead of them on mine. When every other mom at scouts was a SAHM with kids in ps all day, even! The only single mom (no really. this is literal), and homeschooling mine, in the group of 40+ families was always the FIRST person they called when they needed something. As one example of many...

While I'm making requests, it would be awesome if I could not be the only single person at a social gathering, from time to time. I'm trying really hard here, and in my rather large social circle I can only think of 2 other people that aren't in some kind of serious long term committed relationship. One dates pretty regularly but is actually taking the time to learn to be on her own (which is really cool and healthy of her). The other...omg, if I'm the female version of him, I *should* have low self esteem! He's a good guy at heart and all, but totally undateable by any standards and not at all relationship material. Are he and I the last single-not-by-choice people left on earth?!?

*is off to find the March dating thread to vent properly about needing a date*

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Old 03-05-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Satori View Post
3) The married moms saying "I feel like a single mom" yes I know they don't mean any harm but dang if I don't feel insulted and belittled when they do. In the end I'm the one who handles EVERYTHING, I don't have a mate bringing home the bacon to pay the bills or relieve me when I'm at my wits end or to even offer emotional support and even the military moms try claiming it because there DH's are stationed over seas or what ever but still they have the fathers income coming in (which in itself offers a lot of support) and they still can get emotional support even if its just from a phone call or a letter. Single moms don't have that!

ok, pet peeve rant over, what are your single mom pet peeves?
This is one of mine. Being a single mom for me has two sides. One side is incredibly empowering and truly fantastic. Much better for me than being married and I had a decent marriage until it exploded.

The other side of single parenting is the logistical day to day grind. Transportation, food for everyone, trying to keep up with house and laundry, etc. This can get exhausting and overwhelming if something happens to throw us off.

So when they say they feel like a single mom--they are only talking about the challenging part of the picture without a nod to the wonderful side of being a single parent. There are certainly days I wish I had some help with cooking, cleaning, etc. but I like being single.

When people in abusive situations say it, they should know that being a single mom will be a few steps up when they become single.

When happily partnered people say it because their DH is out of town working to support the family but they talk on the phone every day and she gets a check every week or two--that's my pet peeve.

It seems like people either look at you as Super Woman or pity you. Of course, I'd much rather be seen as super woman--but I actually like it when people have some concept of what all is on my plate. Not in a pity or too bad for you way--but I actually like some recognition sometimes. Hey, you do an awful lot. And see that even Super Woman can't always keep everything in the air...

I haven't experienced too many comments irl though.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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"can;t you just get a sitter or send them to their dads?" um. no.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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"can;t you just get a sitter or send them to their dads?" um. no.

Friends that are partnered or have no kids invite me out all the time and don't understand that I really need AT LEAST 3 or 4 days notice to get a sitter. Ugh.

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