Since becoming a single mum, I have heard the most ridiculous comments about single mums!
These comments are both hilarious and nasty!
I’m sure people just assume these stereotypical visions of single mum’s from what they see on stupid TV shows!
Some single mums find it extremely difficult to be a single mum. There is help out there if you are a struggling single mummy.
Read on to see 10 stupid misconceptions about single mums debunked…
1. Our parenting and discipline skills are lacking
Many people seem to think that just because we don’t have a man in the house to discipline our child/ren, they grow up unruly and disrespectful.
If anything, a single mum tends to be MORE strict than a mum in a relationship because she does it all on her own.
We don’t have anyone to back us up or to play “good cop, bad cop” with.
We are both the angel and the monster in this situation.
Having a good and proven behaviour management strategy in place can help us to be fair but firm, without alienating our child.
Check out these posts for expert advice on behaviour management:
2. We are all unemployed or “sponging off the system”
Although I did go from full time to part time work when I returned from Maternity Leave, this was purely for health reasons after being diagnosed with a chronic illness.
However, as a motivational educator, I still earned a modest wage and was able to fully provide for my daughter myself.
I received some money from benefits, but that is only a top up which pays for (not even half) nursery fees – which are a whopping £1200 a month!
For a single mum of a baby under 5 to survive in London without any other financial help, I would need to earn an average salary of at least £54k!
Some people also have trouble separating themselves from their new babies, so they choose to wait a while before returning to work.
Who are we to judge them for that?
3. We are desperate for a man…any man
Yes…I miss male company, but I am in no way desperate!
Any man that comes into my life now needs to be DBS checked, answer a questionnaire, know that its for life and be prepared to marry within a month!!
I’m not that crazy (well, maybe a little), but honestly, us single mummy’s are very happy being the boss of ourselves.
Sometimes, things are actually better like that.
I am more picky now than ever because I’m not just thinking about me.
All I want is respect, humour, maturity, and someone who will be a good role model to my bundle of joy…and maybe good looks too.
Don’t forget, we are too busy being mummy to our bubba’s to have to play silly games or mummy a man too!
4. It is the same as being a woman whose partner works a lot
Someone said to me last week that they “totally understand” what it’s like being a single mum because her husband is at work all the time.
As much as I could understand where she was coming from, she clearly has NO idea of what it is really like!
You have someone to share the ups and downs with, the feelings of worry and enjoyment, the School runs, Parents evenings, financial responsibilities and discipline.
You have someone to cuddle up to in the night – or day, or whenever he is home.
You have someone to talk to and someone to watch baby while you have a bath, make dinner or clean.
Please never assume that it is the same.
I can’t imagine that it is nice to feel how she does either, but it is just not the same.
5. Our children have less
All I have to say on this point is how much people comment on the fact that my house looks like a nursery!
Squidge has so many books, toys, clothes, travel opportunities and love than any other child I know.
I’m sure other mummy’s love their child/ren just as much as I do, but we always believe we love our child more than anyone else loves theirs.
Also, as terrible of a mum as this might make me seem…I can spoil her as much as I want without a man telling me no!
We seem to over-compensate and treat our kids to extravagant things, or over-indulge them.
They definitely do not have less!
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6. Our families are “broken”
Many single parent families may have broken up in upsetting circumstances, but that does not mean that they are “broken families”.
They still manage to work together.
The majority of single parent families are very civil toward each other and are able to move forward without court, contracts or an unhealthy relationship.
Squidge’s dad might not live with – or near us, but we are not “broken”.
The term “broken” suggest that it needs to be fixed, or cannot be fixed.
We have a visitation arrangement which (mostly) works for us, and our child is growing up in a healthy environment.
If it works, it is not “broken”!
7. We are super-needy
Complete opposite yet again! Single mum’s have to be the boss!
We do the shopping, cooking, cleaning, manage all finances, all decisions, we have (almost) complete control over everything that happens in our lives.
What could we possibly be needy for?
We are too busy giving our children attention to be throwing a hissy fit over us getting a lack of attention.
Remember…before we meet any new guy, we are completely dependent on ourselves.
The men are the ones who get all grumpy because we don’t reply to a message straight away or we are too tired from working for 12 hours and then being mummy for 4 hours before bedtime to want to have an hour convo on the phone!
8. We go out all the time
Firstly, we don’t have time for that.
Secondly, it’s not that easy to get a babysitter every weekend (and not fair to ask our parents all the time) and lastly, most of us don’t want to leave our child for that long, just to go out for a crazy night.
Personally, I go for my “Girls Night Out” every 3 months – for about 6 hours.
I only drink 3 glasses of wine (or Prosecco) max, because I know I will have to deal with Squidge when she wakes up at 4am and wants to climb into my bed.
I also go to the pub for a few hours after work about once a month, but I’m usually back in time to pick Squidge up from nursery at 6.30pm.
Don’t get me wrong, its good to go out and let your hair down, but we really are not the party people everyone seems to think we are.
My version of “going out”?
I go to Pilates on Monday, gym (Cardiac Rehab) on Tuesday and Tai Chi on Saturday.
Yeh…I’m a real “Party-Queen”!
9. We get half of the dad’s money and spend the Child Maintenance on ourselves
If you are lucky enough to actually get any money at all from the child’s father, that is!
Men seem to think that the minimum 12% (not half at all) of their earnings that the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) take for the child goes straight to the mum.
Clearly, they have no idea how expensive a baby is!
With full time nursery, nappies, milk, food, clothes, general baby things etc., the average child (under 5) costs about £1500 a month!
If a dad is earning £1500 a month, the monthly payment a mum receives from him is £180 a month – which goes straight on baby.
Although it might seem like a decent amount, lets put it into perspective…dad contributes £180 and mum spends £1320!
If it really is a problem, save all the receipts and show them to him or give him photocopies.
10. We get a “break” when child is with their dad
Again, this is if the dad even has the child without you there at all!
When a single mum has time away from their child, the first thing they do is keep busy so they don’t start missing their kiddie so much that they go to the dad’s to bring them home again!
The cleaning, bulk cooking, ironing, laundry, shopping, work stuff etc. is all a priority while baby is away.
Only then may the mum actually relax! This “relaxation” probably includes a bath and eating food in a horribly quiet house.
Yes, it might be nice for the first few hours, but after that it becomes eerie and lonely.
For those of us whose ex does not have any overnight access or even unsupervised access to baby, we never get a break!
Squidge was quite unwell at the time of writing this post (after picking up an infection from nursery) and had been ordered to stay away from people while she had the infection.
I had to cancel her dad’s visit for the first time ever.
While he was fine with it, I was looking forward to having a chance to at least eat my own lunch while he fed Squidge.
...but nope, Doctor’s orders!
So I ended up sharing my lunch and trying to feed a poorly baby who didn’t want to eat.
While her dad got his non-stop break!