"You're a single mum?!!"...... what did you expect, Vicky Pollard? <<rolls eyes>>

(48 Posts)
Meglet England Thu 18-Apr-13 20:25:23

Does anyone else get this? Not a rant, just something that amuses me every so often.

People seem amazed when they find out I'm a single parent. Other parents + collegues often comment on it when I mention it. Do they think I'm hiding a husband on my FB profile hmm.

Yes Society, single mums hold down respectable office jobs, turn up on time, go to the gym, take our kids to the library and they do well at school.

Despite what some areas of the Media would like everyone to believe the last time I looked all the single parents I know weren't rolling around in the gutter, drinking vodka and neglecting their children.

itwillgetbettersoon Fri 19-Apr-13 16:55:07

I'm taking my kids to Italy and we are back packing for a couple of weeks. I was saying this to a couple who I did once class as friends(!). Anyway the husband said" I suppose in your circumstances that is probably the best holiday to do"!

Hello why? Very odd comment!

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Fri 19-Apr-13 19:57:22

I have had it a couple of times equinox - I gather it means that considering I am a single parent my children are well behaved. I think that there is an assumption that single parents let their kids run riot and never teach them to say please or thank you! It is incredibly patronising.

I've once been told that my children are so lovely compared to my sisters and she's married...who'd have thought it!

kritur Fri 19-Apr-13 20:13:47

Yep I get this... University lecturer, child with middle class name... Can't possibly be... Apart from that I just seem to get admiration that I'm not completely dolally and manage to keep going every day.

Kiriwawa Fri 19-Apr-13 20:18:11

Holidays are the funniest. I get 'Did you go on your own?' as if taking a child on holiday (to another part of the UK) is an almost insurmountable task, akin to climbing Everest within oxygen or something.

mumandboys123 Fri 19-Apr-13 20:19:22

ah yes, I recognise the 'you do a wonderful job/you are a wonderful person/your kids are wonderful...but/considering/if only...comment. Single mothers are not allowed to cope, earn their own money, or be happy. It's the Law. Apparently grin.

Kiriwawa Fri 19-Apr-13 20:22:07

And brave! Don't forget brave.

Not battling insurgents, but getting children to school/taking them on holiday/other random entirely ordinary life event which is clearly impossible without two adults wrangling.

Brave is the one that always winds me up the most.
And regards the 'I don't know how you cope' comments, well, sometimes I don't! Then I call my friends, rant and rave about it, and then get on with it.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Fri 19-Apr-13 22:01:54

I'm baffled with Brave comments too. What's the alternative? Run away? Keep them locked in a room and throw food in twice a day like they are bitey hamsters?

I rarely tell people because it isn't something that defines me. If someone asks about a partner I will tell them but if not I don't.

One friend has told me I use 'we' alot when talking about my family so people just assume I mean a partner.

Someone once asked me if I was in a gay relationship because I'd used she/her meaning my daughter when talking about making a decision to move away. hmm

Meglet England Sat 20-Apr-13 12:08:28

Actually, I use 'we' aswell. So it would be easy for someone to jump to conclusions.

I was a teenage single mum. People are often really shocked at how old DS1 is, particularly as I don't fit their stereotype (I have a PhD, a good job, a nice house in a great area, kids who do well in school etc). I suspect some of these people put my not doing whatever it is they think my lifestyle should be down to H's influence (but I had a job, my own flat, was nearly finished my PhD, etc before I even met him).

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 12:17:00

Yes, hold respectable jobs, run guide units and have the nicest DD you could ever wish to meet.

IneedAyoniNickname Sat 20-Apr-13 12:38:48

I told someone once that I was a single mum and their response was "oh, but you seem so nice, and your dc are some of the nicest best behaved boys I've ever met" confused

50shadesofvomit Sun 21-Apr-13 09:30:45

I get this too.
It's usually followed by a question about if I am dating or how I financially support myself. Grr..

50shadesofvomit Sun 21-Apr-13 09:38:46

I also get comments about how my children are so happy/popular despite me being a lp and amazement that they are well behaved/dressed properly/never late for school/doing well academically/don't live on takeaways etc. They have always been like that!!

MissPricklePants Mon 22-Apr-13 12:27:55

I get this! I have been single for nearly 4 years and have a nearly 4 yo dd. I have had comments off the other parents at the birthday parties we go to, from the staff etc. Its ridiculously funny as they seem baffled that I work, I volunteer, I spend loadsa time with my dd, I take her to the library and swimming etc and that my house is reasonably clean and tidy. Obviously I am knackered and just getting on with it! Also had the response of 'I'm sorry' when people realise I am a LP!! Often get asked if I live with my parents (I don't) and do they have dd lots (Nope, if she isn't at nursery she is with me!) as I am in my late 20's but look younger so people assume I can't fend for myself...idiots!

happybubblebrain Mon 22-Apr-13 12:42:23

I'm proud that I'm a single mum and I do all the things I do. I have no help or support from anyone and my dd is the most amazing child -happy, confident and doing really well at everything.

I don't give two hoots if someone prejudges me; although I've got pretty good at picking nice people to associate with so I haven't really experienced it that much.

I have to work really hard, every single day but I still love being a single mum, I much prefer it to the alternative. I usually feel sorry for people in crap relationships and there seems to be quite a lot of those about.

Prozacbear Tue 23-Apr-13 23:17:41

I sometimes think of myself as a single mum - it really isn't true as ex-DP has DS 50% of the time - but I would agree withe the perception.

People at work have assumed I'm a 'single mum' because ex-DP is a deadbeat/abusive/horrible. He's none of those things, he's a great dad and a good person, it just didn't work out. They aren't judgemental just ... pitying? Even though I am with DP now, it doesn't fade.

Mostly it's in public. I am quite young-looking (still get ID'd everywhere despite it being quite a while since that was necessary), mixed race, etc, and have had looks and even comments - some drunk man about how 'his taxes' were paying for my 'children'. I soon set him straight - I have a ridiculously thorough education which I am not wasting, and which is serving me very well, thank you.

Used to be embarrassed at people's assumptions, now I just get annoyed. For any woman who has to deal with this stuff because she has the temerity not to be tethered to the father of her child/children, when she doesn't want to be.

Piemother Tue 23-Apr-13 23:34:04

I get the - I don't know how you cope....followed by 'my husband wax away for one night and it was chaos' and it makes me think they need to grow a backbone and learn to cope in case they have to for a dozen different reasons.

Wallison Wed 24-Apr-13 21:17:15

Oh, I've had loads of comments over the years along the lines of "Really? I wouldn't have thought it" etc. It's funny; lots of children end up being raised in households headed by one parent at least for some time; I mean, it's hardly unusual these days, is it?

Also, I don't think of my marital status as being something that I need to announce, just as most married people don't either. It doesn't define me or tell you anything about me other than that I'm not married.

wonderstuff Wed 24-Apr-13 21:35:57

I think the media is part of the issue, when did you last see a got my shit together successful working single mum on telly.

SingleMama Thu 25-Apr-13 20:59:44

So glad to see this thread- the very topic I wanted to rant about tonight!

Yeah so I'm single nearly 2 years. My LANDLORD (who clearly presumes my ex left me, that I'm a loser, don't do anything with my day) was complaining to me that I was texting his wife in the morning, when they are busy with work. I thought that was so rude and replied 'yes I was busy too- on my way to college.' He asked me what was I studying. I should have told him to mind his own business & that he's rude but told him what Im studying and he looked shocked and said 'Oh! I didn't know!'
!!!!
Because I'm a student (doing a second, unrelated degree), I often get asked (by hairdressers and ppl) Do you work? In a certain tone. As if you have to be doing some shite job or other to be deserving of any respect. This REALLY winds me up!

I am finding being a single parent really hard! And my kids sometimes aren't on time to school. (Although all the food I cook could be served in a restaurant lol) It's just so hectic! I have so much going on at the moment it's crazy. I know next month won't be so busy but sometimes it's so tough!!!!

And then on top of the pressures we already have, we've got society looking down its nose. And that means almost everyone!!! So little respect!!!

Misspixietrix Mon 29-Apr-13 12:25:32

I use 'we' when I talk about me and the DC's too. Why not? we're still a family. Just one that no longer comes with a physical and emotionally abusive twat ex grin.

I don't get all the "You're so brave!" "I don't know how you cope!" comments neither. Strangest one recently was a patronising comment from an old fashioned friend, "It's a shame it all fell through MissPixie". It really isn't. My kids are happier than they were a few years ago and so am I smile

I would like to know how a lot of people manage to look stunning on the Morning School Run though, I only just manage to get my kids looking presentable wink ~

lizzie479 Mon 29-Apr-13 13:31:14

Single mama I can totally identify with what you wrote. I used to have a very judgemental landlord who used to make comments such as 'oh the TV is on again' etc. Now I have an ex who tells me repeatedly that HE 'works for a living' the implication being that I don't even though I run the house, look after the kids and work part time. Sadly too many people read the daily mail and watch awful reality and daytime tv shows that stereotype single mums as lazy good for nothings! And yes I use 'we' when I talk about me and DC's too, we are a team and a family.

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