Karin, my friend from college (and fellow English major), did just that. Earlier this week, she offered some insight into her life. As a single parent to two adorable boys, ages 5 and 9, I'd imagine she's run the gamut of "stupid comments" from good-intended folks. To save her from yet another head-desk moment, I thought I'd publish her list, since I found it incredibly helpful. So in the spirit of open communication, here a couple things single parents never want to hear...
1. "You don't have family in town? So you don't have any help here?"
The saying "it takes a village" is not limited to family. I have the best friends, neighbors, teachers and co-workers in the world and I am eternally grateful for their help, support and love.
2. "How do you do everything you do?!"
I manage my time at a level that's considered anal retentive. It can be annoying to others. But it works for us. Plus, as I said before, it doesn't all get done. Sometimes, if you come over unexpectedly, you will probably see a dog hair or a little dust. Get over it.
3. "I don't have time to <workout> <volunteer> <sleep> <insert thing here>"
Really? See #2. If it is a priority, you can find time, too. Promise.
4. "Wouldn't it be easier with someone to help?"
Trust me. No.
Would it make me a better adult? Maybe. But easier? Hell no. I don't have to negotiate. I don't have to worry that someone doesn't eat spinach. I don't have more laundry to do or share the bathroom with another adult. And I'm cool with that.
5. "I'm a single parent this weekend!"
No, you aren't.
Unless you function on one income and are responsible, solely, for a minor's well-being the vast majority of the time, you are NOT a single parent. You are simply a parent who's significant other is not home for a few days. For what it is worth (and I know it isn't much), military spouses can say this all they want. People are trying to kill someone they love.