Sunday, August 16, 2015


I am going to sum up how people generally react to finding out I am a single mother.

Someone: So you’re a mom?
Me: Yes
Someone: You must be married.
Me: No, I am a single mother.
Someone: I’m sorry.
Me: I’m not.

STOP telling single mothers you’re sorry. In fact a few other times you should not say sorry is for children with autism spectrum and other mental or physical disorders. Try saying “you are strong” “I am sure you’re doing a great job” “they are worth it”. Don’t say sorry it makes it sound like my child was spawn from hell, while yours dropped out of the heavens. Yes, I am single mother, and no I am not sorry. Me being in a mentally, verbally, and economically abusive relationship was not going to happen.

STOP praising fathers for the things mothers have been doing for centuries. I am not saying that fathers do not deserve praises for taking care of their children. But do not do it at the cost of mothers, not only is it sexist it is discouraging to women, and set an unrealistic job for mothers. They should not have to do twice as much for the same praises. We should respect, praises, and support all parents single or not.

STOP assuming because someone is a single mother they were in a relationship that failed. Some mothers chose to have children and do it alone. That is right!! Some women do not want to wait until a man comes around to have a child. This is not only a decision women are allowed to make but in a way is a sign of women’s liberation. We do not need the seal of approval from men to have children.

STOP treating children from single parent homes like they are fragile. This is crippling, when people feel like they have to be sweet, buy the child something, or not talk to parents at all about events because money must be tight. I am not saying do not be understanding of the fragile nature of single parenthood (that is many are in poverty) but do not make that assumption. For single parents who have made it out of poverty it is a bit offensive. It say my child acts, looks, and is treated not like an equal to other children.

STOP saying you are a single parent because your spouse is out of town for a week. I am not saying some people are in relationship and not doing it alone. However, a week of having to watch your children is not the same, and to be honest saying it is, is not only offensive but under plays the amount of work it takes to do the job alone. 

In the ideal world no parent would have to raise a child alone, but we live in the real world parents die, divorce, have their child before the biological clocks runs out. Life happens and since the beginning of time parents have done it alone. So how about we just stop treating single parenthood like a diseases.

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Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.

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