03/06/2015 11:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Judgmental Things People Say To Single Parents And How I Respond


During my divorce I was on the receiving end of many comments. These comments varied widely, and generally said more about the speaker than me or my situation, as unsolicited comments often do.

"You mean you won't see your kids EVERY SINGLE DAY?" Nope.

"I would never allow that to happen." Okay.

"But won't you miss them?" Yup.

"What kind of a mother doesn't have her kids ALL the time?" This one.

"Even sharing custody with their father is unacceptable." Actually, studies show that is the best arrangement for the kids.

"Don't you want to be home with your babies?" Well, they're 3 and 5, in preschool and kindergarten. As a working mom, with a career, and now as a single mother, it would probably be irresponsible to quit my job and attempt to live off child support and state aid. Not a very good example for my kids either.

"Maybe you can work it out." Wow. What a great idea. I guess the last two years of both couples and individual therapy was just for giggles.

On the soccer field I was the only mom among several dads coaching kindergarten boys soccer, AND I was a divorcee. I say divorcee because it sounds sexy. Really, I was chubby, hair pulled back, in a fleece with a whistle. Still, I felt a little judged being out there, 3-year-old daughter on my hip, teaching the boys to kick with the side of their foot not their toes, and to spread out for Christmas sake! All the other moms were pleasantly chirping on the sidelines. I got some looks.

Now my kids are 8 and 10. Life is still very challenging. Being a single mom is not easy. I struggle financially. I am always in a hurry. I miss my kids when they are with their dad. With all that stress I try to be patient but often fail. If I lose my temper while out for a walk with my kids, Judgey Mcjudgerton is sure to walk by with their words of wisdom at the exact moment I do not want to hear them.

On the upside, I have found love again. For real this time. In it for the long haul. Soul mates. No we aren't getting married. I have something new to explain.

"You're not getting married?" No.

"What are you doing?" Being in a relationship forever.

"Is that a new thing?" Nope.

"Why don't you get married?" Been there, done that.

"What about major healthcare decisions and death benefits?" We will cross that bridge when we get closer to it.

Domestic partners. Partners for life. Spiritual partners. Lovers. Best friends. Shacking up. Living in sin. Blended family. Call it whatever you want. Give us the stink eye. Support us. Love us. Hate us.

We are a family. My family. And I wouldn't have it any other way.