7 Super-Idiotic Things People Say To Single Moms (And How To Answer)

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Annoying Single Mom Comments

I choose to believe that most people mean well, they just don't always know the right words to say. When divorce happens and you suddenly find yourself a single mom, there are no perfect words of support.

But there are definitely some not-even-close-to-good comments you need to keep to yourself. Here's a few that my single mom friends and I have heard:

1. "Wow, that's a lot of child support."

Snarky response: "But it's still not enough for my ski trip to Aspen."

Or, "That's all the you get? I know someone that got double that."

Snarky response: "Well, maybe she can share her child support with me."

Money issues really should remain private between you, your ex, and your lawyers. But if a friend does tell you her amount, keep in mind that no matter how little or how much you think it is, it's still probably not enough to cover the cost of raising kids on your own. And no amount of money will ever take the place of having two loving parents together.

2. "At least you get to keep the house."

Snarky response: "I always did like the house better than the man."

Yes, I got to keep the house in the divorce settlement. I also got the mortgage, and the insurance, and the upkeep. I'm very grateful that my children get to stay in their home, but it comes with additional burdens as well.

3. "You need to take that SOB to court."

Snarky response: "Court is that big building that's supposed to help me, right?"

I'm well aware the law is supposed to uphold court orders regarding support. But if he's already not paying what he owes, I sure don't have the extra money for the lawyers or the filing fees. I agree that it's shameful when men don't uphold their financial responsibilities, but it's a financial game that I just can't play.

4. "I never did like him, anyway."

Snarky response: "It's OK; he never liked you, either."

Not only does telling me how you didn't like him not help me now, but it also makes me feel foolish for staying with him as long as I did. Single moms are trying to build a new life after divorce; they don't need to rehash the past.

5. "Hey, at least you get a break from your kids every other weekend."

Snarky response: "I need a break from this conversation."

Seriously? The single moms I know with joint custody are still in mom-mode even during their off-weekends. You don't just get to clock out of motherhood responsibilities.

One single mom I know doubles up her work shifts on her "off" weekends so she can spend more time home with her kids during the week. There are also us single moms out here with full custody who never get a weekend off. 

We're left explaining to the kids why daddy doesn't show up to school events like their friend's daddy does. Please be considerate of delicate situations.

6. "You need a man to help you out."

Snarky response: "I had a man. He left."

Most single moms at one time were with a man. Obviously, that man is no longer there. So, instead of implying you don't have confidence in my abilities to figure this out, maybe you could offer to help when you see me struggling.

7. "The children need their father."

Snarky response: "Here's his number. Why don't you call and explain that to him?"

Of course children need their father! But they need an emotionally healthy father figure. If that isn't possible, the sad truth is that some kids are better off without their father in their lives. 

The children need their father comment was even said to my recently widowed friend. Her response? "Hold on while I go resurrect him."

And the absolute worst thing that's ever been said to me actually happened while I was still married. A woman I knew socially — I wouldn't go so far as to call her a friend — said, "If you'd just get divorced you'll be able to get rid of your kids for most of the summer."

She said it with a smile like it was a prize for getting divorced. And she actually used the words "get rid of your kids." I had no response. I stood there in dumbfounded silence until the situation became so awkward she walked off.

I didn't divorce to get rid of my kids; I got divorced to get rid of a bad situation.

So, think before you speak. And maybe think twice before making one of these single mom comments.