What not to say to a single parent

Perhaps you know a single parent or two. If you’re a decent sort and don’t want to irk your lone-parenting pal, swerve the following comments:

1. “I know what its like being a single parent. When David goes away on work trips, I can barely manage!!’ Umm…

2. “Single mothers! Getting pregnant to get housing benefit…*grumble, grumble*” Hey, the 1970s called, they want you back. Like Destiny’s Child, I pay my automo-bills, I pay my telephone bills… and I put a roof over us. (As do most single parents I know). So maybe you can chill?

3. “JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter as a single parent.” The poor woman. She has reached unfathomable heights with her unspeakable talent, yet is still defined largely in terms of her relationship/parenting status at the time when she first put pen to paper, many moons ago. AND I’ll be lucky if I write my shopping list this week.

4. “You never know. One day you might meet someone and become a real family.” Yes, if only that wooden boy-child I cart around with me would one day come to life!

5. “He’s a great kid considering…”

6. “I envy you having all that free time when he goes to his dad’s. I never get a weekend off!” Trust us. We’re busy. More likely to find us in Spar than the spa.

7. “You never come out/over!” Yeah. We know. We’re sorry. But… responsibilities…

8. “So how much do you get in tax credits?” Erm none. Besides do I ask about your Married Couples Allowance??

9. “Does he still see his dad?” “Ah…that’s good.” You’re giving me a trim. I’m not sure you really need my eight year old’s full backstory.

10. “Would you like some wine or chocolate?” OK. I made that one up. I ran out of ideas but it felt wrong to stop at 9. We’d probably like some wine or chocolate. Yes, wine or chocolate would be nice, thanks.


Are you a single parent? If so, what do people say that makes you miffed? What do you wish people said to you instead?