Call it my Single Momma Manifesto.
1. Single parenting doesn’t mean you have to be single. You have the right and ability to have a relationship. That relationship doesn’t need to meet the parent’s/friend’s/family’s expectations because they aren’t in that relationship. They aren’t the parent. They have zero say. They can get on the wagon or get left behind. Happy momma = happy kid = end of story.
2. Reminding me that my kid doesn’t like the “poor kid daycare” doesn’t make my life any easier. Guess what? I don’t really like it either, but unless I want to get fired or quit my job, it’s all I can afford. Reminding me instead of finding the positive in the situation is bringing excess negativity into my life.
3. Telling me that I should sacrifice everything for my kid is, frankly, bullshit. If I don’t fill my own cup, how the hell am I supposed to fill my kids? She deserves a happy healthy mom, and happy healthy moms don’t ignore their own needs.
4. Offering parenting advice to a single parent when you have never been a single parent is probably never a great idea. You are unfamiliar with the unique aspects of this very different form of parenting and do not understand the nuanced way you are forced to look at every single tiny issue of everything.
5. Once you have given advice to a single parent, don’t expect them to take it. I don’t make any decision lightly about anything, so no offense but if I decide to do the opposite? That shouldn’t offend or disappoint you. If you care for me and my child you support my decisions 100%.
6. Showering my kid with expensive or profuse gifts does not give my child a realistic expectation of what life is like. When they assume I can do the same, then are repeatedly upset and angry that I cannot provide that same level or same things, I am automatically the bad guy. And let me tell you, as a single parent, we are always the bad guy since there is no one else around to be one.
7. Having different rules at your house means that I have to work twice as hard to ensure my kid follows mine at our house. Time is my most valuable commodity as a single parent so don’t waste mine.
8. Needs are different than wants. My kid needs food, clothes, a place to live that has electricity and the ability to go to school. Anything else is negotiable and I have the right to cut it from our lives without guilt. Pitying my child is not the answer. Supporting my decisions is. My child deserves the right to understand what their life is like and the ability to learn to manage stress and disappointment. I frankly feel as though teaching children early on about financial responsibility and management is a positive, and not a negative. “I cannot afford that right now,” is not a taboo phrase, it’s a teaching one.
9. What you feel should make me happy may not, in fact, make me happy. It may make me miserable. My happiness is not something that can be determined by the wants or wishes of others, no matter how much they care for me and my child. Only I can understand what makes me happy. The only thing that should matter is when you see we are happy? Be happy for us.
10. If you notice we don’t speak or see each other as often, it’s probably due to your negativity or criticism. Negativity is something I cut from my life like a cancer. Single parenting is stressful enough when you are trying to live a life of gratitude. Introducing negativity, be it in words, actions, or disapproval brings no value to our lives and therefore will be avoided at all costs.