Offensive things people think it’s okay to say to single mums

Things people say to single mums

The best of the Australian single mum Facebook support group

Things people say to single mums

A common complaint we hear from our single mum support group is that people seem to think it’s okay to say really insensitive things right to their face just because they are a single parent  – and not even realise they are being offensive!

One of our Facebook single mum group members recently posted her list of things people often say to single mums. Pretty soon more of our single mum group members jumped on the bandwagon, adding what they had experienced. Before we knew it we had a huge single mum complaints list!

Things people say to solo mums

Our list includes all of those crazy, annoying – and sometimes plain outrageous – things that acquaintances, ex – and potential – partners, mothers, sisters, ex-mother in-laws, random men and even friends – think it is okay to say to single mums.

Australian single mums

We’ve listed them here for your entertainment – because if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry – but at least we know we are not alone in being the target of frequently ridiculous, sometimes rude and hurtful, incredibly ignorant remarks. They are listed in no particular order, and many repeat common themes.

So without further ado, and in the order they were commented in our group, here are…

200 offensive things that are frequently said to Aussie single mums

200 things that are said to single no

  1. I’m so jealous of all your free time when your kids go to their dads.
  2. Don’t worry, you’ll find a partner… just stop looking/when you least expect it – ‘you need a partner’!
  3. Yeah I’m like a single mum when my husband goes away for work/golf/fishing
  4. Just work more hours
  5. Maybe you’re too picky
  6. You need to love yourself first, no one will love you if you don’t love yourself.
  7. Can’t you just leave her with your mum?
  8. Oh you will have so much money now on spp (Single Parenting Payment) (not).
  9. What do you mean you need a break?
  10. So how often does he (the ex) see the kids?
  11. You shouldn’t worry about finding a partner, you need to just focus on your daughter
  12. Why did you have kids if you can’t afford them?
  13. I don’t date single mums. No offense – if you were a catch he wouldn’t have left.
  14. Didn’t you work out how you got pregnant the first time?
  15. Don’t you get pregnant again, make sure you’re married next time
  16.  Oh you definitely won’t be having more kids now
  17. I ran into your ex…
  18. Oh you don’t want another partner – look at how that turned out last time
  19. At least you don’t have anyone to cook for apart from the kids
  20. Oh you just take away your child from the father so you can get Child Support and Centerlink as an income.
  21. Your fault for having a kid with a dickhead.
  22. Didn’t you know what he was like when you were with him?
  23. I’d rather be a single mum (like you)
  24. Do they all have the same father? 
  25. Oh my husband sits on his bum all day so I’m basically mum and dad too
  26. I feel like I’m a single mum as he’s never home and doesn’t help with housework. You have it so easy
  27. You’re single? Ain’t you lucky!
  28. Perhaps next time don’t get engaged and forget the marriage thing… you’ve got three kids as it is..
  29. So do you reckon you will ever get a job?
  30. Oh you’ll be right. My husband is like another child anyway.
  31. Well if you can’t handle your kids then send them to live with their father
  32. Oh your kids have the same dad, thats surprising 
  33. You had your turn to be in a relationship and be happy. Now that’s over so get over it.
  34. I’m just like you, I’m single parenting tonight as hubby is away!
  35. You need to put yourself out there!
  36. Can’t live in the past forever!  (I’m a widow)
  37. Don’t worry you’re young, you have plenty of time to find someone who will love you
  38. At least it’s only the mess kids make and you don’t have a husband to clean up after
  39. Just come for one drink there is plenty of time. Get someone else to get the kids
  40. It’s time to concentrate on your kids.
  41. Oh well. Time to move on. No use being sad.
  42. Oh well at least you’ve just got the one to worry about
  43. Oh what a shame you’ve just got the one and now with no dad around your son won’t have a brother or sister
  44. Wow, 3 kids and your single… are you going to have anymore?
  45. You struggle with 2 I did it completely alone with 4 (mother)
  46. Your house should be spotless only 2 kids (mother)
  47. You kids never did this/that  (All from my mum)
  48. If you only have two days a fortnight free you can’t expect anything more then a casual f*k really
  49.  Do you plan on having more kids?
  50. Why have more kids if you can’t handle the ones you have…
  51. Be careful, once the kids are grown, you’ll be all on your own, with no one to take care if you!
  52. Oh you have it easy, you only have one child
  53. Just because he left you for another woman, but still wants to be part of your child’s life, doesn’t make you a single parent… you’re just single.
  54. C’mon lets go out n find you a husband (So simple)
  55. Do they all have the same dad?
  56. Aren’t they better off with their dad if you have so many mental health issues
  57. Oh how nice of your ex to babysit!
  58. Oh wow you have 6 kids so must must love sex
  59. I have four children ….“What, was your tv broken?” 
  60. Have you been on the dating apps? 
  61. To a single mum of a child with ADHD/ODD/CD/SPD (and being testing for ASD): Oh, we know what you’re going through, we’re parents too. [the Dad] has to lay down with our son for almost half an hour every night or he won’t stay in bed
  62. You’re not a single parent If you get child support 
  63. I know what it feels like to be a single parent – my husband comes home and sits down and does nothing to help out 
  64. I so know what it’s like to have kids…I just got a puppy
  65. You’ve just got to be positive
  66. I know what it’s like I live with someone who has kids
  67. What do you do all day?!
  68. Maybe you should consider parenting differently 
  69. It’s easier on your own
  70. Wow your kids don’t have the same dad? That’s disgusting.
  71. You shouldn’t have your kids if you’re not mentally stable 
  72. Why are you lonely, you have your beautiful kids
  73. My partner is FIFO I know exactly how you feel
  74. No one’s relationship is perfect
  75. Well you chose to have children with him
  76. Medically diagnosed anxiety and depression –  apparently if I was just more ‘positive’ it wouldn’t be an issue. Thanks Karen I never thought about that
  77. Your daughter goes to bed early, what’s your problem?
  78. It was your choice to have kids
  79. How can you say you’re lonely when you’re never alone.
  80. I’m so sorry.. (I’m not – best decision I ever made)
  81. You need to put them into care so that you get time for yourself/ why put your kids into care if you’re not working, save your money.
  82. Let’s find you a boyfriend
  83. It just breaks my heart for the children 
  84. Aren’t you lonely? 
  85. You are not the only mum! ( from my ex in-laws )
  86. Stay strong
  87. This soon will pass… (9 years of litigation lol..)
  88. How have you not become an alcoholic already? 
  89.  Do you really want that to be your child’s story? Why don’t you wait until you find a man to have more kids? (Donor egg Mum)
  90. We didn’t invite you as thought you’d be uncomfortable being the only single
  91. Just focus on the kids, they are your number one priority
  92. “You’re better off single/ a husband is just more work / I wish I didn’t have to worry about anyone else”
  93. My husband works all the time. Poor me.
  94. Maybe you should have tried harder to make the relationship work…
  95. Dont worry he will see what he has missed and come back to you.
  96. You don’t need a boyfriend because you already have kids so it doesn’t matter if you don’t find someone
  97. You don’t need a man. You are a strong and independent woman! I envy you
  98. You can’t be lonely. You have a daughter that loves you and is always with you
  99. Oh well, keep buying lotto tickets.
  100. You have your kids… (state the obvious Karen. Hahahaha)
  101. Haven’t you got the best life, always out doing stuff.
  102. Just feel lucky you get a break, we always have our kids
  103. You made your bed you lie in it 
  104. You are getting older, can’t afford to be too picky in a partner.
  105.  Maybe drop your standards a bit 
  106. Just find a baby sitter
  107. Can I come over when your kids are in bed  (yes, of course, strange man I’ve never met, by all means come to my home when my kids are asleep. )
  108. Oh kids are expensive, I have to work as well as hubby, because we can’t survive on just one income.” (Even though he earns $140k)
  109. I wish I were a single Mum so I got to feel sorry for myself all day
  110. HOW are YOU single?!
  111. You’re so beautiful, how are you single?
  112. You should of known… (my ex husband was a cheating narcissistic pig, who was going to ruin me. I should of known. Thanks for that lol)
  113. I would have invited you but you have…. ‘ pause… and my child’s name. 
  114. Surely your family help out? 
  115. Well best you think about the choices you are making, this was ultimately your choice.
  116. Why didn’t you stay with your husband, so your kids have both parents.
  117.  What were you thinking?
  118. Do they have the same dad?
  119. Your life is over, you can’t go out anymore, time to stay at home and look after your spawns 24/7 like a good mamma bear bitch
  120. Why didn’t u make the relationship work cos u have a child
  121. Do you know who the dad is?
  122. Hmm – you should hurry up and have more kids before the age gap gets too big. (Yea ok cool, who with exactly?)
  123. Just hit your ex up for more kids, better that they have the same parents.
  124. I don’t know how you do it all, being a single mum
  125. You should already be in a strict a routine
  126. I dont know how u do it
  127. I couldn’t do it
  128. Why did you stay with him so long/have kids with him if he’s abusive…
  129. Geez how do you do it with twins and the dad not in the picture, you mustn’t get any time to yourself it must be so hard on you
  130. Yeah I’m like a single mum when my husband goes away for work/golf/fishing
  131. I work in childcare so I know how hard being a single mum is
  132. If you couldn’t take care of them then you shouldn’t have had them.
  133. What does your husband do for work?  (Me: no idea. But I ll let you know when I meet him)
  134. (when people learn that my son is gay) “That’s because he hasn’t had a male role model in his life “ or “That’s from being a mummies boy”.  
  135. He shouldn’t have to pay child support, you chose to have the kid
  136. What do you do in your down time? (Down… time….??? What is this foreign concept?)
  137.  What are you going to do with all your child free time?
  138. Wow you must love all the money you get for leaving him
  139. You must get so much time to yourself
  140. (When Dads say) “Yer, I’ll babysit for you”… (Like parenting his own child is doing you a favour!)
  141.  Can’t you just leave him (my son) home while he sleeps and come over for some fun? (like yeah no worries ill just shaft my kid off for a complete stranger)
  142. Can’t you get a babysitter for them? (Not going to get a babysitter just so I can meet up with you)
  143. …really? Why can’t you leave him with a six pack of coke and some Doritos for when he wakes up? (Not a safety issue at all – really not a strong enough word for these idiots!)
  144. Don’t you know what causes it yet?
  145. Are they all yours?
  146. (I feel sad when I only get invited over to my friends places when their hubbies are away.) “Hey, … is going on a fishing trip that weekend.  You should come over for a catch up”. (Like I’m in a position to drop everything when their husbands are away)
  147.  U will find someone when u least expect it. 
  148.  At least you can make the decisions alone’…
  149. You’re lucky you get to stay home and live off the government for free you don’t even know how hard it is to have a real job, you’re just a dole bludger.. bet you don’t even know what a real job is anymore, I work hard like a real man.. blah blah blah” (…tell him you’ll happily swap and see if he’ll enjoy the hardest job in the world ie raising kids 24/7!)
  150. So the kids asleep yeah?.. you want some company?”
  151. It must be hard being a single mum
  152. Apparently single mums are always up for sex, is that true? Can I come over when your kids are asleep?
  153. I’m very quiet I can just sneak in and out” (hahaha I think the fk not)
  154. I hope you have found the happiness you are looking for
  155. I may as well be a single parent bc he does nothing to help me anyway…
  156. Better to have been married once than never at all at least you can say someone wanted you once.
  157. (When you say your a single mum and people say) Aw that’s sad (or) I’m sorry to hear that… 
  158. Why don’t you go out and meet someone (new partner)
  159. So do you reckon your child looks like his father?
  160. Did he get anything from his father?
  161. Does he see his dad.
  162. You’re putting yourself out there in the wrong way
  163. You need to look for men your own age
  164. Who ever dates a single mother is an imbecile.
  165. You need to lose weight first then someone will love you
  166. Well who else will take you on with kids. 
  167. Oh you’re single, don’t look towards my husband
  168. What do you do with all the free time when the kids go away, wish I had that
  169. Just send the kids to their dad’s and have some you time (Oh yeah let’s hit the town, spend all that money we have, who cares about catching up on home duties and catching up on sleep)
  170. Do both kids have the same dad?
  171. Is your current partner your kids dad?
  172. Maybe if you smile more, a guy will find you
  173. You need to find time for yourself too or you can’t be everything to your son.
  174. You’ll find the right one someday
  175. I understand….my husband doesn’t help so I’m pretty much single anyway
  176. Four kids and single…you’ve got your hands full! (no sh*t)
  177. You need to make time for yourself to relax and recharge.
  178. You’re lucky you don’t have a husband as mine wouldn’t allow me to work after the kids go to sleep as i have to hang out with him 
  179. Gotta love yourself before you can love anyone else  
  180. I want your life!
  181. Its your fault. you chose to have a kid to him.
  182. I have kids AND a husband, and I work… Why can’t you?
  183. I feel really guilty that I have a partner and you don’t
  184. It’s okay I’ll be your baby’s dad instead
  185. My husband works long hours and does nothing around the house or helps with the kids. I know how you feel being a single mum.
  186. When the father says they are babysitting their kids.. 
  187. You’ll meet someone when you least expect it
  188. Must be nice to be able to hang out at home all day
  189. You’ve been married before, why would you bother finding another man.. 
  190. Oh so you will get Centrelink and child support, are you going to quit your job as you shouldn’t need to work anymore?
  191. Why do you work if you’re a single mum?
  192. Why don’t you reduce your work hours so you can be home more or take more days off?
  193. Q. Do you know who the father is? (A. Yes unfortunately.)
  194. You’re not the first person that’s ever had a kid
  195. If you can’t handle the pressure why did you even bother having kids! 
  196.  At least you don’t have more than one like me
  197.  “Come out!” “Sorry I’m just not able too” “Just get a babysitter it’ll be fine” (sure except that I then need an extra $100 just to pay for the sitter!)
  198.  ‘I’m single parenting this week while my husband is away’. (NO YOU’RE NOT!)
  199. Awww if i was in your situation I wouldn’t cope without a husband
  200. Find yourself a rich dirty old man and marry again

Australian single mum friends

The original poster commented…

I think the lesson we can all learn from this is a stigma still exists in society for single mothers.

Whether we are 100% care taking with the role of mum and dad, 50/50 care or variations of shared care, victims of DV, single by choice, looking for a partner or even repartnered, we are all enough just as we are.

Put judgement aside and be kind to people you meet. Don’t be nosy in the name of being friendly. Just be kind. We don’t know what is going on behind someone’s smile.

A single mum, and member of the Australian Single Mum Support Facebook Group

You can join the Australian Single Mum Support Facebook Group here.

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