I know, I know it’s hard when your hubby goes away and you have to put BOTH kids to bed by yourself.
AND DO BATH TIME.
How do you cope?
You know what you do – when he gets back give him the I-looked-after-the-kids-for-four-whole-nights-in-a-row-without-any-help-I-deserve-some-me-time spiel.
And you do deserve it. You have earned it. You were practically a SINGLE MUM, right?
I am not meaning to inflame the single-mums-do-it-tougher debate at all because I know there are benefits to parenting solo.
All those nights of rom-coms and breakfast as dinner. All those un-interrupted bubble baths and glasses of wine.
You know what I mean. It’s just like when your husband goes out to watch the grand final with his mates and you get the house to yourself. That's the life of a single mum isn't it?
Again - sorry to break it to you but no.
Just like a two-parent in the same home family, the life of a single parent is incredibly hard to define. And because there are so many different types of single parents, it is hard to speak for all of them.
There are those who are solo by choice. Those who have tragically lost a partner. Those who parent alone, and those who have shared care.
But there is one thing they all have in common. The hatred of ridiculous comments from those who aren't solo.
To help you navigate this - here’s a handy guide of what NOT to say to single parents. No matter how, why or what their circumstances are.
1. "I’m just like a single mum too. My husband is always at work."
Except you aren't single are you?
Even partners who travel a lot are still there. They are still available to consult in decision-making, at the end of a phone line. They are still there to discuss what costume to make for book week or how to deal with the fall out over a lost favourite toy.
They are still there for Christmas and Easter.
They might miss dinner once in a while. They might not be around for school pick up. They might even travel frequently but you aren’t a single parent by any stretch of the imagination.
If you were, you would know it.
2. "Come with us, you can sort out dinner for the kids later. Stop being so organised."
With single parenting – whether you do the whole lot alone without a break like many of us – or you have shared care is all about being organised.
Don't tell me to relax.
There is no popping out to get bread at 6pm for the school lunches if you have forgotten to order any in the weekly shop - unless you want to pack three kids in the car and all traverse to the supermarket.
There is no, “honey, can you bring home some cardboard for Billy’s art project I didn’t manage to pick any up”.
There are no evening trips to the gym unless you can afford a baby sitter every night.
There are no spontaneous girls' nights out.
Oh, don’t get me wrong - it’s not all bad.
There are many many wonderful evenings of laughing and cuddling with your children. There are many googy eggs and soldiers for dinners and Toy Story 3 in mum’s bed.
There are many let's have ice cream as an entrée surprises.
But throwing routine and organising to the wind for time with the girls. Not happening.
3. "I haven’t had my turn at a sleep in for three weekends running."
Sucks to be you. For some single parents who have their children 24/7 there are no sleep-ins. Ever.
For those who have shared care, a morning alone is more of a time to keep busy for fear of thinking too much about those who are absent than luxuriating between the covers.
4. "My husband does absolutely nothing around the house. You are lucky. You don't have to nag anyone."
No, instead I do it all.
I do see myself as lucky though, I have three amazing children.
But having a man around to put out the garbage is either here nor there.
In some ways parenting is totally the same. Single or whatever your family is like. Post continues after video.
5. "I had to do both drop off and pick up AND take the kids to soccer practise, tennis and band. I think my family expects too much of me."
Oh, what they want you to participate?
6. "Oh, you aren’t going to bring ALL the kids are you?"
Yes. 'Cause who else is going to look after them?
7. "I don’t know how you do it. I never could."
But you would. And you would do it with ease and grace because that’s what parents do for their kids.
Parenting isn’t a picnic but it is a delight – single or partnered as long as kids have a whole lot of love fired at them from all angles it doesn’t matter how many parents live in their household.
Are you a single parent? What do you wish people would stop saying to you?
TAP on the image below to click through the gallery of single celebrity mums.