4 Things Married Parents Should Never Say To Solo Parents
As parents, we have incredible but never ending job. We love our children with all of our hearts, we balance work, home, extracurricular responsibilities in the name of our families and somehow through it all, we make it through.
Sometimes as parents, we can have a partner with us our entire lives to help us navigate the parenting world and sometimes, our partner leaves or passes away and we navigate these parenting waters alone. Solo parents are not looking for sympathy but everyone has to acknowledge that the struggles are different than those of a married parent.
There is a big difference between a married parent and a solo parent. A married parent has a spouse that they can lean on, complain to and rely on. When someone’s sick, hopefully a married parent can rely on their spouse. If one loses a job, hopefully the other one can carry the load until they find another job or career choice. There is always someone in your corner and shares the same best interests in your family as they do.
A solo parent does not have an active partner, where there partner may have passed away or left and are not supporting their children by any means. That means no alimony, no child support and no shared custody. There are a lot of solo parents out there who are out there and making it work. A solo parent relies solely on their own income, their own connections and makes it on their own. Whatever the reasoning, they are surviving and thriving solo with their children.
Sometimes, married parents say things that can shock solo parents. Married parents sometimes forget how far their solo parent friends have come to make this parenting thing work. With that being said, here are our top four things that married parents should avoid saying to solo parents.
I am a Solo parent too… When my partner is Away. I KNOW the Struggle
“My partner is away on business this week so I am a single parent like you!”
When your spouse is away on business, it’s up to you to take over both duties! You have to take on the extra work that your spouse would usually do plus continuing to take care of the house, kids and go to work. Not to mention, you may have to mend some broken little hearts of your kids while their other parent is gone. It can be so exhausting and when your partner comes home, you may just want to hand them over the duties for a couple of hours so you can catch up on a much needed rest. Seeing them walk through that door can feel so good!
Welcome back! Let’s get back to this parenting thing together!
Being the only parent for a few weeks can be tiring to say the least, but mentioning it to your solo parent how you are now “deep down in the trenches with them” is a bit of an exaggeration.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD – Ask the solo parent for some tips. They may have some great survival tactics that you can steal to make your time a bit easier.
SETTING UP THE SOLO PARENT
“You know that guy down the street is a solo parent of two little girls and you are a solo parent of two little boys, you would be the perfect couple!” Married parents try to set up their solo parenting friends without consent at times. Though some solo parents may be thankful for the thought, others are just trying to keep afloat. If your solo parenting friend is interested in meeting new people, try really looking at personality as well of the potential mate. Are they compatible? Don’t define your set up based on the fact that they are both solo parents.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD- Ask directly or indirectly if they are interested in dating. It’s that simple. Then if they say yes, introduce potential suitors!
THE MARRIED PARENT’S OPINIONS ON DATING
When your solo parent friend is dating again, they may not need your advice. “When I was dating my husband, we did not meet each other online, we met in real life!” The world of dating may have changed greatly since you have been married and this is a great opportunity for the married parent to learn how the world of dating is working these days.
Your solo parenting friend is putting their heart out on the line again to meet someone special and they may make mistakes. Be a good friend and a listening ear. If you find yourself lecturing, your solo parent friend is going to share less. Let them enjoy their life and make some minor mistakes and take the time to learn a bit about how dating is today! You both can learn something new!
COMPLAINING LIKE CRAZY ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE
It’s okay to vent to your besties, but over complaining to your solo parent friend about little things may hurt a bit.
The solo parent is doing everything on their own and if it means a partner to just do the dishes, could be 15 minutes of peace, they would take it. Solo parents have it all together but hearing about the married parent being upset about the type of music their partner listens to or how they don’t parent the children exactly how they want it can be small in the grand scheme of things.
Understanding Each Other
Married parents and solo parents can learn a lot from each other. As long as married parents are understanding that solo parents live a different life and may have different challenges than they do, it can be another great friendship. We can avoid these social snafus with just a little bit of fault and putting ourselves in another person’s shoes for a while.
If you are a solo parent, what is something you would like your married parent friends to stop saying or bringing up to you? Tell us what we have missed.