Things You Should Never Ask a Single Mom

Almost 5 years.

Yes, I have been a single mom for nearly 5 years now. Does it get easier with times? I would love to think so but the truth is you just get stronger and smarter, as in you find what works for you and your children.

There are some things that never change.

People get curious, I get that yet these questions are the most popular that being thrown at us single moms and believe me, we would rather if you don’t ask that like ever.

Let me help you.

Things You Should Never Ask a Single Mom:5 Things You Shouldn't Ask a single mom

  1. What happened?

Honestly, we would rather not talk about what happened especially if we just met you. There are things that are just too private to discuss with others and please try to respect that. Unless you are our therapist we would rather not talk about what caused the marriage to end.

For me this usually follows with “Where is his father now?” and some variations of that which by the way, I really don’t want to talk about because I am my own person now. I am not my divorce.

  1. Do you have a boyfriend?

Uhm – again – please don’t ask that. First off, if we do have a great boyfriend we would voluntarily, happily talk about it first at the right time. I don’t go on social events and find strangers to chat up with then say “Hey, I have a boyfriend!” Asking if we are dating or even about how difficult it must be to date with a child when we first met is just…awkward much?

  1. You should hurry up and get married again and have a baby while you are still young.

Thanks for reminding me of my ticking biological clock…not! Granted, we understand you mean well but really? If anything, single moms are the last person who wants to jump into marriage in a heartbeat.

I get this a lot and I mean a lot. What others seems to not understand is second marriage with a child involves is a lot more complex than first marriage but that’s another topic altogether.

  1. Do you get child support?

This is very much up there, right next to “How much are you making a month?

Maybe your intention is well to see if my ex-husband is supporting his own son but really? It is none of your business and I would rather not talk about it.

I usually get the “Is he paying for school? The school here is expensive!” coming from other parents in my son’s school and I must cringe every time I hear this and usually I managed to distract the parents by asking about how their overseas vacations went.

  1. I am a single mom too sometimes when my husband is out of town and it is so hard. I don’t know how you do it!

Listen, sweety…having a husband who travels a lot for work does not qualify you as single moms. Why? Because you have a husband who is married to you. Yes, you may have to do some parenting on your own while he is out of town. I get that but here’s the deal, you have the emotional support you need from your spouse! You can call, text, Skype him and vented out your rough day with the kids. You have a husband! He is coming home and then you can relax a bit, leaving him to mind the kids while you go get a manicure done. I’m a single mom all the time, your week being ‘single mother’ cannot be compared to my life. So please don’t say that to me.

Unless of course you are a military family where your husband is deployed for months on end then yes, you are a single parent.

Next time you meet single mom/parent please spare them from these typical questions. Just treat us like a normal human being that’s all we ask really. I am not trying to dictate you what to say, just letting you know exactly how it feels like to be on the receiving end of these questions.

Stock Image Source: Unsplash



  1. January 13, 2015 / 5:01 am

    Yikes! I guess some people try to express concern by asking questions, but some are just plain nosey or rude. These are definitely good questions to stay clear of.

    • January 13, 2015 / 10:14 am

      I really think most people especially here in Indonesia didn’t meant to be rude but the questions just rubbed me the wrong way at times hahaha. Bless them for trying 🙂

  2. January 13, 2015 / 8:36 am

    What an annoying question 😀

    • January 13, 2015 / 10:15 am

      Sabar ko di’ hatiku hihihihi 😀 Aaaah sayang kemaren pas aku pulang ke Makassar belum kenal Mbak Noe!

      • January 13, 2015 / 10:52 am

        Asli dr Makassar kah mba Maureen? Hihi… Aku jatuh cinta sama sulsel, sudah 2x kesana. pingin balik lagi klo ada kesempatan. 😀

  3. January 13, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    Mr. and Mrs. Kemal (Kepo Maksimal) are everywhere 😀
    Keep stronger mbak. *Big hugs*

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Thank you Mbak 🙂 I love that Mrs & Mr Kemal hahaha 😀

  4. January 13, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    I think it’ll be better if you also write what people should say to avoid asking those kind of questions.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Good point but I think it’s just common sense really but that’s a great idea. Thank you! 🙂

  5. January 13, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    Oh, gosh I hate it when people ask about personal things to others and be all judgmental about it. Being a single mom is an achievement enough and they shouldn’t question every single mom just like that

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:20 am

      Thank you for your kind words and understanding Alissa 🙂

  6. January 13, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Sometimes there’re people who like to ask things they don’t need to ask, and forget to stop. I also have an experience like this, mbak. Altough in different case, but I know, this kind of questions are really irritating.

    Big hug for you, Mbak Maureen..

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:21 am

      Thank you for your kind words Mba Yanet 🙂

  7. January 13, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    I hope I remember these things. I am not really that nosy but when engaged in a conversation, I might ask those questions, too. I think everyone gets those annoying questions. Single people are often asked when they are going to get married, why they do not have a boyfriend, etc. Married people are asked when they will be having a baby and when they have a baby, they are asked when they are having the second child.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:23 am

      Katrina, that is so true isn’t it funny? People will ask those very personal questions to us? 😀 Yes, I get that too lol.

  8. January 13, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    Never easy to become a single mom but hoping you can find someone that can offer you a true love and respect! 🙂

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:24 am

      Amen. Thank you Ace!

  9. January 14, 2015 / 3:57 am

    Yes! I hate all those questions, and so much more.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:25 am

      Cheers to us Amanda! 😀

  10. January 14, 2015 / 5:34 am

    Ugh! They’re all annoying!
    And #5. I totally get that. I do get overwhelmed when my husband travels for work for over a week, but it’s short-term and it’s not what I’m used to and then he comes back.
    My mom was a single mom for awhile because my father passed away suddenly and the things people said to her are too horrible to even mention.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:29 am

      Oh Tamara your mother sounds like a really strong lady! Big hugs for her. I have been on that end too when I was still married, my ex travels a lot for work and I do feels exhausted and overwhelmed but I can still ‘reach’ him somehow unless he was in a plane somewhere lol but yes being on both ends is never easy.

  11. January 14, 2015 / 7:44 am

    Whoa there. I get that a lot of those are sensitive subjects, just politely decline in answering the question. People are just curious, that’s all.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:37 am

      I do always avoid answering these questions but there are days where you just get tired of being asked the same questions over and over again 🙂

  12. January 14, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    This is a sad reality. There are people who don’t have tact, inconsiderate of others, and don’t even bother to think before they speak. In anything, whether a person is talking to a single mom or to an acquaintance, people should be able to gauge when to ask what and when NOT to ask certain things. This is true especially if the level of the friendship or relationship is not as deep yet for a person to be comfortable to ask anything.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:38 am

      Exactly Russ, sadly some people thinks it’s not a big deal at all to ask something so personal as these. That’s why single moms need to grow thicker skins 🙂

  13. January 14, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    I admire people who are single moms as they do a lot for their family. I guess we should be more sensitive in the topics we bring up as some would be inappropriate especially for first hand conversations.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:39 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Franc. Yes we just need to be more mindful of what we say to others 🙂

  14. skinny B
    January 14, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    OMG.. I didnt know I am hurting my friends with it! Thank you so much!

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:40 am

      I’m sure you never meant to hurt them but thank you for realizing how some of these questions can be hurtful 🙂

  15. Eliz Frank
    January 14, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    Oh my goodness! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry but these are so true. People need to learn to mind their own business and stop comparing notes too. Love this.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:41 am

      Hahahaha it’s ok Eliz, when I wrote this it was a mixed between irony and humor meets reality 😀 Thank you!

  16. January 14, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Some people just cannot think of anything else to say and just blurt it out without regard for the single parent’s feelings. This is sound advice for everyone to know how single parent’s feel.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:43 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Fred 🙂

  17. hannah gee
    January 14, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    Such a diffeent post to read however i can truly see how everyone of those question would be very unwelcome. x

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:43 am

      Thank you Hannah 🙂

  18. January 15, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    Hehehe bacanya tuw antra geli n sedih. Kalau saya suka kepo tp di belakang orangnya, maksudnya biar ga salah ngomong. Seringnya utk konfirmasi status teman yg sdh lama ga ketemuan. Dan kalau sudah ketahuan statusnya, saya jd bisa atur do’s n don’ts nya. Nah tulisan ini membuat saya lbh mengerti. Tx for sharing (akhirnya bs komen di sini hehehe)

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:44 am

      Makasih banyak Mak Melati 😀

  19. January 16, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    Oh how I recognise those questions after being a single mom for almost 8 years.

  20. January 17, 2015 / 10:41 am

    I have single mom friends and I agree with those things you’ve mentioned. In a way, I also experienced being a single dad and the most tiring question I had to answer all the time is “what happened?”. For most of the time I had to explain again and again.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:47 am

      Arsie so sorry to hear single dads are also facing the same ‘questioning’. Sigh. So sad 🙁

  21. January 18, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    This is my first visit to your blog, overall I really like this blog simple and make me understanding that i have to learn how to write an article in a blog. About this topic, I agree with you, maybe some people is trying to understand the problem but it just make another problem after asking some question like you say. Because, they just ‘say it’ without ‘think it first deeply’ like what if i was the single mom, is it good if i ask her about her marriage before and so more.

    • January 19, 2015 / 9:48 am

      Thank you Mbak for stopping by and for your kind words 🙂

  22. January 28, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Hm.. terima kasih sudah memberi rule-rule ini, Mbak.
    Saya punya beberapa teman yang single mom, dan ini bisa saya jadikan pegangan saat berbincang-bincang dengan mereka 🙂

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