1. Take pictures … with mom in it!
While ALL moms are often behind the camera more than in front of it, this is especially true of single moms. With no partner around to take candids on-the-fly, it’s up to a single mom’s tribe to step up and snap some pics from time to time. Take the photos and send them to her; I promise that she will be forever grateful!
2. Avoid phrases like “I am single parenting this weekend”
As a single mom, I never had the guts to tell my friends how much this phrase hurt my feelings. As a married mom, I have no qualms about telling partnered women they need to zip it if they say anything of the sort. The hardest part about single parenthood is that it is never-ending. By nature, these phrases indicate only a small window of struggle. To suggest that a few days without a partner is in any way similar to years of zero financial support, constant stress, and nobody to turn to when it comes to big child-rearing decisions belittles the full picture of what makes single parenthood so hard. Perhaps try “I’m flying solo this weekend,” instead.
3. Think of her around the holidays
4. Invite her and her kid(s) over for dinner
Cash-strapped and exhausted was a combo that never made me enthusiastic about eating out as a single mom. If my kiddo started acting up in a restaurant, I had nobody to tag on kid duty so that I could scarf down my meal in style. Restaurant outings were also costly and simply not enjoyable. Save the single moms you know some money and bring her into your home, feed her and her kid(s) something simple, and give her the opportunity to eat “out” and socialize without the stresses of money or public behavior expectations.
5. Offer to carpool whenever possible
This is a small but HUGE way parents can help out other parents, single or not. When you’re the only one who can do the drop-offs/pick-ups, grocery shopping, home maintenance, laundry, doctor’s appointments, and EVERYTHING ELSE, there is simply never enough time in the day. Taking a single mom’s kid somewhere or handling a pick-up can give your mama friend a well-deserved break and a few extra minutes.
6. Play matchmaker if she is interested, but drop it if she’s not
I was certain I would never date anyone ever again. How do you even go out and meet someone as a single mom? How can anyone afford paying a babysitter and going out on the town in the hopes of finding a mate? At the time, I might have appreciated a pre-screened connection courtesy of a good friend. However, the stresses of single parenthood essentially left little space in my life for dating, so I might have turned down the idea, too. In any case, think of her if you know of a good person and see what she says, but don’t press the issue if she doesn’t show interest. Also, don’t bug her about “needing to get out there;” she already has a lot on her plate!