“Can I offer you some advice?”

Sometimes I fantasize about unsolicited advice starting this way- at least then there would be an opportunity to say no thank you/not now/fuck off. This is not, however, how unsolicited advice works. Like catcalling, hailstorms and Ann Coulter, unsolicited advice just happens. We’ve all been on the receiving end of it and unsurprisingly, people give extra special unsolicited advice to single moms.

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Granted, most unsolicited advice comes from a good place. Or, like, an okay place. But being a single ma comes with enough shit to figure out without getting life lessons from people who, for lack of a better phrase, don’t fucking get it. This brings me to the end of Part Deux, where I confronted the curse of the single MILF: what does one do when there are no good options?

I spend a lot of my time soul searching/talking to close friends/yelling “WHY, LORD?” into the atmosphere, and not just about men. Figuring out how to be a human person is hard and the answers don’t come easy. Fortunately there are a lot of people willing to weigh in on how I can do better at being alive. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

The “Have You Tried Meditation?”

When faced with the unimaginable stress of never having enough money, there’s honestly nothing more helpful than being asked if I meditate. I wish people suggested meditation to me more often than the two or three times a month they already suggest meditation to me. Is meditation how people with money get their money? Probably!

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The “You Should Just Learn French”

Having spent most of my adult life under a rock that’s actually just a baby, there are a lot of things I don’t know- so when an acquaintance first suggested I could better my financial situation by simply going back to school or taking a French course, my mind was fucking blown. All this time I’d been actively trying to ruin my own life by following my passion and adapting to life’s unpredictability when there were perfectly good and obvious choices right under my nose!

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I had genuinely thought these things were not only entirely irrelevant to my career path but also logistically/financially infeasible until people explained to me that if I wanted to change my life I just had to make the time. At this point I was like ‘who cares if this will cost me my entire income plus student debt and be utterly useless to me in the long run? People are out there walking around making time. Holy shit!

The “Your Life Would Be Easier If You Just Did Things To Make Your Life Easier”

As you may know, most single moms are total dingdongs who choose not to do things that are healthy and reasonable even though they have tons of spare time and resources and energy. This is why it’s extremely helpful to tell the MILF you’re dating things like “You’ll feel so much better if you eat better” or “You should get your apartment cleaned, it’s totally worth it” or “You have to get that dental work done”.

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I’m always incredibly grateful for this because as soon as I became a single mom I forgot literally everything I knew about nutrition and housekeeping and basically everything other than breathing, which I also forget about sometimes. I waste a shitload of time, like, getting through the day and keeping a human person alive, so really I need all the advice I can get about things like vegetables. Thanks, Aiden!

The “You Need To Take Time For Yourself”

People give me this relationship advice constantly and to tell you the truth, it’s spot on. If there’s one thing all single moms need, it’s more time isolated from the rest of society. I mean, how can we be expected to make meaningful connections with other people without first subjecting ourselves to an arbitrary period of utter solitude? What the fuck are we, humans with an emotional capacity comparable to that of childless single people?

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Seriously though, I hear this all the time and at this point I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a single mom or if it’s because I’m me. It’s a phrase that inevitably comes from friends when things don’t work out with a guy I’m seeing, and I get the point- it can be good to reflect and consider why things didn’t work out.

The thing most people don’t fully understand is that it doesn’t matter if I’m single or dating. It doesn’t matter if I’m with friends, at work, at home, at a comedy club or at the top of a mountain- at the end of the day, I am alone. This, for me, is the reality of being a single mother.

My life consists of a series of great moments shared with great people. I am not physically alone.I have the privilege of enjoying these moments and these friendships because I exist in several worlds at once, and I’m grateful for that.

The tradeoff for this life, though, is having to ask constantly “what’s a single mom to do?” and knowing, like everything else, I’ll have to find the answer myself- even if Aiden does decide to make me a goddamn salad for once.

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Ellie MacDonald

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