There are lots of awkward moments that come along with parenthood. I always knew this would be the case. I was not however, prepared for the daily normal situations, inquires and questions that are instantly awkward by being a single mom. I’m not the divorced or uncoupled single mom, I’m the kind whose been on her own since watching the little stick show a plus sign (but that’s a story for later). All in all, I think I’ve adjusted pretty quickly, sometimes in a sarcastic and comic fashion. Here are my top awkward moments and how I deal with them.
When out at about (for instance Trader Joe’s):
Hot Guy At Trader Joe’s (after crossing paths in 3 aisles): “What a cutie, how old is he?”
Me: Thank you, he’s 10 months!
Hot Guy At Trader Joe’s: “Oh wow, he’s a big boy! Gonna be a football player! Is his dad a big guy?”
Me: From what I remember, he was pretty average.
Hot Guy At Trader Joe’s: –blink–blink–smile “Right on.”
Me: (blushing) Have a great day!
(Note to self: wear make up when going out, Little Man is a dude magnet).
On Correcting My Pediatrician
3 Mo Checkup:
Ped: “He’s perfectly healthy and looks great, he’s 100% for height and weight. I’ll print out a copy of the growth chart for daddy.”
Me: Um, thanks. (I wanted the print out for his book)
6mo Check Up, My Dad (Little Man’s Grandpa) is with me.
Ped: “He’s doing great mommy, healthy and as can be.” Turns to my Dad. “Great job dad, he’s going to be a big boy.”
Grandpa: “He’s my first Grandson and yes, he’s big guy! He’s already too big for mom to carry!”
Ped: “Oh, well good job grandpa! Let me print out his growth chart to take some to show dad.”
Me: Um, ok. Thanks (I still want the printout).
9 Mo Check Up:
Ped: “He’s doing great. Look at all those teeth! He should start crawling soon.”
Me: Thanks! He’s rocks on all four and scoots backward. I’m sure he’ll start soon.
Ped: “Well, you and your husband should start baby proofing now, it will happen overnight.”
Me: Well, its just the two of us, but yes, I’ve already started.
Ped: (awkward pause). “Well, keep up the good work mommy.”
Me: Can I still get his growth chart print out?
Facebook (or other) Acquaintance (usually via messenger or text)
Them: “I’m sorry if this is nosey, but I only ever see pictures of you and your son, can I ask about his father?”
Me: You can ask.
Me: Its just the two of us. He’s not (nor ever has been) involved. He moved out of the state two weeks after I told him I was expecting and I haven’t heard from him since.
Them: “Wow. What a dick”
Me: Can you get everything in these two reusable bags? I have to walk up the stairs with them and him (pointing to Little Man).
Checker: “You should get your husband to help you with the groceries!”
Me: If you can find me one, I’ll pass that along!
Checker: (uncomfortable chuckle)
The awkwardness is also felt by my Dad, Little Man’s Grandpa, who lives with me part time and is out and about with us a lot. He now preemptively says “I’m a proud grandpa” or “he’s my first Grandson” or “aren’t grandchildren such a blessing” any time someone stops to talk to us when we’re out together. Or he wears the “Great Dads become Awesome Grandpas” t-shirt I got him. I mean, he’s 62 and looks good for his age and in LA, one can never assume whose in a relationship based on age difference (but, seriously eeeewwww).
Despite giving up wearing any jewelry on my left hand to signal to the world my very single lifestyle, I know its totally normal for people to make the assumption that because I have a child, I have a husband, boyfriend or partner. Their assumption doesn’t bother me or make me feel like a total failure (like it once did). Family looks different under every roof and in every situation its beautiful.
As for me, “just the two of us” is perfect.