to think that single parents are a race from another planet?

(146 Posts)
wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 08:23:32

I am with my newborn all day and at 6pm (some most days even earlier) I start counting down the minutes until dh comes home. As soon as he is there I give him ds and take a break run and hide.

At weekends I let dh kill his back carrying the baby around and entertaining him. Not that I go to the hairdresser. In the meantime I clean, cook, do the laundry, buy whatever we need, and so on and so on.

Last night I had food poisoning. I was vomiting in the bathroom when ds woke up and dh went to cuddle him. I was shaking, vomiting, unable to stand, etc. It would have taken super powers for me to go and cuddle him then.

I LOVE my baby, but it is fricking hard and I need another person to help me do it! ...and I am not hoping that it gets better in a year or two...

I am in awe at single parents who do it all by themselves, it must be the hardest thing ever, no?

RedHelenB Mon 16-Sep-13 08:27:32

Baby stage doesn't last forever but it wasn't fun beinbg a single mum with morning sickness cleaning up dds sick!

gordyslovesheep Mon 16-Sep-13 08:29:21

Not really ...you just get on with it

Wishfulmakeupping Mon 16-Sep-13 08:33:40

So much respect for single parents

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 08:35:29

I think you are trying to express admiration and that is genuinely nice.
But it sounds a bit like the stuff that people say to me 'I couldn't do what you do. Having a child with severe SN must be so challenging' or worse 'special children are sent to special people'

Its nonsense. What would you do if you were on our own? You would cope because that's the shit you deal with.

Lone parents, parents of children with disabilities or illness are all exactly the same as you.

The 'I couldn't do it' gets close to just distancing for me.

The good news is we are all stronger than we think (when we have no fucking option grin )

BrokenSunglasses Mon 16-Sep-13 08:35:34

Not all single parents are completely without support. Many have help from their families, and ime they often have strong support networks through friends that are in the same position though. Sometimes they have support from their ex as well, and can get more child free time than parents in families that are still together.

I actually quite enjoyed my time as a single mum, although both my dc were past the new baby stage and my youngest was just over a year.

I agree that those who do it completely alone have got it very tough.

PEople just get on and cope with whatever life throws at them (most of the time). We are actually a lot stronger than we think and are capable of dealing than a lot more than we can imagine.

Doubtfuldaphne Mon 16-Sep-13 08:42:43

When I was a single mum I knew no different and couldnt believe how hard it was. My ds and I were so close though and I look back on those times and just think 'wow I'm actually a really strong person!' Having my second baby years later with my dh..it was so easy I felt like I wasn't doing enough and felt really apprehensive letting him do anything.
I've got in to the swing of it now though and youre right, single mums are amazing!

dyslexicdespot Mon 16-Sep-13 08:46:43

I agree with Pagwatch, in that I am sure you are trying to be nice.

But there is a real danger in thinking that another person is stronger then you are because you think they manage adversity well.

This way of thinking invites the assumption that people who are, or have been, 'thorough the ringer' are inherently more capable of contending with adversity, and are thus in less need to help. This is not true. We all feel pain.

Ezio Mon 16-Sep-13 08:47:47

You just do it, because theres no one else there to do it for you.

Fifi2406 Mon 16-Sep-13 08:54:48

I hate when people say this to me I'm a single parent from the beginning very very little support you just deal with it because you have to! The same as DIY I never thought i would be able to build every single bit of furniture in my house but I did because I HAD to and so would you if you had to! if its from the beginning I think its probably easier because you never had any help to compare to! When I have been mildly ill you get up and carry on your day and the days when I have felt to horrendous to move I have stuck him in front of the tele which is a real treat because he doesnt usually watch it! I only have 1 DC but if I ever had another I would probably find it really hard to let the father do anything because I'm not used to it! I don't know how some of these mums at playgroups deal with their DP's some of them would drive me mad and I quite like being able to parent exactly how I chose and not have to compromise and i can't complain about how little washing up they do etc.hmm

It's just life and you get on with it!

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 09:02:05

You are trying to be complimentary, but are you saying that if something happened to your DP, you'd need to have your baby adopted because you couldn't cope?
No?
You'd manage somehow?
So do single parents, and those parents coping with children with SN, and those with no family to support, and those who have other pressures on them. And those who have combinations of multiple challenges.
They are not from another planet, nor are they specially blessed with extra resources of strength and patience. They are just like you, in different circumstances.
Help when you can if you really think that they are amazing. Appreciate what you have.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 09:04:53

Sorry, baby woke up [wink

BrokenSunglasses Yes, that's true, I was thinking about that when writing. We don't have any such support so...

Pagwatch. Never thought about it that way. You might have a point, but on the other hand when I say 'I am in awe' it means that, not 'I am in awe because I could not do it because it would be too difficult...'

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Mon 16-Sep-13 09:08:09

Plenty of single parents probably don't cope very well at all.

I don't think I could do it alone but I guess you just get on with it as best you can. And if it's the choice of do it alone or do it with an arse of a partner who just creates more work its probably the better option.

zeno Mon 16-Sep-13 09:09:00

I'm with Pag here. There is something very uncomfortable about having people in awe of oneself simply because one has put up with more shit than average.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 09:11:55

Hum, I suppose my title is a bit too strong then, but what I meant is 'I am in awe at single parents who do it all by themselves, it must be the hardest thing ever', and I stand by it. I think it would be the hardest thing - I - have ever done.
And yes, I do not have single parent friends without family support but if I ever will their children will stay at mine at least once a month.

soimpressed Mon 16-Sep-13 09:14:02

I really appreciate it when people say this. But that's because I have found it hard to cope at times so hearing things like this make me feel less useless. No one ever says this to me IRL, all I ever get is 'I practically raised my DCs alone' or 'my DH doesn't do anything, he's worse than another child'.

burberryqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 09:14:23

I do not have single parent friends without family support but if I ever will their children will stay at mine at least once a month
sure they will -

Mumsyblouse Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:44

I don't find anything sinister in thinking it would be impossible to be a single parent or have very little help, I used to feel like that til my husband started working away for months at a time (and he was still on the phone, albeit twice a week so I did have support). I still had a lot of support thought, through my family, and as I say, I don't think it is the same psychologically as really being on your own when you have a partner, even if they are not with you for long periods of time (which creates its own issues when they return).

What hopalongon says is true though.

I think some of you are being a bit hard on the op tbh.

burberryqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 09:18:52

well i thought the thread title was a bit hmm and the tone of the post quite distancing as Pagwatch said.

SamHamwidge Mon 16-Sep-13 09:21:26

I can see your intentions are good but the message comes across as patronizing.

Let me give you an example - I had my DD 9 weeks early and while she was in scbu I got all the 'I don't know how you manage' comments.

No one asked me if I would like to manage. I had 2 alternatives either manage or commit suicide, no third option!

If you lose a leg nobody asks if you'd like to manage with one leg.

I hope this post in itself isn't patronizing but I hope my point comes across!

( you sound nice though )

I don't think single mums are stronger from the start but I do think in some cases dealing with all the shit it can throw at you can kick your arse into gear to become a bit tougher.
a bit more able to deal with hard situations iyswim.
the situations we go through in life can shape who we become.

PlotTwist Mon 16-Sep-13 09:29:28

I've been a wife, I've been a single parent. I had two marriages break down, so the first time I was a SP of two with very little help, then for almost three years I was a SP of four, but the older two were teens, and the younger two were away every weekend. Sometimes being in a relationship is harder than being single. I've recently reconciled with my second husband and I'm finding the transition back to being part of a couple quite hard. How do you manage with anything? One day, one task at a time. You just juggle everything, because that's what is needed. Your baby is very little, it does get a little easier when they are less dependent. I oncee got a vomiting bug when the older two were 4 and 2, we spent a couple of days 'camping' out in the living room, them entertained with the tv and me quietly laid on the floor with the room spinning. Not fun, but we all got through it.

BadSeedsAddict Mon 16-Sep-13 09:31:19

Think OP is knackered and maybe didn't think the title through properly smile I read this as "My god I'm knackered. How the hell do single parents do this?! They are to be commended and praised".

...not single but the OH works away for two weeks at a time sometimes. Have had people say they wouldn't be able to manage even that. I think wives of soldiers, oil rig workers etc have it harder by far, never mind single parents.

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