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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?

TiredDog Mon 16-Sep-13 19:48:18

(A crap marriage was far worse tbh)

smile

Wallison Mon 16-Sep-13 19:48:19

<<the 'good' sense of being alone, even lonely at times, is something that I still appreciate.>>

I don't 'do' men any more, so to speak, because I'm just focussed on my son really. Another poster on here described it as a 'restful existence' and it is certainly that, emotionally speaking. I have far fewer ups and downs than I did when I was with his father, and most importantly everything that happens in this house is how I want it to be - there is no compromising or shilly-shallying around. Of course, that means that the buck stops with me, but that's a fair price to pay for independence.

HopeS01 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:13:37

OP, I think your post is very nice.
Single parents deserve lots of admiration, but I assure you, if you had to, you could do it. What other choice is there?
smile

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 20:15:52

Nice sentiment, OP smile

The worst thing about being a lone parent IMO is the lack of anyone to share the love and the joy with. My XH didn't give a shit. When I met lovely DH and we had our son it was such a different experience.

nowwhat Mon 16-Sep-13 20:32:23

Lots of people express surprise at how I manage. As almost everyone else on the thread has said, you do because you have to.

My friends who don't have children compared my weight loss post-baby to Miranda from Sex and the City who didn't have time to eat (getting back into her skinny jeans), and I felt like saying "yeah and Miranda had a nanny and a housekeeper!".

One of them came round with her boyfriend yesterday and we went out, when I got baby/everything ready to go and went to sort the buggy out he helped me and said "what on earth do you do when you're alone?!" and I replied "struggle" :D

IneedAyoniNickname Mon 16-Sep-13 20:43:51

OP it was lovely, despite the inch thick chocolate spread on the crumpets! I'm so glad that I have such lovely and sensible dc, who are also old enough to 'cope' for a short while.

And FWIW, I thought your op was lovely, and knew exactly what you meant. smile

Bumblequeen Mon 16-Sep-13 21:33:39

It is difficult. I grew up in a sp home. My dm said making decisions alone was awful I.e. which schools to choose for dsis and I.

My dm also felt inadequate around her married friends. They lived in nicer homes, enjoyed holidays, generally lived a more comfortable life.

I made up my mind that I would only have children once married. I did not want to risk being alone as dm was.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 16-Sep-13 21:49:41

I am a single parent. I don't get ill often, and I take whatever precautions I can to prevent me or DD getting ill. Some of them are old wives tales I'm sure, but I suppose they make me feel at least a little more in control of the situation.

However, I have passed out when I was completely alone in the house, and I thank my lucky stars that DD was asleep at the time.

I worry about my car breaking down while I am travelling to or from work, as I have no one I could reliably ask to pick up DD from school.

I have recently had a family fallout, so now have literally no one to call on for help if I need help, which is a pressing concern for me every single day, but I take one day at a time, and deal with things as they arise.

I try to remind myself that most worries are future based, and may never happen anyway, so try to worry about them when they happen, not before.

Having said that, I'd prefer to be a single parent than be living with a partner who did fuck all to help, and I have a few friends who complain that their partners are just like that.

So long as I don't fucking die while I'm alone in the house with DD we'll be just fine grin

littlemisssarcastic Mon 16-Sep-13 21:53:46

Also, I never intended to be a sp, but it's not something most parents can plan.
What do you do if your relationship breaks down and you have DC? You cope because you have to. If there is no other viable option, you just get on with it.

Out of all of the single parents I know, none of them wanted to be single parents, it was just circumstances that led to that.

Zoe678 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:18:42

Wallison, I know what you mean, I value that equilibrium.

A lot of us single parents have had shite to cope with in a marriage / partnership and effectively an extra 'child' to cope with as well. I got nil emotional support during the last few years of my marriage, so to get none when I became a single parent was no great loss, if you see what I mean. And when you lose all 'trust' in your partner for one reason or another, them doing things is tiring/ stressful for you.

I found life became easier in a lot of ways as a LP, which compensates for aspects which are not so good.

allforoneandoneforall Mon 16-Sep-13 22:39:46

I really don't know how people manage with a man hanging around the house getting in the way haha

GinAndaDashOfLime Mon 16-Sep-13 22:52:05

When my dh died leaving me with a 4 week old and a 2 year old, i didnt want anyone's awe because its too close to pity. i never thought i'd cope, but i did because the alternative was my kids being taken into care.

Op I know what you mean, and its very sweet, but SPs IME don't need anyone's awe, or pity. They just want themselves and their dc to be treated like everyone else.

I know very few people who've lived a life free of something catastrophically shit happening. If it ever happens to a friend of yours, please, treat them as you always did.

Hissy Mon 16-Sep-13 22:54:54

You know what pisses me off is the whole Single Parent label.

I'm a parent. I'm no different to any other parent on this board.

I just don't have the same sized support network as some others.

My relationship status is irrelevant.

I don't need a pat on the back, and to be honest I do find the whole 'awe' thing annoying.

We all parent. We try to do the best we can.

rindercella Tue 17-Sep-13 09:19:05

Gin, I was widowed too, when my DDs were 1 and 3 years old. Yep, the alternative doesn't bear thinking about and just ain't going to happen, so I cope.

"If it ever happens to a friend of yours, please, treat them as you always did." <<---Exactly this, because I have found so few people actually do that. It's certainly a useful exercise in clearing out the people who you had previously regarded as friends!

Zoe678 Tue 17-Sep-13 11:11:35

Yes, I'm the same person I always was. I want to be treated like a normal person.

I think society is very respectful and sympathetic towards widows. Not saying that that makes the daily grind easier, but at least widows are spared the condemnation and judgement and sneering from politicians.

It's true as well that at my age now (40s) I know very few people who haven't had a crisis, so they're more supportive, less judgemental, better able to cope with lives that aren't all glossy and standard issue.

Breast cancer, child born with serious illness, infertility... I find as you get older that the sane, wise people in your own circle anyway know that life is not 2,4 and a white picket fence with no down days. You can't always be cheerful. Some days you get dealt really shit cards but you play them and most days you are ok and good company and a good parent.

rindercella Tue 17-Sep-13 14:27:07

Zoe, you'd be surprised...

GinAndaDashOfLime Tue 17-Sep-13 15:02:17

Rindercella - hope life's going your way now

Zoe - yes still plenty of judgement / lack of sympathy / sneering, sadly

wokeupwithasmile Tue 17-Sep-13 16:13:58

littlemisssarcastic I try to remind myself that most worries are future based, and may never happen anyway, so try to worry about them when they happen, not before. this was my 'lesson of the day', thank you.

"If it ever happens to a friend of yours, please, treat them as you always did." Yes but what does this mean? I would want to make more space in my day/mind/heart for a loved one to whom something happened. Obviously I would not pity them (though I would be sorry for them) but...

AllDirections Tue 17-Sep-13 17:16:33

And if he really, truly is doing nothing, then ltb.

Absolutely!

Zoe678 Tue 17-Sep-13 20:00:10

Rindercella, you mean people 'sniff' that you're a widow?! Wow.

shock

GinAndaDashofLime, 5 years ago I guess my demeanour was quite apologetic, so I apologised for myself. I almost offered myself up to be judged before anybody else could do it. confused Feel a different person now really grin

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