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...'

HopALongOn 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.

Llareggub Mon 16-Sep-13 09:34:47

I'm a lone parent. It is hard at times but you just get on with it. My exH is an alcoholic and I can tell you that my life now is a lot easier than it was when we lived with him.

I feel sorry for people who have never had anything bad happen to them, as those I have met seem to spend their lives fearing what might happen. I've had a pretty tough time over the last few years but having been tested I know I am strong and can cope with anything.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 09:39:16

Being a single parent is ace in some ways and really shit in others.

I think if you are used to having someone to help then you feel like you would and could never cope, partly your expectations are higher, because there is someone else there, and partly you cope better usually as there are two of you.

I constantly feel my children have got the raw deal as I'm single. It's not fun, it's not pretty and I don't always cope.

I'm not from another planet. I'm just in a different situation, and at times, it is truly rubbish.

The title made me think it was going to be something bad about single parents.

My ex will have our son twice a week maybe. 6pm til 12pm following day which is when I collect him from nursery.

My social life revolves around the ex as he is the only person I have to look after my son. Its horrible tbh and means my social life is non existent really.

Sometimes he cant have him due to work so I cant plan anything in advance at all. I think even my house is fed up of seeing me grin

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:40:55

It is down to the family unit and the support you have.

My friend is a single parent, but her ex has the DC every other weekend (Friday after school till Sunday teatime)and also a few day in the week. She gets a lot of free time.

My other friend also a single parent, ex walked away. SO she has very little free time.

SleepyFish Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:14

I'll take your pat on the back OP, it is bloody hard, especially when you have a terrible sleeper, add in a vomiting bug and you're pretty much in hell. But yes as others said you just get on with it because there is no other option. No one knows what they're capable of until they're thrown that curveball and i for one am grateful for all that being a single parent has taught me about myself, once you get past the torture that is sleep deprivation it's actually quite enjoyable.
I have a lot of family help and the parents that i really admire are those who cope without any help, that must be incredibly hard.

AllDirections Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:20

I feel like I'm from a different planet, I certainly haven't felt human for a long, long time sad

Larrygogan Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:36

I expressed my baffled admiration to two single mother friends when my baby was newborn, and I was struggling. The friend who adopted from abroad in her fifties said she had never known anything other than solo parenting, and had never felt hard done by, having gone into it with her eyes open. The other friend, whose son was conceived via contraceptive failure in a distant country on the eve of her departure in a short term relationship, shuddered, and said she literally could not bear to think of the first several years of his life, they had been so appalling.

mcmooncup Mon 16-Sep-13 09:42:02

Did I just get a pat on the head?

Go me.

HitTheNorth Mon 16-Sep-13 09:43:00

It is hard, but less hard than living with a total dickhead of a man and looking after him too. The thing I find most hard is not being able to nip out to the shop on my own etc, but obviously there will come a point when I'm able to leave the dc at home alone when a bit older. I can't imagine sharing my house or day to day parenting decisions with anyone anymore <control freak>.
I'm very lucky to have family and friends close by, and also exp sees ds regularly. Tbh, I tend to feel a bit sorry for people in relationships, and wonder how they cope with having to discuss everything, seeing the same face all the time, domestic drudgery etc, but then I accept that I do have a very jaded view of long-term relationaships now. I'm happy though smile.

BeCool Mon 16-Sep-13 09:48:12

It's the mess that gets to me at the moment - I have a 2yo & 5yo.
It just seems to be a never ending stream of fucking mess. Toys, pens, toys, shoes, clothes, food, on and on and on - it's relentless.

I spent all weekend (when we were at home - which I try to avoid) preparing food they didn't eat and cleaning up endless groundhog day, relentless mess.

And this morning the place is still a tip. At least I'm at work and don't have to look at it.

I find it quite depressing (housework never my strong point).

Apart from that being a SP is great!

BopsX3 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:48:52

I became a single mum again 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd shock

Now that was tough, especially seeing as I was really ill through pregnancy. I was supposed to be in hospital a few times but couldn't go as I had no one to look after my 2 older children. I was in a town where I had no family and friends. Nightmare!!!

Now though luckily, I've moved towns so I have all my family and old school friends around me and the support I have is overwhelming smile I love it! Still don't get much child free time as my family all work full time. DS1 & 2 are in school full time (ds2s first full day today) so I get a break from them. But I still have ds3.

DS1 has ADHD aswell so he can be a handful, and family don't exactly jump up to offer to take him for an hour either hmm.

But, having said that, I didnt think I'd cope being a single mum with 3 children but I have/am. You tend to rely on your DP/H simply because they are there. If they werent there you'd just get on with it smile

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 09:50:08

This is interesting, I would have never thought that my compliment/awe at those who have it harder than me could be understood as distancing/patronising. I would never tell a person without a leg 'Oh it must be very difficult'/ 'I am in awe that you are actually having a life', but I would certainly tell a person with 5 kids 'Oh you must be knackered all the time!'/'I do not think I could do that!', and I put single parents in the second category, not the first. (Obviously there are individual circumstances etc, but I am generalising) Why? I do not know, perhaps later on I will have an answer smile

Burberryqueen yes I will. Two pigeons with one stone. My son gets a fun night at home with another child and my friend gets a night off. Simple!

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 09:50:34

I hope I didn't sound like I was being harsh.
That was not what I intended.
It's a discussion board. I have just listened to these comments for 15 years and I have always accepted them graciously.i understand they are meant well and I would never offend anyone.

But I thought on here , anonymously, was the place to express why it is not always the best way to express admiration.

'you have a lot to deal with. I think you are doing a brilliant job (and can I help at all)' is fab

'you are great. I couldn't do what you do. You are just awesome' tends to be from the people who then walk briskly in the other direction, comfortable in the knowledge that I am a 'special mum' so it was my destiny.

It just one of those ones which, once you have heard it for the 200th time makes you feel more different. I am ordinary. Really ordinary. Shit just happens and you deal with it because you have no choice.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 09:54:00

Yes, sometimes DP is more of a problem than a help, and I am sure I am the same for him! grin

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 09:56:28

Pagwatch no, this is really actually helpful, if I can use different words and be as supportive/complimenting as I wish to be that's something good I learned!

Off to take care of ds who has been left alone for too long grin see you all later smile

FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 16-Sep-13 09:57:24

You just have to get on with it, I don't necessarily think I am any stronger. I still hurt. Just as much. just have to shoulder it on my own, which in turn makes me weaker and less able to look after DC. I am tired and short tempered and when friends hurt me it is a thousand times worse as there is no one to fall back on. My mum had children overnights sometimes but has her own probs ATM. Illness is the worst, but I know this sunds mad, I don't let myself get ill and ignore it if I do.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 10:00:34

'I don't think I could do that' implies that the person had a choice and made it. Rather than dealing with a situation they had no control over.
People used to say that as I dealt with my violent child with SN, and I'd think 'What's the alternative, have him PTS? Run away and change my name after leaving him on the doorstep of the NAS?'

Dahlen Mon 16-Sep-13 10:03:00

I'm a single parent. I didn't find the OP patronising, though I can see why others might. I thought it was quite sweet.

The main thing to remember OP is that single parents are not a homogenous mass. There may be more variation between the circumstances of two single parents than there is between a single parent and a more traditional family. A single parent in a good job with excellent family support, for example, is a million miles away from one completely on her own and dependent on benefits.

I'm afraid to say that in my observations, there are quite a few coupled mums out there who have less support than a single parent with a good family network because their 'D'H/Ps are a complete deadweight. They're the ones I feel sorry for.

stubbornstains Mon 16-Sep-13 10:10:28

I know what you mean FP, both DS and I are very rarely ill, and sometimes I think it's because I won't let us be ill. (I have no breaks whatsoever by the way- DS's father has chosen not to see him).

It might be tough being a LP, but it can't be half as tough as dealing with the simmering resentment of having a DP who takes you for granted and doesn't do his share. Honestly, when I see what some of my friends' DPs get away with, I just think, "God, if we were together I would have torn you a new arsehole by now".

So, all these folk who are standing stunned in admiration of lone parents, why not do something nice? Find your nearest single mum, and say "How do you fancy going out next week? I'll babysit for you on Friday- no, I insist". That would be awesome.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 16-Sep-13 10:17:46

Actually, OP, I am (unzips humanoid skin costume to reveal lizard alien body underneath). grin Actually, like others have said, you just get on with it. And my life is a hundred times easier than that of someone in a bad marriage, or with a seriously ill spouse, or a partner who works away from home a lot of the time.

Love subbornstains' suggestion - in fact, if you're in the S. Devon area, throw that offer of baby-sitting my way. (Or, because actually I hate being beholden to people - think of ways it could be done in a reciprocal way - instead of straight babysitting swaps, which of course single parents can't do until the children are old enough for sleep overs - how about a "you help me with school pickups, and I'll give you the odd night off" swap, or whatever fits round your lifestyles?)

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 16-Sep-13 10:32:27

I understood what you meant OP, no offence taken at all. Especially since you seem to genuinely understand why it could be taken wrongly and to want to listen iyswim. (That makes me sound like a patronising twat but I know what I mean!)

I've been on my own since DS was 4mo. It was either go it alone or stay with a man who had cheated on me. No 'good' option there unfortunately.

I have no support at all. My parents are a nightmare (long story) and although I have wonderful friends none of them have kids so are no help whatsoever.

Luckily XDH and I managed to stay friends and he is great with DS but he's my only support. He's living with his parents so can't have DS there overnight (another long story) and works pretty much every Friday & Saturday night. That curtails my social life rather severely I can't lie! He will happily babysit when he can but his job is very unsociable hours and he's self-employed so it's just the way it is. It was his job when I married him, no point complaining about it now.

I also can't really stay anywhere else overnight even if I could take DS with me as I have no one who will look after my dog. In 2 years I've spent 2 nights away from DS and only once have I gone 24hrs without him. In all honesty though it's not something I think about. It's just how it is. Except for on very rare occasions I just take DS everywhere with me. If he can't go neither can I.

It's not something that's worthy of anyone's admiration, it's just life. Yes I wish it could be different but when you don't have a choice you just do what you have to do.

Fakebook Mon 16-Sep-13 10:34:40

You sound really patronising. Your title is incorrect too...how on earth can they be a different race? They're all races and human ffs....confused.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 16-Sep-13 10:34:42

(Contradicted myself there. I meant to say I have no support at all ^other than XDH^)

rainbowfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 10:46:36

I am a lone parent to a 10 yr old, she does have contact with her dad but ds is 18 months & his dad chose to not be a part of his life! (Add expletive here)!!wink

It is hard work but the rewards do outweigh the work, ds is a great sleeper night time & 2 naps a day. This is my savior I think. He actually asks to go to bed at 7.30pm & I am so ready for that I don't mind saying!! confused

I was dreading the 1st time I was poorly & how would I cope, have only had one bout of a tummy bug since he was born (touch wood) that was a weekend & my dd helped me til I felt better later that evening. The one hangover I've had since he was born did teach me to avoid them in the future because that day was a huge struggle!

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 10:48:08

Och Thanks grin

Baby stage as a single parent was the easiest. The nagging, CONSTANT attention wanting older toddler bit was the hardest. Never a seconds peace ever.

mymagaret Mon 16-Sep-13 10:48:28

Why are people being hard on the OP . She is stating how she admires people! There is no malicious words and she hasn't slated anyone.

She's allowed to say she is finding having a baby difficult. My mum was a single mum to two children not through personal choice, and with no father input whatsoever, i'm sure if the OP said to my mum she is in awe of how she coped then my mum would smile and say thanks and be a little bit proud of herself.

Some of you are just plain miserable. I'm sure people come on here just to argue and bring people down!

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 10:48:36

I have no help from DS's father at all. DS doesn't know he is meant to have a dad. sad

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 10:50:18

YANBU

As a single parent, all you none single parents, taking offence on my behalf and tbh you sound daft. It was not patronising at all. Chill out.

God, must people be offended by everything?

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 10:50:25

There are a lot of different set ups, I agree.

I don't know many single parents...but two I know have the children only half the week and are in constant contact with the other parent, it is a proper child sharing arrangement and STILL they are the people who take the maximum childcare from everyone else that they can get away with, and more.

I have no support from the other parent...ds sees his dad only once a month for a few hours. He is useless. My parents step in for medical appointments but I don't get nights out, don't have a social life. MN is my social life.

I kind of prefer it that way, and being seen as self sufficient - though I miss being involved with things I love like playing music and so on. I'd like to get back to that one day.

I hate, hate HATE the way that some people think 'Oh Rooney is a single mum, she will be available/want to do this/be able to have my child round' in a way that no one assumes with a married couple who have children.

It's like we don't qualify as a family at all - we aren't given that kind of privacy and respect, people assume we will be at a loose end and want to share days out and childcare. I don't - I like to do those things as a family with my children, we have plans, and I can look after them myself without pairing up with another parent.

Fizzyfuzzy123 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:53:26

Thank yousmile but we just get on with it because we have to. I'm sure you would too if you were in the same position. X

dirtyface Mon 16-Sep-13 10:54:53

you WOULD cope, somehow, you have to

actually i loved being a single parent, yet before i split with ex i was terrified of the prospect, thought i wouldnt cope at all

but yeah i loved it, just me and baby ds to sort out. no exdh messing the house up and irritating me

we did our own thing at our own schedule

plus my mum babysat if i ever wanted a night out, plus ex had him overnight one night a week

i also didn't go to work i was on full benefits which tbh made it easier, must be really hard if you are working

Zoe678 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:56:46

My xh made things harder not easier. Literally cant imagine doing it with a useful second hand!!

rainbowfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 10:57:18

Op I didn't find your post offensive either & I take it as a compliment.

I have also been mum to a severely disabled dd who passed in 2008 so too have experienced the 'I don't know how you cope' type of comments & more so after her death... My answer was always.. You just do!! Because you have to.. I had my elder dd to look after. Doesn't mean there are not days that being a bereaved parent or a lone parent doesn't overwhelm me & it takes all my strength to get through that day.

I am glad I am thought of as strong but my close friends & family also have a knack of knowing when that's just a front & jump in with their support.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 10:57:56

Baby asleep grin

Fitzgerald I am sorry things are not easy. And I understand what you say about not getting sick. Before ds I was getting sick only when I was on holiday/break. Clearly our bodies/minds can take much more than we realise.

SilverApple, no, 'I do not think I could do that' for me in various occasions means I do not think I could do that that well'. Obviously no one knows what a person goes through, but for me it is not equal to 'I would not do that'.

Dahlen Yes I agree with you and with all those who expressed your same point. It must be soul destroying to be with a partner who is not good. I'd rather know that I can only count on me than to have to deal with/take care of someone I don't want to. THANK GOODNESS for the right to divorce/leave one's partner!

Stubbornstain, yes, before becoming a mother I had no interest in other people's children. I have now become much more attuned to what people with children and in more difficult circumstances than mine have to go through. That is definitely something on my list. Sometimes I wish I could have an evening off, but I also realise that I have a really easy and good and happy life and I am grateful for it and understood I can do more for others.

Lurcio Not in South Devon I am afraid, but I will look out for lizards in my area grin

I didn't take offence, I bought my dd up alone for 13 years with no help, partner had gone and both of my parents had sadly died. I coped because I had too but I found it very lonely at times and hard sometimes.

But, and this is the big thing, dd, now 19, are so close, we went through some tough times together and we now have such a bond. Would I change it? No, hard but I'm so proud of the pair of us, we have amazing memories and I've raised a terrific girl.

I'm married now and have a young DS, I do love it when Dh comes in to take over, but I could do it again if needed.

Meglet Mon 16-Sep-13 10:59:38

I don't really 'get on with it' these days. After 5yrs (no dad, 3 nights off in that time) my mental and physical health is shot to pieces. Every week I go to work ill and cross my fingers I can get through the day. There is even the possibility of moving nearer to my mum as I simply cannot cope anymore.

It's been a bad morning / month / year sad. <Sigh>

Meg let, <hugs> my dear, if you were near me (London) I'd come and have a coffee, cake and moan with you thanks

Sparklysilversequins Mon 16-Sep-13 11:01:46

Well I am a single parent with two dc with autism.

When it's hard, I never would have thought anything could be this hard but quite often it's not and then it's amazing smile.

I know lots of people feel sorry for me and I have friends who try to help out sometimes but obviously they have their own lives so that's not a regular thing.

But OP, I for one thank you for your OP, I will take any recognition I can get smile.

piratecat Mon 16-Sep-13 11:02:04

it is really hard at times yes. but you do it. you'd do it if you had too, i'm sure, because your child relies on you.

i know what you are saying op.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 16-Sep-13 11:07:22

Nasty people on this thread, especially you fakebook, you know what the OP meant, no need for such an aggressive response.

Mojavewonderer Mon 16-Sep-13 11:08:23

Every now and then I get to play single mum to my 3 children when my husband goes away on detachment for 4 - 6 months and it is bloody hard.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 11:08:27

Slobathome I find it really sad. Not that useless/not present fathers are better than no father, but the way you wrote it is really touching.

Rooners what a bunch of idiots. How they can come up with that thinking is beyond me really.

Rainbowfeet I am SO sorry to hear that. Now that I have a son I can a little understand what that would mean, and for that reason I won't add meaningless words here. I am really sorry to hear that.

picklebumplum Mon 16-Sep-13 11:11:05

I think everything in life is relative.

I have a dh who works very very long hours, I have no family support and noone I could call in a crisis to help me if he is not here, I have 2 very very difficult children to look after and most days I am severely sleep deprived, sometimes I do feel like I am a single parent with them.

However I know that every so often dh will get me a break and it will be alright, if I was a single parent I wouldn't get that so I am thankful for him (most of the time)

burberryqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 11:13:04

actually after 14 years of it i am a gibbering wreck and have been in tears every day for the last 2 years with hassle from SS (like most single mothers in this provincial town) and judgement all round inc. my own 'ffamily'.
no parenting input from the exh he got married again and paid no attention or money for seven years.
at this point i just want to go back to London but my DC want to stay with their friends.
so i am counting the days til GCSEs are over.
can someone send me some flowers now please? grin

rainbowfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 11:13:54

thanks X

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 11:14:59

I think they mean well sometimes (not all of them!)

Meglet - I don't know if you have already thought of this so forgive me, but it sounds like you could quite feasibly get signed off from work if you are finding it so hard to cope at the moment.

I hope you don't mind the suggestion. When I was ill a long time ago, I struggled and struggled and when the doctor said 'actually, don't go - I will sign you off' it was a revelation to me.

I am sorry you are so knackered. I understand a bit of that xxx

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 11:16:41

thanks
thanks
thanks

Burberryqueen thanks hang on in there.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 11:18:49

Meglet Rooners has a good point. There must be help for you!

rainbowfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 11:21:29

Quite often on the lone parents page there is a tread along the lines of 'what did you achieve today' ... Some days I can put things like.. All the housework, proper cooked dinner, dd homework done, read to ds, went to the park etc... & other days maybe 'got dressed at 5pm & took kids to McDonalds for dinner'!!

They are funny & uplifting threads but I feel relevant for anyone parent or not!!!

burberryqueen that's horrible about SS. Illegitimi non carborundum and all that. flowers

OP, you were being nice, obviously. I am not a single parent. My mother was, and one of my siblings has severe SN. I don't feel I could do what she did. She was a sort of superwoman in my eyes. I get what you mean completely.

burberryqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 11:22:42

awww thanks for all the flowers everyone (sniffs) grin

rindercella Mon 16-Sep-13 11:27:52

You know what OP, thank you! It IS bloody hard sometimes, and relentless and exhausting. But somehow you do just have to get on with it; as so many have said, there is no choice.

BornToFolk Mon 16-Sep-13 11:30:44

I am ordinary. Really ordinary. Shit just happens and you deal with it because you have no choice.

I totally agree. I did bristle a bit at being described as being from another planet, cos I'm just completely ordinary. I'm just doing the best for my DS under whatever circumstances life throws at us. I'm not a super-woman, I don't get it right all the time but I'm doing my best and DS frequently tells me that I'm the best mum in the universe so that's enough for me!

I never thought I could be a single parent but I ended up not having a lot of choice in the matter so I just had to get on with it.

It can be hard, but then so can dealing with an abusive/crap partner, or being ill yourself or having a child with additional needs, or dealing with poverty...or any number of other circumstances.

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 11:34:04

I think the only things I find actually difficult is loneliness at night, and knowing that you will never ever get a break. If I could just get a break once a month in my own home that would be lovely, but you know you will never get that, ever.

impecuniousmarmoset Mon 16-Sep-13 11:43:57

I'm with Pag, sorry, though I know you meant well. I got this said to me a lot when DS was born 14 weeks early, and it really felt like it was a proxy for saying 'well this could never happen to me, because bad stuff only happens to other people', and it was quite depressing. Dealing with adversity unfortunately doesn't put you on another planet - appalling stuff can and does happen to anyone.

rindercella Mon 16-Sep-13 11:46:25

Bad stuff does just happen to other people though. Until it happens to you, and then - somehow - you deal with it.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 16-Sep-13 11:51:47

I've got to heads, me... grin

the sentiment is apprecited...

you might not be so impressed though if you saw the state of the flat, that I am currently ignoring and should be tidying...

oh and it has it's compensations. ds is extremely talented at doiung vomitting impressions after preferring to be with a vommitting mummty than c beebies. hmm

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 11:56:25

I think it's a good thread actually. There are a few shitty comments but mostly it's really interesting to see other people talking about this stuff.

It's easy to see people in different circumstances as 'other' and not think through the nitty gritty of their lives. I have never been a lone parent but reading posts from the lone parents on here help me be more useful to my friends who are I think.

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 11:59:02

I'm so sorry Meglet.
Is the chance of a move nearer to your mum likely. Even one bit of support near by makes the world of difference.

happybubblebrain Mon 16-Sep-13 12:02:18

I am a single parent with no support. I haven't had a day off for 7 years pretty much. And I often feel I would love a break but that isn't going to happen so I just get on with it. I also work nearly full-time. I've had lots of stresses thrown at me from the ex, family and work over the years, I try and ignore it all as best as I can. I don’t even dare to get ill.

Everything gets easier the older children get. I am lucky that I only have one child. I'm also lucky that I don't have any financial worries. I am always aware that there are many in much worse situations with harder lives than me. I choose to be happy with the little family I have and don't let the hard work bother me

ainsleysballs Mon 16-Sep-13 12:09:05

I'm a single parent and I do appreciate positive comments. I've had more support than others in terms of practical support but financially I've had to rely on benefits with no maintenance at times. I don't think it's as simply as 'you just deal with it' because I certainly didn't at times, I came near to having a breakdown and certainly didn't do the basics that were mentioned in the OP (cooking, cleaning, going to cuddle my dc).

Other single mum friends have had to give up work, had their dc stay with relatives or one I know has had to be sectioned due to drug abuse and dc gone into foster care. Others I know have just got together with the first man they can find so they aren't having to cope on their own. Not that any of that makes them less of a parent, but not everyone can just get on with it, sometimes it does break them and they just can't carry on by themselves. I've come close to it but it's taken an enormous amount of strength, I was in a relationship at one stage with someone who could have provided a more stable/material lifestyle but I wasn't actually in love with and it was tempting to just go down that path to make my life easier.

Lilka Mon 16-Sep-13 12:09:41

I'm a single mum of 3 by choice (although with massive age gaps, so I only have 2 at home now). My two older ones have or have had significant emotional/behavioural/mental health issues. I've never parented with a partner and I can only imagine what that would be like

Being a single mum has hard points, having to cope with really tough days (and all days) essentially alone (although I do have great support from other people). Being single has some hard points, especially feeling lonely sometimes.

But I did choose this, with my eyes wide open, and overall I'm happy being a single parent. Being a single mum has plus points too, it's great sometimes. And being a mum full stop is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

So basically I don't think I deserve praise or anything. I'm doing something I chose to and don't regret it.

And even if being a single mum is the result of shit times, shit times happen to most people at some point in their lives, and people are stronger than they think. The majority of people cope and shoulder on with what life throws. Humans are very resilient overall

DalmationDots Mon 16-Sep-13 12:11:44

Agree with pagwatch, I think you are trying to sound nice but it would be better left unsaid, that would be even nicer.

No they aren't from a different planet but they are made to feel like it by patronising comments which can come across a bit smug.

Lilka Mon 16-Sep-13 12:13:02

Not saying that everyone copes well though, obviously, and I'm sure people who are struggling would really appreciate positive comments

There is still, especially now, a bit of stigma and bad associations to being a single mum. I get that, the 'you must be on benefits' (I claim a few benefits, but am employed), 'you're really selfish to CHOOSE this, think of the children' (I did, that's why I did this)

It's nice to be getting positive comments, not judgement

DalmationDots Mon 16-Sep-13 12:15:13

Sorry, posted that in the heat of the moment. Others have explained it much better. Ignore me!

CosmicForce Mon 16-Sep-13 12:16:44

I think it is very nice of you to take the time to write this to give single parents a smile...I was one and yes, it was hard and there were no breaks (no family nearby to help etc), and I now have another child with my DH and with his help it IS so much easier.

I also feel for those in relationships with partners who don't help and take no responsibility for their own children, because THEY are the ones who have the hardest job of all.

happybubblebrain Mon 16-Sep-13 12:21:41

I don't mind people praising the hard work I do. I will take it in the good way it was intended. I am very proud of what I have achieved, and if someone wants to acknowlege that on mn then great. I think I cope better than a lot of a lot of married parents, in fact I know I do, because I hear them complaining about their kids all the time on facebook and moaning on about having to do stuff.

If I'm from another planet, it's a planet called 'not willing to put up with shit from men'.

Fifi2406 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:23:36

I definitely don't think the OP meant it in a patronising way and i'm not offended by her phrases just don't like it being said as we are all just mums! I did have a lady say to me when her husband was away for 4 nights "I keep thinking I cant do it then I think of you and saying to myself oh well it could be worse I could be a single parent like you" that I found really offensive and told her to man up (and wanted to poke her in the eye!!)

A lot of women do themselves an injustice by saying they couldn't do something when if they had to face it you would give it a really good go and I don't think I have it any harder than anyone else being a mum full stop is just tough sometimes!

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:44

grin @ happybubblebrain and Planet 'not willing to put up with shit from men'

thegreylady Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:56

My dh calls it 'eating up your nice warm tripe'! In other words you have to get on with what life throws at you.You don't even 'do your best' because most of the time you are too tired to work out the best and just do what you do.I was older when I was widowed and my dc were school age but it was still hard work.

If I'm from another planet, it's a planet called 'not willing to put up with shit from men'.

Love it!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 16-Sep-13 13:40:16

I can see from your further posts that you meant it genuinely and kindly as a compliment to single parents.

I do totally agree with Pagwatch though that the phrasing initially used is by people as a way of being helpful and alienating:

- distancing themselves, making you into a special breed of person, different from others
- implying there is a choice in 'not coping' or an easier way someone can choose if they want

It really rings true for me as I became disabled at the same time as becoming a single mother, and so i get frequently the 'oh it must be so hard,I don't know how you do it, you're amazing / an inspiration'

Interestingly, OP, you clearly say you wouldn't say the same to someone who'd lost a leg or similiar. Believe me, you are a lovely minority! The 'it was meant to be / things don't happen unless it's for a reason/ blah fucking blah'

And I Guarentee the more fulsome the praise and especially if it goes into 'you are a role model' or 'you are so much stronger than me' or 'you're the most amazing person I've ever met'... The more I can be certain that person has no intention of ever offering to help or just be a shoulder to cry on. Nope, those people want you nicely out of the way, up on a pedestal where you cannot touch their lives, or conscience, or be in any way 'the same' as you.

I can see this thread (but not you, OP!), has led others to the same feelings. It's such a tricky one, I don't want to ever stop someone from complimenting me (!) but, when some people say stuff like that, they don't mean it in a nice or helpful way.

Pagwatch says it perfectly here:

^'you are great. I couldn't do what you do. You are just awesome' tends to be from the people who then walk briskly in the other direction, comfortable in the knowledge that I am a 'special mum' so it was my destiny.^

HHH3 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:19:29

No offence taken OP.

I have DS1 who is 9 and spends 50% of his time with his dad. And DS2 who is 9mo who's dad died. I just get on with it. What other choice do I have? Just lay down and give up? And then what happens to the boys?

I understand what the OP is saying and appreciate it. It's when people IRL say this that I find hard. I want to scream 'well, give me a hand then'! Apart from 2.5hrs a week that I pay for I get no time off at all. It doesn't matter if I'm ill or tired - there's no-one else to help. I appreciate that they're being kind and complimenting me but I didn't want this, didn't choose it and I'd rather someone watched DS2 for an hour so I could have a break than compliment me.

That probably sounds awful - not sure I've explained that very wellblush

KellyElly Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:30

Thank you smile. I don't find your comments patronising at all.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Mon 16-Sep-13 14:46:40

I find attempts at compliments like this to be a bit uncomfortable because somewhere behind it is the unspoken or subconscious "thank god its not me". And it grates me when people say things like "I don't know how I'd cope" and "I couldn't do it". I feel like screaming YOU'D FUCKING HAVE TO SO YOU WOULD, JUST LIKE WE ALL DO.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 15:40:29

Reading all these comments has been really interesting.
I learned that what I mean as the recognition of someone's strength might not be taken as such, so I will measure my words in the future.
Personally, I do not think that many of the examples made actually mean 'Thank god it is not me', that would be awful. On the other hand, I do not think that what one person goes through can necessarily be faced by everyone. So yes, I admire other people's strength. Perhaps one day I will need to find out whether I have the same amount or not, but I do not agree with those who say 'well anyone in my position would have to do this'.

Thepowerof3 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:44:46

Just because someone has a DH/DP doesn't mean they necessarily do anything

Zoe678 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:45:29

I took it in the spirit it was meant! But I want to add that there are times (not the majority of times, but there are definitely times) when I feel 'how do married mothers cope? wink when I listen to my married friends strategizing about how they are going to negotiate some compromise, or reach compromise wrt décor tastes, or what car to buy, whose family to go to for Christmas .... parenting styles etc.. sometimes when I bought my son a pink buggy because he wanted one and all my married friends told me with a bit of sadness their husbands would have fainted but they knew their own son would like one too........... I feel glad at those times that i'm doing things on my own. I don't have to put forward my case all the time, ykwim?

Thepowerof3 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:50:17

I definitely see what you mean!

stubbornstains Mon 16-Sep-13 17:30:06

Yes, I frequently feel sorry for some of my friends with partners.

When my exdp left me and my dd when she was a baby I realised how lonely you could be in a relationship, however lonely I got on my own I remembered you could be a damn sight lonlier with someone, if that makes sense smile

TrueStory Mon 16-Sep-13 18:14:37

I'm a single parent.

Am I from a different planet? Possibly, sometimes. But some single parents gets lots of support, and some get absolutely zilch. I was closer to zilch i.e. no partner, no money, no friends (lol), but that was always something that was going to be a possibility, and I think women often do have a sense of that when they embark on this (though I also think they do not realise the full demands of the situation they are going to be getting into)

I do sometimes go a bit hmm at the wives going beserk cos the husband comes home at 4 a.m. and they have to deal with the baby/child "on their own" for one morning/day!!!! I did it for 5 years 24/7.

But actually, I have to say, I loved being with my son when he was small - think baby, toddler. It was very peaceful, I was a stay-at-home-single-mum, and I really loved most of it, I found it very peaceful and loving (though it was hard too). I think it was much more preferable to a difficult marriage but I still think that having a loving partner would be the ideal. So, that's it really.

teatimesthree Mon 16-Sep-13 18:36:10

Yes, I am also regularly grateful that I can do my own thing, and don't have to walk on eggshells around a grumpy/stubborn partner.

OP, no offence taken here. I'd much rather your OP than those that say "my husband's away for two weeks, it's SO hard being a single parent", completely ignoring the fact that THE hardest thing about being a single parent is being the sole earner/relying on benefits.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 16-Sep-13 18:40:39

It's not that bad!!!

ghostspirit Mon 16-Sep-13 18:41:48

teatimesthree i agree its hard being a single parent and i dont think it can be compared to a husband being away for a couple of weeks or maybe late home. although i do think it can still be hard.

i do find it hard being a single parent. i avoid relationships just to be sure im on my own because i like it that way just me and the children and no ont to answer to

FrameyMcFrame Mon 16-Sep-13 18:43:28

Also, some people are better at parenting than others... Single parent have to be experts at putting others needs before their own.
Having tummy bug and vomiting thinking 'must hurry up!!! DS is crying'
Happened on many occasions

Balaboosta Mon 16-Sep-13 18:46:01

I just became a single mother and tbh your post has slightly depressed me and made me anxious about what would happen if I got food poisoning ( but then I'm emetophobic so it's not difficult...)
I feel sorry for all those people posting about their dh's and dp's and how feckless, annoying, lazy, disappointing they are and I feel capable, free and liberated. So enough with this crap already.

Samnella Mon 16-Sep-13 18:48:13

YANBU. My mum was a single parent for 20 years. I have the greatest respect for her and all other single parents. But also agree with the comments that you have to do it because what else would you do. My dad upped and left when I was 6 weeks old and my mum had 5 of us to care for. She said it was hard but she looked forward as that all she could do. If it happened to me I would do the same.

IneedAyoniNickname Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:21

When I was still part of a couple, I couldn't imagine being a lone parent. I didn't think I could ever cope on my own.

Then I became a single mum, and I realised that not only could I manage, but that in a lot of ways its easier. No more 'man child',.no more disagreeing about how to raise the dc. Although we still parent differently, the dc know that there are daddy rules at daddies house, and mummy rules here.

It can still be hard, I'm always the 'bad parent', the one who makes them do housework, and homework, and says "no I can't afford that". And when I'm ill it can be so hard, (sweating and shaking with cold from flu anyone?) Trying to make sure they are fed and clean etc etc when I can barely move. But last time I was ill, ds1 ordered me to bed, made me squash and crumpets, then phoned my mum and asked her for help. smile

BakeOLiteGirl Mon 16-Sep-13 19:00:50

Thanks OP. I did appreciate reading this after the house cleanliness thread. I've been a single parent forever and work hard full time. I have a somewhat untidy tiny flat so the other thread made me feel shit and this made me feel a bit better.

Boomba Mon 16-Sep-13 19:03:12

well, I am not going to down-play it. Being a single parent is hard and exhausting, and you can continue to blow my trumpet grin thanks flowers

notundermyfoof Mon 16-Sep-13 19:18:45

I think some people are being way too harsh on the op! I understand exactly what you mean, I was a single parent myself and it is really hard! Little things you don't even think about make it so difficult like realising you've run out of milk when dcs are in bed and finding things to do at the weekend when all your friends are having family time with their dhs. You don't know how strong you are until you have to be strong, you cope because you have to but a break would be very welcome!

halfwayupthehill Mon 16-Sep-13 19:34:04

I am an sp with no support and thought the op was being nice. In the past when ppl irl have said, i don't know how you do it, i couldn't i have inwardly thought, maybe you couldn't. But now if ppl say, i don't know how you do it, i say badly.
What i can't stand is all the posters who say they are like an sp because their dp is useless or works long hours or something. That i find offensive. The dp must be doing something... Paying bills, or available to look after the kids so you can pop to the shops, or at the very least is likely to be around if you die. And if he really, truly is doing nothing, then ltb.

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 19:40:54

Ineed, sorry, I know it did not feel so at that time, but that is beautiful!

And yes, I am in a loving relationship and I hope it will continue to be so for a looong while, but the feeling of freedom I felt when I left a partner I just could not stand anymore was amazing. Obviously there were no children involved, so that is another story, but the 'good' sense of being alone, even lonely at times, is something that I still appreciate.

Well, it is past 5pm, so wine wine everyone!!

wokeupwithasmile Mon 16-Sep-13 19:43:03

halfway, yes, I agree with you on everything! I suppose I have never thought about this because this is my first child and a year ago I had other things to think about!

ziggiestardust Mon 16-Sep-13 19:43:33

I know what you meant OP.

It's hard not to voice these thoughts without someone feeling like you're coming across as patronising, but I understand what you're saying.

Wallison Mon 16-Sep-13 19:44:15

Well, wokeupwithasmile I am going to take this thread in the spirit of which it was intended and say: "Thank you very much for the compliment". Even though I am not superwoman or anything remotely approaching that, but it's always nice when people think I am (as opposed to thinking that I'm a feckless unthinking fool who can't keep hold of her man/some desperate slattern who is always on the lookout for a daddy replacement etc - and yes there really are people out there like that, so it's nice to be bigged up). Cheers, OP!

TiredDog Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:48

Thank you OP. I will take your OP as intended.

Some days it is bloody hard

youarewinning Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:50

You do it because you have to grin

I'm always shocked at how people are surprised with all I do - I am no superwoman!

My DS having SN adds some stress but I wouldn't have him any other way.

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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