Coping with the guilt

(14 Posts)
RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Thu 26-Sep-13 15:14:58

How do you cope with the knowledge that your single parent situation is disadvantaging your dc? In my family, I am the only single mum and I constantly hear or read (fb) about who's buying what for their dc or taking their dc to such and such or putting money into savings for their dc. How their dc loves their daddy or how daddy works away but phew he brings in tons of money so aren't we lucky! Its making me bitter and sad. I know money isn't everything and as long as dd is loved, she will be happy but I want more for her! Dd will never have siblings (well, its very very unlikely) and my heart is breaking for her. It feels like its my fault for picking such a shit man to make her with. I just feel guilty that my crap life choices are going to influence the rest of her life.

Does anyone else feel like this? How do you cope with it?

awakemysoull Thu 26-Sep-13 15:23:31

You may feel like this just now but in years to come you will have what they most likely won't - massive respect from your dd.

It's horrible when you can't buy them stuff and take them on days out. I had this with dd1 when I was on my own. I lived with my mum and would see posts from friends saying how much their dcs loved their daddy and how amazing he was with the kids. It broke my heart but my situation changed when I met dp. It was a chance meeting and 4 years later we are settled and have dd2.

Ignore comments like those as much as you can. Spoiling children is never good and when your dd is older she will see how hard it's been for you and the relationship you will have will be amazing. She won't miss having a father figure, you are more than enough

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Thu 26-Sep-13 17:29:42

Thank you awake, your reply has cheered me up quite a bit grin and maybe we will be lucky enough one day to meet a nice DP like you did fingers crossed smile

calmingtea Fri 27-Sep-13 07:10:05

Buying your children lots of nice things is not a sure fire way to turn them into balanced, successful adults by any stretch. No children need: ipads, iphones, gadgets, trips to Disneyland. They need a mother who loves them and spends time with them and teaches them how to enjoy life and motivate themselves.

When my DD was small, I left her abusive father and was really struggling on benefits for a couple of years. The library is the place she fondly remembers spending time with me in.
A decade later my DS was born into much better circumstances, and he has grown up with far more material things than I was able to give DD.
Neither has the monopoly on happiness.

The only regret I have is that I couldn't afford swimming lessons for her, but she has taken classes as a young adult. She has excelled academically, took student loans to complete university, and has a great career.

Our relationship is warm and close and I will shortly proudly watch her give birth to my first GC smile

Nothing you can buy will be what you can truly give.

MsColour Sun 29-Sep-13 10:38:38

But your child will grow up with a special bond with her mother and will know the value of things which can only be an advantage in adult life. It's hard not to feel guilty but try and focus on the things you can give her (not necessarily material possessions) and try not to compare yourself with others.

DragonsAreReal Sun 29-Sep-13 10:42:46

I've been a single parent and have been with dcs dad for a part of their lives but not much. I'm so much closer to dc and we are such a unit then we was when Their dad was living with us.

Their is so much great stuff about being a single parent that those bragging on fb about daddy days out will never experience with their dc.

SleepyFish Sun 29-Sep-13 11:01:18

You need to let go of that guilt, seriously you've nothing to feel guilty about. Lots of kids have fathers who are crap, abusive or just plain disinterested. As long as you provide a loving, stable home your dd will be fine.
If money is tight charity shops are your friend. Ds's favourite toy is not the £40 buzz lightyear I bought him for his birthday, oh no, it's the £2 second hand woody we got in a charity shop.
Days out don't have to cost either, museums, walks, playpark, picnics.
I've just started uni at the age of 40 after being fed up just scraping by for the last few years in the hope of becoming more financially stable in the future. And of course I now feel guilty at spending so much time studying on top of work.
In other words there's always something to feel guilty about where parenting is concerned.
But I know I'm doing my absolute best for ds and setting a good example as well and that is all I or anyone can do.

Follyfoot Sun 29-Sep-13 11:07:30

Its time to forgive yourself, really it is. None of us can see into the future, we cant predict how a relationship will turn out. Even if it isnt a great relationship, maybe we think we can make it better. But sometimes we cant - two people need to be committed to doing that.

My XH turned out to be about as crap as you could get - emotional abuse, domestic violence and arson. We left and I remember feeling just like you - I had failed my DD. Those feelings persisted for a number of years.

You know what though, the important thing wasnt what went wrong, it was about what happened afterwards, I can see that now. If a crap relationship comes to an end, that is a good thing - DD gets that too. We didnt have any much money and things were tough for a few years. But that isnt what matters in the end because its all about love really isnt it?

As a sort of PS, DD is at Uni, very happy and certainly doesnt feel she missed out as a child or that the rest of her life has been affected because I was a single parent. We have a special bond because it was just the two of us, its lovely. Please forgive yourself smile

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 11:08:10

It's hard. You do your best. That's all. You do your best and keep loving them. And put them first. And consider them in all your plans. And stop comparing yourself to others. And try to stay away from distressing news about how most heroin addicts came from single parent families. And you do your best. And accept guilt as part of motherhood. And only allow a bit of guilt. So when the guilty feelings come over you, think, "Right, I have five minutes for wallowing in how badly I've fucked up." And you wallow for five minutes and then you go and do something useful.

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 11:09:20

It works for me most of the time.

bluebeardsbabe Sun 29-Sep-13 20:28:05

This thread is helping me as I feel like you OP. Dd is one year old and has had very little contact with exp (his choice). I feel so guilty because she will grow up without her dad around her due to my choices and through no fault of her own. I also often feel like I am not enough. it's not a material thing as I am happy buying stuff in charity shops etc. More an emotional thing, like Ihave to be everything for her and i worry if I'm enough!

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 29-Sep-13 20:58:37

You stopped making crap life choices the day you became a single parent. The way I see it is my DD is growing up with a strong independent woman who kicked a womanising alcoholic man into touch as her role model.
Kids don't remember the toys and material stuff when they re adults they remember the love and support they get. They also remember impact type events like building a big pile of autumn leaves and then you both jumping in them - that's free.
My mantra is I can't change the past I can only change the future. Make yours and your DC's future the very best one you can.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Wed 02-Oct-13 22:51:46

Thank you all so much for your replies smile I do need to stop wallowing and try to focus on the good things rather than wasting this time being bitter. I think I'm going to take a break from Facebook too because its been getting to me way too much recently. Thanks again for all sharing your advice smile

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