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Please tell me what I need to know about being a lone parent.

(13 Posts)
ferriswheel Thu 22-Sep-16 23:07:43

I am at the start of this journey and haven't really got a clue. Can you give me practical tips, or any tips on getting through this emotional overhaul?

tia

endlesslynamechanging Thu 22-Sep-16 23:41:07

You get less of a break from your children, but that depends on their ages really. Make sure you have some handy sanity restoratives which you can use/do when you need a breather. I used to go to the loo for a bit longer than necessary just to get a few minutes to myself, or stand at my front door breathing in fresh air, because it felt like I'd gone out on my own, even if it was just for a few seconds.

Other than that, just be a great mum - as long as they are loved, fed and warm they'll be fine and you'll be doing a good job.

jeaux90 Fri 23-Sep-16 00:34:46

So it's definitely hard at the start, just be kind to yourself. When they are in bed, have a bath, soak your feet or whatever makes you feel good. Be thankful that you are free and empowered to make all the decisions without having someone to negotiate everything with (apart from the kids smile Try to have simple fun, parks, long walks, gentle Sundays. Been a single mum for 6 years now and I honestly do love it. Big hug X

melibu84 Fri 23-Sep-16 00:37:03

My mum was a lone parent to twins (me and my sister), and I really don't know how she did it. I wish you all the best of luck!

camichung Fri 23-Sep-16 00:51:55

Once you've got you an little ones in a routine things will be fine, you'll manage. It's honestly not so bad doing it all on your own, it's tiring but really routine is key. Set bedtimes ect so you have an evening to yourself

jeaux90 Fri 23-Sep-16 01:04:16

Oh yes and check out whether there are any single parent groups in your area if you feel that support would be useful. routine is definitely key but do make your own rules, I found co-sleeping (until DD was 5!) worked best for me so I wasn't so exhausted at work xx

Atenco Fri 23-Sep-16 01:35:23

I was a lone parent from the start and the daughter of divorced parents (for which I am eternally grateful).

As my dd's father was an idiot, any time I felt a bit lonely, wishing I had someone to consult about parenting problems, I would imagine him and what he would say, and then be very, very thankful that he wasn't there.

His family however were different and very supportive. I never criticised him to them though, as no mother or sister is ever going to take the side of someone else against their son or brother.

My dd had hobbies on the weekends where we both went. I found that even the more expensive hobbies were cheaper than weekends at home with one trip to the cinema, for example.

niceupthedance Fri 23-Sep-16 06:29:16

Be prepared. Freeze milk and bread and stock up on medicine as popping out is no longer a thing. Also be prepared for the father to be an arse about things and to feel it's unfair that you get stuck with most of the childcare and associated worries.

Whoooodat Fri 23-Sep-16 06:31:23

Get on top of your finances straight away. Make sure everything is in your name and you have applied for everything you are entitled to.

HandyWoman Fri 23-Sep-16 06:45:57

I second load of bread and 2pints of milk in the freezer at ALL times!

And be ruthless about their bedtimes. Once they are in bed. Sit down and rest.

Do finances need sorting?
Are you claiming everything you can?
Council to get reduced council tax.
CAB for benefits, tax credits, housing advice.
Once DC are 3 ensure you use your fee nursery hours.
Down time for you when ever you can.
Get friends round for coffee to get some adult company and conversation.
Get out and about when ever the weather allows (if you are feeling up to it)
How old are the DC?
How many do you have?

You'll be fine.
It's amazing what we can do when we have to.

grobagsforever Fri 23-Sep-16 18:22:43

I have been lone parenting for two years now, (completely alone as DH died when I was pregnant with DD2) Daughters are now six and two.

My tip would be to work if you possibly can. Get adult company. Even if you barely make more than you would on benefits because of childcare.

Amazon prime is your friend for never having to drag kids into town.

Plan your weekends well in advance so you're not bored and alone. Don't expect ppl to invite you to stuff - be proactive and arrange things. Find as many friends with same age kids as possible.

Have a regular evening out. I manage to fund one evening's babysitting per week and do a variety of things. If you can't pay do swaps e.g offer to have friends kids on Sunday afternoon in return for Thursday evening babysit. Or set up a regular sleepover exchange.

Focus in quality time with kids not quantity. Kids need you to be ok. They don't need one hundred percent of your time and attention.

Threepineapples Fri 23-Sep-16 18:50:00

I've been a lone parent for 6 years.

I absolutely agree with making sure you have emergency stock of bread, milk, and the elements of a basic meal etc in the freezer at all times.

Budget for small maintenance jobs around the house if you are like me and hopeless at DIY.

Try and keep a small pot of savings for disasters like broken washing machines.

Keep in control of your budget and review your utilities, broadband, phone etc contracts regularly

Use online deliveries as much as possible

Excercise by cycling / walking / jogging with DC or get a cross trainer at home - I bought one second hand for £40 on ebay and used it after DC was in bed.

Take any and every offer of help that you get. Do not try to be invincible as if you don't pace things and rest sometimes you can hit burnout surprisingly quickly.

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