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in thinking that being a single parent to one child is not the same as being one of a couple with two children?

(43 Posts)
LifeIsButtercream Wed 03-Oct-12 22:26:06

Or am i going mad/a lazy, slovenly person?

I'm a single parent with a 3.4yr old DD.

My house is often a bit of a mess, nothing 'How Clean Is Your House' esque but not perfect - not dirty, just not tidy!

My parents feel it neccessary to comment on this whenever they come round - and my mum will often say that I don't have an excuse for letting it be untidy, as she always kept the house in order when I was little - as she was 'practically in the same situation' (i.e. my parents had two children and were together, I have one and am alone)

I can't seem to defend myself sufficiently against this, so I'm guessing that IABU and a bit of a pig but I thought I'd put it to the panel!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 03-Oct-12 22:28:35

When there's only one parent, there's no-one to watch the child while you get busy with the bleach/oven cleaner/other household nasties, no-one to take the child out so you can get a good deep clean behind the sofa, it's a totally different situation.

JayARC Wed 03-Oct-12 22:29:40

That's bonkers - it's a completely different situation!

MissHuffy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:30:40

Perhaps she'd like to pop round and do it for you if it bothers her that much?! grin

PiggeryJokery Wed 03-Oct-12 22:31:02

Your mum is an idiot. About this at least. Doing it all alone is not the same as 2 parents for 2 children. Clearly its the fact that everything you do has to be done one thing at a time, so in a 2 parent family one can bath the dc and out them to bed while the other makes dinner, or one can pack to go on holiday while the other looks after dc, or one can go out to work while the other looks after the dc ... So stop feeling guilty!

MammaTJisWearingGold Wed 03-Oct-12 22:40:08

I was just coming here to say parenting is not a competition, but then you are not the one who is making it one, your mum is.


shittingit Wed 03-Oct-12 22:43:12

Don't feel bad, you're mum is bu, raising a child on your own is not easy fullstop not factoring all the other stuff you have to do whilst looking after said child. I am not a single parent but I am the primary care giver to dc1 whilst H works away for most if not all of the week, I find that difficult enough and that's with knowing that at some point I will get some respite. FWIW you're mum sounds naive at best and a meanie at worse (nicest way I can put it) ;)

PedanticPanda Wed 03-Oct-12 22:45:02

It really isn't the same at all, yanbu.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 03-Oct-12 22:45:46

it is none of your mums business. However there is really no reason for your house to be a mess with one DC. Are you happy with it?

Flojo1979 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:50:07

Your mum is BU by judging u.
But 2 Dc def make about 10x more mess than 1 Dc, because they play together and drag everything out the minute u take your eye off them.
I'm a single mum with 2 Dc and its def a million times harder than when I had 1 Dc!

ShhhhhGoBackToSleep Wed 03-Oct-12 22:50:38

Well, there are two issues there really.

YANBU to think your mum is being a bit horrible to comment on your house when you have two small children. My favourite response to comments like this Me: oh thank you, that would be so kind!
Rude person: eh? Sorry?
Me smiling brightly and positively: that would be so helpful of you to <complete task they commented on not being done, i.e. tidy up while I get on with X>
Some people then just do the task with or without realising what I am saying, some continue on -
Rude person: I wasn't offering to <help with task>
Me in a puzzled way: oh really? I thought you must be offering to help with x as it would be so incredibly rude and insensitive to just point it out. (MN classic) did you mean to be so rude?

However, YABU to automatically assume being a two parent family means it is easier in a practical sense, I know quite a few families where one parent works long hours and the other has to deal with everything by themselves, and several lone parents who have a lot of help from both families and their ex. I would guess that for a lot of women in your mums generation their DHs did nothing to help with the children or the house.

JazzAnnNonMouse Wed 03-Oct-12 23:13:26

Yanbu, I had a taster of being a single parent whilst dh was in hospital and afterwards when he was recovering. Hardest time ever. I salute you all smile

Inneedofbrandy Wed 03-Oct-12 23:20:45

YANBU My mum always did the, my house was never like this, my ironing was always done, you were all in a bf routine straight from hospital, I only let you eat biscuits with one hand so both didn't get messy, you were all potty trained by 18 months perfectly.
I thjink it's a mum thing tbh, they think they know but they don't. When I turned round and said well you didn't have 2 under 2 on your own you really can't comment, that soon shut her up!

Meglet Wed 03-Oct-12 23:27:03

Yanbu. I'm a LP to 2 dc's and I work PT. Would you like to guess when I last cleaned the bathroom (it was July).

Not only do I have very little time and energy to clean, it's near impossible with 2 squabbling children to keep an eye on.

HissyByName Wed 03-Oct-12 23:27:19

Stop letting them in the house!

They've no business in commenting.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Wed 03-Oct-12 23:33:51

oh yes, I have left a child to play in one room to go and clean another... only to find that they have wreaked havoc in the room they were in and now I have another big mess to tidy. worse thatn the original.

then there is trying to hoover with one or two children hanging off the hoover. one clean patch of bald carpet about one foot square and the rest still messy.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Wed 03-Oct-12 23:35:43

my mum had loads of time to tidy in good weather once I was about 5 ... we were sent out to play in the garden.

Pandemoniaa Wed 03-Oct-12 23:36:36

I thjink it's a mum thing tbh, they think they know but they don't.


No. It isn't a "mum thing". It's what some people's mothers do.
Some of us manage to treat our adult children as adults.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 03-Oct-12 23:37:04

YANBU especially because it's none of your mums buisiness how you keep your home and I would tell her so

But in general it's pointless to compare considering how many variables there are, working hours/number of children/disabilities/other commitments it's not always as simple as lone parent/number of children comparisons

katykuns Wed 03-Oct-12 23:43:29


I was a single parent for a while with one DD... it is so much more stressful doing it all on your own.

Having 2 children is easier in some ways, as they can entertain each other, let alone have 1 parent looking after the children and the other doing things that need to be done.

That said, I have 2 children and a DP... and my house is a tip most of the time. Anyone that comments better be commenting that they are coming to help... or they can just fuck off!

SirBoobAlot Thu 04-Oct-12 00:00:02

I think a few of my lovely friends used to wonder about why my house was such a mess. And then two of their partners were away for around two weeks because of work. They got it then wink

pixwix Thu 04-Oct-12 00:23:28

YANBU - I am an LP with two kids, and work shifts as a nurse.

Until 3 years ago, I was with ex-dh - he worked long hours - but the support was there - he is very hands on. Then he met someone else, and moved in with her. Although he wasn't physically there much, there was the emotional support and a lot of hands on stuff that he did when he was there.

It was tough - my family are elderly and live 200 miles away, also needing support - I rely on friends and paid childcare so I can work - it's been a struggle - I never work the same shifts each week, and I need childcare from 6.45 am some days, and some days until 8.30pm- well outside of traditional childcare hours - luckily I have great friends, and the children are happy and healthy! Also ex-dh does a share when he isn't at work- we get on well.

The house is sometimes a tip whilst I spin plates keeping on top of things - sometimes it's tidy - I've given up on letting people judge me - let em judge away!! The children are happy, and so am I! being on your own can be tough, but don't let other people get to you.

stargirl1701 Thu 04-Oct-12 00:42:06

It's not the same. My LO is 4 weeks old today grin and I have no fucking clue how single parents cope. I am in awe! This is really relentless with two people to take shifts. My mind boggles at coping alone.

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 07:58:41

Of course YANBU. I was a single mother to one child and I also worked full time. You can probably imagine how tidy my house was. grin

gordyslovesheep Thu 04-Oct-12 08:10:44

hmmm see I hear an excuse there to be honest - your child must sleep - can you not tidy then

I am a working lone parent of 3 - my house it tidy - clothes are ironed and put away things are clean

I think it's a bit unreasonable to use having a child as an excuse not to do housework - but if you choose to live like that then ignore them smile

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