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To think no you don't know how hard it is actually!

(164 Posts)
MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong Fri 24-May-13 07:38:17

I am actually sick of mothers I see in real life telling me that they get how hard being a single mum is because their Dp works and he doesn't get home til after the baby is in bed?

Well actually no, you don't get how hard it is! You don't get how some times I might no see another human for days.
You don't.know how much it kills me emotionally. How lonely it is. Yes it's great too. But you don't have 100% responsibility.
You get your weekends together.. I can't even go to the loo without the wine starting!!

I really need to off aload about RL

corlan Fri 24-May-13 08:16:55

YANBU - They don't get it and it is insulting to pretend their situation is the same.

ballroomblitz Fri 24-May-13 08:17:00

Jeez is the op not allowed to feel a little jealous? Ok not nice if it takes over your life but we all feel a little pang of envy at times. We are human.

I get what you mean op. I did the majority of childcare with ds when he was a baby as ex worked, and now I've done lp with dd since she was born. People want to empathise about the childcare bit but I don't think it's that bit that's hard, but the fact you have no other adult there at night once the los go to bed. No adult conversation etc. I've thrown myself into baby clubs and the local surestart to try and break up the day and actually talk to other people. The nights are still hard but from having an older child I know it will get easier.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 24-May-13 08:17:37

YANBU. Whenever DH is working late and I struggle, I try to imagine how much harder it would be if he wasn't coming home at all and I had to do it alone. I can't imagine it. As a friend I would try to empathise, but I wouldn't say I know how you feel.

Hope life looks up for you soon.

meglet Fri 24-May-13 08:17:49

Oh, and the dc's had their first sleep over with a relative in 4yrs last week so I finally had a decent nights sleep and a few hours to myself. Single parents don't all get every other weekend off!

WhatDoesTheDogSay Fri 24-May-13 08:19:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 24-May-13 08:19:21

I think it's normal to feel jealous isn't it - I mean, I'm jealous of parents who can afford to work part time or who have local family support. Not to the point of making me bitter, but it's normal to compare yourself a bit to your friends.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 24-May-13 08:19:25

I get it - i was in your position 20 years ago. No money, living at home with my parents and it was really hard and really lonely.

20 years later i have a small child again, a loving partner - lots of other problems though, and its really hard and its really lonely.

I could say, well you dont have to worry about mortgage arrears, debts and the fact that my mother is a pita and ill and i have to take care of her - i could tell you that you don't get it, but that would be patronising.

What i am trying to say is that everyone has it hard, just in different ways - I sometimes feel how you feel actually, that people don't get how hard it is to be me (i have mh issues) but they have problems too. Sadly, we all do.

We might not "get it" but we can empathise and try to help

WhatDoesTheDogSay Fri 24-May-13 08:20:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong Fri 24-May-13 08:25:25

I am sat here sobbing at you lot. IRS not i resent dd.
She's not really a friend now a bandwagon jumper on acquaintance. I just want to shout. These are the same couple saying about how good it is legal aid has been cut and society is to be sorted out.
Urm yeah thanks, very sensitive.
I'm just so emotional that I can't say anything so I came on here.

I'm sorry if I have offended people

IKnowWhat Fri 24-May-13 08:28:05

Ok, I don't know how it feels but it does sound a bit crappy sad. It's great that you are volunteering and studying.
Do you meet up with friends much? I used to go to various playgroups and eventually made a supportive group of friends. It wasn't always easy going but it was worth the effort.

BTW Ignore the snarky posters, if they are the type to want someone who is, legitably, having a moan to feel worse then they are NOT worth bothering about.

alienbanana Fri 24-May-13 08:28:05

I completely agree with LEM (but don't understand the posters saying you're being competitive - to me it just looks like you're having a moan smile
Obviously they don't get it.. but at the same time, you may have no idea what's going on with them. It's always hard, just in different ways.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 24-May-13 08:32:26

I empathise. I was on my own with a 1 and 3 year old. Elder DS is autistic and very challenging, one of the many things XH couldn't cope with.

I had to do everything. At a particularly low point i remember stroking DS2's back as he threw up in the toilet, having spent the night up with DS1 doing the same and saying 'hurry up mummy needs a turn'.

8 months is quite a challenging age. You don't get very much emotion back in return for all your efforts.

Everything is worse when you're exhausted too. Sounds like you are.

I had a lovely supportive friend who felt we were in the same position because her husband, on £70k, worked away most weeks whilst her parents took her DC whilst she worked.

When DS1 started school I missed so much work because nursery and school couldn't cope with his behaviour/ he couldn't cope with school I ended up giving up my business.

Life has turned a corner. The divorce came through, we got beyond court. I managed to sell the house. It took me a couple of years but I found myself and worked out what I wanted. The DC got older, easier and more responsive. I learned to accept support when it was offered.

Then I started dating again had a wirlwind romance with now DH and remarried. Not that I'm saying a relationship is in anyway a key.

On bad days it feels like life is over but really its just a new chapter and life is beginning. You sound like you're putting everything in place with studying and volunteering to work out what you want and be fully in control of your life.

Hopefully if your DD's been up all night you'll get the chance for some rest today.

cory Fri 24-May-13 08:35:02

MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong Fri 24-May-13 08:10:18
"Thank you to the kind posters.

Just feeling really shit right now. Working so hard to change everything"

This is the bit you have to hold on to! You are working hard, you will change things, life will get easier. And afterwards you will look back and say to yourself "well, I don't know how I did that, but I did do it and dd and I got through".

GoblinGranny Fri 24-May-13 08:35:55

'I live in a box room with my parents with my dd, survive on benefits, volunteer as I love it, trying to study.
Have no one to have dd.'

You're right, being a single parent is not the same as being married to a man who works away a lot, my dad was a soldier and my mother was alone with three children for months at a time, or in one instance 19 months.
But she never thought of herself as a single parent. He was supporting her in different ways and wrote a lot of letters.
TBH, you sound depressed, have you been to your GP for support?
The trapped, helpless and feeling that things are going nowhere are major issues.

What did you do before you had DD? What are you studying towards, and are you doing it in isolation from other students?
You take your DD with you when you volunteer?
Have you tried joining some of the free stuff that might be around in your area? We've got several groups that walk with their babies in buggies, and chat and support each other, there are meet ups for young mums dotted around the town that are drop in, there are fun music and play sessions in the local community to people on benefits, they are subsidised.
Do you not have a friend you could trade time with, one of you has the children for a while, and the other one has free time?
You will get a lot more support in Lone Parents, and some positive advice.

But no, many of us can't understand, which is why they will either try and make clumsy comments to show that they think they do in order to support you (Parents of children with disabilities get that a lot) or they will back away from the perceived grumbling and negativity, or they will shrug their shoulders and see it as a problem that you created for yourselves and be completely unsympathetic.
Which would you prefer?

ballroomblitz Fri 24-May-13 08:36:24

You need to develop a thick skin for AIBU grin

Come join us in the September postnatal club op for a good moan about lack of sleep, sicknesses, feeding and baby-proofing (would be good to have another single parent also as I'm the only one)

GoblinGranny Fri 24-May-13 08:41:56

That's a lovely post, MisForMumNotMaid . With a happy ending too! smile

FourLittleDudes Fri 24-May-13 08:42:08

I'm a single parent to 4, my youngest is 3 months and I have a toddler. I do spent days only talking to my children and I do miss having friends a social life, and having someone to watch the babies whilst I have a bath or a sleep or nip to the shop. But I find it alot easier than when I was with my ex, as the atmosphere in the house is much nicer, I can do as I please and sit around the house doing sod all if I feel like it.

It must be difficult living with your parents, not feeling quite at home, concious of noise and mess, feeling judged on how you are bringing up your baby (I'm assuming all that, but its how I would feel) Not having your own space, etc. Are you on the council waiting list? In our area they do a scheme where the council will pay your deposit on a rented house, which helped me privately rent somewhere. I don't know how old you are and if you are on maternity leave or not working but have you thought about maybe doing an access course for adults at college? I did access to health a few years ago and they paid my nursery fees, it was great to feel like my brain was working again and I got to meet other adults. Its a good time to start applying now to start in September. I'm going to look at doing access to teaching.

You sound unsurprisingly a bit depressed sad

Have you been to any mother and baby groups? I go to one on a Wednesday and I thought I would hate it but the babies love it and people chat to me, I get to drink a cup of tea too! Sometimes I take the dc out to lunch on my own, felt strange the first time but feels normal now. Where about are you?

VelvetSpoon Fri 24-May-13 08:45:54

Thing is though, there aren't always happy endings. You can work as hard as you like to change stuff and you just end up with different issues, life doesn't necessarily get easier just when DC are older...

Daisytunes Fri 24-May-13 08:48:14

OP I think the difficulty is that parents that are in a relationship just don't understand. Before I was a lone parent I was still the sole career to my DC because of my DH's long hours and business travel etc.
At that point I would have thought I new what it was like. What I just didn't and couldn't get was the feeling of huge responsibility and the weight on your shoulders of being the sole decision maker.

They just don't and can't get it. I don't believe they mean any harm.

HighBrows Fri 24-May-13 08:51:22

MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong things will improve for you but it will take time. Try and focus on your studies and make positive changes for you and your daughter.

My advice to you is to keep well away from people who are vexing. Try and find just one or two good friends who can give you a kick when you need it, a hug at other times and someone just to just be your personal cheerleader.

Things will get better and you are one the right road once you have at least one good friend.

((un-mumsnetty hugs))

Hullygully Fri 24-May-13 08:51:53


It is hard. Really hard. I am not a single parent, but I have good friends who are, and one of the saddest things I heard one of them say was that it wasn't just the loneliness, the constant responsibility for everything, there being no one there for support, it was that there wasn't another person to share the total fascination each parent has for their own child. It really made me understand loneliness.

I think you are raging at the moment, but you need to breathe, and give yourself a break, and then accept it for what it is and start to build a life for the two of you. baby groups are free, trips to the park are free, get out there and make it happen. It's unfair because there is only one of you and yet you will have to try twice as hard, but it will be worth it. Good luck.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 24-May-13 09:00:43

I have no idea why you've had anything other than sympathy on this thread OP!

Of course people in relationships saying "Ooh I know what it's like, my DP gets home ever so late most nights" is fucking annoying and dense of them!


I'm not a single parent but I just wanted to defend your position. It really isn't difficult to empathise with. The friends saying they can relate are being the OPPOSITE of empathic!

I think a lot of the people telling you that YABU have said similar things to their (probably equally annoyed) lone parent friends and are affronted that you should dare to voice the fact that it's crass of them.

It sounds really tough, you are allowed to moan, and have some flowers

MakeItUpAsYouGoAlong Fri 24-May-13 09:02:41

Just a moan. I'm so busy yet so lonely, I live for my playgroup mornings. I've not met any outside friends though.
As I had to move home- 2.5 hours I don't have many friends here.
Days when your exhausted after a tough week and your dd just whines being out the worst in me so I apologise.
I volunteer for sure start, am studying in sept to go to uni to study social work.
I want to help people like me, I have to help myself if I want to help others.

Thank you for all your support this morning and positive stories

Tailtwister Fri 24-May-13 09:03:54

YANBU. There's no comparison between being a lone parent and having a partner who doesn't get home until late. There's the emotional and financial support for a start. The fact there's someone else there and the buck doesn't just stop with you.

I'm not a lone parent btw and I do find it hard and exhausting having 2 young children and a DH who works long hours. However, I wouldn't compare that to being a lone parent.

MorrisZapp Fri 24-May-13 09:06:26

Lemon, what should ops friends say to her, to be supportive?

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