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To ask single parents..

(88 Posts)
bluejeanswhiteshirt Sun 19-Jul-15 15:41:11

whether or not you feel guilty that your DC(s) will be raised without you and your DP in a relationship?

DD is 10 months old and her dad and I separated a few months ago. I'm worried that she's going to feel like she missed out on having a 'proper' family with both of us together as her parents and I worry that I'll never find anyone in the future and end up being alone forever.

I suppose I'm just feeling a bit down about everything and feel like I should have tried harder for her sake sad

DoeEyedNear Sun 19-Jul-15 15:44:46

I split from my dc's father before their first birthday. Best thing we could have done for them tbh. He's always been in their life and they know no different to having two homes it's their normal and they're used to it and are very happy.

Me and the ex have both moved on and are happy with new partners but dc's relationship with us has never changed. If anything they love it because they get two holidays, two Christmas's two birthdays etc etc.

totallybewildered Sun 19-Jul-15 15:45:49

no, sometimes we come across families where having a father is a positive addition to the atmosphere, but just as often we meet families where having a father involved has a very negative influence.

My children have just as often said "thank goodness we don't have a father" as they have said " I wish we did have a father"

Wideopenspace Sun 19-Jul-15 16:11:21

Split from my DC's dad a year ago. We share care.

My DC is a joyful and happy child and loves both of us. He knows we both love him.

I think there is more than one way to have a happy family, but sticking with an unhappy relationship is not one of them. 1:1 partnerships for life are as much a social construct as anything, so as long as the alternative you create is secure and loving, then there is no reason for DC to suffer.

OP your DC is little enough so she won't ever remember it being any different.

MadameJosephine Sun 19-Jul-15 16:14:58

I asked my DS this very question the other day. He is almost 19 now and about to leave home for uni, his dad and I separated when he was 3. He said he felt that his life would have been very different with his dad in the picture but not in a good way so I guess that means I did the right thing

ghostyslovesheep Sun 19-Jul-15 16:17:38

I don't feel guilty (he should! me not so much)

I do feel a bit sad about it though because I wanted then to be raised by us both.

He is fairly hands on and they spend time with him but all the hard stuff seems to fall to me and that makes me the tired, ratty parent which I hate

I also resent the loss of lifestyle - he is well off and together we had a nice life - on my own with one income it's harder

But out children know they are loved and have both parents in their lives so it could be worse - I have also managed NOT to have an atmosphere of animosity between us - this helps.

Nolim Sun 19-Jul-15 16:20:51

My parents divirced and i never felt that i missed out having a "proper" family because i did have a proper family! Not all families consist of mum dad and kids.

LadylikeCough Sun 19-Jul-15 16:25:56

Don't ask single parents this -- ask children of single parents. My DM and DF divorced when I was seven, and the idea of them ever having married and had kids in the first place mystifies me. The idea of them staying together is downright appalling!

Most kids accept the family they have, in whatever structure, as 'proper'. As long as there's no bitterness, resentment or endless conflict and instability, then they'll thrive, and all of these factors are just as likely (if not more) to be found in badly-matched couples as they are in single-parent families.

broadbeanstew Sun 19-Jul-15 16:30:08

Not guilty as such... At the end of the day, I can't change what happened. The DC have a good relationship with their dad and see him a lot, they are happy, and me and the DC are very close.

The worst but is when my 5yo sometimes cries and doesn't want to go with him for the weekend. She just wants to be at home, and I feel so guilty making her go, even though I know she has a great time once she's there and always comes home happy and smiling, and talking about what she's done.

Ineedtimeoff Sun 19-Jul-15 16:31:52

No I don't feel guilty. She has a great life.
We do not feel at anyway disadvantaged because her father is not involved in her life.

LobsterQuadrille Sun 19-Jul-15 16:39:42

My ex H left when I was pregnant. He has never paid maintenance and hasn't seen her for well over 10 years, lives abroad and is remarried with children. DD is nearly 18, very bright, well balanced and has no recollection of him. I consider it his loss.

noeffingidea Sun 19-Jul-15 16:42:17

No I don't feel guilty, because I haven't done anything wrong. Their dad was the one who decided to fuck about and leave us. When he was here he wasn't much of a hands on dad anyway. I do feel sad for them sometimes in that respect but there's nothing I can do about it. I've asked him repeatedly to do more with them, but it never makes a difference.
They're 26, 28 and 15 now. The 2 eldest are doing fine,(my youngest has special needs), and I'm quite proud that I'm the one who raised them.

MissMuesli Sun 19-Jul-15 16:42:47

I used to vmfeel very guilty and it was indeed the reason why I stayed far longer than I should have. Some time has passed now and it was completely the right thing to do. It can be hard and my daughter does some times tell me she wishes I would marry daddy which can 've difficult to hear. But with my adult head I can see that it is a million times better for us not to e together and that actually my daughter is having a happier childhood because of it.

Additionally when I decided to leave it was a definite mind shift. I had spent a lot of time and energy holding the relationship together because I wanted us to be a family but one day I woke up and thought "What am I doing for me? I matter to and I won't stay in this unhappy relationship because I am as important as my child is. My daughter's happiness is not more important that my happiness". It was hard but life is good now!

griselda101 Sun 19-Jul-15 16:43:03

I don't feel guilty at all! ExP was an irresponsible shitbag to me and when baby was born things got worse and worse. Splitting up was the best thing I could have done, for me and for DS.

even if he had been a nice guy I wouldn't have felt guilty about splitting, as if I were in a relationship yet unhappy myself I would not be a good parent.

Happy parent = better parent, partner or no partner.

noeffingidea Sun 19-Jul-15 16:44:16

Meant 26 and 18.

queeneileen Sun 19-Jul-15 16:46:55

I'm a single parent and the daughter of a single parent and, although I miss having another adult in the house, my son isn't worse off than his friends with two parents. He gets the pleasure of having two houses, two bedrooms, weekends away from me whinging at him(!!), two lots of Christmas/birthday/holidays.

He's never known any different though. People can't miss what they never had.

It's hardest for the adults, really. Being a single parent is doubly hard and it helps to have a strong support network - I don't know what I'd do without my mum to help.

siblingrevelryagain Sun 19-Jul-15 16:50:15

Yes I feel guilty and worry about the effect it might have on their lives.

I don't know what I feel guilty for though-my DH had an affair, so I had no real choice in putting them in this situation, unless my guilt is for not just accepting his treatment of me and putting up with the betrayal.

I think my guilt/sadness is because I know that, whilst me and the kids are doing well and they are and will always be happy, there is no other scenario which would be preferable or better for them than having mom and dad together. We were always a harmonious and happy house so it's not like they'll look back and see our separation as positive. All it does is remove the physical presence and financial stability of having dad living at home. We are poorer, I'm more tired and therefore grumpier, and life is just that little bit harder.

Sorry for my pity party-don't you just love someone bringing the mood down on a sunny Sunday afternoon?!

Atenco Sun 19-Jul-15 16:51:29

My father left for the other side of the world when I was four and the only thing I resented about him not being there was the fact that my friends could play their parents off against each other, whereas with my mum, no meant no, and that we did not have a car, which the family had had before he left.

When I later got to know him in my teens I was SO glad that my parents had separated.

meglet Sun 19-Jul-15 16:52:47

no, I would have felt guilty if we stayed together and his abuse continued. They haven't seen him in 6yrs. I work so don't get much of a social life though, there's up and downsides to being the only adult in the house.

it's hard but we bumble along ok.

QuestioningStuff Sun 19-Jul-15 16:53:26

Yes. Even though being without their fathers is absolutely what is best for both of my DC I do feel guilty for the part I played in them being in this situation.

lentilpot Sun 19-Jul-15 17:01:32

My parents split up when I was 11 months old. I was fine! It always upsets me though that my mum didn't see the three of us (dsis, me and her) as a proper family. You get to write your family story- make it a good one and your ds will think her family is the best! I think we benefitted a lot from the fact my mum never had to compromise - she just did things her way.

BuntyBonus Sun 19-Jul-15 21:02:16

ladylikecough and lentilpot views from children of single parents are really helpful for me so thank you. I've been a single parent since pregnancy and my DS has seen his dad once. He has never paid any maintenance. I am hopeful that I have nothing to feel guilty about. We have very a close relationship with my parents and my DS godparents. I worry sometimes that it is harder for boys to be without their father's than girls. I hope that I am enough for him. I certainly have an abundance of love for him.

Hattiebones Sun 19-Jul-15 21:17:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lurkedforever1 Mon 20-Jul-15 00:07:41

No and I've never considered it in that light. She doesn't even remember him (newborn) and while it's never a disadvantage to have more people that love you I've only ever compared it to some kids not having grandparents or cousins or an older sibling etc. And for all the difficulties faced there's advantages too, like not having to consider the other parents opinion or needs, and working to our timetable selfishly. It doesn't seem to have had any negative results either. As she's got older I'm sure she's capable of seeing that while some dads are a positive part of family life, other dads aren't.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 20-Jul-15 00:15:03

not in the least. My DS dad and I were a couple of old drinking buddies who were a bit careless one night and now we have a son: DS sees his dad at least twice a week and the three of us go on day trips and holidays. Our set up works fine. Both DS dad and I are not that interested in couplehood - he is married to his work and I am someone who needs a lot of alone time. DS is happy and doing brilliantly at school and has never really known any differettn anywaya.

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