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To feel rather sad about being a single parent?

(99 Posts)
takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 17:58:24

In many ways, I know I will be able to offer my baby a form of stability and love many thousands of children don't have.

However, in some ways I do feel rather sad - for my child, and for myself. Obviously I feel sad they will never have a 'dad' or father figure.

I also feel sad that obviously my finances will be restricted - as many of my friends move into big detached homes with lovely gardens and private schools for the children, for us the reality will be more likely to be a (warm, clean, but still) small, cramped house, local comprehensive, hardly any holidays.

I realise that comparison is the thief of joy but at the same time, isn't it natural to compare and feel sad?

I realise IABU - so make me feel better! smile

TangledUpInGin Fri 20-Nov-15 18:07:34

I'm not going to help here, but I'm feeling a bit the same. I'm by no means on the breadline but my lifestyle has changed since getting divorced. I was married to a high earner and despite him being as tight as a knats arse the money was there iykwim? Saying that, I'm more upset about the family unit being different now. No mum and dad and kids days out anymore etc.etc. On the plus side though, both me and the kids are happier without all the rows, bad tempers and arguments every time we did have a day out. I'm not nostalgic about now what we did have, but more what we should have had. Hope you're okay x

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Fri 20-Nov-15 18:09:43

You will be far happier in a small safe house, than in a big tense house. Honest.

Enjoy being a parent to your dc.

Jerseyknit Fri 20-Nov-15 18:12:51

Families come in all shapes and sizes. I've been in my own for years and love my independence. I feel proud of how I manage everything on my own. I'm happy my son hasn't had to live in an unhappy household. We're a lovely little unit. We've added pets over the years. I also get to spend all my time with my precious child. All will be well OP. You should feel very proud. Life is way too short for regrets. Soon enough someone special will come along.

LoodleDoodle Fri 20-Nov-15 18:19:01

I was terrified of single parenting, which happened when my daughter was a year old. All the same thoughts. It is scary. Yanbu.

But, 5 years on, I have a fab network of friends and support, a good job, a happy and healthy Dd and a home which never contains someone else's socks. She is with a friend tonight so I'm ahem, entertaining. We have our moments but such a wonderful bond, and I wouldn't go back for all the tea in China.

Twistedheartache Fri 20-Nov-15 18:19:42

Yanbu - it's like grieving for the life you were planning & expected for you as a family. It's the wanting to shout "it wasn't meant to be like this" from the rooftops feeling.
Hopefully the material stuff doesn't matter coz I'm going to be poor (relatively speaking) for the next 4 years til Dd2 goes to school.
Aiming for good enough & giving the children a happy fun filled childhood in this house but still get the pangs of fgs why

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 18:20:26

Yes, but it would be nice to live in a big safe house grin

Believe me, I do understand that we are luckier than most of the world and many in this country, but I do feel sad even so - I can't pretend that I wanted my little family to look like this.

Sirzy Fri 20-Nov-15 18:21:15

I have been a single parent since Ds was born 6 years ago. Sometimes it's tough - being a parent is tough! - but the rewards are well worth it.

Much better to be a happy single parent than living in a stressful environment in a strained relationship.

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 18:23:42

I've never lived in a strained or unhappy relationship which perhaps is why I feel rather self pitying and 'why meeeee .... Why couldn't I meet a lovely man!' about it all!

hampsterdam Fri 20-Nov-15 18:42:13

It's not the perfect life but even happy marriages are not always perfect. These friends of yours who are buying big and paying for private I wonder how much time they spend as a happy family? They must work a lot to afford it? Maybe stressed just like lots of people?
I was a single parent for 4 years. It was hard in some ways, at first I was so self conscious like people could see from looking at us I was a single mum and all the negative judgements that can come with that. But eventually it made me more confident. I did it all on my all and did a good (not perfect) job. Things that friends in couples wouldn't contemplate doing on their own I had to do and did without thinking. I am proud of how my life has worked out and that my ds is happy and healthy.

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 18:47:44

I work a lot. I have to, and don't have the option (as some couples do) of being a SAHM or going part time. My child will be in childcare 7:30-4:30 5 days a week.

heartichoke Fri 20-Nov-15 18:53:34

I was a single parent for 12 years, and after the first few years, I grew to LOVE it. You can relish that:

1) Your child is all yours, and you don't need to compromise on parenting
2) Your life is your own to choose what you'd like to do with
3) The TV remote is all yours, and you won't get woken by a duvet-hog in the night (unless it's your DS/D, who snuggles cutely, and doesn't hog anyway)
4) You are in total control and you can keep a happy, stable loving home
5) You can be spontaneous and just 'do stuff'.
6) You have the opportunity to have the best and closest relationship with your child.
7) When your child is older, and people look at him/her and comment on how lovely/sociable/funny/wonderful he or she is, you will know that this is 100% down to you, and your heart will burst with pride - YOU DID IT!

These are just some of the lovely things that you have to look forward to - even though it seems hard at times, believe me, it's worth it.

My Ds is almost grown-up now, and I've enjoyed all these things, and a lot more (like having my house my way, building a garden by myself, and being a 'mum' to my lovely little family with cats and dogs and goldfish, as well as DS).

I finally was inveigled back into a relationship (nobody ever thought I would let it happen!) by the most fabulous man who loves and looks after both of us - DS adores him, and is pleased that he's here, and I'm even happier than when I was on my own (and I must admit that I hadn't thought that would be possible, so I did hold New Man off at arm's length for a long time).

I sorely miss many of the aspects of single-parent-dom, and in a flash, I would go back to the beginning and do it all over again.

You have an immense amount to look forward to - good luck!

heartichoke Fri 20-Nov-15 18:56:49

Oh - and my DS was always in FT childcare too. Like you, and many other parents, I didn't have any option but to work my socks off (and still do!).
Now, DS says how lucky he was that he got to meet so many other kids and do fun stuff - it's not a bad thing for them at all IMO.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 20-Nov-15 19:15:40

Remember that you don't know what the future may hold for you and your child. You don't know that he/she will never have a father figure. I know we can't live our lives for wishes but remember to never say never.

Just live each day with love and joy with the realization that you have a blessing that many will never have, a child.

I think this is a particularly hard time of the year for single people, parents or not. I can remember a few holidays season I wished I could just sleep through when I was single! I think I can only suggest that you try to keep busy with your little one.

HackerFucker22 Fri 20-Nov-15 19:19:27

I'm not a single parent and I certainly don't have a detached house or exotic holidays every year etc etc...

You are focusing too much on the financials. I'd sooner be poor and happy any day (am an 80's child and granted we had a two parent family but we had fuck all else materially and I had an amazing childhood)

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 19:40:51

You are probably right Hacker, but it does sadden me even so.

I won't be dating or looking for a partner; my child is my priority.

CwtchMeQuick Fri 20-Nov-15 19:48:00

YANBU to feel sad, we all do sometimes.

However, being a single parent is the most difficult, tiring, rewarding thing you will ever do.

I watch what I want on tv, when i want.
I keep the house to my standards, not someone else's.
I have no one to argue with about parenting styles.
I only have to pick up mine and DSs pants off the bathroom floor.
There is no one leaving black sock fluff all over my cream carpet when I've just hoovered.
I can hide the good chocolate in the top cupboards and I'm the only one tall enough to reach it.

Sometimes I get sad. Mostly when Im in bed and i don't want to do my own hot water bottle. Oh and I miss having someone to empty the bins

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 19:53:11

I really could not think of anything I care less about than the television.

CwtchMeQuick Fri 20-Nov-15 19:53:48

And financially, my mother raised us on approximately 3-4x what I'm raising DS on. DS sees the benefit of my small amount of money far more than we ever saw of my mothers. DS has nice things and I go without if necessary, he also gets my time and one to one attention when he's not in childcare. My mother had nice things and we had what we absolutely needed. I've never had one to one time with my mother. My grandmother taught me how to be a good mother and what's truly important in life, God bless her

CwtchMeQuick Fri 20-Nov-15 19:59:16

OP there's no need to be like that.. What I mean is that there's no denying being a single parent is scary and overwhelming at times. And sometimes it's the little things that really keep us going through the day.
I've had a nightmare evening with DS, and it's been so lovely to just sit in silence and not have to think about anyone else for a while since he's been in bed.
And do you know what, if I wasn't a single parent I'd probably be glad of having someone here to give me a hug!
It's all about finding the positive in your situation

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 20:01:17

These posts are making me think - is this what I have to look forward to? No socks and TV?

A bit like someone sentenced to a life stretch in prison 'but great, you get your own cell!'

VelvetSpoon Fri 20-Nov-15 20:04:19

I've seen it from both sides. I was a single parent, completely alone, with my DS til he was 2. It was hard, but actually I was pretty happy.

But I thought I wanted more. I wanted another baby, a relationship, a bigger house in a nicer area.

I met someone, we had a baby. Moved to a bigger house.

In some respects it was the worst thing that happened to me. He was abusive but I was trapped financially for nearly 8 years.

I've been a single parent for 7 years now. Nearly as long as I was with him. I now live in a really big house, but which is a nightmare, as there are always things going wrong (in my old, small, house, almost nothing ever broke, or needed repair. Here it's everything. And I don't have time to keep it clean, and can't really afford a cleaner...). I find my DC much harder to manage, find everything harder to deal with, because of my Ex.

I do honestly think if I'd stayed on my own, life would be easier, and but for not having a second child I'd be happier.

I know being in a relationship is always meant to be the best thing, but only if it's a great relationship. So many aren't - and IME you're better off without one that is anything less than great.

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 20:11:13

I agree with that. It's really the financial hit, and the result that supporting DC through life will be considerably harder as a result.

NotMyMonkey Fri 20-Nov-15 20:22:31

I have never been a single parent so can't offer any words of wisdom there. But I can tell you that even with a DH, I do not live in a detached house, nor do my dc do to private school. We live in a small (but very loving) council flat, do not have a car, dc's go to local comp and haven't had a holiday in 4 years.

Being a parent is tough, but yabu to assume that all two parent families are living in big houses and having lots of holidays etc.

takeapictureframe Fri 20-Nov-15 20:33:28

No, I don't, but most people I know are in this situation so naturally I compare.

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