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To think that your life is not like a single parents

(107 Posts)
Frankiebop Wed 17-Aug-16 09:58:58

Met up recently with a friend whose husband works away a few days a week, which I understand is not ideal, however I felt it was a bit off when she said 'I'm a single parent like you'.
Being a single parent is not about being responsible on your own for a few days with the kids but having someone to help out the rest of the time with parenting decisions, diy, finances, etc.
I work full time and I am solely responsible for all cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening, diy, childcare, finances, paying all bills and a mortgage, shopping.
I think I may be slightly oversensitive on this as I am particularly alone as DS's father is not in the picture (his choice, not mine) and I don't have any family that help me.
I love my life and child and I am so happy, but knackered and never have a moment to myself.
Just wanted to let off steam - rant over!

Catsize Wed 17-Aug-16 10:00:55


TheNaze73 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:02:05

You rant away. And I agree, she's not comparing like with like & is actually talking bollocks.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 17-Aug-16 10:02:09

This comes up often on here. You are right, having a partner that works away is not the same as being a single parent.

Temporaryanonymity Wed 17-Aug-16 10:02:39

I agree, it annoys the hell out of me too. I'm also a lone parent, work full time etc. I'm sick of hearing people whinging about how they divvy up the housework between them and how much me time they get.

Worst of all is my mother who tells me she knows what it is like to be a single parent because my father worked a lot FFS

Humphriescushion Wed 17-Aug-16 10:05:44

You are right, and that would really piss me off.
My DH worked away for long periods however in no way would i consider it to be anything like being a lone parent. I had someone to share the problems ( even if only on the phone), moan to, rely on, be there emotionally for me, and financially there were two incomes. Rant away and it sounds like you are doing great.

LifeInJeneral Wed 17-Aug-16 10:05:52

Yep it pisses me off too, I love my sister but when she says she is basically a single parent because dh is lazy it gets on my nerves! I never get a break, not ever and it's something you can't understand unless you live it

pieceofpurplesky Wed 17-Aug-16 10:07:05

I am with you op! I have a lovely friend whose oh works abroad and earns a tax free fortune. They live in an enormous and beautiful house, have four horses, exotic holidays, the 12 year old DD has a Michael Kors school bag etc.
I work 2 jobs and also gcse tutoring, I am primary carer for a disabled parent, my house is small but lovely and I struggle financially every day.

She constantly says things like 'us single mums' . She is a lovely woman and a dear friend but she does not have a clue!

010816dot Wed 17-Aug-16 10:07:30

Frankie - I'm in the same boat SP, very little family, and a handful of friends. So I get exactly where you are coming from. grin

NavyandWhite Wed 17-Aug-16 10:11:09

I think it's just a phrase people use tbh. Of course it's not the same.

I say this sometimes to DH as he's away on business a lot. I know it's nothing like being a single parent ( as I've been one before DH )
I don't have any support whatsoever from family so when he's away sometimes it can be a bit tough.

Does your friend have support when her H is away in the week? If not maybe that's why she's comparing?

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Wed 17-Aug-16 10:21:11

I agree OP.
Always puzzles me too when people start threads about not having any friends when they're married confused

EnglishRose1320 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:26:28

I get this in reverse, people saying to me 'your like a single parent' no he works away and is lazy when he is here but he is here so I'm not on my own, i can moan at him and watch T.v with him, even if I do the housework and childcare on my own it is not the same, I have been on my own before and it is totally different, having no emotional break is very different from having someone working away that you can talk to.

Pominoz1 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:30:33

my husband was in the royal navy and away most of the time. I used to think I was a single parent with all the benefits but in reality knew the differences. I grew up with my mum and brother once my father buggered off and life was hard. YANBU

LostQueen Wed 17-Aug-16 10:34:27

YANBU and I absolutely hate this. I work in an environment where most of the women are married. Whenever their husbands are away for a few days or a weekend or whatever, they trot out the same shite followed by lots of pitying about how hard life is for me. It is beyond patronising and I actually find it quite offensive.

BigFatBollocks Wed 17-Aug-16 10:45:17

Totally agree. I'm in the same boat as you with 3 young children. It's really hard at times.

AllieinWonderland Wed 17-Aug-16 10:48:56

Yanbu, rant to your heart's content!

My DH works for one week a month in Boston (we live in the UK) and is in London Monday-Friday (we live in the north) and I look after our combined nine children, but still wouldn't compare myself to a single parent, despite being one a few years ago, because I know he's coming back six days a month. It's definitely not the same.

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 17-Aug-16 10:52:16

She's a that.

It is beyond patronising and I actually find it quite offensive


Any ideas on responses?

ConformationFart Wed 17-Aug-16 10:53:06

I've been on both sides of this and as a single parent my life was no different, in fact it was a lot easier and happier as I didn't have to deal with a twonk. So for some it is just the same.

PeachBellini123 Wed 17-Aug-16 10:56:20

I'm not a single parent and I'm annoyed on your behalf! YNBU

littlepooch Wed 17-Aug-16 11:00:40


My husband works away mon to fri but I would never consider myself to be a single parent. As whilst the day to day stuff falls to me, for the big life decisions etc we share them. If there were an emergency he would be here as fast as he could. He is around at weekends and holidays to help. Financially he provides and emotionally he there as support when I need. It might be over text or phone but he is there.

It is 100% not single parenting and I don't like it when people say it is.

drspouse Wed 17-Aug-16 11:01:45

YANBU and I totally agree but I think there may be a sliding scale here.

Some people who are the custodial parent have a pretty good co-parenting relationship with their ex and the ex supports the DC financially, is co-operative on practical things and communicates well.

Some people such as my friend have a partner on paper, and have a joint house (though she spends a lot of time with the DCs at her DM's house), but he is never there, manages his finances separately (and I strongly suspect all child-related expenses come out of her account only), does not contribute to parenting either emotionally or practically, and is at best argumentative and at worst verbally abusive. She never says "I am a single parent really" but actually, the rest of our mummy friends think she is.

(I saw this friend's children at the park the other day, I recognised the DCs but not the dad but obviously guessed who it was. Unlike my DH who always says "I can see my children know your children, hello I'm X" the DF looked straight through me. So also rude.)

kiwimumof2boys Wed 17-Aug-16 11:04:30

I have a DH and only work part time yet I'm bloody knackered by the end of the day!
I don't know how single parents do it, as well as work full time.

lalaloopyhead Wed 17-Aug-16 11:07:10

I've seen both sides too and to a certain extent my period as a single parent was probably the most carefree time of my life! I was lucky though and my DC had regular contact with their Dad so I actually had a lot more child free time than I had before and also since I have had further DC with my now DH.

People have different lives and different pressures and there doesn't need to be a competition to be the most hard done by.

Boolovessulley Wed 17-Aug-16 11:07:50


OrsonWellsHat Wed 17-Aug-16 11:07:51


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