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Your husband "working away sometimes" does not mean you are virtually a single parent!Argh!!!

(271 Posts)

I've heard this a few times from people I know and several times from the same person. Just in case anyone is ever tempted to utter this phrase to a single parent please bear in mind that single parenting involves a lot more than taking care of your home and children by yourself for a few days of a week.
Try considering holidays, children's birthdays, Christmas, Easter, special o ccassions on your own. Half the income. No help if you're ill, no lie in. Ever! The stigma of being single and a single parent - not especially helped by the media and politicians, constant guilt about not giving your child a bigger/better family. Having no-one to talk to about your day. The fear of your child ever being I'll and needing to take time off work. Again. As no-one else will do it. The fear of being so ill/hospitalised that you can't care for your child and no-one else will. Or even worse - dying and leaving them all alone. Having no-one to share your child's achievements, milestones, funny quirks and comments with. Making do with cuddles only from a small person and knowing that this won't last. The terribleness of online dating, or just dating in general! Feeling crap every time you can't make it to a school event which seem to happen every other day and having no-one else to ask. Being solely in charge of another person's emotional, physical and social well-being. Oh, and not forgetting having no photos of yourself with you child as there's never anyone there to take them!!

Rant over.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Mar-17 12:42:54

I know. You're right.

On every single thread like this you will get some fucking wanker with the "but but" who begs to differ. Those people need to fuck off.

Hi-5 OP. Am a LP too.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Fri 03-Mar-17 12:47:19

Bloody well said. I'm a widow, and therefore a single parent, who also works full time. 'Friend' of mine who doesn't work, informed me that because her husband works all the hours God sends to fund her expensive lifestyle, she was "in the same situation as me". No love, you're not.

cingolimama Fri 03-Mar-17 12:50:05

YANBU, and my DH works away a LOT.

To my eternal shame, I actually said that once, to a single parent. I knew the minute it left my mouth, it was monumentally stupid and I sounded like a total asshole.

Thank you. I usually feel pretty proud of myself for coping with single parenting and ignore this nonsense however it's touched a nerve this time!
Disclaimer - I know some people who have a partner have to put up with shit too.

Bananasandchocolatecustard Fri 03-Mar-17 12:51:51

Great post OP, I totally agree. The worry of being able to do everything needed day in, day out without a break. Fellow single parent here.

ElizabethLemon Fri 03-Mar-17 12:51:57

I had to point this out to a friend who was slagging off a single parent who has a child at our school. Apparently she knows it's not that hard because her husband often works late/away and she has to sort her children out on her own. hmm

I'm not a single parent but was brought up by one.

That's terrible whywon't. I find it so hard to know how to respond. Especially when it's a friend saying it!

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Mar-17 12:55:23

It also annoys me that single parents and defined and referred to as one homogeneous group.

In a thread on here about a song by James McArthur (?) a poster said the lyrics reminded them of "a single mum out on the radge" angry Just. Fuck. Off.

Thanks bananas. It's the constancy of it isn't it. I love my D.C. and often feel so lucky that we have such a close relationship and spend so much time together. Often but not always though!

StarUtopia Fri 03-Mar-17 12:56:27

Sounds bloody hard work and you're all doing an amazing job.

Squirmy your fuck off made me chuckle

followTheyellowbrickRoad Fri 03-Mar-17 12:57:18

Say exactly what you said here.

reallyanotherone Fri 03-Mar-17 12:57:32

We've had this discussion before smile

There seems to be a distinction between "lone" parent- one who has no co-parent on the scene at all, and "single" parent- one that is not in a relationship, but tte childrens father is on the scene and co-parents emotionally and financially.

In that case, comparing to a lone parent is not on, but i don't think it's unreasonable to compare two women whose co-parents are not there day to day, whether they're in a relationship is irrelevant.

thing is i don't think most people make the distinction, and it gets into a "i have it worse" competition.

OhhBetty Fri 03-Mar-17 12:59:04

Yanbu at all op! One of my friend's husbands was working away as a one off for 4 days and she said "oh I'll be just like you". No. Just no. She's never said anything like that since so at least I give a pretty good death stare!!

WorraLiberty Fri 03-Mar-17 13:00:20

I've been a single parent and I've been a married parent.

It's never bothered me either way what other people think or feel.

My only bugbear at the time, was people saying things like "I take my hat off to single parents". "I think they're amazing".

It's utter bolloxs unless you know them personally. They, just like partnered parents could be utterly shit.

toffeeboffin Fri 03-Mar-17 13:02:09

I agree.

I have utmost respect for single parents.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Mar-17 13:03:12

And yes to Worra's company.

My friend keeps telling me I'm doing a good job of raising my son. She says it from a place of love but I find it so patronising, like aww well done on being a good mum despite being on your own!

There's no one else to do it! His father fucked off 2.5 years ago.

needsahalo Fri 03-Mar-17 13:03:20

There seems to be a distinction between "lone" parent- one who has no co-parent on the scene at all, and "single" parent- one that is not in a relationship, but tte childrens father is on the scene and co-parents emotionally and financially

and what of those who have ex partners who are there for their children (ie. have regular contact) but no financial input (not because they are not working/are ill/disabled but because they make a choice to fiddle the system/not work/move jobs very regularly)? It is never cut and dried.

OP - thinking of you. I hate this too. But there will be so many people here who think it's a race to the bottom and their lives must be harder/worse/far more awful than yours.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Mar-17 13:03:28


Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Fri 03-Mar-17 13:05:18

Thankfully something else cropped up which took me out of the situation, but I've since pulled her on it, and she apologised. Thing is - she should never have said it in the first place !! Slightly off topic, but those nuclear families that think they're offering me advice about money/kids etc - they have TWO kids and TWO incomes. I have ONE income and FOUR kids - shut up. Rant over !!!!!

SailAwayWithMeHoney Fri 03-Mar-17 13:05:32

Yes! Someone said it!!

A friend said to me once that she was "basically a single mum" because her other half worked long hours and didn't come home until after the kids were asleep. I was hmm and thought that at least she had another actual person that came home at the end of the day and talked about adult stuff. I don't think people understand how lonely being an actual single parent can be. That actually there isn't anyone else there to fall back on. It's you all by yourself and very often the only conversation you can get is with a child...

But wait for everyone to tell you you're unreasonable and give examples about how hard others have it...

Mari50 Fri 03-Mar-17 13:06:24

In that case, comparing to a lone parent is not on, but i don't think it's unreasonable to compare two women whose co-parents are not there day to day, whether they're in a relationship is irrelevant.
It is actually.

skerrywind Fri 03-Mar-17 13:07:10

My good friend is a single parent.

Her ex has the kids every weekend. She is out at gigs, clubbing and dinner with her boyfriend.

Just saying.

She says her kids see a lot more of their father than when they were together, and she gets a lot more down time.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Mar-17 13:08:29

Here we go... I am literally psychic or MN is very predictable.

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