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To notice happiest mothers single with good shared care

(254 Posts)
brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:01:05

The happiest mothers I know are those who are single, but have shared care with their ex, and their ex looks after their DC properly. I know a few mothers like this, and they all say their ex does way more than they did when they were together, plus they get lots of time off to pursue friendships, and hobbies. These mothers tend to socialise lots, and maybe because they get so much time off, seem way more relaxed when their kids are badly behaved, than the rest of us.

WishfulThanking Sat 07-Oct-17 12:07:13

Yes, you've just described me.

Life is infinitely easier being single with a very good ex who has the kids half the week than it was when we were together. We shared housework and childcare when we were together, but never got any breaks or me-time.

Winosaurus Sat 07-Oct-17 12:08:51

Maybe it’s because so many people fall into a rut of the mother doing everything for the kids when the parents are together and lots of people stay in unhappy marriages/relationships solely because of the children.
My Ex did literally nothing for our son when we were together, he saw it as “babysitting” if I wanted to go anywhere without DS. When we split he was forced to actually take care of him because I wasn’t around when he saw him. He’s now a great dad, but I don’t doubt he would still be crap if we were together.
The problem is that there seems to be a huge imbalance in modern families as women are pressured by both society and finances now to work and continue to look after the children, leaving little time for personal space and interests.
There are men who pick up their fair share of the household tasks and childcare but IME that’s rare

Camomila Sat 07-Oct-17 12:09:06

I don’t actually properly know any single mums atm ( maybe some acquaintances and some that have been single at some point but now have new partners)

But anyway....

The happiest mums I knew personally have flexible working/ own their on business and have grandparents nearby for childcare.

Some of them even have hobbies shock Me and most of my friends have toddlers atm, my mate and I were saying that if we had time for hobbies we’d really feel we were winning at life.

PotteringAlong Sat 07-Oct-17 12:09:55

I don't doubt it. But splitting up with my husband so I can have a bit more free time seems a tad extreme.

RavingRoo Sat 07-Oct-17 12:11:26

The happiest mums I know are married, working full time, and sharing housework and childcare with their partners.

TSSDNCOP Sat 07-Oct-17 12:11:51

The happiest mothers I know are ones where the other parent of their child acts like a proper parent and person. Doesn't matter if their status is married or single.

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:12:29

Not saying Pottering you should split up with your DP. Just something I have noticed. And I think they are happy because they genuinely get a break, so the hard bits of parenting don't seem so hard, but they still get the good bits. And they are not just stuck in the rut of work, childcare and housework. They get to socialise and do hobbies for themselves, without thinking about anyone else's needs.

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:13:13

I know mothers in happy marriages, and I am in a long term marriage, but these mothers seem happier to me.

RosyPony Sat 07-Oct-17 12:17:32

YABU, people work with what they have. I'm happily married and I can't see myself being happier without him, that's why I married him.

newmumwithquestions Sat 07-Oct-17 12:18:13

I agree, although the unhappiest ones I know are single and their ex still does nothing and they have to fight for any kind of maintenance so have money worries on top of doing everything. 'Tis a gamble!

Neverknowing Sat 07-Oct-17 12:25:45

I'm the happiest I could be right now, I have a good friendship group who are all on maternity leave and we go out a lot. If I want to go out in the evening my DP has our DD and visa Versa, we share the housework and he doesn't assume because I'm off I'm doing nothing. In short he respects me.
I think that's the main thing, single mothers with shared care have exes who take responsibility. If their partners did that when they were together then it'd all be good 😊

ElspethFlashman Sat 07-Oct-17 12:28:12

I have a single mother friend who's ex picks up their DD from school on a Friday and has her all weekend and then drops her to school on Monday.

It is very very different in terms of routine to my life. At times I envy her being able to do lots of adult things at the weekend. She is able to plan lots of fun things with her friends and have lazy lie ins and all the rest.

The downside is that when her tween is acting up and being obnoxious, nobody is going to swoop in and say "don't talk to your mother like that!". She often says that if she had to do it 24/7 she'd have cracked up long ago.

Whereas I may never get a day off, but I do have a comrade down in the trenches with me so to speak.

So it's probably swings and roundabouts.

Mittens1969 Sat 07-Oct-17 12:29:44

I would agree that the best arrangement is when both parents share the care of their DCs. I’m in a long-term happy marriage and my DH is very committed to being a dad to our 2 DDs. I don’t have close friends who are single parents so I can’t really comment whether being in an amicable relationship with their ex can be happier than it is for me. It’s different, I suppose it depends on the person as well.

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:30:11

Fathers taking responsibility is part of it, but when you are working and have kids, there is always lots to do even if responsibility is shared. If you and your ex live apart and have shared care, it means for half the week you have no responsibility for children whether shared or not.
It actually makes me wonder if we should be organising families in a different way. Maybe when you decide to have a DC, this would be a better model to adopt?

Weebo Sat 07-Oct-17 12:30:54

Lord don't tempt me.

It's too bad I love the bugger because that sounds like bliss. grin

juneau Sat 07-Oct-17 12:34:31

I know plenty of happy mums - and they all have one thing in common - they have balance in their lives. So they're not constantly working/caring for others, they work or study PT, they have help from DP or GPs or their DC are at school so they get a break, they have social lives and time to exercise and/or do a hobby or two. Balance is the key - doesn't matter if you're married or single.

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:35:45

Working part time is not an option economically for everyone though.

BroomstickOfLove Sat 07-Oct-17 12:37:03

I think you are right. A similarly happy set-up I've seen is gay and lesbian couples co-parenting together. Time away from your children who are with someone who loves them and shares parenting values, strategies etc with you, and with whom you share friendship and good communication.

Close family nearby who you get on with really well can be similar, too.

Basically, i think that nuclear families are pretty flawed.

MyDcAreMarvel Sat 07-Oct-17 12:37:41

Bratsybif course it wouldn't be a better way . If someone is that selfish that only having their dc part time is their preference they shouldn't have children at all.
It is really insulting to single mums who miss their dc desperately when they are with their fathers, but know it's in their best interests.

Dustbunny1900 Sat 07-Oct-17 12:39:15

Idk any mothers, especially not single ones, whose baby daddies do anywhere near half the child care. In fact the majority of single moms I know (I was one for years) have an ex that shirks child support payments and has all but disappeared.
Guess it depends on your social circles

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:39:25

I once read about an obviously well off couple who had split up. They kept the family home and their DC lived there, and for half the week the mother lived in the family home, and for half the week the father. And the mother and father both had their own places.
That seems pretty ideal as the DC doesn't have the disruption of moving between houses. And the parents get shared care. You do need the money for 3 places though, which is out of reach of most people.

Oysterbabe Sat 07-Oct-17 12:39:44

That does sound like a winning combo. You can achieve similar with a husband on board if he pulls his weight though. Mine has gone out for the morning with the toddler and I'm pootling around at home, read a bit of my book and mumsnetting. You need proper time to yourself and to work as a team.

brasty Sat 07-Oct-17 12:42:48

MyDcAreMarvel I don't think there is anything wrong with a bit of selfishness as long as the DCs are being well looked after. And as I said, the mums I know in this situation I think are amongst the best mums I know. They certainly have more patience than me. And I think that is because they get a lot of time to do what they want.

MyDcAreMarvel Sat 07-Oct-17 12:45:13

A bit of selfishness is a night out at the cinema or a weekend away for your anniversary. It isn't I only want to look after my dc half the time.
The mums you know am sure are excellent mums. They haven't chosen part time care though.

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