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You're not really a single parent

(181 Posts)
Noodledoodlesandspud Fri 22-Mar-19 22:23:00

I posted a status on Facebook earlier saying in a jokey way how hard it was to have a shower as a single parent. My aunt who lives abroad commented 'well you're not really a single parent are you'.
I asked her to clarify thinking that she might have not realised me and STBXH had separated. She replied well STBXH helps out a lot and what ever happens you still have the boys keeping you together'. I replied saying that actually STBXH only has the boys one day a week and rarely pays maintenance etc and I do everything for my boys. She then said there no need to be like that.
AIBU to be really pissed off that she said that.
Tbh she lives abroad and hasn't seen STBXH since we split and his lovely persona has slipped (he's a manipulative bastard and noone else saw it until after we split and his mask started to slip).

TwistinMyMelon Fri 22-Mar-19 22:25:31

What a twat. My ex does 50/50 but I am still a single parent. Block and ignore.

Myoldtable Fri 22-Mar-19 22:38:17

I think there is a difference between being a single parent and a solo parent. I was a solo parent of my dd. Her father had died as had both my parents and I had no siblings. I had a friend whose partner had keft her with 2dds but he had them every other w/end and one night in the week. I felt she had it a lot easier as she was free on alternative w/ends to have a life whereas I had no breaks at all.

freddiethegreat Fri 22-Mar-19 22:40:04

Well there are resident parents with non-resident co-parents. The amount of co-parenting will vary massively from family to family. There are obviously also non-resident parents with resident co-parents. There is parenting with more or less absent other parents. And there are lone parents, whose children, whether by IVF or single parent adoption have no legal second parent. All are single parents, but there is a difference - & pros & cons to that difference - between ‘ex has the kids once a week or more’ & ‘there is no second parent at all’.

freddiethegreat Fri 22-Mar-19 22:42:39

IVF & adoption are clearly NOT the only routes to lone parenting, by the way ...

jessicawessica Fri 22-Mar-19 22:49:09

One day a week "help" from NRP does make you a single parent.
Tell her to do one.

Noodledoodlesandspud Fri 22-Mar-19 22:49:31

I think what pissed me off was that she made out the STBXH was doing atleast 50% of the parenting which isn't true. He's made my life hell the last six months and I think her making out that he's been lovely etc really set me off.
myoldtable sorry to hear that it must be the hardest thing in the world.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Fri 22-Mar-19 22:52:31

Does she have a really low standard for men in general?
Some women seem to look upon any penis wearer that has anything to do with kids,especially by choice(even if one day a week) as some kind of hero.

2rebecca Fri 22-Mar-19 22:53:19

As a divorced and remarried woman I hate the term single parent. Most children have 2 parents. Their parents just may have chosen not to live together. You don't stop being a parent just because you divorce. The idea of the mother as the main "single" parent is outdated. Fathers can be good parents too. You don't have to choose a feckless loser to have kids with.

jessicawessica Fri 22-Mar-19 22:55:05

My EX tells everyone he has his DCs all weekend.
Bollocks....I am told not to drop them off before 8pm on a Friday as he needs time to relax after work. Then I have to pick them up no later than 9am on a Sunday as he has to get to his golf.
Sorry but to me that basically equates to one day.

anon400 Fri 22-Mar-19 22:55:43

No one is a single parent if they have a living dad of their child.

Vulpine Fri 22-Mar-19 22:56:54

Whether the ex takes the kids for one weekend in a blue moon or 50/50, you still have to pay the bills and keep a roof over your kids head.

YouWinAgain Fri 22-Mar-19 22:58:29

I'm a single parent. I have DD in my care (even if she's at Nursery or with my mum, she's legally in my care) 90% of the time. I do all the s**t jobs; dealing with illness, problems at Nursery, I do all her appointments. I even do all the discipline as she sees so little of her dad (36 hours over a fortnight) that she is really well behaved for him.

You are a single parent too.

DangerMouse17 Fri 22-Mar-19 23:01:40

anon400

No one is a single parent if they have a living dad of their child.

hmm

I beg to differ. My son's father was an abusive cocklodger who the police took out of my home when my ds was 9mths old. He lives 5mins around the corner (see him driving by) but he's never provided for his child, nor sent him so much as a birthday card. My son is now 8 and wouldn't know him if be bumped into him across the street.

I'm most definitely a single parent.

firawla Fri 22-Mar-19 23:02:30

If you’ve split up, and are single then obviously that makes you a single parent. Sharing custody of the kids a few days a week, or less, doesn’t mean you’re no longer single parent.. your aunt just seems to be argumentative for no reason!

FullOfJellyBeans Fri 22-Mar-19 23:03:19

As a divorced and remarried woman I hate the term single parent. Most children have 2 parents. Their parents just may have chosen not to live together. You don't stop being a parent just because you divorce. The idea of the mother as the main "single" parent is outdated. Fathers can be good parents too. You don't have to choose a feckless loser to have kids with.

Not exactly a helpful or relevant comment. Whether or not the idea of it is outdated OP is the main carer of her children. I doubt that OP realised he'd turn out to be a manipulative dick when she met and had children with him just as you didn't realise your first marriage wouldn't work out when you entered it.

NuffSaidSam Fri 22-Mar-19 23:04:55

It's hard to define really.

I agree there is a definite difference between single and solo parenting. I think solo parent is what people used to mean when they said single parent i.e. one adult with children, no other parent around at all.

I don't think you're a single parent if someone else is doing 50% whether you live with them or not.

Lots of people who live with their partner do more than 50%, but wouldn't count themselves a single parent.

Then there are people who are married to their child's other parent, but that parent is not actually there a lot of the time.....in the armed forces, oil rig worker, in prison etc. They're actually doing more 'single parenting' than someone whose ex lives round the corner and does 50%.

It's difficult to define and I don't know if it really matters. Everyone's situation is different and has its own challenges.

CordeliaEarhart Fri 22-Mar-19 23:13:42

You're a single parent if you are the parent of a child and do the majority of the parenting. So you are definitely a single parent. I've never heard of solo parenting.

PearlandRubies194 Fri 22-Mar-19 23:18:52

@2rebecca I’m really pleased that you had a positive outcome for your family; it sounds like despite divorcing your children’s father, he’s continued to be responsible and cooperative in his parenting role. Perhaps if you’d had a less positive outcome though, you wouldn’t ‘hate’ the term so much.

Because let me assure you, not everyone falls in love, plans their future or has a family with someone they believe is a ‘feckless fucker’. In my case, he was wonderful. I loved him. Until I fled to the refuge with my two because he threw me out on a rural road and sped off with the baby.

He portrays himself as this wonderful father, lots of photos on social media which earns so many praise for being a ‘good dad’ (funnily enough, from other women). Yes, he pays maintenance. But he’s never been to a school play, sports day, Parent’s Evening...didn’t even ask how their first day at school went. I’m the one with the Calpol and cuddles at 2am, I’m the one that wipes the tears when they’re hurt, I do the mundane nit checking and homework. So I am a single parent, I also work and study. That term is not outdated because not every child has two parents.

DefinitelyCommisery Fri 22-Mar-19 23:20:50

2rebecca: I didn’t choose a feckless loser to have kids with. I had a husband of 13 years who decided to have a personality transplant overnight and fucked many many prostitutes and subsequently decided not to have anything to do with children as it made him face into his mistakes. He wasn’t a feckless loser before, it was not my fault he made those choices.
I agree that the term single mother is outdated when 50/50 custody is in play, but you went and shit on that feminist stance with your follow up comment.

But carry on putting yourself on a pedestal as it’s clearly easier than accepting you could have been in the same position, pat yourself on the back for your excellent life choices. I’m pleased for your children that your separation still prioritises your children, but I’ll be damned to fuck if I’ll let people blame me for the unforeseen actions of another. I didn’t choose a feckless loser. His own actions turned him into one overnight. My situation was not avoidable through my own choices.

Moominmammaatsea Fri 22-Mar-19 23:21:55

@anon400, I’m a bit confused...I’m an adoptive parent to two children...one birth father hanged himself in prison and the other was responsible for the death of a 10-week-old baby. According to your (very arbitrary) criteria, can you please advise which category I fall into, as I have one living father and one dead?

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 22-Mar-19 23:24:08

8As a divorced and remarried woman I hate the term single parent. Most children have 2 parents. Their parents just may have chosen not to live together. You don't stop being a parent just because you divorce. The idea of the mother as the main "single" parent is outdated. Fathers can be good parents too. You don't have to choose a feckless loser to have kids with*

Oh do fuck the fuck off! Do you ACTUALLY THINK I chose a feckless loser to have kids with? I didn't think so at the time after a very long marriage, but guess what? He turned out to be a feckless loser. I didn't bloody CHOOSE it! As a resulf of this I am my DS's ONLY parent. How dare you make such an assumption. MANY kids do ONLY have one parent...I am in that situation. Your judgement is disgusting.

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 22-Mar-19 23:26:21

Really unfortunate highlight fail in my post but @2rebecca, it was aimed at you with your patronising shit.

Verynice Fri 22-Mar-19 23:27:24

I think that for me, being a completely single only parent, I get where she was coming from. You'll never understand what it's like to be entirely alone in every decision, in every worry. It's just different. Even if your ex is a prick, he gives you a break and you can ring him if you're worried about illness/development. They usually contribute something financially too. I've dated guys who have their children at the weekends and they tell me they're single parents lol. I just smile and nod.

NuffSaidSam Fri 22-Mar-19 23:28:03

'You're a single parent if you are the parent of a child and do the majority of the parenting'

But that covers all sahp. Many of whom are married to and/or live with their children's other parent and they probably don't consider themselves single parents. It's not what most people would perceive as a single parent either.

YouWinAgain Fri 22-Mar-19 23:30:49

Even if your ex is a prick, he gives you a break and you can ring him if you're worried about illness/development.

No i can't. If I ring him worried about anything he'll say I chose to leave him so I have to deal with (despite him being violent and controlling)

DefinitelyCommisery Fri 22-Mar-19 23:31:44

We’d all bloody love to do a gwyneth and Chris, it’s the ideal in a separation situation.
However, in real life if you don’t have the same goals that ideal is impossible. Therefore, you can’t control the reactions of others but only control your own whilst mitigating damage as best you can.

I am a single mum. I’m a bloody good one at that and I’m sure there is a chorus of women on here that also are.
Rebecca2: Join the chorus and support them for the marvellous job they do in the face of adversity instead of taking your situation as your personal victory rather than being smug for the circumstances that allowed you to prevail as co-parents. Mumsnet has taught me to look at things from all sides and not be so black and white and judgemental. I do hope it will do the same for you going forwards.

liamhemsworthsrealwife Fri 22-Mar-19 23:31:44

@2rebecca thanks for the useless advice, oh wise one.

Op I'd probably just delete her in all honesty. Who needs that crap.

Islands81 Fri 22-Mar-19 23:32:01

Me and dd1’s dad split when she was 13 months, and then he’d have her every other weekend (and still does, 13 years later). He also pays a small amount of maintenance. I thought my life was hard....UNTIL...I had dd2 who hasn’t seen her dad since she was 19 months old (she’s nearly 9 now). He doesn’t pay any maintenance and we have court orders ensuring he can’t come near us.

There’s definitely a big difference between my two scenarios. I didn’t know I was born with dd1, and a sanity break every fortnight. 100% solo parenting, with no respite or financial help is a different kettle of fish.

But as they say, you can drown in 6 inches of water or 6 feet, one isn’t worse than the other. It’s not a competition.

Tunnockswafer Fri 22-Mar-19 23:32:09

Is the term “lone parent” still in use? That to me sounds like someone who does it completely alone.

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 22-Mar-19 23:32:26

I do bloody everything for my DS because his woefully inadequate twat of a father "chooses" not to...but according to @2rebecca I am not really a single parent. Were you the "other woman"..sounds like it...

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 22-Mar-19 23:39:46

Who knew there were such divisions!
I guess I'm a solo parent then if others calling themselves single parents still have the father involved in some way (visits/financial/cards/2shits). Not judging and agree there are variations; sometimes it's easier not to have the extra person involved.

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 22-Mar-19 23:40:56

@Tunnock last time I checked lone parents was the term, but IIRC many were upset as it made out they were lonely...

UnspiritualHome Fri 22-Mar-19 23:47:21

I'd ask her how making a straight statement of fact is "being like that".

Tillygetsit Fri 22-Mar-19 23:53:20

Untrue NuffsaidSam. I'm like a pp. Divorced with 2 kids now remarried. My son was in hospital at 2 years old ( not remarried then)and out of politeness I told his dad who said it wasn't his problem! He didn't pay alimony and 9 times out of 10 doesnt bother to turn up when he's meant to. He is also remarried with 1 child and I have been told by him not to bother him about the children as he has a real family now. He was not an abusive alcoholic arsehole when I met or married him. He changed in 4 years and then I was very much a single parent for 3.

Verynice Fri 22-Mar-19 23:57:53

Yes, but if they're involved, you're not entirely on your own. You can't share the joys or the disasters with a ghost. You don't know their medical history, their talents, their aptitudes, nothing. You're totally on your own and that is different. It's really fucking hard to be honest.

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 00:00:11

Plus the typical set-up these days seems to be that the women have the children during the week and Dad has them at the weekend. So they have a great time! They being the Mums in such set ups! I genuinely envy that.

NameChangex3 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:03:52

I do cringe a bit when my friend complains how hard being a single parent is and the lack of "me time". She does 50-50 split with her ex, the kids do one week with her and the other week with him. It seems a bit like part time parenting. She gets a week to herself every other week!

I think there is a massive difference between being a lone parent and a single parent. I don't think you can compare someone sharing care (however little) to someone who does 100%

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 00:04:11

And another downside to it is that SS come down on you like a tonne of bricks if you're diagnosed with PND - because you've no support. Blah blah. Yes, it's because I've no support that I have PND, but I'm doing fine until you lot shoved your ugly know-it-all bastarding heads around my door to further stress me out. angry

warriorprincessandwidowed Sat 23-Mar-19 00:08:12

I am a widow as my name suggest to 3 children. Calling me a single parent will land you with a bitch stare.

I am not a single parent. I did not choose this. We did not choose this.

Major difference between widows and single parents.

CanILeavenowplease Sat 23-Mar-19 00:09:15

t seems a bit like part time parenting

No. It really fucking isn’t. It’s the same as being a full time parent when working rather than staying at home. Being a parent doesn’t stop cos your children are with your ex. Very few people choose to co-parent - it’s something which happens as a result of relationship breakdown and well done well and in a mature manner, is of great benefit to the children. None of that makes you a ‘part time parent’.

NuffSaidSam Sat 23-Mar-19 00:09:24

'Untrue NuffsaidSam.'

I haven't said anything contrary to what you said. I think you're talking to the wrong person?

gt84 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:10:15

And there was me thinking that “single parent” just meant you are a parent who is not in a relationship!

CanILeavenowplease Sat 23-Mar-19 00:11:49

I did not choose this. We did not choose this. Major difference between widows and single parents

Wow. I didn’t choose my ex husband to up and leave with another woman. I am still a single parent.

NuffSaidSam Sat 23-Mar-19 00:12:44

'I am not a single parent. I did not choose this.'

Lots of single parents are not in that situation through choice.

PregnantSea Sat 23-Mar-19 00:20:58

Goodness me, people are being very precious about the term single parent.

My dad ran off one night when I was 3. He moved to another country and had a new family. Never paid a penny, didn't write or call or pass on his new address. I have seen him 3 times after that day, each time for about an hour. But I guess my mum wasn't a single parent because he was still alive? What a load of shit.

ColeHawlins Sat 23-Mar-19 00:22:15

* I am a widow as my name suggest to 3 children. Calling me a single parent will land you with a bitch stare. *
*
I am not a single parent. I did not choose this. We did not choose this.
*
Major difference between widows and single parents.

I doubt The Widows want you as their spokeswoman, TBH. Some widows are actually pleasant people.

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 00:24:34

I don't think anyone chooses it. Well some single women who get sperm donors I suppose.

HennyPennyHorror Sat 23-Mar-19 00:26:34

Sounds like she was embarrassed by you being a single parent OP and then seeing it broadcast on Facebook, she tried to downplay it.

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 00:27:17

I've come across this idealisation by widows before. They think they're a different type of single parent. Fair enough.
I didn't choose the path I'm on either. It doesn't make you better than me.

greenlynx Sat 23-Mar-19 00:28:47

YANBU, it was mean comment from her. You are not writing dictionary, you are talking about your everyday life. You can’t wait until it will be your STBXH’s turn to have DC, you want to take a shower now.

ColeHawlins Sat 23-Mar-19 00:29:53

* Never paid a penny, didn't write or call or pass on his new address. I have seen him 3 times after that day, each time for about an hour. But I guess my mum wasn't a single parent because he was still alive? What a load of shit.*

Very well said.

There are some very self-involved, unimaginative, meanspirited posters on this thread.

Bellabellabel Sat 23-Mar-19 00:47:11

I agree with her. You aren't a single parent if there is a dad around. Only those with no contribution from the father at all or a dead dad are single parents. I think you should use term separated or divorced mum.

Same opinion when it comes to everyone having a dad. Even with anonymous sperm donors conception. Yes they do have a dad but they just may not know who they are. Biology means everyone has a father, we don't clone people yet.

RedTitsMcGinty Sat 23-Mar-19 00:50:13

I am not a single parent. I did not choose this. We did not choose this.

Oh yeah, I totally chose for my ex-husband, faithful for many years, to cheat on me and walk out and abscond from his parenting responsibilities. 🙄

As for choosing a “feckless loser”... Jeez, there are some right dicks on this thread.

Snowy111 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:51:10

I do sometimes call myself a single parent but perhaps it’s more accurate to say resident parent or main carer. I am lucky that my ex pays, but he doesn’t regularly have dcs. And as my dcs are getting older I find it’s easier for me when he doesn’t have them, because meal planning, clothes, social events, uniforms, homework, all routine gets disrupted when he has them, and when they come back it takes a day to adjust to each other again. They sort of transfer allegiance at each move and become slightly less close - hard to explain!

As the main carer all the appointments, uniform shopping, clothes and shoe shopping, emergency leave, play dates and parties, holidays, washing and ironing, school trips, parents evenings, dress up days, school projects etc are down to me. He doesn’t have to do anything, although when he does everyone knows about it hmm

I ALWAYS have to put the kids first and am the default if they are ill or he cancels last minute, he always has the choice.

Every situation is different and people are quick to make assumptions

runwithme Sat 23-Mar-19 00:51:30

'helps out'??? I can't get past this!

PorpentinaScamander Sat 23-Mar-19 00:53:20

I'm so glad some of the posters on this thread don't get to define what a single parent is.

I didn't choose for my ex to walk out on me and 2 small children. Yes he's still alive but I don't think his 6 hours per week (only with 1DC) contact have any impact on how much parenting I have to do.

CanILeavenowplease Sat 23-Mar-19 00:55:11

I think you should use term separated or divorced mum

But a separated or divorced mum is still a single mum.

And why should I have to define myself in terms of a failed marriage? I single parent brilliantly (most of the time) and am proud of who I am and what I have achieved. Why do you get to dictate to me how I should think of myself or how I would,prefer people to refer to me?

ColeHawlins Sat 23-Mar-19 00:56:21

* I agree with her. You aren't a single parent if there is a dad around. Only those with no contribution from the father at all or a dead dad are single parents.*

No, no; You can't group dead dads in with the MIA dads. We've already established that being widowed is noble but being abandoned is just sloppy, because abandoned mothers are just idiots who deliberately choose to procreate with feckless men. Do try to keep up.

Monty27 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:57:28

I had a senior manager who purported to be a single parent. Then I found out they all lived together as a family and were loaded 🙄🙄
angry

ReanimatedSGB Sat 23-Mar-19 00:58:05

I tend to define myself as a single parent because I don't engage in romantic relationships and my DS' dad doesn't live with DS and me. However, he's a good, involved father, pays maintenance and we get on reasonably well (to the point of having family outings and the occasional holiday.) It's possibly relevant that DS' dad and I were not a couple when we concieved him - we were old drinking buddies who had a bunk up one night - so there has been no bitter break up to deal with.
I know a lot of single parents are unimpressed when someone whose partner lives in the same house but does sod all domestic work and childcare says 'Oh, I feel like a single parent'.

Monty27 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:59:34

They weren't married. She got so much attention being a single parent not and recognition career wise.

NuffSaidSam Sat 23-Mar-19 01:04:24

Essentially the term 'single parent' is meaningless as it means completely different thing to different people. It doesn't actually tell you anything about someone's situation.

TheLoneWolfDies Sat 23-Mar-19 01:22:47

🍿

pineapplebryanbrown Sat 23-Mar-19 01:24:12

Taking notes:

Single mother = unmarried. Def slut, poss teenager
Lone parent = sperm doner recipient. Rad fem, probs lesbian
Widowed = not choice / not harlot like rest

As for me? Nobody asks, it's obvious.

Willyoujustbequiet Sat 23-Mar-19 03:02:15

Oh do fuck off rebecca. Its rare i come across such an ignorant view

I didnt choose a feckless loser to have kids with. I was happily married for more than 20 years until he devoloped mental health problems and became violent.
And I am most certainly a single parent as he does bugger all.

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 03:03:53

No, no; You can't group dead dads in with the MIA dads. We've already established that being widowed is noble but being abandoned is just sloppy, because abandoned mothers are just idiots who deliberately choose to procreate with feckless men. Do try to keep up.

It's very like the recent thread where people were posting about cervical cancer screening, and being positive for HPV. It was inundated by posters declaring their negative results! Harlot that I am, of course I was positive lol. People are very eager to point out their purity in the UK. Being a single mother who chose - yes - I picked him out of a line-up - chose! to reproduce with a thundering cunt, makes you a cunt of equally thundering proportions! Like we go to the man shop and say - I'll have that cunt there - he looks like he could do a runner.

brizzlemint Sat 23-Mar-19 03:07:33

If you are a parent who is not in a relationship then you are a single parent.

Noodledoodlesandspud Sat 23-Mar-19 03:10:11

Wow, I didn't realise that a word was such a big issue.
When I posted this I was just thinking about how she was pointing out that he was still involved so everything was OK. Yes he's still involved in their lives. But he is a controlling twat and every time he comes to the door I feel sick. He's threatened me, used my kids against me, manipulated me etc and it hurt that she was making out that I didn't have anything to complain about. (not that I was complaining, just saying I'd like to be able to take a nice long shower).

Verynice Sat 23-Mar-19 03:16:12

Well now you know. grin

Zoflorabore Sat 23-Mar-19 03:25:11

Makes me laugh that anyone can give themselves a new name overnight and we have to accept this and go forward using chosen said name but if a person identifies as a "single parent" then they're told by some that it's not the correct terminology.

How is that right?

However some people want to dress it up, being a single parent is bloody hard work.
Been there and now not one. I have several
friends who are. Who the hell am I to tell them that they're not actually single parents as their useless exes are still alive and do the absolute bare minimum of parenting?!

Wallywobbles Sat 23-Mar-19 03:25:14

My ex told someone we both know that he has that 50/50. He hadn't seen them since 2015.

tympanic Sat 23-Mar-19 03:31:39

OP, your aunt is being abrasive and unfair. Some aunts are like that. Best ignore that completely. Sounds like she has her own issues to me if she can’t be supportive of you during rough times and instead decides to pick on something stupid. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

As for the debate about what being a single parent is... that’s a tricky one. Sometimes I feel like I’m a single parent despite the fact my husband lives mostly with us, because he’s rarely home during awake hours and when he is home he’s not doing any real parenting. I never get a break. But I would never say I was a single parent. On the other hand, I have a friend whose DH works on rotation a few weeks away and has a few weeks at home. She calls herself a single parent despite the fact he shares the load or more when he’s home. I wouldn’t say she was a single parent either. The term means different things to different people.

floribunda18 Sat 23-Mar-19 03:41:25

Just remember you can delete other people's comments on your posts on Facebook, and respond by PM.

ConstantGravy Sat 23-Mar-19 04:09:43

Wow, some people have very strong opinions about this.

I split from my DS' Dad nearly 10 years ago. He stayed in the picture for 5 years but never did overnight as he wasn't in a position to. He did everything yo avoid paying maintenance, including making himself intentionally homeless. In the end he moved to the other side of the world and is now living it up somewhere in NZ. DS has had absolutely no contact for over 3.5 years.

XP has no input in DS life. I don't know where he is or how to contact him. He's blocked me on SM. So no, I can't just call him to discuss things and I don't get a break. For all we know he could be dead. I guess I have Schrodinger's ex?

YouSayPotatoesISayVodka Sat 23-Mar-19 04:14:38

OP you’re not unreasonable to be pissed off. I can only assume your aunt has set the bar really low for herself regarding what constitutes a good man/father. Sad for her, irritating beyond belief for you.

FWIW I am a single parent. That’s how I view myself. I don’t much care if other people agree. My children go to their dad once a fortnight. There is no contact in between. He is an abusive cunt (we were in refuge because of him) and as a result I can never fully relax while my children are with him. I make all parenting decisions for the children, (he hasn’t shown any interest in doing so at all) I buy them everything, and I am not in a position where I can ask him for help with anything. As I said, he is abusive. I’ve been advised not to ask for any kind of favour from him by professionals. I wouldn’t anyway.

It’s all my own fault obviously. Silly me, knowingly choosing such a loser to have children with hmm

Pernickity1 Sat 23-Mar-19 04:24:09

I really wouldn’t have gotten into it with your aunt on a public forum - really tacky and disrespectful to your children airing family business like that. I’d delete the post and ignore your aunt.

I agree with you on the “hard to have a shower” part though!

tympanic Sat 23-Mar-19 04:28:05

@YouSayPotatoesISayVodka I saw your double post and was actually wondering why that doesn’t happen more often here. I’m always half asleep and have nearly done the same smile

Of course it’s not your fault you had kids with a loser. Nor is it the fault of the other women on here who have been unfortunate in that respect. Ignore the anonymous toxic swamp monsters who use others’ misfortune to feel superior. Shamefully distasteful schadenfreude at its worst.

NinnieNouse Sat 23-Mar-19 04:52:26

@WarriorPrincess Not many people chose to raise a child alone. You seem to have a very damaging and outdated view on single parents.

kateandme Sat 23-Mar-19 05:27:36

lets not be cruel to eacohter.everyones parents and apart from the asswholes we are all trying our best right.so as one,whether single stay at home,widowed why not focus on being good parents instead of getting vile to eacohter over who is it better or worse.
some people have some really awful experiences.some a amicable separation.there are still parents left with children so let spport ecohter with however we are left.

Josiebloggs Sat 23-Mar-19 05:40:04

Being a parent who is single -not in a realtionship- is not the same as a single -lone, only one, solitary- parent.
I've heard people who have remarried and who also co-parent call themselves a single parent hmm there should be greater clarity on the terms.

RiddleyW Sat 23-Mar-19 05:50:04

I’ve never thought that the level of contact the other parent has had any bearing on the term single parent. I thought it just meant someone who wasn’t with the father/mother of their child. I also have never heard that it would be an offensive term to a widow.

Every day is a school day I suppose.

MillyCoddler Sat 23-Mar-19 06:04:06

Why were you posting tosh about having a shower on FB? And then arguing with your aunt. Just use FB for sharing photos, not inane status updates.

Graphista Sat 23-Mar-19 06:28:22

JessicaWessica are you SERIOUSLY blaming the mothers for the feckless fathers actions?! Misogynist twaddle! Are we supposed to possess some kind of perfectly operating crystal ball?! Your post is particularly offensive to victims of domestic abuse - proud of that?!

My deadbeat twat of an ex showed no signs, no red flags of his future deadbeat persuasions! His own family are completely bewildered and shocked at how he's become since we split. They don't recognise him. Prior to us splitting he was scathing of deadbeat exs and even fell out with a good friend upon discovering the friend was fiddling the cm figures.

He made a pretence at first of being a dad that gave 2 shits providing I bent over backwards and did all the running With contact, with reminding him of things he should have known, with child maintenance (didn't pay for nearly 1st 3 years, then paid inconsistently and irregularly for a few years then stopped altogether. Meanwhile lying through his teeth to his parents that he was paying a generous amount every month, a lie I was able to show them proof of).

The last time she was admitted to hospital as an emergency due to her disability I let him know, the text reply I got? "ok" that was it! No "how is she?" "What's happening?" Not even "thanks for letting me know"!

Op your relative is bang out of order, you are a single parent of course. The vast majority of the care of your children and all the real responsibility is on you.

"No one is a single parent if they have a living dad of their child." Guessing you're not divorced/separated with children then!

"Then there are people who are married to their child's other parent, but that parent is not actually there a lot of the time.....in the armed forces, oil rig worker, in prison etc. They're actually doing more 'single parenting' than someone whose ex lives round the corner and does 50%." My ex was army, I can assure you being married to someone in the forces even when they're away on deployment is NOTHING like being a single parent where the financial, legal, medical and mental burden of parenting is far greater. Have you actually been a parent in any of those situations?

Warriorprincess while I am sorry for your family's loss and agree it must be even harder as a widowed parent, please don't make out we chose to be single parents.

Aside from those who actively chose to be from conception/adoption the vast majority of single parents didn't choose to be. Just like you we've had to deal with the hand we've been dealt.

When I married my ex after 4 years together and had dd (who was very much planned and wanted) nearly 5 years later I did not choose for him just 2 years later to shag someone who was meant to be my friend, to abandon dd and I and screw us over. That was not my choice at all!

And I'm damn sure domestic violence victims didn't choose to be either!

Noodledoodlesandspud Sat 23-Mar-19 07:07:25

milly sorry I didn't realise I couldn't make a joke on Facebook about having a shower. I'll check with you next time to make sure my Facebook use is correct. And after my aunt postes that stuff I deleted the post anyway.

BitchQueen90 Sat 23-Mar-19 07:14:00

I am a single parent. That's what I am. I'm a parent and I'm single. DS goes to his dad's 2 or 3 nights a month. So his dad is involved but it's not 50/50.

DS's dad isn't a single parent because he has a live in partner. If I had a live in partner I wouldn't call myself a single parent.

I'm not a lone parent. A lone parent to me is a parent who does it all on their own with no contact with the other parent.

MillyCoddler Sat 23-Mar-19 07:15:39

Don't be so arsey, OP. It just seemed to be a daft thing to post. When DC were young my DH was out of the house 7-7 every week day. I still managed a daily shower during those hours do don't see why you can't.

PFB2 Sat 23-Mar-19 07:17:00

See I find this a funny one.

DH is forces and has just been deployed for 8 months. We would have the occasional phone conversation but parenting for those 9 months had been solely done by me. We have no family nearby at all. It really makes me realise how extraordinarily different it must be for some lone parents. The thing is though, some lone parents will have lots of family support or people around them who will help but I literally have had no one for those 9 months. But I wasn't classed as a lone parent because I have a DH. I couldn't post on their threads because I don't fit into that box. But what box do I fit into?

People get so uptight about this terminology and people saying they're a single/lone/solo parent. Like you say, your ex does the bare minimum so yes, I think you should be allowed to call yourself a single parent.

PFB2 Sat 23-Mar-19 07:17:39

That should say, extraordinarily difficult

SwimmingJustKeepSwimming Sat 23-Mar-19 07:40:16

PFB2 I think that too. I know a single parent who spent all day with her mum "round the corner" with the baby and had a close network of ex-school friends who had babies similar age etc.

I know thats not the norm but is a very different set up to you parenting on your own while partner is deployed.

anniehm Sat 23-Mar-19 07:51:53

There's varying degrees of single parents, in fact there's married parents where one is the only one who parents (eg works away). I know divorced parents where they coparent really effectively and certainly the resident parent isnt left holding the babies literally!

Aunts abroad should be ignored anyway, she has no idea of your situation, everyone's is unique

SandyY2K Sat 23-Mar-19 07:56:22

@Jessicawessica

Then I have to pick them up no later than 9am on a Sunday as he has to get to his golf.

Why are you doing all the dropping and picking?

SMBC Sat 23-Mar-19 07:57:37

Just thinking about the whole 'single by choice' thing.

I'm a single parent by choice, DC is donor conceived. So maybe people view that I shouldn't complain about finding it tough as I "chose" to be in this position.

Except I still don't really feel like it was much of a choice. By mid thirties I was facing the very real prospect that I wasn't going to be able to have children. Albeit for single status reasons rather than biological. However the fear of not being able to have children is very much as intense and real as for any biological reason. I think there is a terminology 'social infertility'.

I was fortunate I was able to have fertility treatment which was successful. However this path i took really didn't feel like much of a choice. It was that or no children at all.

My choice, like many of us, would have been to be with a loving, supportive partner who loved his children as equally as I do. For whatever reason this didn't work out for me, just like it didn't with separated and widowed parents.

I have some solo mum friends who have a wealth of practical support from families. Possibly more than some coupled friends.
Solo parenting isn't just about the practical side though. It's the parental, financial and emotional responsibility that also comes with it, which no amount of friends or extended family support can provide. The fear that your child literally only has you and the responsibility to stay alive for them, as there is no back up parent that can step up if anything was to happen to you.

AnnaNimmity Sat 23-Mar-19 08:03:40

God, I didn't realise there was a scale of single-parentedness. Competitive single parenting

Everyone's so judgmental. fwiw I am a single parent. I have an ex H. But I'm still a single parent. Fwiw I didn't choose this and it doesn't make me less of a single parent than a widow.

Fwiw every parent, single parent or not has challenges. Some of us find it easier or harder than others (e.g. because we have family support, more money, disabled children, etc) whether we're single or not. I can't believe women would start judging other women (well I can believe it). Why can't we just be supportive of everyone, no matter what their status. No one gives me a medal for being a single parent. There are no prizes.

AnnaNimmity Sat 23-Mar-19 08:07:00

we could do a spread sheet to work out who has it harder.

Do you have a partner living with you - y/n
do you have disabled children - y/n
do you have family support - y/n
do you have more than 2 children - y/n
do you work full time - y/n
do you have a disability y/n
are you a widow - y/n
does your ex give you money y.n

and work out who has it worse. But really it doesn't bloody matter!!! Don't we all just get on with our lives?

sagradafamiliar Sat 23-Mar-19 08:11:51

Maybe she hates those 'I can't pee in peace/can't grab a shower' memes but whatever her reasons, I don't know who she thinks she is commenting on things she knows nothing about. I'd have just deleted her stupid comment.
Surprising how many people will make fools of themselves telling people about their own lives.

thedisorganisedmum Sat 23-Mar-19 08:20:59

God, I didn't realise there was a scale of single-parentedness. Competitive single parenting

Oh yes, there's is a bitter competition on this forum, it's ridiculous. Some posters wants some kind of medal, showing 0 sympathy for someone else who simply finds it hard, and lonely.

Noodledoodlesandspud Sat 23-Mar-19 08:23:02

sagradafamiliar I deleted the whole post and she messaged me asking why I was being stroppy and deleted it.

milly I have time to shower daily, I just made a comment that I was tired I would have liked to have had a long shower but didn't have time.
Anna I agree. I never started this thread t say I had it harder than everyone else. Infact I have several friends who have it a lot harder. I was just pissed off with my aunts comment as she hasn't been here and seen how awful Stbxh has been recently and she was making out he was a wonderful person etc.

Dippypippy1980 Sat 23-Mar-19 08:24:31

This is a conversation I have had with a friend. Up until very recently I shared 50-50 custody with my ex. I now have six nights a week. I jphave a live in boyfriend and my ex would be available in any emergency.

My friend has a doaghter and no contact with her ex. She is single. While technically speaking we are both single parents, she is very much alone in parenting while I fully accept I am not. She laughs when anyone calls me a single parent, and is not use the phrase at all.

tympanic Sat 23-Mar-19 08:25:06

Gawd, there are some nasty sorts on here.

Everyone’s situation is different. Everyone’s support network is different. Everyone’s relationship is different. People are different. Including kids.

OP I have one of those kids who made it impossible to have a shower. Or do many simple things for a very long time. Pre-baby me would have scoffed at the thought, but I get it now. Love him, but by god he’s been a difficult one.

So when it comes to all those uppity “well, I managed to have a shower so I can’t see why you can’t manage” types, or for anyone else, including your dear aunt, who lack the necessary emotional intelligence to comment on your life with any semblance of compassion or even basic rationality... IGNORE. IGNORE. IGNORE.

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