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to find this attitude towards single mums a bit annoying?

(53 Posts)
GreenTowel Sun 24-Mar-19 10:58:12

I've recently become a single mum to an infant, so very little lovely baby. I left his father due to some pretty heavy emotional abuse that I was brainwashed into believing is normal.

I didn't notice it so much before, but recently I've been finding comments about singlemumdom a bit saddening.

- 'I did really well for myself considering I was raised in a single mum household' (from a colleague)
- 'I was disadvantaged because my mum was a single mum' (master chef contestant)

Etc etc. I have plenty more examples.

My son is not disadvantaged, not are the kids of many single mums I know. Are there statistics to back this up? I'm sure there might be, but it's sad to think this is the attitude many people have.

Anyone else find this?

GreenTowel Sun 24-Mar-19 10:59:43

*nor are

cardibach Sun 24-Mar-19 11:02:14

I don’t think it’s being from a single parent family which, I. Itself, causes disadvantage. It’s just being in a single adult household tends to mean lower income, which has other issues. Correlation does not equal causation (I’m a single parent too. Don’t think my DD was disadvantaged either).

AstonishedFemalePersonator Sun 24-Mar-19 11:05:39

Being the child of a single parent (note I said "parent" and not "mother") is the single biggest indicator of child poverty.

DontTouchTheMoustache Sun 24-Mar-19 11:05:54

Its much better to be in a household with one parent who loves you fiercely than with 2 who hate each other. Don't let those kind of comments get you down, people say stuff like that for there own agenda. You will be brilliant OP and your baby will have a fantastic life with you

Siennabear Sun 24-Mar-19 11:08:49

I can see where you’re coming from. However, I was raised by my mum and always felt I missed out so much not having a dad around (no contact for very good reasons). My mum did the best she could for us but she did struggle.
I am a mum myself now I can see how different my life was compared to what my children have now.

Frenchmontana Sun 24-Mar-19 11:09:49

Actually stats back up that the kids in single parents are disadvantaged. But i dont think it's just down to whether you have 1 parent or 2.

But it mainly depends the quality of the parenting that happens after. Do the parents get on. Is one a bastard? Are both so angry they both put that anger first.

I grew up in a single parent household and am recently a single parent. My experiences of being in a single parent household is that I was very disadvantaged. Not having 2 parents definitly left me at a disadvantage. But that could be the quality of the parenting rather than just how many parents I had.

I do find that as a single parent working full time, I dont have as much time for my son as I would like. I am always busy, always have something to do, taking him to the park is a chore because I get from work have to cook dinner, put washing on, get a bath for him, clean up dinner, do his homework, spend son 'fun' time with him etc.

I actually reduced the amount of sleep I have to do a load of those jobs before I wake him up. Life was easier with adults in the house and I had more time for my son.

So I do imagine he is disadvantaged compared to what if he had have been brought up in a healthy household with 2 parents who have a good relationship.

You also have to weigh up what's best/worst growing up with 2 parents who are unhappy and miserable or abusive or growing up with one good parent who is always trying their best

GreenTowel Sun 24-Mar-19 11:16:09

* Being the child of a single parent (note I said "parent" and not "mother") is the single biggest indicator of child poverty.*

I had no idea. I guess I'm just very lucky to be in a good position as a single mum then! Not meaning to minimise other people's experiences. It's just a shame it's sometimes an assumption of all single parent households.

Frenchmontana Sun 24-Mar-19 11:19:51

GreenTowel but for the majority of single parents, poverty is more likely.

That's why assumptions are there. Usually there is some basis for it.

I earn decent money, that's not a huge issue. But time is a big issue. That's the same for all single parents. Unless you have enough money to not work or work part time.

And that's a very unusual situation. Certainly not the norm.

weekendsleep Sun 24-Mar-19 11:22:07

I agree with @cardibach I think those assumptions come from a lower income potential perspective though that's not the same for all single mothers of course.

I would never judge a single parents (mum or dad!) my parents are together still but my mum raised us for a few years single handedly whilst my dad was in rehab when I was young. She couldn't work though due to childcare + going to therapy with my dad so we were lucky my dad had made quite a bit of money before struggling with addiction otherwise we never would have stayed afloat and afforded to pay for private rehab.

MsAwesomeDragon Sun 24-Mar-19 11:28:49

I was a single parent when dd1 was young. It was fine when I had my family's support, so my dad did childcare, I could ask my parents for help with things, etc. Then I moved for a job, and that year I moved away and was a single parent with no support, DD was disadvantaged then. Then we moved in with my now DH, and suddenly I didn't feel she was disadvantaged again.

So I wouldn't say it's about the number of adults living in the house, it's about the number of adults involved in looking after the child who care for/love them.

The financial side makes a HUGE difference. The year I was on my own with no support, I was paying rent, bills, childcare all on one wage and it was incredibly stressful. I was just over the threshold for any help. When I lived near my parents they did my childcare so I didn't have that bill. When we moved in with DH the rent etc were shared so the finances were much easier.

There are a lot of factors of living in a single parent household that are not a reflection on the single parent, but are a reality of life and a signal that the child (ren) could be disadvantaged. Poverty, one person trying to do all the work and household stuff, leaves less time for adult-child interaction.

It's not a reflection on the single parent, most often they are doing an amazing job in very difficult circumstances. The disadvantage comes from the difficult circumstances that come from the one adult household, like the lack of money and time, or the difficult co parenting relationship, or having to swap between 2 houses for contact and the difficulties in being organised and in a routine due to that.

maddiemookins16mum Sun 24-Mar-19 11:32:01

I was the daughter of a single mum, it affected my childhood as we were really skint, I think it also led to me never going into any kind of higher education as I needed to start work at 15 full time to financially help the family.

Frenchmontana Sun 24-Mar-19 11:35:14

MsAwesomeDragon makes an excellent point. If you have outside support it's easier.

I am NC with my parents. My support is my best friend, who works full time and her mum who suffers ill health. So cant help that much but do when they can.

Dillydallyingthrough Sun 24-Mar-19 11:38:42

I'm a SP and have been since DD was a baby. My DD(15) is lovely, bright, funny, always complimented by teachers and peers. However being brutally honest I couldn't afford clubs for her when she little like all her friends that were doing ballet, swimming, dance, etc so she lost out. I worked hard for 3 years working full time, studying and managing appointments and therapy for her numerous conditions at that time I slept for 3 hours each night, so realistically I probably wasn't the best parent. I spent minimal 'fun' time with her, we could never just have a relaxed day.

I think finances are the biggest factor as I'm now a higher earner (have been since she was 9) so now we spend much more quality time together, can pay for her interests and generally take it much easier.

Nnnnnineteen Sun 24-Mar-19 11:39:16

Is it possible that the newness of your situation is making you feel a bit more aware of such things? I've been on my own for 8 years and in the beginning I felt judged, but I actually think it was my own feelings about it being projected. Couldn't say I care now what society thinks about me, if indeed they do.

GreenTowel Sun 24-Mar-19 11:39:31

I eat my words then! I earn 24k a year, get money from my ex and work 3 days a week. It's hard because my hours are all compressed in to 3 very long days so I'm technically still working almost full time, just over 3 days instead of 5. It's hard and I hardly see my son on those days, but I guess not everyone is lucky enough to be in that position. Just bugged me that people think my son is disadvantaged. He was definitely disadvantaged a month ago living with an abusive dad! Though I'm actually better off financially without him so maybe I'm just seeing this new found freedom over my finances and my life as a positive for my son...

GreenTowel Sun 24-Mar-19 11:39:56

@Nnnnnineteen quite possible!

LunafortJest Sun 24-Mar-19 11:43:43

Raising a child with 2 parents is more beneficial to a child. However if one parent is abusive, it is far better for the child to be raised with a sole parent in a stable and loving environment. Being a single mum (or single dad) is not the ideal, but it is certainly far better than a child being raised in a fearful, violent and toxic environment.

PregnantSea Sun 24-Mar-19 11:44:28

There actually are stats that back this up. Kids from single parent households are more likely to become teen parents and are more likely to commit crimes. However I think context is really important when looking at stats, and poorer areas have a higher concentration of single parents, so I think that could skew the stats. Also if you have a parent in prison then it is reasonable to suggest that you may be slightly more likely to end up in prison yourself because of their influence, rather than the fact that you only live with one parent. Basically I think the stats paint an incomplete picture of single parents.

I think the most important thing is that the baby is loved and cared for, and that can happen in single parent households just fine.

LunafortJest Sun 24-Mar-19 11:48:20

24k a year where I am is just above poverty level. Average starting wage here is 35/40 000. 24 000 is traineeship wages, usually earned by under 21 year olds. But if you are comfortable, then that's great. It sounds like you are far better off financially and emotionally without the abusive ex, and your son will reap the rewards from a stable and happy environment with a stable and happy mum. flowers

Adversecamber22 Sun 24-Mar-19 11:52:38

Better alone than abused so well done getting out.

There will almost always be a financial advantage to being in a couple even if one parent doesn’t work it saves on childcare.

There is also the mental load which is talked about a lot on MN. Currently I’m sat mnetting in bed while DH orders stuff for a DofE trip for DS on Amazon. Later we are picking up my new car, we discussed insurance quotes and when I had to complain to my insurer about their shit systems I got him to listen in on a conference call. It’s stuff like that. One of my best friends has always been a single Mum, abandoned when pg. Her life is far harder than mine, she does not have family support either. When she needed a major op I picked her up from the hospital. The dreaded Inset days, DH took more time off work than me as he had greater flexibility to cover them. I found childcare easier when dc were in nursery before they went to school. That’s the kind of stuff over time that grinds people down.

Frenchmontana Sun 24-Mar-19 13:20:43

Its is better the you are alone instead of an abusive relationship it's better for your son.

But imagine this. You left the abuser. You get made redundant and you ex stops paying as a way to get at you, but you find another job that's 5 days, for the same money.

You work 5 days a week. Up at 4.30am to do household jobs (put a wash on etc) and get you and your son ready. Leaving at 7am to drop child off at school for breakfast club at 7.30. Straight to work. Child also goes to after school club. So you get home around 5pm. You then have to cook dinner for the child, do their bath, homework, spend time with them, clear up the kitchen.

That's 5 days a week. Weekends are filled with things like doing the food shopping, getting his hair cut, replacing clothes. No one helps with any of this. Because you dont have anyone that could pick him up at school finish time and do all the bits that need doing. You sometimes arrange so you dont have to do these things and do them when they are with their dad. But you dont have the money to do much apart from jobs that you must do and going to the park, walk etc. You cant take them to play football because you cabt afford it or dance class or anything that costs money if it's not a need

They also see their father one day at the weekend. Which you use to keep on top of work, your job isnt amazing paid but pressured and it's what you managed to get. So you put up with it

Of course the child is disadvantaged. If you can manage to keep a roof above your head and have loads of money left over and 4 days off a week. The disadvantage might be less so.

But pretending kids from single families arenr disadvantaged isnt really helping. I, do get that you didn't mean it to be like that.

CandyCreeper Sun 24-Mar-19 13:31:44

Its definitely been a disadvantage for me. and I do
find there is alot
of stigma/judgement.

GoldenHour Sun 24-Mar-19 13:45:19

I would assume (perhaps wrongly) when someone says they were raised by a single parent that the other parent wasn't involved at all, because if you had regular contact with the other parent I assume you would see yourself as being raised by 2 (even if not entirely equally). So if assuming one has been solely raised by one person we can see the potential disadvantages: money, lack of a second parental figure etc.

I know what you mean though, it's hard not wanting to be seen as a stat, we are a military family so my children are classed as disadvantaged both officially and socially, but when you know you're doing a great job and they're happy you just have to know you are doing you're own thing to the best of your ability and not to resign yourself to anything.

confusedfornow Sun 24-Mar-19 13:52:00

Well this has been done to death on here.

OP. The basis for comparison is two loving, supportive, well adjusted (for clarity and perspective) mother and father (no offence to any LGBT people).

So. A single loving, supportive and well adjusted parent will NOT be able to provide the same level of parenting and guidance as a mother and father.

Sorry but that's just the truth. So you have to accept that it's going to be pointed out occasionally.

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