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To think that single parenthood is traumatic for parent and children?

(162 Posts)
Hallomi Thu 21-Jan-21 20:31:06

I don't mean the title to sound goady or Inflammatory, I am a single parent myself. I just stood in the kitchen, and it came into my head. It can be more than stressful and pressurised, it can be traumatic. I know there are an abundance of research articles into the increased likelihood of this and decreased likelihood of that, and I'd always attempted to balance these arguments in my head (we're warm,fed,safe,quiet,I've got an education and ambition, relatively stable), but you can't argue away that you're on your own, and some of what CAN accompany that is traumatic, like a low income and being supplemented by benefits, having less control your life (having to tell benefits everything about yourself and any changes), judgement from others (which has happened quite a lot to me).

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Thu 21-Jan-21 20:35:40

I'm so glad I left my abusive ex as it means less exposure to him for DC but there is still some exposure through contact so it's not cancelled out. I don't think there was any other solution in my personal circumstances but to leave so I have no regrets despite it being hard and stressful for DC as well as me. It is still better.

audweb Thu 21-Jan-21 20:35:55

I’m a single parent. I’m not on a low income, so I’m not supplemented by benefits (I was when she was younger). So there’s no trauma money wise. Is there other trauma? I don’t know, our house is certainly more peaceful, and she doesn’t have to live with a drunk or hungover dad every day, and the stress that came with that. I’m more peaceful, so I parent better. I think the trauma comes with her dad being useless, but it doesn’t come from me and my situation.

FTMF30 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:37:21

I think "single oarenthood CAN be traumatic" would be more accurate.

Waxonwaxoff0 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:38:12

YABU. I'm a child of a single parent and I'm single myself, albeit with an involved ex but I do about 80% of the parenting.

I don't feel traumatised. I don't find being on a low income and getting tax credits traumatising. I couldn't care less what other people think of me. Fairly certain DS isn't traumatised either.

Waxonwaxoff0 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:39:59

audweb

I’m a single parent. I’m not on a low income, so I’m not supplemented by benefits (I was when she was younger). So there’s no trauma money wise. Is there other trauma? I don’t know, our house is certainly more peaceful, and she doesn’t have to live with a drunk or hungover dad every day, and the stress that came with that. I’m more peaceful, so I parent better. I think the trauma comes with her dad being useless, but it doesn’t come from me and my situation.

I'd agree with that. My dad took drugs and parts of my childhood were traumatic due to that, but once he was out of my life and I was being raised solely by my mother that all went away.

SnowFields Thu 21-Jan-21 20:40:02

Single parenthood undoubtedly can be traumatic but so can having two parents together.

WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo Thu 21-Jan-21 20:40:08

Waxonwaxoff0

YABU. I'm a child of a single parent and I'm single myself, albeit with an involved ex but I do about 80% of the parenting.

I don't feel traumatised. I don't find being on a low income and getting tax credits traumatising. I couldn't care less what other people think of me. Fairly certain DS isn't traumatised either.

Same. Except I do 99% of the parenting.

I mean I've suffered trauma, and have MH issues. But not because I was raised by a single parent. Or because I am a single parent.

MaskingForIt Thu 21-Jan-21 20:40:24

YANBU, but being in a violent two-parent household can be traumatic and damaging too.

Probably not just violent. Loveless, sniping, poverty, drugs. There’s all sorts of way a two-patent family can fuck it up too.

It’s probably more a case that bad parents, whether there is one or two of them, can create a traumatic household.

Hallomi Thu 21-Jan-21 20:43:15

@FTMF30, I think that's a good observation, that should have been the title.

I agree, it is better to be single than be in a relationship which is not right, abusive, terrible, anywhere in between. I don't believe children thank parents for staying together for only them, for the most part. I know we're better as a 3 (plus lovely dog!).

I think what I'm trying to say is absolutely, being a single parent is better than the alternative for many, but acknowledging that it is just, at times, incredibly difficult.

OP’s posts: |
audweb Thu 21-Jan-21 20:44:22

@Waxonwaxoff0 do you know how relieved that makes me feel. He’s on the fringes of her life, but I really do 99.5% of the caring. I do feel I shield her from the impact of his addictions now being a single parent. I hope she feels the same when she’s older.

audweb Thu 21-Jan-21 20:46:18

@Hallomi your last sentence is true. Regardless of how much better it is for me to be a single parent it is incredibly hard. This last year even more so. It’s exhausting and relentless being the only parent, but I guess I always take relief in that it was harder in a much more miserable way with her dad. Probably wouldn’t feel that way if my ex was great though.

ImBoredAgain Thu 21-Jan-21 20:48:36

I suppose it can be traumatic - as can being brought up in a toxic relationship.

I’m not sure why a single mother would be more likely to be on benefits than one in a relationship unless they’re one of these that relies on the man and ends up staying at home with the kid- surely that’s age/career choice related? I had a 6 week old when I returned to college, completed uni and during that time I was supplemented by benefits however now my income is normal and being in a relationship would make no difference to that. I think moving away from everybody I knew and doing it alone was the easiest/most chilled 4/5 years of my life!

Starlightstarbright1 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:51:36

I do disagree.

I was in an abusive relationship..

Bloody hard work at times....

But trusmtic no...

To me that underplays real trauma..

I think people judge you once you become a parent.. i really don't care what most people think.

Waxonwaxoff0 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:51:45

audweb

*@Waxonwaxoff0* do you know how relieved that makes me feel. He’s on the fringes of her life, but I really do 99.5% of the caring. I do feel I shield her from the impact of his addictions now being a single parent. I hope she feels the same when she’s older.

She will. And she will appreciate everything you have done for her. I had sporadic contact with my dad until I was 11 then I chose not to see him any more. I was listened to by then as I was considered old enough to make my own decisions. I didn't lose anything as he was never really there anyway.

Megan2018 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:52:04

It depends entirely on how it came about.
A good friend of mine had her DC via sperm donor. She’s very well paid, has a large home with no mortgage and a supportive family.
That’s entirely different to a stressed single parent with a difficult ex and financial pressures.

user1174147897 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:52:55

Stressful is not the same as traumatic. I don't think it is helpful to anybody to conflate stress with trauma.

Since trauma can occur in pretty much any situation, trauma could occur in a single parent home, yes.

Blubellsarebells Thu 21-Jan-21 20:53:13

Its difficult but its not traumatic.
Those things are not the same at all.
I grew up in a house where screaming shouting and throwing things were normal.
Thats traumatic.
Ive been a single parent for 11 years, my ds doesn't remember anything else and I really doubt he is traumatised by living in a peaceful home with a happy mum and visiting his happy dad at the weekend.
The splitting up was quite traumatic for me but my life as a single parent isnt.

Plmoknijb123 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:53:41

I don’t think it’s traumatic. Anything can be traumatic. Having two disengaged parents can be worse than having a single parent. There are just way too many factors to label ‘single parenting’ as one thing. It can of course be terribly difficult and harder than sharing parenting with a wonderful partner but that’s pretty obvious isn’t it?

DenisetheMenace Thu 21-Jan-21 20:55:07

I had both and until my mum finally managed to escape my brutal dad, life was hell on earth.
Thereafter, the exception being my bolshy teenage interlude, life was happy.

parallax80 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:56:03

Definitely less traumatic for the kids than when they were being hit.

megletthesecond Thu 21-Jan-21 20:56:30

I'm not sure it's traumatic. Anxiety ridden, yes. All I do is worry and not sleep.

MissMarpleDarling Thu 21-Jan-21 20:56:34

YABU.

Yolande7 Thu 21-Jan-21 20:56:36

I mistakenly voted YANBU. A lot of things CAN be traumatic.

I am the child of a single mum and I am fine. It depends on individual circumstances and the individual mum/dad and child.

emilyfrost Thu 21-Jan-21 20:57:47

YANBU. It’s not advantageous for any child to be raised by a single parent.

Yes, the child is better off with a single parent than living with an abusive one, but the fact of the matter is it isn’t healthy and no child will grow up as well adjusted or emotionally stable as if they had the better chance of two loving parents.

But of course single parents like to deny that because they don’t want to hear it 🤷‍♀️

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