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Some positive aspects of being a single parent....

(64 Posts)
sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 12:10:22

DH and I separating amicably but still incredibly sad and feeling like a failure.
I need some positive tales of how this will be ok, and that I can cope with being on my own with two DC's. At the moment I am struggling to see past the sadness and to the future.

Sliceofcake Tue 28-Jan-14 19:45:27

Good way of thinking about it, different not broken!
I saw a good quote the other day, and it really struck home so maybe it will help us on here -
Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day

Thought I should add an update - it's been a week since he left. I think I was in shock for the first few days - shaky, having panic attacks, bursting into uncontrollable tears, couldn't eat or sleep - and it was a mutual, not at all unexpected decision. I think I've turned a corner now. There is still sadness, especially when I see him, but also sense of calm & acceptance. This is how it is, I can & will cope. I'm even starting to get some hope & excitement for the future (when the guilt doesn't get in the way); I'm going to make a lovely home for my boys & a life for myself. Everything is different, but not broken. I hope this helps anyone going through a similar experience envy

Phimafre Sat 25-Jan-14 22:51:39

I'm going through exactly the same at the moment and I can so very much understand how you are feeling, sliceofcake. You seem to be one month ahead of me and it's quite calming to see how well you seem to be doing. I separated from my husband in the middle of November, we told our three sons at the beginning of december and he finally moved out two weeks ago. This weekend is his first alone with the kids. The past months before our break-up and ever since have been awfully hard for me and even if I know that I can cope quite well without him, I am totally confused, worn out and sad, of course. It feels as if was stepping from one marathon into the next. One day is fine, the next seems to be unmanageable... But reading how well you are doing lets me feel quite confident...

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 25-Jan-14 21:33:43

Personally I think life as a single parent depends on your ex (if you have one.) In my case, my ex is d-readful so my life as a lone parent is dreadful at the moment because he's making it so. A word of warning in your jubilant early days- be clever re: your ex!

Thanks again. I don't want to bring down such a positive thread with my weeping & wailing though!

Sliceofcake Fri 24-Jan-14 22:16:03

Hang in there, post on here if you feel down. You will get through this, for yourself and your DC's, be strong for them x

Thank you. I am trying to tell myself that this is the worst bit & it will get better, just feeling completely overwhelmed. Although I have finally stopped shaking like a cold chihuahua, must've been the release from all that crying!

Sliceofcake Fri 24-Jan-14 22:00:47

It does get better Chuck, I promise, look at all the positive stories we've shared on this thread. You aren't on your own x

I'm reading this through copious tears & snot & feeling a little bit better (I think). DH left 2 days ago, packed his stuff today. Me & the DC are moving house in less than a fortnight. I know I should start my own thread really. Sorry.

Sliceofcake Wed 22-Jan-14 22:21:40

Well, thought I'd pop back to update you all on some of my own positive moments, some mean more than others but if you add them up they all count!
House is calmer
I can watch what I want on TV
Spending more time with DC's as all jobs are done when on my own
Become super organised
Actual free time for myself, which is taking a bit of getting used to!
Peace and quiet occasionally
I an decide what to do with the DCs when I have them
We can snug in bed on Saturdays and watch TV together
There is no complaining or atmosphere in the house
No one tells me what to do or expects me to do things for them
There is a sense of excitement at my new future being unknown
True friends have been there with kind words and thoughts
I feel strong and proud of myself for making the right decision

So glad there are so many positive stories and that they have helped others in the same situation :-)

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Wed 22-Jan-14 10:26:35

Haha milf! That's quite an offensive way of describing yourself! Yes it's true that I haven't wanted to uproot myself for security reasons too.

JuliaGulia Tue 21-Jan-14 23:16:17

There are times when I wish I had sold the house and started afresh. It would have given me a great opportunity to sort through everything once and for all.

But I didn't sell for two reasons: firstly I would have wasted a huge amount of money on stamp duty, selling fees and solicitors and also in doing so I would have given my ex an opportunity to ask for his equity back. And secondly, moving is stressful. Moving when you don't particularly want to, with 2 preschoolers into a house where you don't know the history, neighbours or area seemed like a step too far. The cost of even just redecorating a house, let alone making it secure and homely can be very expensive and money is tight post divorce!

I have always taken the view that if the children are happy, I'm happy and visa versa. They love our house, their bedrooms and the memories we've made so far. We even still have family photos up to remind them that their daddy is an important part of their lives.

But I know when I'm ready, everything will be boxed up and put away until I'm ready to tell the children about it one day.

In the meantime I'm just a Milf with a house ;-)

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 21-Jan-14 20:49:49

Like me Julia, you're still living in the house. I think that makes it harder to 'move on.' I've been chucking out/selling/up cycling a lot of stuff that has bad memories attached!

JuliaGulia Tue 21-Jan-14 13:54:13

Just over a year since he left and I've come to realise that there are definitely positives and, if I'm honest, some downsides too.

Our twins are almost 4 and thankfully we haven't had to have the dreaded 'mummy and daddy are splitting up' conversation. They've just come to accept that there is mummy's house and daddy's house and most of the time they are fine with that.

My ex left to be with someone else whom he has dated on and off for the last year (they are currently together). I know she's insecure about me and the kids so I've have taken the decision to be as nice as possible and live by the motto "the air is cleaner at the moral high ground". I'm pleasant, polite, accommodating and always put the children first so most of the time things seem to run smoothly and I get the respect I deserve.

Consequently I got the equity in the house (so we didn't have to move), increased my hours at work and met a new man on line : - )

The downsides are there, I wont lie. I've lost a few close friends - his best friend and one of my own male friends whose wife became too inscure to deal with our friendship given my single status so we lost touch. I know I'm terribly dependent on the support of my parents (financially and emotionally) and I get cross that my ex's actions have put them in this position. I also feel down whenever I stumble across all the wedding stuff which is stored around the house. The anticipation and excitement for the life ahead still make me feel like something has been lost that can't be recaptured.

But, as everyone says, there are positive - sometime you just have to look for them or create them yourself.

I quickly lost 2 stone and had to buy a new wardrobe. Don't be fooled, I'm penniless, but a nice M&S Autograph jacket in my local charity shop for a fiver made me think about reinventing myself. Now that I don't eat a huge great dinner every evening I'm saving money, time and feeling better for it.

I use my free time to do things around the house that I've always wanted to do. Hang pictures, do cross stitching, move furniture. I've sorted out my sons new bedroom (the twins were sharing), put up the curtain pole, moved his bed and arranged all his toys and it felt wonderful to do it for myself - for him. After the children have gone to bed I use the internet, speak to friends on the phone or indulge in a few beauty treatments.

I've started going to church more and feel like I belong somewhere where people ask after me. They have a book club and activities that the twins can take part in.

And best of all I've spent the last few months being taken out by a charming guy who is patient, understanding and is happy to just see what happens.

Happy days ahead xx

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 21-Jan-14 11:54:29


Minime85 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:55:45

there are websites you can go on to check what you're entitled to and child tax credit website calculator too. cab good place for advice too. I'm not entitled to anything. but doing ok. won't be foreign holidays this year but should get away somewhere with family help. I budget and really like only having me drawing from the account as I can keep a tab on everything. I try and pay cash rather than cheques too as otherwise you dont always know where u are if they aren't cashed straight away. smile

TomskiGirl Fri 17-Jan-14 19:42:28

How do you all cope financially? I don't know where to start, what I'm entitled to or how to approach it hmm

Snugglesrock Thu 16-Jan-14 23:00:37

Just over two years in as separated n loving it in most respects

So much self respect

I've not been single this long for many many years yet I'm actually quite content smile

Hi all xxx

TomskiGirl Thu 16-Jan-14 22:44:12

I can SO relate to most things on here. I'm married (barely) and so lonely at home. Breaking free is my plan!

Sliceofcake Sat 11-Jan-14 21:07:56

Great post Frizz. Thank you! That comment about being lonelier in a marriage that isn't working that on your own is so true and I've already thought that I need to find a 'thing' to do that rediscovers 'me'.
Hoping you are all feeling ok tonight x

NewBeginningsSnoopy Fri 10-Jan-14 18:51:34

Frizz I too have lost a few friends since the break up. Everyone just thought (and thinks) my ex was amazing apparantly! Or else, as you say, they secretly believed becoming a single mother was 'catching.' Perhaps it is actually contagious. I made the move and I'm sure others will look at me (you know- happy, well-balanced haha) in years to come and then look at themselves in sometimes unhappy relationships and look for a way out!

NewBeginningsSnoopy Fri 10-Jan-14 17:07:29

Frizz that was a really good post :-)

Frizzbonce Fri 10-Jan-14 00:17:46

Hello Slice. You know how annoying it is when people say: 'I know how you feel'?

Well I know how you feel as do all the respondents on this thread. You are not alone and the emotional worst is probably over. It takes courage to end a marriage but now that it's done, you can can look forward to a brighter, happier future. It's amazing how much we can subsume ourselves/our own needs/tastes/ambitions in a marriage we thought was happy - how much compromising we end up doing.

My marriage broke up after twenty years leaving me with two DC's and I felt a huge failure, sodden with guilt and shame (even though it was mutually decided we should split). People I thought were friends took sides and melted away because they thought my 'failure' was catching. A breakup of a couple where there didn't seem to be A Thing to blame the breakup on eg infidelity or alcohol, terrifies some people. If you and DH could split - then maybe they could too. I also found that a few of my female friends started to act like I was some lustful harlot out to seduce their fat balding husband. 'Jokes' would be made about me being 'on the loose' like Anthrax or something. Saying: 'I would rather eat poo on toast than shag your repulsive husband' seemed ill advised so several so called 'friends' disappeared.

Even if you can talk over the finances with your ex, get professional advice to find out what you are entitled to. Check your credit rating - you don't want to be carrying his debts

But I can safely say that after three years, my children are both fine and if they weren't I would know all about it. My parents stayed together and were miserable. I was brought up in a tense and angry house, seething with my mum's contempt and disappointment with my dad. I was too young to understand it but I felt it. It was like a fuggy duvet, and under this, I became an intensely hyper vigilant child, unable to trust my own feelings, and thinking that everybody else's feelings were more important than mine. I had no words for the atmosphere but it poisoned my childhood - dad's alcoholism, mum's anger and bitterness. But they 'stayed' together.

As Todays said, All the Decisions are Yours. You may make wrong decisions but you will also make a lot of right ones, and you have already made the most difficult and courageous one. I was always a bit lazy about car maintenance and odd jobs <blushes> and despite us both working my ex did all the 'manly' jobs round the house. Not his fault - we just fell into a pattern. Now I take some pride in being able to change a wheel and unblock a drain.

Remember that it's not the break up itself that hurts children, it's the anger, any sense of having to choose sides, and being leant on too heavily by the parent. Relate offer free counselling for young people aged 14 - 25.

My Ex is a far better, more involved dad than when we lived together. He never took them to the dentist or optician or read to them. He does now - at first I think because he wanted to be 'good' daddy but now he does it because he wants to.

Despite working hard and looking after the kids, I seem to have far more free time, and head space. My ex hated me working in the evening, despite him having a 9 - 5 job and me being freelance, working funny hours.

Enjoy being single. Spend time with you and the children.

It sounds cheesy but find something to do that helps you discover and define the new you. A book group or some volunteering, or a course in being a stand up comic.

I'm never lonely. I always remember seeing a poster advertising Relate and it showed a married couple both at the far side of the double bed. The tag line focused on the gap between them and read: The Loneliest Place in the World.

I think it's true. To be in a relationship that isn't working or where you feel unappreciated or neglected is 100% worse than being alone. And women are still culturally encouraged to pair up, to 'tame' the man, to feel validated by being chosen.

Keep a journal. When you look back a year or so from now you'll be amazed at how far you've come. smile wine

NewBeginningsSnoopy Thu 09-Jan-14 22:05:43

Haha SliceOfCake honestly you don't wanna hear what I have to say. You don't wanna know!

Sliceofcake Thu 09-Jan-14 20:48:13

Talk to us on here Snoopy, definitely helps!

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