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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.

TodaysAGoodDay Sun 27-Oct-13 12:46:07

Hi slice, sorry you're going through this, but it really does get better. I separated from my X of 19 years almost 5 years ago now. The first few months are the hardest, but it really does get easier. In fact, if my X offered me a million pounds I wouldn't go back to him now. Here are some great aspects of being a single parent:
- Spontaneity, you can just take your kids out whenever you like, without asking him what he wants to do.
- You can think about yourself for a bit instead of him, put yourself first because a happier Mum makes for happier kids IMO.
- All the decisions are now yours. This may seem scary at first but believe me it is great being able to choose the paint or sofa without compromising.
- If your kids see their Dad, that will give you some very precious You time, maybe even for a couple of days. Again, quite scary to think of at first but wonderful when you learn to let go.
It is a very special feeling being a single parent who is happy. I wouldn't give it up for the world. Chin up, find someone to talk to about it in real life, preferably another single parent who understands, and try and enjoy every moment with your kids. Don't think of yourself as a failure, plan something wonderful that you and the DCs can do in a month or two together, and really look forward to it. Don't dwell on the past, what's done is done, try and think positively and you'll start to feel good about life.
Very good luck smile

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 27-Oct-13 14:17:59

You can do things your way all the time.
You can do what you want when you want.
Those are my top two.

sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 14:43:34

Thanks for these.
I just feel so sad for DS who is 7 and DD who is 2 because having come from a home of divorced parents myself, I never wanted that for my children.
I'm worried I can't cope and make the right decisions on my own. I know that sounds stupid and weak and I am not normally like that.
I'm scared of being lonely. I don't mean necessarily being without a partner, it's more like who will I talk to in the evening, mull things over with, chat about the day.
God, am feeling so sorry for myself, I truly am not usually like this, but this decision has totally floored me.

Minime85 Sun 27-Oct-13 19:50:30

sliceofcake I could have written exactly this. I am in your shoes now. and it is so sad and I too feel like a failure and a little ashamed. I feel very hopeful for a new version of my future though as well. love the advice from the first message and will take it on myself. I hate I will have to miss out on parts of my dc's lives through no fault of my own. but I am going to try and remain upbeat and visit friends, go for walks, read, do work (I'm a teacher) . but maybe as first message said be me again. and try to enjoy it. its going to be so hard but realise you aren't alone as I felt when all this started happening to me like I was the only one and everyone else was amazingly happy. not that I wish this on anyone but it is nice to know I'm not alone. good luck x

mineofuselessinformation Sun 27-Oct-13 20:08:10

I can parent my dcs the way I want to (and this meant a huge improvement in my relationship with my eldest as nobody undermined me).
It is incredibly scary to feel that you will have to make decisions alone, but hugely liberating when you do.
I'm in the middle of selling my house, am about to start a new job and move to a new area. I'm scared shitless but also very excited about it. grin

sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 21:28:43

Thanks everyone, good to know others have felt or are feeling the same, although yes, you wouldn't wish it on anyone. It's incredibly scary and just seems like such a waste. If some big thing had happened to break us up I don't know if that would make it somehow easier to get my head round, I suspect not, but it just feels like we are agreeing to make all our lives worse ATM. There are so mny downsides to this, and not many ups.

I will try to think of myself for a bit though, as this is an area I have sadly neglected for a long time. Hopefully this will rub off on the DC's and they will see a happier mum.
Wish me luck!

Minime85 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:40:42

wishing you bucketfuls of luck. our situations sound identical. I too want something to hang my coat on to say that's it, that's the reason. that all of this is going to end better. x

mineofuselessinformation Sun 27-Oct-13 22:39:04

Slice, you just summed it up.... You will be happier. Your kids deserve a happy mum and you deserve to be happy.
Where's the downside in that?

WorriedAtNight Sun 27-Oct-13 22:53:29

I'm in a fairly similar position, slice, three weeks in. It's all been a shock to me and I feel that dh, who has left us for another woman, has made the decision on his own to make all of our lives a bit worse forever. And to children he professes to love. It's horrible. But already I'm finding better ways of talking to the children about it, and although the work seems relentless at the moment (both young and one not started nursery yet) we are able to have fun together and make each other happy with games and extra books and things which when dh was here I would not have been doing so much of. Don't get me wrong- I wish dh hadn't left, and I still want hm back, but we are finding a way through it. I'm so sorry you're going through similar thanks

whoselifeisitanyway Mon 28-Oct-13 08:52:36

It's hard isn't it and 18 months on I can say there are peaks and troughs. I know it's a cliche but when you really feel you can't cope, just get through the day and breathe a sigh of relief when the kids are in bed safe and sound.

I haven't found I am lonely in the evenings tbh because I am so busy with the tea, bath, bed routine then tidying up and sorting things for the next day, that I only crash out in front of the television for an hour or go on the internet or call a friend and that's it, evening over!

Hang on in there. The best thing is you are no longer with someone who wasn't right for you, however hard that is. I also think the younger the children, the easier they adjust and I think your dc are younger than mine so they will cope.

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 08:54:01

thank you for posting this and thanks for all the answers do far!

I separated last Thursday & have also been thinking about this.

TheScreamingNit Mon 28-Oct-13 09:06:56

I'm loving it.
It's my house. I can vacuum as and when I like- or not. I can play my music without being whinged at.
If I don't feel like cooking a big tea, DD and I just eat picky tea and watch a movie together. No worrying about anybody else whingy bloody XP
When I want to mull something over, or chat about my day, I call my mum, or my other single-mum friend and we have a good chat about it.

There is always hot water.
The remote is mine.
There's always petrol in the car, none of this "Oh, I forgot" stab, stab stab

And while I have much, much more responsibility (with XP I was pretty much a trophy wife. I raised DD and cleaned the house- I made no decisions, handled no money, was given "housekeeping" money...) I have so much more freedom.

I very much understand the feeling of failure and shame- I felt like I'd let everyone down, leaving a "perfect" relationship because I wanted something to change (I asked for a joint bank account) and was refused.
It passes, and even on the worst, shittiest, most craptacular days, it is better now than it ever was before.

Good luck smile

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 10:06:10

I have decided to take up a hobby to put in the lonely nights I know I will face- I've always wanted to learn crocheting. perfect time. I'll have no distractions.

Handywoman Mon 28-Oct-13 14:05:31

Been separated since June and been on emotional roller coaster despit instigating it.

Things are settling down and I can honestly say Ive never felt happier or more fulfilled. We pack so much more into our lives now in terms of spontaneous trips, working hard (homework, busy extra-curricular activities and etc, my work). The girls (aged 8 and 10) do housework with me (the eldest knows how to work the washing machine, clean mirrors, dust, clean the bathroom, mop the floor) and we have spontaneous disco dancing in the living room whenever we feel like it. I've taken up running and feel very connected to my friends. Am dealing with the financial at the moment, petrifying but will be a big achievement. Life is exhausting but most definitely better!

mineofuselessinformation Mon 28-Oct-13 16:01:16

Mine were old enough in the beginning that we could have 'movie nights' - we used to make popcorn, then pull the sofa up close to the telly and all squash under a blanket

sliceofcake Mon 28-Oct-13 19:18:42

Wow, checked back and didn't expect so many lovely replies. Guess it's happening to a lot of us.
I've felt a bit better today, just got on with stuff at work and tried to think of the good things I'll be able to do. Dreading telling our families and the DC's, that will be awful. Just seems such a waste of our lives, but then I think I should be so very grateful that I have two beautiful children and nothing will ever change that, so the past 15 years have not been a waste.
Your replies are really helping btw, good to know that what I am feeling is normal, I keep looking at other people and wondering why my relationship has failed and you can't help but blame yourself.

Thanks everyone xx

Chubfuddler Mon 28-Oct-13 19:25:03

I'm nine months in. The highs and lows are exactly as everyone else describes. I definitely never want to get married again, or live with a man again (relishing my independence too much) but I do worry that at 35 I may actually never have sex again.

You'll get through this, and far from failing you're showing your children that mediocre is not good enough, and that if they want to they too will be able to change the direction of their lives. You're being very brave.

sliceofcake Fri 01-Nov-13 07:25:08

Well, estate agent is coming next week to value the house and then we decide what to do next. Still in this weird situation of being really normal and friendly, so it just feels so odd to to be calmly planning our split. Once we have decided on how and where we will live we need to tell the DCs which I feel physically sick about.
Good luck to all the rest of you going through this, I just keep trying to focus on the future and hope myself and the children will be happier. They know their parents love them and that is what we need to keep telling them. But it still breaks my heart.

littlemefi Sun 03-Nov-13 15:47:37

This is a great thread. DH and I made decision to split a couple of weeks ago, amicably but still in same house until he decides where he'll be living.
Have told our families but not dd (aged 4) yet which I'm dreading, so it's lovely to hear the positives that there can be!

Minime85 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:22:03

told our dcs yesterday as he now has a house and will be moving out on Friday. I had a migraine for 2 days leading up to it (having never had them before) was bloody awful but I feel so much better to be now telling the truth. the dcs were shocked and very upset. youngest DC is 6 and very emotional and has been full of questions and sadness over things like holidays and why isn't there a room for mummy at daddy's new house...but they equally have smiled and laughed and been children too. we hated shattering their worlds. but we planned something nice for after, visited precious grandparents and I had the book mum and dad glue which we read together. we too are amicable enough and I'm giving him advice on running his house as he has no idea!
I know the road ahead is going to be bloody bumpy and I'm scared and sad. but this is the new reality. I didn't want it or I believe deserve it. but it is what it is. I have good and bad days. sending you lots of positive thoughts. good luck smile

sliceofcake Mon 04-Nov-13 15:23:00

i bet you feel some relief minime, would you recommend that book, was it useful?
I too am having good days and bad, today is a good day, but yesterday was a shocker. Told my mum today and she has been great, so feeling better now I have said it to someone in RL, felt I was going mad in my own head before - thank god for MN!
I'm glad this thread is helping, it certainly makes me feel more 'normal' iykwim and that i am not the only one to be feeling like this.
Good luck to all of us in the same boat :-)

killpeppa Mon 04-Nov-13 15:36:37

last night was the first night he's been out of the house (stating at his mums) .

I started a thread about how lonely I felt then cried myself to sleep.
I just hit me that my marriage was over.

today is a better day ( helped by a few sneaky cigs )
he's coming to see the boys this evening.
I'm going to have an Indian & watch a movie.

house searching has halted until all my finances are sorted so doubtful I'll move before Christmas. dunno how we will work that one as he's only able to stay at his mums for a month.

sheeeesh is it to early for wine?

Minime85 Mon 04-Nov-13 18:41:25

sliceofcake yes is was a relief. I slept so much better Saturday night. and yes I would definitely recommend the book.

killpeppa I've had that type of realisation today as I was leaving work, that oh my god he is actually going to walk out on us.

I'm really valuing this thread and support from mn. good luck everyone. smile

killpeppa Mon 04-Nov-13 18:53:43

I found taking up smoking (again) helped hahagrin dont do it

at least there's no one about to whine at me for having a sneaky one after the kids head to bed.


guess yous can tell my mood picked upwink

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