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Being on your own at school events

(23 Posts)
evolucy7 Thu 25-Nov-10 17:15:17

This afternoon I have been to a 40th Anniversary Party celebrating the years since my daughters's school was opened, and as usual most people are either with their husbands or with their wedding rings so DHs are obviously at work. It is a small school and has a real family atmosphere, me and my sister went to the same school years ago, and to be quite honest I felt really sad today. I know of one other mother who is a single parent, but as far as I know no-one else is, it a really small school only about 45 pupils and a lot are siblings so the number of families is less than that.
In the 2 1/2 years that I have been a lone parent I don't think I have ever felt like this before.
One mother asked me if I was going to have another child, obviously she doesn't know my situation.
Do others feel like this, I'm certainly not sad for my ex, he's a complete tosser, just sad at not being there with someone sharing it all together.

evolucy7 Thu 25-Nov-10 17:16:26

daughters' not daughters's obviously!

kdk Thu 25-Nov-10 17:47:46

I do know how you feel - I've been on my own since my DTs were six months old so have been to every parents' evening, PTA do, fundraising event, get to know other parents function on my tod ... hate it but worth doing and bar the odd arm being tightened on hubby's arm, most people have always been fine/not seemed to notice the absence of A N Other (or I am just too thick/uncaring to notice)

evolucy7 Thu 25-Nov-10 18:02:40

Yeah people seem fine about it or as you haven't noticed, but when this mother asked if I was going to have another child, I didn't say no that's not going to happen in the near future I am single or anything like that. I just said no I think 2's enough, secretly thinking that I always wanted 3

CubaCat Thu 25-Nov-10 18:53:50

My DS is due to start school in January, so I'm just about to move into those circles. We've already had the meeting for parents of new children and most of them were either with someone or wearing a ring - sadly, it's the first thing I look for! I'm sure there will be other single parents in DS's school though as it's a big school, so will have to see. I'm not bothered by being a single parent as such, it's more the fact that I hate going to social things where I don't know anyone and going on my own just makes it ten times worse.

As for the dreaded are you planning on having more kids question (which I've had many times - nosey fuckers!), I just say something like 'No, I'd need a man for that!' with a smile. That tends to shut them up. Especially if I look pointedly in their DH's direction*, lol!

*joking

evolucy7 Thu 25-Nov-10 19:04:19

lol....that's a good one grin

goingroundthebend4 Tue 30-Nov-10 06:02:52

im the only Sp at dd school small school but im pretty thick skinned but yes thers times like school plays that i do feel it especially this time of the year seeing the proud dads

elastamum Tue 30-Nov-10 09:56:08

Same here, only single parent at my kids posh private school. Have just toughened up and got on with it. Do feel a bit of a fish out of water at times as I dont know many other parents as we moved here just before we split. Never get any social invites though sad

daddydaycare51 Sat 04-Dec-10 02:25:24

Why do you all feel this way I am a single dad of 4 3 boys 1 girl i go to ALL of my kids activities at thier schools and I certainly do not feel awkward or embarrassed , lonely or whatever else goes with it. I have no problems at all with being a single parent. I am a parent govorner at my 2 youngest kids school (primary) and also at my 2 older kids school (Secondary) the 2 oldest play football for the school and also local teams (I attend ALL of thier games) my daughter is involved in gymnastics , dance and also a reading club (I also attend these with her). Also 1 of my kids is registered disabled and I LOVE all the time with my kids and it shows the kids mother that (WHO THE HELL NEEDS HER) she has virtually no contact with the kids anyway (her choice). People who do have a problem with single parents really need to realise 1 day THEY COULD be in the same situation 1 day. So from a single dad to single mums do worry what people may think enjoy your kids , enjoy your time with your kids. By the way I have looked after my kids for 7 years and my kids are now 13,11,8,7 yes my youngest was only 6 mths old at the start. So enjoy and don't worry what people think (I never have) ok

gillybean2 Sat 04-Dec-10 11:46:32

Daddydaycare it comes down to how society regard single mothers as opposed to single fathers.

If you're a single father it seems to me that people are tripping over themselves to help and because it's unusual people take an interest and wonder how you manage. They tend to also start off with the assumption that you're a widower or there must be something seriously wrong with the ex to have abandoned her dc (because most people would expect a mother to stand by her dc no matter what so immediately they think that dad is in need of help/sympathy).

I have a work colleague who brought up his 2dd alone and he tells me that the ladies at his church rallied round for him; babysat, did school pick ups, would turn up on his doorstep with food/dinner, do his cleaning and ironing.
Whilst my own parents barely lift a finger and have to be practically begged to babysit if they ever do. However they have no trouble critising me, telling me what a mess my house is and wondering why I'm so tired even though they know I do it all on my own, working and volunteer at school, organise the PTA etc. While my married sister can't manage and needs help as her husband works shifts. So they're always running errands, babysitting etc whereas I'm 'used to it' so can just get on with it. One time her dh had to work and she didn't want to drive to a family wedding on her own with 2 dc in the car. So dad drove them there. Can't imagine him even contemplating doing that for me.

Being a single mothers seems to be something to be ashamed and embarassed about. It also seems to be felt that we made our bed so we now lie in it, or that we failed somehow by not having a partner around.

My mother especially seems to feel the need to apologise on my behalf for me being single and makes sure she tells everyone for me just in case there was any doubt hmm

I never used to say one way or the other but now at work when they start on about scrounging single mothers (as per our portrayal in the papers) I simply say 'what like me' and they mumble some excuse about not knowing my economic circumstanes and scuttle back under their rocks all embarrassed. So we are dealing with that stigma as well as the relentlessness of bring up children alone. And it is relentless when you have no help, no support and are left to simply get on with it.
On another occassion one of the bosses said to me (when I was struggling to pay petrol to get into work) 'what about the maintenance your ex husband pays you). Urm sory, I don't have an exhusband, never been married... He seemed genuinely shocked!

I was the only single parent at my ds's school when he started there (again a fairly small school like OP's although a bit bigger). And yes the cold shoulder and clikey groups are hard to deal with, especially when you're already feeling shunned by society generally.
Actually it started at antinatel classes when I was the only pregnant lady without a partner for support and had to answer questions on where my other half was (urm he legged it when I found out I was pregnangt saying he wasn't ready to be a dad yet). But try saying that to some poor soul who was only trying to make polite conversation!

And as ds has gone through school there are now more and more single parents, some of who have come over to me and said how bloody hard it is and they had no clue before.

So like you say these married ladies need to realise that one day it might be them and treat everyone as they would want to be treated themselves.
And I do nowadays think that the thought (that it could be them) does scare some women, usually the ones who grip their husband's arm tightly when they hear you are single. Plus there is obviously some degree of 'she's dangerous she's going to steal him away'. Not because I ever would, but some women obviously don't feel secure in their relationships and it makes them uncomfortable to be around unattached ladies. Or they're frantically trying to pair me up with anyone no matter how inappropriate someone so I can join their ranks and make them feel more comfortable.

Maybe just my perception, but it seems from what I read on this board and having spoken to other single parents I'm not the only one who gets this impression or feels the cold shoulder at the school gate.

And I am fed up with everyone assuming I'm Mrs simply because I have a child. I had to tell school that actually I'm MISS not MRS (as per the paperwork I filled in). They still call me Mrs. They just don't seem able to cope with anything that isn't 'normal'. And I think that applies to many people.

OP don't be embarrassed. You have just as much right to be there to support your dc as any of the others. And trust me you won't be the only single parent by the time your dc leave school.

I have found a couple of really good friends now. It has taken time but they are clearly secure in their relationships and have no issue with me being single. I'm sure there must be more people like that out there and hopefully if you are honest and straightforward with people they will see you for who you are, that you are genuine and a good freind to have regardless (or maybe because) of your single status.

I won't say it gets easier. But I do think it gets easier for you to handle these feelings in time as you become more confident in your single life and realise the many benefits it has for you and you dc.

daddydaycare51 Sun 05-Dec-10 03:44:02

HI GILLYBEAN2 I was slightley amused at your work colleague's situation with people rallying round ie: doing shopping , school drop off's , babysitting and even cooking meals for him. The reason I find this amusing is that, I would find this more embarrassing than people talking about me I like to do my own smile. I have (11) children altogether (YES 11 shock) and this is the second time I have brought children up on my own. Six of them are grown and have families of thier own now who I see regulary. My children (1 disabled) and myself are well known in the community but not just for being a single dad!! I am mostley known for running the local primary school's football teams for the last 3 years also involved in the schools cricket team and table tennis teams (I like to keep active) grin. I cope very very well with being a single parent all my children have never missed a day at school since they started , but I don't think I could cope with people wanting to do things for me all the time. Yes I am a proud person but I do know that IF I did need any help then It would be forthcoming from the community. I think there was more of a stigma about single parents about 10 yrs ago but I do agree that some people look at single parents as if they are from outer space or there must be something wrong with them if they are single.I WOULD RATHER BE SINGLE WITH MY KIDS THAN SINGLE WITHOUT THEM. My kids mother basically has no contact with the kids at all (HER CHOICE angry ) I dont even put her as a contact with the schools I use my own family as contacts.
Anyway I'm going to shut up now because I'm rambeling again smile. Take care and if people do talk about you then at least they are leaving someone else alone grin

earwicga Sun 05-Dec-10 04:14:08

So, you were a single dad for your first family and now your second, without the mother's involvement after you were done with her producing the children?

earwicga Sun 05-Dec-10 04:19:50

From another thread, four of your children live with you.

From this thread, six are grown up.

So you have another child somewhere?

daddydaycare51 Mon 06-Dec-10 12:08:09

EARWICGA do I detect a case of sarcasm in your message. Firstly with ref to MY first family she turned into an alcoholic drinking all the time staying out nearly all night having more one night stands than words in you 2 messages put together. Secondly the second one decided after MY youngest son was born that the grass was greener on the other side and scuttled of 270 miles away to a man she was talking to on the internet for 2 WEEKS yes I said she had spoken to (not met) for 2 WEEKS ONLY, MY youngest son was 6 months old when she went so please in you infinate wisdom can you explain where her INVOLVEMENT was then. She was the one who with no hessitation DROPPED her INVOLVEMENT with MY kids like a hot brick. Yes she had MY children but obviously she LACKED the normal instincts of a true MOTHER. So for the last 7 years I have been MOTHER & FATHER FRIEND & SHOULDER to MY kids.
And please don't bring my Mathematical education into this yes I have 10 BIOLOGICAL children. And do you know the most ironic thing my ex partner's youngest son is related to all my other children he comes to my house to stay EVERY weekend AND EVERY school holiday AND guess what he calls ME (DAD) as well (He is the 11th) and is treated exactly the same as all the other children. You see the difference with me and thier (SO CALLED) Mother is I go to her house every weekend to pick up my son and I drop him off again, SHE lives 20 mins away now and has done for 5 years and she has NEVER EVER been to see MY children or even asked if they could spend the night there (EVER). My parenting skills as a man are second to none I am a fantastic dad and there is nothing a woman could do with children that I can't. I wash , iron ,shop ,school runs, cook, school govornor at 2 schools, local school football coach , cricket coach and table tennis coach everything except breastfeed Oh and while I'm at it 1 of my children is disabled who needs MY time a lot more of the time the older he gets.
So I think I'v justified MY veiws on the MOTHERS of my last 2 relationships as being a TOTAL WASTE OF SPACE AND OXYGEN.

BooBooGlass Mon 06-Dec-10 12:12:11

You like the caps lock don't you? hmm

daddydaycare51 Mon 06-Dec-10 12:27:39

So out of nearly 300 and something words your comment is how many caps are in the posting. ????? actualy there's about 43 just to save you counting them. And if you noticed the caps that where used where to make a point stand out just in case earwicga missed them ok

HappyWithLife Mon 06-Dec-10 13:23:44

EarwicgaWould that apply the other way around? I have been married twice, and been a single mother twice...first to my first 2 children and then when my youngest came along a single mother to the three of them. I didn't decide to become a single parent when my ex husbands finished impregnating me...the first one had an affair and refused to finish it and the second one abused me and the children.How is that situation different to DDC51's? I'm not trying to start a row here, just genuinely curious.

gillybean2 Tue 07-Dec-10 01:42:46

ahh, see daddydaycare, seems you've got stigma after and are left having to justify yourself/situation with people making assumptions on you.
Guess it's not just us single mums after all.

daddydaycare51 Tue 07-Dec-10 22:58:03

gillybean2 do you realise that it is always the less educated people that asume.
I was not justifying my situation to somebody that actually knew what the heck they where talking about I was justifying why the mothers where a waste of space and oxygen ok. She obviously has no serious or constructive comments , and if you read her reply properly it was a slur not a constructive comment. And yes these things do have to be explained to the uneducated people who make totally stupid remarks on sites like this. (This is not directed at the site either). As far as I am concerned I am the most fantastic dad around and my children think so too (This is my childrens and my opinion) and to me thats all that counts to me. And as for having a stigma the above says it all. I dont care about being a single parent , I'm not embarrassed being a single parent , I enjoy being a single parentI am totally enjoying life with my children.

daddydaycare51 Tue 07-Dec-10 23:09:51

As the above reply was my last on this subject and has to be so that I am not repeating myself for the sake of it. By the way gillybean2 with ref to your earlier comment on 04 dec 11.46 I dont know where you got the idea that people where tripping over themselves trying to help me ???
The help I have had from people or agencies for the last 7 years of being a single parent is absolutely zero I have had to do it all myself and I'v done a very good job of it too.

whiteandnerdy Wed 08-Dec-10 00:58:31

"do you realise that it is always the less educated people that asume." - do you know this for a fact or can I assume it's an assumption. hmm Now I can't tell if I'm educated or not, but I know I'm confused confused grin confused grin

daddydaycare51 Wed 08-Dec-10 13:53:00

Oh dear whiteandnerdy it must be ever so difficult for you to decide if you are educated or not , this is obviously a personal battle you are having with yourself grin.

There are obviously people less educated than myself , the same as I could be less educated than half the people on here thats fact.
By the way to assume ( is to think )one way or another
assumption (is a decision )one way or another

eg: You assume (Think) that putting £30 on the lottery will win you the jacckpot.
Guess what you win the jackpot so your assumption (Decision) was correct.

Thank you and goodnight you have been a wonderful audience grin wink grin

daddydaycare51 Wed 08-Dec-10 13:56:02

Yes I know jackpot does not have 2 c's in it , that's what happens when I let my fingers do the talking. wink

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