what did you wish you'd known when you became a LP?(39 Posts)
There are always a bunch of threads on here asking for advice for new lone parents. I thought it would be good to bring together some of the most useful info in one place. Feel free to add!
Everything that you learned the hard way/were so grateful to have been told/wish you'd known in the beginning. Ok I'll begin...
You can get free legal advice from a solicitor for 30 mins. You can go to more than one! Wikivorce also has heaps of information. Use it!
No is a complete sentance. Use it. [MN classic advice, to be fair].
Bread and milk should ALWAYS be in your freezer, because you WILL run out and not notice until the kids are in bed and you are unable to shop for more.
Clean houses are not a thing. Lower your expectations immediately and go for hygenic, not clean. You'll be happier. So will your kids.
... anyone want to add more?
Look after yourself. You're no good if you are knackered and miserable
and your kids just turn round and blame you when they grow up
You will feel better if you take care of you, so don't feel guilty for the beauty treatments etc
always have calpol in the cupboard. obviously this leads to over hoarding sometimes but it all gets used up, especially when they start collecting germs at nursery or preschool. also consider stashing a bottle of nit treatment and worm treatment in the cupboard, the night you discover them you won't be able to send anyone out for supplies. The dc's have never had nits but I'm glad to know that bottle is there in case. The second time they got worms I was quite chilled because I already had the medicine waiting.
If you can afford it, get your milk delivered. my order can be tweaked any time up to 9pm and I can add extra milk, bread, juice, eggs etc. They've only ever missed delivering before 7 am twice in 2yrs.
look after yourself. whether that's exercise dvd's, gym sessions, parkrun or beauty treatments. your mental and physical health is vital.
That it would be so much easier once you got things organised, wiped the ex right outta your hair and it actually can be enjoyed.
I mean it. I'm saying that as I sit here with my 3 week old baby, toddler in bed, and a teenager.
Organisation is the absolute key. I have a stash of essentials that life would be difficult or fall apart without! Things like toilet roll, my make up/beauty stuff/washing up liquid/washing machine stuff/medicines etc. Making sure nothing runs out really helps!
I just wish Aldi delivered. Then life would be perfect .
Oh, and it's amazing how good life can actually be when you are rid of the deadwood!
It's daunting, but it isn't forever. Enjoy each day for what it is. If you meet someone else life will change again, and you'll miss lots of aspects of single parenting. I love making all the decisions myself. I'll definitely miss that. And the bed to myself!
That life is easier when you are in control of the remote and can actually turn the sodding TV off rather than watch another shit action film.
That there will always be bad days - when you are sick, when you are so sleep deprived you feel like you are in some MI6 torture trial, when they do everything in their power to turn your house into a zoo, that you will be anxious doing things alone more than you ever thought possible.
These are outweighed by the good days - when your DC throw their arms around your neck and say they love you, when they present you with things they made that actually resemble things for the first time, when you see your parenting pay off in their actions, when you get all of the morning hugs as well as the house to yourself to clean or to sit in front of Netflix/guzzle wine as you see fit.
You will still feel sad when they mention daddy, but you can rest assured that you are doing them a favour by not having him in the house. You are less stressed and so will they be.
It's often better!
I always kept well stocked up eg I was always one pack ahead with toilet roll, nappies, wipes, all non perishables really.
Always had things like torch, matches, candles, hammer, screwdriver etc in easy to rech places.
Had a well stocked first aid kit.
Would always have a few days of food in. This is invaluable if you get ill. (Although life is different now people have home internet/smart phones/home deliveries)
It is ok to cry and grieve for the life you thought you would have. That is also ok to get through the day being just good enough, no parent gets it right all the time and somedays making it through to the end of the day is an achievement.
That your friends will rally when you need them.
I think when you are in a relationship there is an assumption you have support. When you are on your own, your friends are invaluable.
And you need a cleaner. Even if it's two hours once a month.
I wish someone had told me just how many people would just assume you were crap, even your own family.
oh sunny .
I get shit from my family too. friends are much more supportive.
That as hard and tiring as parenting is alone it's better and easier than doing it with my lazy self centred ex.
They get older and start entertaining themselves and it gets SO much easier. Sometimes I have to go and seek them out for a chat and a hug.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Let them have the odd night where they choose what they want to eat and if it's a cheese sandwich, so be it.
Chip Wednesday - chip supper every Wednesday, nice break.
aww thanks meglet ((())) that's what I like about this forum....
Get abrasive Sunny I have the hide of a rhino these days and nothing penetrates it. I couldn't give two hoots what anyone says about me and they'll get it back with both barrels
That when you're not well it is so.much harder.
Although he would have been totally unsympathetic and infuriated by my illness.
love the advice being shared
I agree with getting a cleaner. And would add that just because you're a lone parent now, it doesn't mean that it's a life sentence. I raised my standards considerably when I started dating with children, and it was a bloody good move.
wecanmanagenow yes to grieving. Absolutely. It was a major part of moving on for me, allowing that to happen x
What a good thread.
I agree with all of the above.
I wish I had known how much my heart would swell with pride knowing all f DS's achievements were all down to ME and me alone. He's come on so much and seeing his development has made all the tough decisions and sacrifices worth it.
Also that even if you have more money, less money or the same money - your finances will be so much easier when there is just you in charge of them.
That you can buy a great big pack of paper plates for pennies and get them out when it's a tough, crazy week.
That it's GOOD to treat yourself and your dcs. Me and DS often have a little meal out or a takeaway. Gives me a break and it's a treat for him too.
Sorry meglet, who delivers your milk?? I need them in my life.... Thank you!
Meglet, it's DairyCrest, we have them as well. You order from a website and pay for your milk monthly online, so no having the money in to pay the milkman. They have cereal, cheese, loo roll etc on the site as well so you can get last minute bits for lunches if you forget.
I tried Diarycrest when dd was tiny but they were quite expensive and kept on messing up my order. I think it can be variable depending on your milkman/local need. Our van had really squeaky brakes and you could hear him creeping and whirring up the hill for about 10mins before he screeched to a halt in front of my house. I felt bad for the neighbours at 5am, but then they were probably more pissed off with dd waking every 20mins in the night
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