becoming a single parent....where do you start?(17 Posts)
I have a 15 month old little girl and am 9 weeks pregnant - my partner is leaving as he cannot cope with another child. How does one take the first steps as a single parent?
Most people start off sorting out the practical stuff , I think . Have you made a start on that ?
Sorry to hear that OP.
Finances are the first priority to sort out.
Do you work? Will you stay in your home and do you rent or have a mortgage?
I've done nothing so far - my main concern is to protect the emotional well being of my daughter....
I work three days a week and have to be on call too which is going to be tricky but will be going on maternity leave ....
It's all about organisation. Stock up on essentials, always have calpol, a small bottle of milk and bread in the freezer as you can't nip out if you run out.
Make sure you apply for everything you are eligible for , you should be able to get help for heating from the Warm Front.
Really sorry to hear about your situation. It's been a year for me. Your priorities are money and shelter so register for every benefit you're entitled to and make sure your housing situation is sorted. Has your partner agreed to pay maintenance? Get written confirmation asap in case you ever have problems there.
It will be really stressful, especially with being on call and childcare (I imagine) so just stay strong.
Have you sorted out housing and money ?
Can you afford to stay where you are ? Do you need to get the tenancy transferred to your name only ? Ditto utilities
If you own, what will happen to the mortgage ?
Contact the council and apply for 25% reduction in council tax
Are you eligible for any benefits ? How are you going to live during maternity leave ?
Do you have any joint accounts, credit cards etc - need to stop all these
Have you talked about maintenance for the children ?
What will your childcare be when you are on call ? Will your partner be living nearby and when is he going to have the kids ?
Inform council tax you are now living alone for 25% discount.
Enter your details into entitled to website to see what tax credits etc you are eligible for.
What's your housing situation?
Does he want contact with his DD?
How is your friends and family support?
Could you take a few days/a week off work to get your ducks in a row?
Be kind to yourself, it's hard but you will be fine, more than fine! It's so rewarding, it's his loss.
As others have mentioned, the first priority is the finances, and it is so because if you don't have that sorted you may be too frazzled and tired to be a good parent, so some things that may help you to get the act together:
-You will get some support in tax credits as a single parent. You can check www.entitledto.org.uk to find an aproximation of how much that would be. I suggest you to apply for them now that the decission is taken rather than waiting until he leaves, as it could take months to start getting them.
- try to reduce your expenses, you don't need to go totally frugal, but changing supermarkets can make a HUGE difference. Plan your meals will reduce the wastage and therefore help you save a good amount.
- REST, this the most important of then all, if you are too tired, your threshold of tolerance is much lower. If you are having enough sleep you will find it easier to cope with work stresses and taking care of the children on your own. The thing that worked best for me in the early days was to go to bed a the same time as DS, who was then going to bed at 7:30. You may think that is early, but there is not much poinypt trying to do some work when you are exhausted. I was asleep by 8 and, therefore, wide awake by 4am, which meant that I had 3 precious hours to myself before DS woke up. By the time he was up I had done half an hour of yoga, read for an hour, tidied the house and was dressed. Needless to say that the start of the day was bliss.
- exercise, it will make you feel better. Even if it is just a quck walk at lunch time.
- Accept all help that is offered to you, you will find very supportive friends if you open yourself to receive support.
- try not to overdramatise the situation, if you try to keep positive you will soon notice tgat perhaps you have been a single parent by a long time, and dealing with children and household stuff on your own, is much easier than doing that while dealing with a selfish partner.
- the children are too young to get overly sad about their father moving out, actually, they will adapt pretty easily. But they are old enough to feel upset at seeing you upset. So, before you asume bad behaviours are due to their father's parting, just check what you are doing that may be causing that behaviour, as it may be as simple as the children not having enough sleep, or Not having as much attention from you if you are too tired.
Best of luck, and remember... Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.
Gosh everybody - especially TigersOut thank you! What an overwhelming and rapid, kind response. I think I've been a victim of psychological abuse, a very controlling man so the future could be much brighter....
Thanks again everyone X
What everyone else said. And to emphasise you need to take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise as much as you can (in the long term you will reap the benefits), take vits and prioritise rest, even if you aren't a great sleeper.
Sinclair, my split with my ex was friendly, but ge became a proper psycho when we got to the separation of assets. He did some horrible things, especially to DS, as he knew that would be what hurt the most.
In the middle of that time, when I could start shaking as a leaf at the sound of the postbox, a friend of mine told me "Don't be a victim, it disempowers you"
This phrase on its own kept me sane through the mess, knowing that I was also at fault (for not leaving him earlier) really put me back in control of the situation as he was no longer calling the shots. Feeling pity for yourself is the worst thing you can do to sabotage yourself. If you think you have been abused, be proactive and find the support you need to get through it, as this will help you to go through your new life in a much better shape.
Hi. Sorry to hear your situation. I went through bad seperation. DV. Access caused me a lot of heartache, and cost. I would suggest same as others re finance and decent place to live...with secure garden for children to play in.
Also look to your friends and family if you can. The more people around you to ease the difficulties of the journey the better. Use mumsnet too...lots friends on here.
Finally choose mediation over court any day and take one day at a time.
You will be ok xx
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