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Long term single parent

(38 Posts)
feelingdizzy Mon 28-Dec-15 14:03:50

Was just flicking through the threads here,and there are obviously lots from people who have just become single parents,asking for advice during those tricky few moths couple of years.
It made me think how long I have been a single parent for.13 yearsshock Both my kids were under 2 and are now obviously teens.
We have a great life I went back and trained as a teacher,the kids are happy they see their dad very sporadically.We have done pretty well and
I suppose I was wondering has anyone else been a single parent for their kids entire childhood?As would be nice to compare notes.
Also as I seem to be unintentionally a veteran at this smile feel free to ask any questions,maybe I can try to help those of you just starting out.Sounds smug not supposed to!

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 28-Dec-15 19:04:49

Hi, my DD is 10, I've been on my own since she was 2 so have 8 yrs of being a LP. I guess I'm half way thru grin Things are a bit easier now, been through lots of changes to get to where I am now, but struggling a bit with the most recent change (increased hours = me knackeredhmm) but I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dreading the teens though. DD is very stubborn/moody/dramatic as it is & I've no idea how I'll get through it confused I think I'll have to resurrect my toddler years mantra 'it's only a phase' for when it gets really tough.

I'm well past the 'high drama' stage & long gave up trying to cajole ex into being the parent I thought DD deserved. I'm most zen-like now when it comes to ex & his creative contact pattern. DD is happy (for the most part) & that keeps me on an even keel so nothing my ex does nowadays knocks me off balance.

smile

donajimena Mon 28-Dec-15 19:08:54

My eldest is 12.5. I've been a lone parent for 12.5 years smile their father wouldn't commit and when he did decide he wanted to I realised he was an arse.

itshappenedagain Mon 28-Dec-15 19:32:32

I've been a line parent for about 9 years. Most of the time we sail along nicely, but occasionally my ex does something stupid and rocks the boat!

Foslady Mon 28-Dec-15 22:19:28

Lone parent coming up 7 years and after a month of déjà Vue moments I realise that I'm glad he buggered off with ow (yes I still refer to her as that, although I am beginning to sympathise with her situation....)

AliceInUnderpants Mon 28-Dec-15 22:23:58

Been on my own with kids over 7 years, since they were 4 months and 3 years old.

LurcioAgain Mon 28-Dec-15 22:32:58

DS coming up for 8 years old now - been on my own the whole time.

I'm going through one of those weeks from hell - have picked up a bug which has knocked me flat (over Christmas too). Fortunately my dad is visiting which has made it a bit easier. Anyone got any top tips for how to cope when you're ill?

Clueing4looks Mon 28-Dec-15 22:41:10

LP for 10 years. Have a dd12 and ds10. My mum was divorced and I was brought up with lots of 'uncles' plus 3 longer term step-dads (who fathered my siblings) and I decided that was not the life I wanted for my children, so will not actively seek a relationship until my DC are a lot older. Whether or not it's the right decision, I don't know, but so far it works for me.

wtffgs Mon 28-Dec-15 22:49:10

6 years - so a newbie herewink

I've not had any appealing relationship offers and a FT job, two kids under 10 and a less than devoted X don't leave much time or energy. But it is a massive improvement on being married to an abusive, alcoholic arsehole!

I'm sure people pity me: the pitiable version of me was the married one. grin

parrotsoap Tue 29-Dec-15 00:09:58

LP for 14 years, raised DS from birth on my own. No contact with his dad, which we're both happy with.

I've had lots of relationships over the years, but none that involved DS - I refuse to introduce anyone to him unless I feel confident that it'll be a long term thing (which would mean marriage for me). But that doesn't mean I have to be a nun. I've done all sorts from OLD, casual encounters and ONS, plus a few relationships lasting up to a year. I don't bring anyone back to the house if DS is here, luckily my mum will have him for sleepovers so I can still have a life.

ittooshallpass Tue 29-Dec-15 00:38:26

I've been a single mum for 3 years now... since dd was 3. So very new compared to the rest of you....

I work full time and dd sees her dad sporadically. No family close by. Very very little time to myself.

I struggle with school work. Feel terribly guilty that I don't get to do school run. Ever. Feel out of the loop with other parents. And struggle to get homework done. By the time we get home neither if us want to do it. We have a long day... out at 7.30am every morning. Home 6pm ish...

My mantra, as per my tag... It too shall pass.

I miss having someone to talk to who loves her as much as I do. Someone to share her successes, worries and dramas with...

Worry I'll never have a relationship again. No time or energy! And I feel weekends should be given to her. We see so little of each other.

Wow. That turned into a bit of an essay...

Any handy hints from those of you who have been there and got the t-shirt very welcome!

Flowerpower41 Tue 29-Dec-15 08:27:10

Yes been raising ds since he was 5 months and he is now nearly 11.

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Tue 29-Dec-15 23:21:21

a real newbie here then. just coming up to the fifth anniversary.

coping when you are ill. take as much medicine as you are allowed. let them watch tv/computer. let them make their own tea if able or give them toast, or biscuits, or what the heck you have in.

keep stocked up on over the counter meds.
try to have reserve someone to take them to school. (not always possible)

my lowest point was synchronised vomitting. holding the bowl for dd while vomitting in the bucket.

can not be arsed to have a relationship and would not know where to start as I never go anywhere without the children apart from when they are at school. not divorced the ex yet. too busy sorting out sen stuff to get round to it.

children are still in KS2 so not looking forward to the teenage years, especially with ds's autism as well. I will need a lot of tips then.

oh and second the pity me when with ex rather than without.

wintersocks Wed 30-Dec-15 09:41:26

hi everyone I feel like I've found my gang here wink
I'm 8 years in, dcs coming up to teens and that's a bit daunting doing that on my own, plus they gang up on me now I've noticed grin
Overall we're doing good. I feel like now there's no point bothering with any relationships till they get to uni type age. Have had dates and a few short relationships but none introduced to dcs.
No family support so it can get trying at times but yes life is better actually then when with arse exh not that I get any sympathy anyway
What I do find challenging now is trying to build up any kind of social life given that I can't get out much. I do like company but have just had to learn to be on my own a lot.
brew

MissWimpyDimple Wed 30-Dec-15 12:57:40

Coming up to 10 years here. There have been men in my life since but none that DD has been involved in.

She sees her dad regularly though so I suppose I have that help hinderance.

feelingdizzy Thu 31-Dec-15 14:39:47

Great to hear from so many of you.You don't get to hear much about us longtermers. I can identify with so much of what you have all said.I suppose I choose not to have any further relationships,not that they were beating down the doorsmile
Their dad was very emotionally abusive and I couldn't risk making the same mistake again.
A couple of you mentioned social life,I literally haven't had one for years, this millenium infact! sounds pathetic but my family aren't even in the country,so had to forgoe nights out.However they are now 13 and 14 and I have joined a drama and netball clubs so am going out in the evenings.
I just had the parenting thing sussed and then they hit their teens and its like starting again ,I actually feel more isolated as their behaviour especially 14 year old dd can be very wearing.I feel the stakes are higher now they are teens and I feel less sure of my parenting.At least they are better than me at that age.grin

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 31-Dec-15 15:40:09

I totally get what you are saying feelingdizzy - I'm soooo close to being able to do 'stuff' for me but not quite there yet. Spent last night trawling evening classes, but had to dismiss everything cos they clashed with after school pick ups or DD's very hectic social lifeconfused

It's funny you should mention the parenting - one thing I was going to post, as a tip for others earlier on in the slog, was to have confidence in your parenting cos you do get there & there's no one that can do better in the circumstances etc. And then bam! It's the teens - I'm sooooo dreading it! I keep telling myself I'm half way thru I've got 8 yrs left etc. But I think the next 8 will be harder.

The things I want to do are cooking - I want to learn to cook properly. I can cook but just not with any flair etc. I've 1 night a week free but there's no class on then. I am patiently waiting for the day DD can get herself to where she needs to go, so that I can finally sign up for the cooking class I've been dreaming of for years.

I'm hoping to pick up on my OU studies again - I'd like to get a degree before I'm 50! I tried to keep it up early on after I split from my ex, but it was just too much working/looking after DD & trying to fit in studying too. Hats off to anyone who has managed it but I couldn't.

I like the idea of doing netball - I used to love netball when I was much younger, would never have thought of doing that. Good for you for getting out & getting stuck in.

smile

feelingdizzy Thu 31-Dec-15 18:00:25

Thanks tensionwheels ,I am going to make 2016 operation 'get a life'.I know what you mean about trying to organise things and then they clash with something for the kids and/or work.
I went back to studying was soooo hard but helped to reclaim something of mine,don't worry about the teen years there are benefits,they can do so much for themselves.And I think one of the benefits of being reared by a single parent is being independent. Mostly because mine had no choice.smile
Hope you all have a lovely new year s I am in my jammies watching star trek !!Wine cooling snacks ready to go,the kids have made me promise that I at least stay in the room,they will wake me if I fall asleep and to think.I used to be such a hellraisergrin

Sweetsecret Fri 01-Jan-16 22:32:35

These are such great posts, I am very very new 9 months in, I have a 2 and 5 year old and I know I will be single for a very long time.
I have accepted that, just found out that after promising to share the raising of our children my stbxh has decided to move two hours away, he moved yesterday.
So starting the New Year really doing it on my own, but I feel okay with it not much I can do really.
You just get on with it don't you?

sonuma Sun 03-Jan-16 03:42:35

Hi - good to hear from other longtimers! It's over 10 years for me - my son's 11 - he was 9mths old when I left the ex...best thing i ever did!
I wish I could say I felt zen-like about the ex though, as you do tensionwheels...still have my 'low' days...like when he delayed drop off by 2hrs today, after having DS for a week...said he'd sent a text at 8.30am to 'ask' if it was ok. Forget the fact I didn't receive the text till 12pm (tech-fail...) but did he call when I hadn't replied? Of course not! He just did what he wanted and turned up 2hrs late! The lack of respect drives me up the wall. (This is with a court order). And other issues related to parenting...things my son gets upset about, but doesn't want me mentioning to his dad because he'll get angry, and essentially because on some levels he adores his dad. Vicious circle - i feel like i'm being a poor parent by allowing it to continue..trying to pick my battles but fear i'm teaching my son to enable him rather than deal with it head on. (insensitive comments - saying he's unfit, or lazy...our child is far from overweight but has asthma...which his dad puts down to 'lack of fitness'?!) Would love some advice on acquiring zen-like qualities!

sonuma Sun 03-Jan-16 04:29:48

Having said all that - i'm soooo much happier than before, and am truly blessed with a brilliant and affectionate son smile Never had time for rels either....i guess I'm curious now, in a 'what would that be like, i wonder' sort of way...maybe one day. Far more interested in getting back into things I used to enjoy -- dance, theatre, music, seeing friends smile Striking a balance between work, chores and 'me time' when my DS is away is my big challenge (for all the ex-issues, I realise I'm lucky in that I get a break every other wknd)...and well -- coping with the onset of pre-teen 'stuff'. (Girls aren't the only ones who have emotional dramas!) Well done getting into drama and netball feelingdizzy -- one day, i too will have evenings out!

Hurr1cane Sun 03-Jan-16 04:32:35

Coming up to 10 years now. Done it on my own from the start with a little boy with disabilities and health problems.

It's easy. Much easier than with someone else I think

CainInThePunting Sun 03-Jan-16 04:44:19

DS is 16, I was on my own from word go even though I didn't kick the bastard out for a few more years. Other than a two year relationship, I've been single the whole time and I'm sick to the back teeth of it.

I'm at the point now where I feel I can have my own life and it feels bloody marvellous. Even if I do have to cut my dates short to go and pick DS up from work hmm

I went on a second date tonight, I had a kiss. Not a snog, just a quick kiss but I feel like I've walked through the doors into narnia! There is a whole world of dating ahead of me! I'm looking forward to it. grin

TheTigerIsOut Sun 03-Jan-16 04:50:01

Thanks for this theead! It is often the case that people assume that just because you are divorced or on your own, you have somewhat ruined your life or that of your children, ignoring the fact that it takes a lot of courage to become a single parent.

It's been 8 years for me, and 6 since exh moved out of DS' life. I cannot say that it has been easy, but we have been much happier and our life is far more fulfilling nowadays than before the split.

I didn't want DS and I to be on our own, but I didn't want him to grow up with a parade of men in my life so, after much soul searching, took into finding a new person who could be a good partner for me but also a good role model and suppoting figure for DS. Admittedly, my first LTR after divorce came to an end because we both decided to put our children first (neither us of us was prepared to move to a new area) but he is a good man who is still a very important part of DS' life. Next LTR is ongoing and very good and healthy, DS and him are good friends and I'm grateful for all the support, love and fun he has brought to our lives. So don't write off the posibility of another relationship, there are some very good men out there, if you are prepared to be patient (and selective) to find the one who is good for you and your children.

Baconyum Sun 03-Jan-16 04:52:39

Also a 'veteran' 13 years in. Ex a nightmare and in hindsight would've been best to let him disappear out of our lives then! Occasionally shows interest but not consistent.

Relationships? Ha! Have 'dated', few ons etc but nothing serious. At 43 I'm pretty resigned to being alone now.

Parenting? Well I think everyone just does the best they can. I've been a SAHP, full time working out the home and a student over the last 13 years. All have pros and cons. I'm not a perfect mother and dd isn't perfect either but I'm proud she's kind and thoughtful but also intelligent and slightly cynical grin. We have a laugh together and enjoy similar things like films but its also interesting seeing her enthusiasm for new things like her generations music, you tubers confused and the TV shows she likes. But I also worry about her that she doesn't trust boys/men, is a little too worried what people think of her, bit of a people pleaser as I don't know if that's how she would have been anyway or if its a result of our circumstances and experiences.

Great idea for a thread. Also happy (hopefully not smugly) to advise those of you starting out on this.

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