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Do you feel that others look down on you for being a single parent?

(8 Posts)
trappedinsuburbia Wed 27-Jan-16 20:59:41

I've been a single parent apart from a few years, i very nearly married my youngest childs dad but sadly it didn't work out in the end.
I never wore a ring and even when I was engaged I rarely wore it out.
I don't know if its me, but over the past couple of years i've become quite conscious of people looking down/pitying me. As i've never really worn a ring and im quite a private person I think everyone assumes im some down trodden single parent, when im actually pretty happy and in a good place.
I do drive a shitty car and my job is not the greatest or best paid, but it works really well around the kids/childcare and I really enjoy it and my boss is great. I hate clothes shopping, so although we have what we NEED, I admit we can look a wee bit scruffy sometimes, something I should put more effort into but im saving for a shiney new car to replace my very old but very reliable old banger. (I've always been a saver)
I think people must think we live in squaler, but the reality is very different, we have a nice (council) house with nice things but maybe our appearance doesn't reflect this as I value a comfortable home over the latest designer fad and the kids don't really care if its primark or prada yet. The kids eat healthily and well.

Its starting to really really piss me off.

Sorry a bit long and justifying myself but im sick of being talked down to and people assuming im struggling and always finding life hard (doesn't any parent sometimes!!) I quite happy thank you!!!!

Humble314 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:04:05

Sometimes, but they're usually people who have ugly or boring husbands and they need somebody to on the rung beneath them socially.
Are your children very young? I think when your children are very young your identity as a mother kind usurps your identity as a woman and as a person but 'woman' and 'person' start to come back to the top as the children get older I think, so somebody looking down on your for being a single parent is less relevant. They may still pity you for being single though!

trappedinsuburbia Wed 27-Jan-16 21:19:18

I have a ds who is 11 and a dd who is 2.5.
I definitely feel like my own person and not just 'mum', I think because i've always worked and done little things outside the house that are just for me. its only quite recently as ds has been involved in far more clubs and activities that I sense it.
He was at one group the other night where they have a camp on in the summer and ds want's to go, he said they said to all the group that if you can't afford it we have to talk to them (I suppose they would subsidise/pay) and they were looking straight at him when they said it.
Im so annoyed, I have money, that is not an issue, I've had jobs in the past (pre kids) that they would be lucky if they had the brain cells to do. Obviously I had to change my life around the kids, only difference is I didn't have a husband behind me.
Sorry im ranting again, but getting spoken to like ive just had a child last week (unsolicited parenting advice from dd's nursery about the guilt I must feel about working, eh, NO!!) Im 40, had a good life and still have a good life, albeit its drastically changed with the kiddies!!!
Sorry my rant is over, I need to learn to grit the teeth and smile!!

Kinderegg50 Sun 07-Feb-16 11:16:35

I really feel like that. I have been to parent toddler groups which are relatively small where I am the only single parent. I noticed whispering and other sobthings happening after a while and people saying that they know I may struggle to go to certain events etc as I am probably short on cash! The sniping gosaip could be for other reasons about me, but I do sense that. I don't go anymore and try seek out other single mums for this reason. What I find hard to swallow is the fact I am very well educated, had a very good job and am a dam sight smarter than the majority of those women. I also don't have issues with cash!! In addition, I genuinely, hand on heart find I only have to worry about caring for my little one and myself without servicing the petulent whims of a husband! ( not saying all hubbys are like this). The one area though where I really feel it, is feeling totally alone and like I have no back up. I feel I must be giving off this vulnerability and others can sense it. People always seem to want to have others on the rung below them in order to feel better.

trappedinsuburbia Sun 07-Feb-16 23:45:46

Its horrible, I was never really aware of it before as I avoided baby and toddler groups (not really my thing and usually working when they were on anyway).
Im not well educated but I worked my way up in a good profession which was not sustainable with kids.
I actually feel at an advantage over the 'marrieds' in so many ways, im emotionally very happy and this rubs off on the kids and the way I interact with them, whereas before my emotional energy was focussed on trying to sustain a relationship and I felt I wasn't really there as much for the kids.

Its so frustrating, thanks for replying, its good to know im not the only one out there who is not struggling and independent, although yes you can feel vulnerable at times this is where I feel free to offload any worries onto friends and my poor mum, listen to their advice and discount it anyway smile but it gives me strength just knowing they are about.

Mag314 Mon 08-Feb-16 13:46:48

I know what you mean. I think there can be a shift when you've been a single parent for a considerable while, or for me it has shifted in that I also feel at a slight advantage over some married women now (not friends). In some ways. I have a job, I have a house, I have my sanity. There is the chance I might meet somebody lovely. I'm not choking on resentment. My life is in place and no part of my life relies on one man's attentions, mercies, generosity, reason.... I'm probably still pitied though!! Let them get on with pitying single parents if that's what they need to do to live with crappy marriages. Happy women don't judge

queenofthepirates Thu 11-Feb-16 20:46:46

My DD's form teacher made a casual reference to DD's Dad. I quietly explained that Dad wasn't around and never had been. He, equally quietly, whispered 'Well then she's a credit to just you then'.

I think that a lot of people think about lone parents in this way and kind of marvel at their strength. Take heart, there are lots of people who think we're amazing!

trappedinsuburbia Fri 12-Feb-16 20:29:00

I think I do a pretty good job, certainly a better job than when im in a relationship anyway!
We should be thought of as amazing! We are! well all parents that try their best are amazing.
Just sticks in my throat that some people..... well you've heard my rantings grin

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