Joining the club(15 Posts)
Father of my 7.5m old son has finally agreed to leave after I have finally found strength to expose the domestic violence. None of his family believe me and I haven't told my own yet. Feeling nervous about my new life as a single mother.
What are some of the good things about life as a lone parent?
You will be surprised at how good it can be. I was.
- everything takes less time to do (no time/ energy wasted in nagging)
- the house remains cleanish for longer
- the sense of relief is immense. I truly enjoyed sitting quietly for a few minutes to enjoy the peace.
- I think that my relationship with DS became so good due to the split: we had the time to talk for ages, and having no one else around made me a more involved parent. I started playing football, climbing, cycling and even went camping a few times with him on my own.
- DS and I are a team. Obviously, I'm in charge, but we are very considerate with each other and to our own needs.
Obviously, there are things that have not been easy, but do not worry too much. People tend to assume that the life of a single mum is somewhat a tragedy but it isn't, it is just that we use the lone parent thread mostly to discuss problems.
Ps. There will be some people that will come and tell you that you "failed" in your marriage/ relationship. Don't take the split as a failure, it takes more courage to leave a bad relationship, than staying in it. So, keep your head high, you have done something great in removing yourself from a violent relationship and ensuring a better life for you and your child.
Thank you for your reply. It's overwhelming right now. Glad you have succeeded and found happiness
Just take one day at a time, it will take a few weeks for the shock to wear off. At this time things look very difficult because the situation is new to you, but eventually, once you find your feet in this new situation you will be ok.
Are there any things in particular that you find more worrysome? Can we help with any information?
Thanks* karma.* I wasn't married thank goodness and live in a rented property. Do I look into benefits now? I work full time.
Yes, straight away, as some may take a while to come through.
Depending on your income, you may be entitled to tax credits and possibly to some additional support to pay for after school clubs (if you use them). You can calculate your entitlement at www.entitledto.org.uk
With regards to child maintenance, it may be a good idea to arrange it via CMS now while there is some good will on him. If he is violent, it may be a good idea to avoid private arrangements (he can revert to minimum specified by CMS within a year of a court order, any ways so it is not worth the expense of solicitors for such a short time benefit) and go straight for one organised by CMS, it cut the hassle and bad feelings in the future. You can find more details at childmaintenanceservice.direct.gov.uk/ (it may be less than one you expect it hopefully tax credits will make up for it)
I would also suggest you a book that helped us enormously when making arrangements for DS. It is called Putting Children First here
Hope that helps a bit, and remember, at this early stages it is important to accept any offers of help, they may become the base of a good network of support. You don't need practice help much but having someone to talk to, over a cup of tea, can make an enormous difference.
Thank you so much for your advice. I'll certainly look into everything you've suggested. I earn £31000 in London and pay £70 per day full time childcare so would be interested to see what help I can get.
Really just enjoy parenting without looking over your shoulder or being scared. Get some therapy eg The Freedom Programme from Women's Aid. I thought I didn't need it but it really hit me 6 months later. I hadn't realised how much the violence affected me.
I find it very difficult to discuss with friends - it helps to be able to sound off to someone.
I loved doing all the things that I wasn't allowed to do beforehand. Parenting is so much easier on my own.
Yes only today have I actually told my family and his family about the violence. His family think I am making it up and don't believe a word I have said even though I discovered he has a history or violence against women but never had the police involved.
I will make it my mission to tell every woman he comes into contact with what he is really like.
Looking forward to having my own space with my son and no longer walking on eggshells.
I think that that is one of the benefits of getting some counselling or taking the freedom programme, it makes you realise that you do not need to prove to people that you are not a bad person, bad partner, bad parent, etc. It helps you to stop trying to justify your actions. As long as you know that this decision is the best option for you and your kid, what the other people think is of no importance.
I spent years trying to explain to my parents and his family, that the charming man they adored was a nasty psycho at home. I really don't care what they think anymore, I don't justify my actions to them or try to get their approval, my life is already both complicated and happy enough to waste time trying to get them on my side.
... But it took me some good years to get there.
It's crazy to think that we, as intelligent women, can be subject to such abuse and torment and nobody even notices! We hide it ourselves through shame and fear. It is so so wrong. I'm an extremely strong woman and will be the first to start preaching about feminism and equality and yet I was being abused at home. It really can happen to anyone.
it is because you are strong. I didn't tell my parents about the very long years of unhappiness to avoid upsetting them. When I finally told them we were splitting up, both accused me of throwing away my marriage in a spur of the moment decision.
And the amount of friends who came out of the woodwork to ask us to reconsider, apparently we were the "ideal couple"
I cannot describe the sense of joy, peace and freedom of having our own home after living on eggshells!!! It's heaven. Me and my toddler used to dance around the lounge the first few weeks.
There are all sorts of other benefits but nothing beats being able to be safe and happy and relaxed in your own home and create a family culture that your DC will be held by rather than thinking they will grow up frightened and watching something toxic.
There's no one to judge your parenting so if you're both tired and want to eat porridge for dinner or pile into bed and watch Peppa Pig, it's your show now.
Plus leaving him opens up possibilities for the future. Who's to say you'll be a lone parent for years. Xx
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