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Scared to be a single mum

(18 Posts)
liska5 Mon 27-Apr-20 20:17:03

I’ve never lived alone. It just so happened that I always had a roommate at uni, and my parents supported me of course, and then I met my first husband and like a month later we started living together. We were together for 12 years, have a child together, but then we divorced. When that happened, I quickly met someone else and we again moved in together after just a few months. It just happened... or maybe it’s me being completely insecure and unable to be on my own? Anyway, now after 8 years together, we have also split up, and we have a kid together too. But I’ll now be a single mum, with 2 kids, I’ve just turned 40, and the prospect of being single is so daunting. I’m talking to a therapist about it but it doesn’t help. I worry that now for the first time in my life I will rely only on my income (plus child support) and that if I lose my job, that’s it. And it’s not just me but me and my two kids. I’ve kind of been dating someone for a few months, but I’m catching myself thinking ‘oh maybe it’s time for us to move in together’ when I barely know the guy. Rationally, I understand that it’s way too early to even think about moving in, or to hope that he or anyone else might support me financially. I also understand that I am a big girl and I really need to be able to be single and be ok with it, I don’t want to be with my ex - we split up for a reason. But I still sometimes catch myself thinking that maybe we should try and get back together - not because we love each other, that’s now gone, but because it would be much more stable and secure for the kids. And then I think, c’mon, I can’t be with the guy, I want a fresh start, other people do it, and I can do it too. I try to tell myself this but frankly it I just don’t sound convincing when I listen to my thoughts. Why is it so scary? Will it pass? Will I be able to take care of myself and my two kids without waiting for anyone’s support - and be ok with it? Any tips would be so appreciated... I really need some advice.

OP’s posts: |
user1019273703 Mon 27-Apr-20 20:22:15

Hi. I am a single parent to a 2 and a half year old, am 32. Ive been on my own for 2 years and am just ready to date (more the fact had an horrendous time over custody / divorce). I have actually loved being on my own. Nobody to answer to, house how I want it etc. It is hard and daunting but you will manage, each day it starts to feel more normal if that makes sense. I am scared at the thought of dating again!

liska5 Mon 27-Apr-20 22:25:40

Thanks. Yes, maybe I indeed should be a bit more brave...

OP’s posts: |
PumpkinP Tue 28-Apr-20 00:39:38

Wow yeh I think you do need to work on yourself as you can’t just keep moving in with men you just met because you don’t want to be alone. Especially with kids as that’s not fair on them. they shouldn’t have even met him really. On the other end of this I’ve lived alone since 16 and have never lived with a man, I’ve now been single for 3 years. I couldn’t imagine moving in with someone i have known for a few months without kids involved never mind with.

liska5 Tue 28-Apr-20 03:41:55

Yeah - I agree with you, that's why I wrote this thread, to get some tips on how to do that. At least I recognise that that's a problem. And as I said, I realise that I shouldn't be moving in with anyone after just a few months - but my problem is that I am finding it very scary to cope on my own.

OP’s posts: |
averytiredmom Tue 28-Apr-20 03:48:12

Hiya OP..I’ve been a single mom now for 8 months. I have a 3 year old, 22 month old and 8 month old. Honestly it is scary doing it alone, I’m not going to say it isn’t. But it gets more normal over time. Remind yourself of the horrible things about living with a man and throw yourself into your DC. How old are your DC?. Also don’t worry about only having 1 income, have you looked up what benefits you can receive?. Just remind yourself that even if you lose your income you won’t be left to starve, you will still have enough from the government to survive until you can get back on your feet, hopefully that doesn’t happen thoughsmile. PM me whenever you like if you’d like someone to talk to!

liska5 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:07:23

Thanks so much. My kids are 13 and 4. It’s also difficult because it was me who felt I needed to leave my ex - and he’s just constantly making my life hell by constantly saying how I destroyed his life etc. He doesn’t want to accept that our relationship broke down for multiple reasons and I just couldn’t put up with those reasons anymore. But him saying that a) I destroyed his life and b) I’ll never make it on my own anyway makes it impossible sad

OP’s posts: |
NC4Now Tue 28-Apr-20 13:14:04

Well he’s wrong. You will make it on your own. You don’t really have a choice, do you?
It seems like finances are a big worry to you. Have you got all your child support set up from both fathers, on direct debit so you know it’s steady?
If you do lose your job there is UC which isn’t ideal but will keep you from starvation.
What are you like with budgeting? Would it help you feel more in control to go through and work out incomings and outgoings, maybe setting up a separate bills account, so you know what you have after outgoings? There are online tools you can use to help with that.
Not only will it help you now, being confident about your own situation will be beneficial for any future relationships as you will have better boundaries and won’t rely on being looked after.
It means love can flourish, rather than dependency.

liska5 Wed 29-Apr-20 00:50:39

Yes, I agree with you, thank you. I’ve started a budget spreadsheet, and I realise it’s the first time in my life I have to do it on my own. But I hope I’ll manage. Thank you

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NC4Now Wed 29-Apr-20 00:59:40

Brilliant OP! You can do this. And you will grow and thrive from it. It’s daunting at first but it’s nothing you aren’t capable of.
You’ll be proud of yourself- good luck x

averytiredmom Wed 29-Apr-20 02:36:39

Well done OP! You’re sounding much more positive. You CAN do this

HugeAckmansWife Wed 29-Apr-20 08:24:05

Not so much the financial side but the practical side.. Learn some DIY skills, how to paint, put up a shelf etc. Learn how to turn the water off if there's a leak. Have an emergency plumber contact in your phone. Have calpol, plasters, etc to hand so you're not caught out late at night. Learn how to kill or remove spiders, wasps, mice, basic car maintenance. Anything you always relied on the man for, learn. None of it is hard and there is plenty of advice out there. It gives an enormous sense of accomplishment and 'fuck you' to my ex, who was useless anyway, when I decorate a room or solve a problem myself. I own my own home, pay all the bills, raise the kids, work FT and sort stuff as it comes up. You absolutely can do this but planning, preparation and knowledge is key.

liska5 Wed 29-Apr-20 16:52:38

Thank you for your support. Yes, indeed, I just need to keep reminding myself that I can do it smile

OP’s posts: |
Techway Wed 29-Apr-20 17:04:25

Each day you are alone you will feel more capable and stronger.

Don't worry about what might happen re income, focus on how you are managing gets easier once you have been on your own. However it is natural to worry about finances..most adults do!

I would advise not to rush dating as you will appear vulnerable and that makes you a target for some abusive men. It must also be difficult for your teen.

Re diy, do you have family? I found that once I had a good car garage and found some local tradesmen I was sorted! Work out a few house tasks, like how to turn water off, how to switch on boiler, how to reset electrical circuits. All of it is really straightforward and you will be amazed at why you didn't do it before.

NC4Now Wed 29-Apr-20 23:26:06

Get yourself a handyman on speed dial. That’s not a euphemism! It’s genuinely useful to have someone you can call to do all the jobs you can’t manage. My ex was brilliant at practical stuff but I can pay someone to do the things I can’t. I don’t need to have a relationship with them!

Fredted8 Fri 01-May-20 14:25:58

Take no note of some people’s comments 12 and 8 years is a good while to be with someone. I would just be careful about Having any more children.

I’m sure you will manage fine money wise plan things to do with friends, get a new hobby join a class or the gym to work on yourself and stay focused.

liska5 Fri 01-May-20 14:57:08

Thanks everyone. Still, it’s so scary and weird. Even to visit houses on my own - I have to move soon - is weird. Yes, I know it’s great that I can choose whatever house I want but the agents or owners always ask: “So, it’s you, your husband and two kids?” And I’m like: “no, juste me and two kids”. And they look at me like I’m not normal or something. 🙄 Aargh.

OP’s posts: |
Oggden1 Fri 01-May-20 15:02:22

Op I divorced at work 34 and moved the other side of the world for a few years. It was the bertst thing I've ever done.
It was soo scary and I thought I couldn't cope. But you'd be amazed how simple stuff can be alone.
Want that rug but it's bright orange and 3vryone else hates it? Chuck it in the fxxxxk it bucket as no one cares and get it. Being alone can be liberating.
Counselling sounds like a good idea and getting support.
Will he have kids sometimes for custody? If so can you arrange something on those days just for you eg a hobby. My mates in a banjo club and another one learned kickboxing on her exh mid week contact night. Broke up the week.
You got this!

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