This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Top tips for single parents(15 Posts)
I've recently left my ex. I'm looking at getting somewhere to live after new year with my two young children.
As much as I know this is the right thing, and I'm sort of looking forward to it, it's a huge change and I am a bit nervous.
So what's your too tips for coping as a single mum?
I'll have support from family an friends, and am a fairly organised person.
Thanks in advance 🙂
Routine routine and did I mention routine?! It will not only make life easier but will help the kids feel more secure too. Obviously a big change in their lives will be unsettling and can make the feel insecure. Routines and rules will help with that.
Try not to get so caught in “life admin” that you forget to do stuff with them - I think I made that mistake your life will be busy but you can do it all if you have a schedule.
Thank you Missy. I've always tried to have a simple routine with them... Feed them roughly same times, bedtime roughly same time etc. Bath every other day. I have struggled with this because ex hated any form of routine so I was battling him all the time. This may have contributed to the fact my 4 year old still doesnt sleep well and my 7 year old struggles some nights to drop off. We'll see if they improve over the next few months x
Multi-tasking!! I have 2 children, 9 and 5 and they only go to their dad's one night a week and EOW, I work 40 hours a week and do all the school runs.. so everything is multitasking! School run is my lunch break, and I take the dog and I do actually run... So I exercise and get the dog out and pick up the kids all in one go 🤣! It's exhausting but I've realised how important certain things are for me and exercise is something I can't skip asit affects everybody 🙈. I also meal plan, with easy dinners in the days both kids have school lunch. I clean the bathroom whilst the youngest has her bath, we do spellings whilst I cook dinner etc. You get the idea!
Good luck OP. I know it's daunting but you will soon establish a routine that works for you all. And ask for help if you can...I unfortunately have no family around and friends are distanced because of stupid covid. But I wish I could just have someone to do the odd little thing to take the pressure off some times. And finally, be kind to yourself xx
Sleep as much as you can and really nail your DCs bedtime routines. Get them sleeping at a decent time and all night if they aren’t already. Exhaustion is a total killer. It ruins you. You can achieve nothing when you’re tired. When you’re properly rested you are able to cope with everything. Sleep sleep sleep!
Don't be so busy doing all the household tasks that you forgo spending quality time with your DC. Decide what is a priority and get as much of it done as you reasonably can, then make sure you spend time just hanging around with your DC doing low key stuff you enjoy together.
Oh I’ve just seen your second post! Right their sleep routines need to be your first priority. Get it nailed ASAP.
Establish a childcare routine with your children’s dad from the start, be firm and stick to a routine on his behalf.
Have you discussed the finicial side OP.
Thank you for all your replies. Yes bedtime will become a priority.... It's all to s**t now because unfortunately me and the kids are sharing a bed at my parents due to ex refusing to move out. Once I have my own place, a bedtime routine will start again.
Childcare routine.... Well ex was adding kids regular enough... In fact he asked for every weekend and I said no it's not fair. So now he's flipped the other way and doesn't want to see them cz it's 'emotionally hard' on all of them apparently. I've never seen my kids upset over seeing him, or coming back to me, so I dunno what he's getting at there. I will have to arrange some routine with him or ask childminder to so more once their back in school after new year. My parents won't do the school run for me, and it's unfair to expect them to do it really.
Hmm, finance is difficult too as he's really not willing to talk about much. I will be contacting him in the next few days to discuss selling the house. He won't be happy and I'm fully expecting it to be a long hard process.
I have however received my first UC payment and was pleasantly surprised x
Does he work? I would go through CMS this can be a tedious set up but at least you will have regular payments each month and if your ex earns more or less CMS sort this out for you.
Glad you’ve got the UC! Once you have new accommodation sorted sit down and work out a budget. (I’ve found I can manage on much less than I think I need.) and anything spare you have left put it in a “for emergencies only” savings account. This will be invaluable as you just can’t predict when the washing machine will stop working or the DCs feet grow two sizes a week after getting their school shoes. If your ex is likely to be resistant to paying child support (I suspect he will from what you’ve said) then you just can’t rely on having any financial support from him. You need to budget as if you aren’t getting anything from him because CMS are useless at enforcing non payers.
Thank you all.
Yes he does work. Earns at least twice what I do. I feel like he may be difficult too... Probably be as awkward as possible.
I think I can budget well enough, it may be tight but I'm pretty sure I can refrain from spending on stuff that I don't need and I love finding reduced meat etc for the freezer.
How do you all find being single parents? Have the kids adjusted okay? How do you cope with holidays etc? X X
When people ask how i do it on my own (aside from having no choice) I always say that i let things go unless they are important. I try and be laid back and don't stress about everything as I don't have the time and patience.
I became a single parent when eldest was 3 and youngest wasn't born so they don't really remember a time before.
I have a fairly good relationship with my ex and he works shifts so we have a flexible arrangement with him having them. He has them more in holidays etc where they can stay with him during the week as he lives too far in term time.
I'll not lie that mine, 5 years on still wish we were together but usually we get on alright day to day. The hardest issue for me is now that they are tweens and opposite sexes, they are not really into anything the same, so every day is a negotiation and compromise on someone's part. As pp have said get bed time nailed - you REALLY need that 1-2 hours downtime of an evening either to deal with household admin / chores or ideally catch up with friends or watch something that isn't a cartoon.
I would also start as early as possible with getting them to do stuff round the house that is age appropriate - not to "help" you, but because they live there too - they can sort their socks out of the laundry, out them in a drawer, help unpack shopping , take their plate from the table to the side or dishwasher.
As for the ex - get the CMS sorted NOW. You don't have to actually use them officially, just use the online calculator if you know his salary (ideally you need a payslip though as he can take off his pension first) and tell him what it is. If he won't play ball. open a case - its only about £20. So long as he complies and pays, that's the end of it. Its only if he drags his feet that it goes to collect and pay . The rest of the finances, house split etc, you need a mediator.
Don't sweat the small stuff. It really doesn't matter if you didn't hoover under the sofa this
year week, or if the DCs socks don't match.
Please login first.