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Please tell me the good bits about being a lone parent , there are good things aren't there?

(43 Posts)
Onlyjoking Wed 17-Sep-08 20:39:30

I am struggling with this at the moment, i am failing to see anything even remotely good about it, please tell me your good bits cos i may have overlooked some things.
PS if you can't think of any good bits can you at least make something up for me.

missingtheaction Wed 17-Sep-08 20:44:37

Complete autonomy. if you want to feed them icecream and cbeebies all day you can. Your Way is The Way. YOu can sleep with all your dcs at the same time. less laundry. I could go on for ever...

NotDoingTheHousework Wed 17-Sep-08 20:46:23

Message withdrawn

SmugColditz Wed 17-Sep-08 20:53:50

I will also go with complete autonomy, if I want to let them eat the biscuit tin for breakfast because I have a migraine and will vomit if I move - I will!

In the summer, we stayed out in the park until 7.45 some nights, and they are only little. Ex would have wanted them shuffled off to bed (to moan that they are too hot, it's to bright and they're not tire hmm) but I don't have to do what he wants.

If I want to buy a coat from Boden or a coat from a charity shop, I don't have to mention it to a soul. It's my decision, my business, nobody else's.

I can get away with buying a pack of 2 of most things - one for me and one between the kids (pork chops, chicken breasts etc etc)

I can sit on Mumsnet AND have the tv tuned to the channel I want AND have some music on AND have a book next to me for when MN is slow [input junkie]

There is no "But dad said blah blah blah" - I said. And I am in charge. this is not a democracy, it is a benign and loving dictatorship. Like Mussiliniwink.

On the rare occasion I get to go out, as long as I am fit for practice by the time I get back, I don't have to explain myself to anyone grin

You can paint your bedroom pink and have a pink carpet and pink curtains and a pink flowery duvet cover. Although in actual fact I have Blue Cow staring at me from my walls, 2 foot by 3 foot, and the room smells faintly of weeblush as it used to be ds1's and he used to sleep under the bed, so he didn't wet ithmm and so he got told 'well done' in the morning!

Onlyjoking Wed 17-Sep-08 21:05:17

i am liking the idea that i can spend money and nobody can say anything about it, i have been taking full advantage of that one grin
i am struggling with the responsibility of it all and being the only decision maker and never getting a break/ lie in and the big one of not having anyone to talk things throu with about the kids and stuff.

FAQ Wed 17-Sep-08 21:08:26

For me

If I want to leave the housework for 3 days - I can without anyone complaining that it's not been done

I can let the DS's do whatever I want them to do, whether it's vegging in front of the TV, or making a mess painting.

If I manage to organise a babysitter I can go out whenever I like

I can cook what I want for us to eat without complaints

I can go to bed when I like and not be moaned at

I can decorate the house however I want/buy whatever stuff takes my fancy without worrying that it "doesn't go/look nice"

LoveMyGirls Wed 17-Sep-08 21:11:19

OJ, is there anyone who can come and stay for a couple of nights to help you out a bit? Just so you can have a couple of lie in's and adult company for a bit?

Onlyjoking Wed 17-Sep-08 21:16:57

no not really, all my mates have kids too.
i do have mates that pop round in the evenings sometimes.
i struggle with getting them all up and off to school the girls have decided they don't like getting up on school days so mornings are difficult bathing the kids is bloody hard work cos my back is bad at the moment

LoveMyGirls Wed 17-Sep-08 21:24:33

Sorry to hear you're finding it so tough fwiw I think you are amazingly strong but I guess hearing that is not much help when you need help with the practical day to day stuff. Didn't want to not reply though. I really hope things improve for you very soon.

Are you getting any professional help?

TheNaughtiestGirlKeepsaSecret Wed 17-Sep-08 21:37:51

I like it. I only have to make one cup of tea! I know where I put things. There's less housework. Less washing, less cooking.

I don't have to be anxious about somebody else's mood making the atmosphere tense! I just do what has to be done and feel far less resentful because I'm not waiting, hoping for help now. It just gets done wiht no anger. If I ask my Mum or a friend for help, they step in, and they are reliable and they treat me as thoguh I deserve a break, not as though I'm a lazy loser who can't cope.

I can eat vegetarian food without being told it's slop. I don't have to cook a dinner every night if I don't want to. I can eat what I choose so I've lost weight. I can watch ugly betty without somebody saying "is this supposed to be funny?" I don't have to watch football, formula 1, golf, motorbikes, or Top Gear.

I don't have try and keep the children quiet while he's on a phone call. I don't have to try and live up to anybody else's unrealistically high standards!

I can read magazines, watch tv, go on the internet whatever I like. And if I go out with my friends, I kn w that when I get home my mum or the babysitter will just smile and say "i hope you enjoyed yourself!".

There's more. I may have no money, but what I spend on what is my decision. I can economise where I choose and be extravagant when I decide, not scrimp and save on my things so that x could be extravagant with what he wanted.

Plus, when I go out I'm not worried that somebody grumpy is not having a good time and is going to make me suffer for it later. And nobody is going to embarrass me with their obvious bad mood and total non-effort to socialise.

Now that it's all 'out in the open' (being a single mum) I can be more honest to my friends. NOt bottling things up. They know my situation and cut me some slack, they have the old me back. I can't afford somethings, but I'm not trying to keep up now. Not trying to fit in. Not keeping my misery a secret.

I agree with solidgoldbrass. It's a myth that being single is awful.

TheNaughtiestGirlKeepsaSecret Wed 17-Sep-08 21:43:09

OJ, just had a thought, are you a widow?

You don't have a horrible x, you had a lovely husband?

I can see why it would be an entirely different ball game if you missed a good man. That would be like losing a child probably.

For me the feeling of being single is like floating. Feeling free. But if your situation is different from mine then I do sympathise. Hope it gets easier.

Onlyjoking Wed 17-Sep-08 21:53:04

yes i am a widow (hate that word) it is 100 days today.
it is different for us cos we didn't want to be without each other.

TheNaughtiestGirlKeepsaSecret Wed 17-Sep-08 21:59:55

I'm sorry OJ. I guess our advice all sounds a bit tinny in the circumstances.

WEll done for getting through the first 100 days. Although I suppose you are sad that 100 whole days have passed without him.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Wed 17-Sep-08 22:10:04

there are good bits yes, but I can't even imagine what you're going thru.

good bits, hmm... you don't have to do the house work if you don't want to.

you have sole charge of the remote/computer!

for the most part all of the good bits involve not having an arse of a partner which of course doesn't apply to you.

it's such early days, unimagionable for most lone parents if i'm honest.

might be worth you seeking out martinbishop if she doesn't mind and talking things out with her (she's in your position as well)

re the talking to people about the big things, you know daft as this is going to sound, steve can still hear you - you might not get an 'answer' back, but you know what talking it out with him relaxing in the bath or something might well help you come to some conclusions. and of course there's MN but I know it's not the same.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Wed 17-Sep-08 22:10:49

oh and well stupid I know but you can pick out the soft furnishings you like and not worry about having someone telling you they don't like pink

PillockOfTheCommunity Wed 17-Sep-08 22:15:25

the MN Lone Parent Camping Trip grin

retiredgoth Wed 17-Sep-08 22:18:09

...I have just junked the jolly "it's fine really despite being unwanted and unasked for" reply I had written.

Because you are right, it sucks.

However, it is manageable. It really is.

....it will always be different for sure. But it IS do-able, and can even be fun. But you are still very raw, 100 days on is very little time for such a huge change.

It will improve. Not ALL better for sure. But better.

Mutt Wed 17-Sep-08 22:23:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elastamum Wed 17-Sep-08 22:32:15

Thank you OJ for saying just what I am feeling at the moment. I'm sure I will work out what the good bits are but it is lonely. I fully understand the never get a break and the responsibility bit. If I try to get my H to take a bit more responsibility for the kids he just turns it into a pissing competition and storms out.

On the good things, no more tidying up as he hates mess and I dont care, dogs that sleep anywhere they please and no more match of the day. The occasional weekend away to get drunk with girlfriends with no kids in tow and I let the kids slob round the house and build camps and swim in the stream if they want to - he always worried about them far more than I do

elastamum Wed 17-Sep-08 22:34:43

sorry OJ I have just remembered through my haze of wine that you circumstances are vastly different to mine and far more tragic. Sorry If I have upset you sad

AMAZINWOMAN Wed 17-Sep-08 22:52:51

The best thing is that you become much closer to your children. You become more of a team which works together.

I have just been locked in the bathroom (the door handle broke) and we all worked together to get me out!! 30 minutes of team work, co-operation and communication and we managed. My kids had a unique opportunity to learn how to work together!

You appreciate the children more. I love coming home from work knowing i am going to see my kids, they keep me going.

My kids are very loving and protective towards each other. (I'm a widow too) so my kids are much more loving, and are proper brothers.

It's still early days for you, so don't expect to see any positive for a while yet

greenandpleasant Wed 17-Sep-08 23:35:29

hey OJ - another widder here, and yes it's shit isn't it. lots of lovely autonomy but all the responsibility too.

just take it day by day, don't think about the lone parent bit too much as it is very overwhelming. you are in early days and it does get better but it takes time.

dcs are very good for keeping you motivated and functioning - but can you get any time off from them - any friends, family, paid help?

you can be very proud of all that you are doing, take full credit for lovely dcs and be very consistent in how you deal with them. that's the positive bits that I can come up with right now. just keep remembering that while there are undeniably many many downsides to being a lone parent it doesn't mean that you can't be as good a parent as you always have been and that you won't do it just as well on your own. (I know, it would just be so much nicer with the two of you sad )

undercovercat Wed 17-Sep-08 23:44:51

I agree about the becoming closer thing, its nice.

Onlyjoking Thu 18-Sep-08 03:09:54

thanks for helping me to find some positives I knew there should be some.
We are working together more as a team these days, so that is good.
I guess I am just. Very sad that we are without Steve and need more time to accept that and adjust.
It would feel a bit easier if I could sleep at night.
Someone said to me last week that they would love it if their DH worked away for a few weeks as it would be bliss for her to not have him getting under her feet and taking over the bed, I would love to have those things.

TheNaughtiestGirlKeepsaSecret Thu 18-Sep-08 15:39:49

OJ, I know I'm in different shoes, but just wanted to promise you that that horrible feeling of being soley responsible for the children's futures' and the immense weight of that responsibility used to crush me when I thought about it. Sometimes I could feel the wave of responsibility catching me out like a tidal wave, and I would cry out of worry.

But 15 months on, I am used to this reality and it no longer scares me as much as it used to. I know I am strong now. Twice as strong as I ever was or got the chance to be before. SO I don't feel like half of a couple if you see what I mean. I feel like a lot more than half of a couple. I know my children's Dad is alive, but he isn't any help to me. Financial or otherwise.

I hope that helps a little. 100 days is nothing.

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