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Do you get fed up of people saying this?

(46 Posts)
TrickyTreeLou Fri 05-Jul-13 20:16:46

'Well, if you had a husband/partner he'd be at work all day anyway, so it's not that different being on your own,........'

Or something similar.

I want to say - 'but you know somebody is coming home later in the day. Even if they only make you a cup of tea or a sandwich, someone is going to walk through the door. They're around at the weekend too. You surely get time to have a bath, drink a hot drink, may be peg the washing out without worrying about having to have eyes in the back of your head. You've got someone to talk to in the evening. Someone to perhaps make a feed or two in the evening. Someone to plan trips/nice things to do at the weekend'.

I'm a single Mum to a 13 week old baby - STBXH left a week before I found out I was pregnant.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 05-Jul-13 20:23:15

comiserate with them that their partner is so incompetant to not do anything and that their relationship is so bad that they never talk to them.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 05-Jul-13 20:28:30

I get fed up with people assuming that I get a break and the children see their dad everyother weekend. I currently supervise access. i do get a cup of coffee in peace though and you are right, it makes a massive difference.

when dd was small, i could not leave herr with him as he went to shake her when she cried too much but at least he brought in money.

theorchardkeeper Fri 05-Jul-13 20:30:36


It fucks me off beyond belief but I usually just say exactly that, in as level a voice as I can manage "yes but they come back at the end of the day and you don't spend every evening by yourself/have no one to talk to about the DC(s) at the end of the day"

CatelynStark Fri 05-Jul-13 20:32:59

None of my friends would dare say that to me! They have enough empathy to know that it's bollocks!

theorchardkeeper Fri 05-Jul-13 20:34:47

(and to be fair, you don't know how hard it is until you're doing it solo yourself so I try to remember that it's a matter of relativity & that to them it is hard, even if I feel I have it harder. But if they catch me on an off day I can be a bit short about it blush grin )

TrickyTreeLou Fri 05-Jul-13 20:35:52

Glad it's not just me then. Had this said quite a few times.

I realise having a partner/husband doesn't make life necessarily a bed of roses, but it is at least another pair of hands. Someone to may be do the shopping, change a nappy once in a while, cook the dinner, wash up, take the baby/child from you in the evening etc.

theorchardkeeper Fri 05-Jul-13 20:36:33

I also seem to have dropped a lot of partnered friends as time goes on as I found it hard because they didn't seem to understand how much of a struggle it can be and that my mum/other family members can't babysit either so I literally am by myself with DS, besides nursery and when he's in bed)

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 05-Jul-13 20:54:47

Oh my mum sometimes does a variation of this and its so annoying. If I mention struggling a bit with being alone, she will tell me about how when we were little she managed with us all day until my dad came home from work. Because that's the same thing as having no one adult to talk to, no one to chill with at the end of a bad day, no one to help with the big decisions and no one to help with finances. She means well bless her but it drives me mad.

TrickyTreeLou Fri 05-Jul-13 21:01:26

"she will tell me about how when we were little she managed with us all day until my dad came home from work"

Had this too. Not from my Mum, but from others.

I think it makes a massive psychological difference knowing there is someone else coming through the door later in the day. Even if it's someone to have a moan to, you know you're not alone. It must make you feel stronger - 'if I can just get through till 6pm then there's 2 of us........'.

theorchardkeeper Fri 05-Jul-13 21:25:23

I now have a dp who doesn't even live here but the difference in how I feel just because I have someone to talk to at the end of a bad day and someone that can give you a 'man-hug' and that makes you feel like you're part of a team is crazy .

I wouldn't stay with someone just to avoid the hardship/loneliness but I most certainly am very grateful for what I have now & still think about that lonliness/sheer boredom with a massive cringe.

theorchardkeeper Fri 05-Jul-13 21:26:20

(that wasn't a stealth boast btw! Just trying to make a point about the stark difference in some areas smile )

Meglet Fri 05-Jul-13 21:28:25

No one has ever dared say that to me!

blackeyedsusan I've discovered that people who know we have nothing to do with abusive XP assume my mum has the DC's at weekends sometimes. When in fact she has never done it, they've stayed at my sisters house once in 4yrs. <<very tired, no social life>>

EverSoNear Fri 05-Jul-13 21:52:01

I could just about handle people telling me it wouldn't be different if I had a partner, however, the 'friend' I had who decided I would be the best person to moan at that her dp only let her have hour long baths 3 times a week, only cooked dinner 4 times and took the baby out by himself. But, you see, I just didn't understand how hard she had it... Well, suffice to say we're no longer friends.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Fri 05-Jul-13 21:56:36

That is AWFUL that people say or even think that! I have so, so much admiration for lone parents. I could not do it without DH, I don't know how you guys manage. Well ok, I suppose you manage because you HAVE to and hopefully I would be the same, but I am one example of a non-lone-parent who thinks it must be bloody fucking difficult.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 05-Jul-13 22:51:14

Ooh for a second there hearts, I thought you were edging into the dangerous territory of "I don't know how you do it", but you saved yourself with because we "have to" wink grin

NicknameIncomplete Fri 05-Jul-13 22:59:37

I love being a lone parent. I am the only parent. The only time i get a break though is when i am at work.

However some nights i would like someone there. Even if it is just for an hour just for someone to talk to. I cant have anyone round coz dd is a pain in the bum in the evenings when its bedtime.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 05-Jul-13 23:01:41

No one has said anything like that to me. But my parents dont get why i come on here. I want to scream 'its alright for you coz u have someone to talk to'

BlackeyedSusan Fri 05-Jul-13 23:20:05

I suppose meglet that people assume your mum has them because they would not be able to cope without their oh and think no-one else could too.

people do not get that some people have no-one to have them/have an ex who is not capable of having them completely solo.

hearts, sometimes you cope because it is easier without the hassle of an abusive partner/lazy partner/breaking down relationship. some people have got used to doing most of it themselves anyway. some have known no different if the dad has left them when prregnant. you cut your coat according to you cloth. do what you can manage. pay for what you can afford.

doesn't mean that it would not be better to have a supportive/involved partner. but being single is better than being stuck with one that makes life more miserable.

also just because someone is in a relationship, does not mean that life is easy. I have a couple of friends who do have partners but are struggling. it is difficult to judge from the outside whether they have it easier or not. a lot of abuse goes unseen.

I could quite easily have thottled another mother in the playground though. she had been ill and was saying how all she had had to do was pick the children up from school and keep them entertained for an hour til oh came home and took over. I was only vertical due to taking paracetamol, ibuprofen and decongestants, shivering and sweating in quick succession,, knowing I had to keep going til bedtime and there was no relief. tea may have been cooked by mr mcdonald though.

Lioninthesun Fri 05-Jul-13 23:50:08

I have a friend like the one mentioned above. She is quite hard work but my DD loves her DS so I would feel terrible about cutting her out and she doesn't have many friends so would worry about her DS a bit too much who is always moaning about her DH. He takes both boys out at least one day of the weekend alone, cooks all but one of the dinners each week, hoovers every other day, bathes the kids every other day and she gets to lie in until 12pm on weekends (both days). She had them for 2 days alone when he went hiking. I nearly burst out laughing when she called on day 2 and said "Oh I've got the hang of it now, it's pretty easy really isn't it being on your own" knowing full well it was an hour until Mr X came home to pick up all of the mess created as she 'doesn't do' hoovering hmm
But I have been pretty lucky with my friends on the whole. I only know one other single (ish) mum though, which is a bit depressing.

theorchardkeeper Sat 06-Jul-13 07:42:39

That's a classic lion hmm grin

My mum was a single parent herself and is now a SW who works stupidly hard & is knackered by the baby sitting is not really an option plus I don't like to ask as I know how tired she is by the weekend as my little brother lives at home & she's still a single parent, essentially .

I was single from the start so I think I find it easier than I might if I'd had to make the massive change from duo parenting to solo. That being said, I still find it weird to accept help off DP and often don't think of asking for help because I just got so used to doing it all myself.

Meglet Sat 06-Jul-13 10:07:25

That's interesting orchardkeeper. That you've had to adjust to having a partner there. I hear of all these men who happily do housework / errands / parenting and it's like a different world to me.

blackeyed yes, full medicine cabinet here, always taking something for aches, pains and shivers. And lots of GP trips. Sad really as I'm a lentil weaver at heart and don't like necking pills but while the kids are small and so draining then I think it's a necessary evil.

DonutForMyself Sat 06-Jul-13 10:38:47

Tricky "it is at least another pair of hands. Someone to may be do the shopping, change a nappy once in a while, cook the dinner, wash up, take the baby/child from you in the evening etc."

That argument holds if they do actually do any of those things. My XH worked shifts so was rarely around at weekends, often working until late in the evenings and his random hours meant that I never got into a routine. He wouldn't get up in the night because his 'oh so important' job meant that he needed to be well rested, so I had to silence the babies as soon as they stirred to prevent waking him.

He rarely cooked a meal in 15 years, made cups of tea yes, but he didn't clean, tidy or do any housework, go to the supermarket or pick up food on his way home. He would sometimes take the washing out of the machine and leave it in the basket drying so I had to hang it out straight away, whereas I would have left it until convenient, so even his 'helping' didn't make my life any easier.

I used to dread him coming though the door in the evening, wondering what I had been doing all day because the house was in 'such a state' after the DCs and I had spent a frantic half hour tidying up to try to prevent any stress for him. I would have prepared dinner to be ready, not for the minute he came in because that would stress him out, but for approximately 15 minutes later to give him time to get changed and wind down. It was a big juggling act of trying to make sure everything was ok for him.

I always thought that I was basically a single parent, but with the added stress of someone else to take care of, with impossibly high standards and emotional abuse thrown in for good measure.

Now that I am on my own with 3 DCs I can confirm that life is actually easier without that tosspot around! However, I never had to experience it with a newborn baby, so I'm sure you are finding it much tougher than many.

I would try and console yourself that the people who say that to you probably have a useless H like mine and to them, the presence of their OH doesn't make their life any easier or more pleasant, in fact they would probably be happier without them. However, it is insensitive of them to try and make you feel like it doesn't make a difference to YOU.

As Orchard says too "I now have a dp who doesn't even live here but the difference in how I feel just because I have someone to talk to at the end of a bad day and someone that can give you a 'man-hug' and that makes you feel like you're part of a team is crazy ."

When you don't have that, it does seem that being on your own isn't that different.

equinox Sat 06-Jul-13 11:33:27

More importantly and invariably bar very few exceptions a couple live way better materially than a single parent.....!

TrickyTreeLou Sat 06-Jul-13 16:41:14

Completely agree equinox. My STBXH has also had a child with his mistress (long story). I'm currently doing shuttle mediation with him. Last time I went he turned up in a new car - a people carrier. I'm still struggling getting my baby in and out of a KA.

I guess it some ways it's easier doing it right from the very start on your own, but it other ways it's harder - because the baby stage seems extremely full on to me at the moment. I've got lots of support, but I would sometimes like someone in this house regularly who I could bounce ideas off,........

I understand not all men are going to be good at providing hands on support, but my Ex is supporting his mistress and their child and that feels like a bitter pill to swallow.

Lone parents are a group of people I'd never given much thought to before, but now I have the utmost respect for them.

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