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Single parents unite! (I need cheerleaders)

(14 Posts)
azA99 Sat 27-Dec-14 12:57:15

Heya - I'm not looking for advice. I'm looking for solidarity and cheerleaders! I've read some of the other messages and I realise that raising teenagers is just a) challenging or b) sheer hell. Added to which, so is being a single mum.

So I wanted to put that out there. What we do is impossible and sometimes it feels unendurable. My kids' dad sometimes makes things much worse, whether he means to or not. He has a high status job. He has a younger, richer, more fashionable and more high-status girlfriend than me. They have a posher flat. I'm in a council flat and I have been through the worst stuff which I won't go into here! The net result is that I can't provide very much compared to them and I'm quite fragile, but i know I do an incredible job. I have two teenage daughters - 15 and 17. There are so many topics on this forum which relate to things which have cropped up: technology, self-harming, parties and boundaries, rudeness, the lot. Two months ago I found it so impossible with my eldest that I suggested her dad should step in and do a bit more parenting, so she's been staying with him recently and this has been heartbreaking but I had to find some stronger boundaries and show I cared for myself as well. Teenagers can hurt and lash out in ways that are indescribable: they know how to press our most vulnerable buttons. But like a lot of people have said, it's a sign of healthy development, and a sign that they're seperating and becoming individuals. So I try and tell myself I'm happy they feel safe enough to experiment with the most toxic behaviour. But sometimes the challenges tip my own mental health into dangerous territory and I feel like I can't go on.

When I clicked on the 'teenager' section of this site a couple of hours ago, for the first time, I immediately felt better. What struck me was that not only are we heroes for coping, but single parents in particular and I think that we single parents (including those who are getting no support from their so-called 'partners' and may as well be single parents) need a prize. Especially at this time of year. Hang in there. oh, and thanks for reading!

azA99 Sat 27-Dec-14 13:04:56

(argh; sorry the last paragraph doesn't quite make sense, I think I might have got a bit emotional - but you get the gist) ;)

Bananasandchocolatecustard Sat 27-Dec-14 13:08:36

I agree. It's hard work coping with everything on your own and making all the decisions, especially when the x has the the agenda to be the "fun" parent.

azA99 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:30:19

yes. ...thankyou for your solidarity. I don't know why I didn't come here sooner to ask for cheerleading. This year - 2014 - I thought I would come to a very sticky end. The worst has passed (I hope, I really hope so) and I suppose I'm in shock at how hard things can get when we're parenting alone. xxx

smileyforest Sat 27-Dec-14 20:03:10

Hi az,
I'm a single parent with 2 boys 16.5 and 18 (also have two who are early 30's and good adults)
It is very, very hard....read my posts!
My 18yr old lives with his Dad now term time Mon -Fri which helps. I have never had any financial help from their Dad so work full time +
I do think these two have been far worse than my older two...(different era). At times I have wondered whether I will survive the teenage years...I have suffered with stress and anxiety due to their behaviour and worries..
.but we have to carry on and have a life for ourselves too....coming on here and sharing the ordeals I have been through really helps.....we all need this support xx

twentyten Sat 27-Dec-14 21:59:02

Sending support here too. This is a great place to get support and advice. thanksthanksthanks To you.

summer68 Sat 27-Dec-14 23:24:56

I'm very much NOT a single parent, but I'd like to wave some cheerleading Pom pons to those of you that parent single handed! My dh and I are like the blind leading the blind at times ( not knowing the right way to deal with things) . I can only imagine how stressful it is to have all decisions left to you. And to not have some one to turn to to say "well that didn't go as we planned!"I also think some single parents think their teen has gone of the rails BECAUSE they are a single parent and so add that guilt to the mix - but take heed, many "still together" parents have just the same issues with their dc!
Medals to all of youx

smileyforest Sun 28-Dec-14 07:58:42

Yes, very true Summer...I have felt that being divorced caused my boys to take the wrong path...but I know many married couples ad teens with same problems and issues...so can't be blamed! Just horrid when they are out and not back for time stated phones dead(really annoys me).....I think the worse and no-one to share the load! (happened last night)x

lbab1702 Mon 29-Dec-14 06:59:35

Great thread, thank you for starting it. My daughter and me have had no contact from her father since she was a baby and the affects on her are beginning to show at 14. Or maybe her anxieties and panic attacks would have been part of her anyway. She's had no male role model in her life and a father that has shown no interest in knowing her, or providing for her financially. Goodness knows how she must feel inside. And of course, as her mother and a single parent, I blame all her problems on me! It's so hard. Anyone else with absent and no contact fathers who's children have come out the other end as well balanced and happy, rounded individuals?

summer68 Mon 29-Dec-14 12:10:19

Ibab, having a male role model is only a positive thing if the male is a "good" role model, my father was around but he didn't show very much interest in me ( we even lived in the same house) . Try not to blame yourself for your daughters troubles - she's 14 she'll soon be blaming you herself (lol) . Be proud of who you've bought up all on your own merit, look for the positives in her that you've put there. We can all live with what ifs .....

despomum41 Mon 29-Dec-14 21:42:55

OP thanks for starting the thread im a single mum of two, fathers not around their choices it is damn hard and wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy, having to juggle child care ,finances ,emotional and social stresses i always look in the mirror and ask myself `does anyone know your struggles ` with watering eyes sad obviously im not alone

anthropology Tue 30-Dec-14 10:04:10

I wish there was more appreciation of how hard it is for sole earners, sole carers where the father provides neither physical or emotional or financial support through choice or circumstance. Every single parent is an individual with different circumstances but in the governments/societies eyes we are all the same. I would like to thank those rare charities, who bothered to understand my particular situation and helped my daughter educationally without judgement, and another who one time helped us with a boiler and a christmas hamper when things seemed impossible financially and I had nowhere to turn. I think its vital we look after ourselves, although my now grown up DS asked me last night to have his mum back, the one who smiled, laughed and played with him as a child.... They don't stop needing us and we owe to ourselves to be proud of what we have achieved against the odds. It is harder to weather the storms of teen illness or behaviour on our own and I'm exhausted , but thanks for reminding me we are all doing our best....

smileyforest Tue 30-Dec-14 10:51:11

Yes Anthropology, how true, My sons Father has only just recently started to support (a bit)...his third marriage was more important...it had caused my eldest teen son a lot of heartache (was never a good hands on Dad) but we all want to be loved by our parents no matter what age. He now stays with his Dad M-F term time which has helped his relationship and also helps me as I have (and still do) have problems with my lads..causes stress and anxiety. I work full time + in a stressful job....been hard...is hard....but do feel proud of what I have achieved...I don't blame myself for what my boys are doing...its part of our 'society' now...and these things happen in two parent families as well. Its just taking the 'whole load' which is over whelming at times x

azA99 Sat 03-Jan-15 17:28:10

These replies have made me cry! (in a good way).

It makes me so mad that we're invisible or considered a scourge, when what we do is frankly impossible and I agree: I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy! A million bouquets and medals to us, and to those feeling isolated in their partnerships too...

(I also had a dad who may have been there in body but who did more harm than good.)

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