Lotties Loves

Single Parenting is Tough

the reality of being a single parentFACT….being a single parent is tough.  Really tough.  For me it was not a decision entered into lightly.  The last 6 months and particluarly the last month as we settle into our new house on our own has been an emotional and physical battle.

Take for instance the whole drama of weekend access.  That moment when your child runs back into your arms after a few days away with your ex partner to me is the moment I most look forward to on a Sunday.  Just as I know that the moment she runs into his arms on a Friday when he gets his time with her is the most precious moment of his week.

Equally it’s destroying and emotionally crippling saying goodbye to her on a Friday morning when I drop her at school. Cynically as mum’s and parents we all crave that bit of ‘me time’ when the kids are making us tear our hair out, we moan that we never have a moment for ourselves, that we’d just like a cup of tea in peace that isn’t stone cold.

the trials of single parentingFunny but now I get two or sometimes three nights a week where I can have as much ‘me time’ as I want.  It’s not all it says on the tin you know.  Every night after I tuck Roo into bed I go back down the stairs of our little cottage.  I enter our snuggly lounge / kitchen and motivate myself to cook a meal for one.  I refuse to enter the brigade of convenience ready meals. I love cooking and won’t give that up of a night even if it feels a little lonely and empty making things in smaller pans and washing up a single knife and fork.  It really is the daftest little things that can set you off when you start off as a single parent.

After that I usually retreat to my room.  TV is non existent now, the sofa is empty and there’s no one to snuggle with, not every night anyway.  I spend my time chasing opportunities from PR’s, paid content writing jobs and thinking of ways I can make the money go further and stretch a little more each week.  Something I’m actually not very good at.  Friday for an example I had a hair cut, had my nails done, went overboard and had a facial and then needed new underwear.  All of this took a massive chunk out of my small wages.  The result was huge guilt, absolute masses of it.  I’d spent money that is vital to keep a roof over our heads.  The way to fix this return the underwear, return the clothes I’d bought to TK Maxx and deny myself a decent fitting bra that I so badly need since losing weight.

It would be easy to run to the bank of mum and dad or flex the Mastercard but that isn’t the answer either.  I have to learn to stand on my own two feet.  Even if those two feet occasionally slip off the edge off the cliff.

It is fair to say that being a single parent is a never-ending emotional roller coaster.  That’s not to say parenting when you’re a joint effort family unit isn’t a roller coaster, it is, but as a single parent there’s no respite, no one to share your frustrations with, no one to take over when you want to throw in the towel and sit in the corner and just cry.  Because let’s be honest there are days when we want to do that.

That would be a cop out though.  An admission of defeat and in essence saying that you’re not cut out to do this solo parenting journey.  You’re wrong.  To every single parent out there whether you’re the mum that looks after your child full time or the dad who gets the weekend access you are amazing at what you do.  As a single parent you draw on resources and strength you never knew you had. You get creative in new ways and you strive harder than ever to juggle multiple balls in the air single handedly whilst attempting to forge a new life for yourself.

So to all the single parents out there here’s a huge hi-five from me to remind you of how bloody good we are at playing every role under the sun with a support network of the odd glass of wine, a few beers and large bars of chocolate….Amen.

6 thoughts on “Single Parenting is Tough

  1. My hubby was away for the last week, and having the kids to deal with on my own felt like such a huge task. I can only imagine how much harder it is to do it full time. I have many single parent friends, and my mom raised four of us on her own for the most part. So I have HUGE respect for single parents. You’ll be amazing and find the inner strength to make it work well. 🙂 xx
    Katie @ AMotherThing recently posted..AmBari Week 2 Results!My Profile

  2. Hey there Charlotte – fabulous post honey, having been and still am a single parent for the last 5 years it is without doubt the hardest but most satisfying thing I have done for myself and seeing the children’s confidence as they flourish into late teen-hood now makes me go all fuzzy inside – I am a big believe in what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I am most definitely a more independent, stronger individual as a result. Keep doing what you’re doing you are a fantastic person!!
    Tracy recently posted..2 Small Words That Have a HUGE Impact on Your Business !My Profile

  3. As a fellow single parent I completely understand everything you have written in there, apart from how it feels to have your child go to their dads, as my boy has no contact (or money) from his. So my me time is literally when he goes to bed or when I go to work- Ive had to give up work as couldn’t afford childcare, so like you Im now self employed trying to freelance on my blogs and within social work!
    Just hope my son understands and appreciates this when hes an adult, as I know he wont when hes a teen lol
    Claire Jacobs recently posted..“I Lub You Mummy” – I’m So Proud!My Profile

    1. Thanks Claire – it’s been awesome chatting to you as part of the #3dates3mths challenge with Just Singles. I think our kids pick up that we are doing things for them more than we realise. How old is your boy?

Leave a Reply to Zoe Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge