The reality of being a single parent for some people is a hugely daunting prospect.
Going it alone is perceived to be something to be ashamed of, I have no idea why as you have to be a pretty strong and together person to handle being a lone parent. I have always been a single parent, even though I was with my son’s father throughout my pregnancy and until he was 3 months old however I always did everything alone.
Coming from a family that isn’t exactly close I had always wanted a secure family unit when I had my own children. Looking back I knew deep down I wouldn’t be able to have this with My Ex but the want of family perfection was strong so I stuck with it until I realised actually being on my own was far better for my Son so off I went…. Packed up everything and relocated to Devon after 16 years in London.
Officially a solo parent.
There is no room for error, schedules and pre planning are an ingrained way of life. Im a very adaptable person but this came as a huge shock to me, how ONE person can manage to care for a mini human, look after themselves, run a house, sleep….. socialising comes once in a blue moon!!! and eventually work too.
Theres no one at home who’s cooked dinner or cleaned up the mess from the morning, no one to watch your child while you have 5 mins to yourself to get showered and eat a meal thats still warm. Its just you and your mini me and YOU are not the priority … EVER!
I went back to work when my son was 14 months old, it was a hard decision but I knew I would go stir crazy if I didn’t do something, plus Nursery is great for children’s development so I took the plunge.
I’m not going to say its easy as its far from it, Getting up and making sure 2 people are fed, washed, clothed and have bags packed for the day seems easy but with a child anything can happen, a tantrum as your about to leave, a hissy fit over them wearing the wrong shoes, a dirty nappy just as your out the door already running 10 mins late…. the list goes on.
Its just you to deal with it, no back up, no one to leave them with while you rush off to work!
As soon as I finish work, I walk straight home, get in my car pick up my son, bath him, get him ready for bed, cook dinner and intermittently play cars and trains and chat about his day. We always eat dinner together, I then wash up, re clean him, tidy up the rooms he’s littered in toys, put the laundry out I put on in the morning, put a new load on, clean the bathroom, get his things ready for the next day, make packed lunch, make him another snack and hot drink then finally around 9pm sit down…….. My son will possibly go to bed then and when I say bed I mean my bed or he will sleep on the sofa on me. Many other parents and Health Visitors all love to give advice that I should stick to a routine and get him in bed and be firm about him staying in his own bed!!!!
DO YOU NOT THINK I HAVE TRIED THAT? Many Many nights I’ve been up from 8pm-1am constantly leading a little boy back to his room, tantrums, wet nappies and hysterics all play out, I stay with him, I leave him…. nothing works and lets be honest no one can maintain spending 5 hours of an evening when your already exhausted dealing with a highly stubborn 2 year old who will at no cost sleep on his own. This is my one never ending battle, I am always tired, I have no time in the evenings to myself but thats life right now. After months of battling I’ve given up I need sleep, he needs sleep so he’s my little bed buddy and any parent will know waking up to your baby saying “morning mummy, loves you” as they give you the biggest smile, cuddle and kiss is so worth it. That won’t last forever and ill be truly devastated when he’s too cool to tell his mum love you, so I’m savouring every min of his childhood.
So up to now it may seem a bit negative being a single parent, this is just the tip of the iceberg but all the hard work and tiredness is totally cancelled out by the amazing relationship I have with my boy. Words can’t describe how obsessed I am by him. Everything he is I have helped him achieve, Me, just me and that alone I’m so proud of. I have grown and given birth and brought up a wonderful, happy, clever, funny little boy. Yes he has his moments but on the whole he’s amazing. Our relationship is so so close, I miss him if I’m away from him for a day, I love the times we spend together just me and him, I’m totally selfish with him, these are my moments and I don’t have to share them with anyone else, and thats okay.
My son has taught me to be totally selfless, to push myself more than I knew possible. For him I started our lives over, got a house, provide for him and look after him the very best way I know how to. I want him to experience all I have and more.
Being on my own inspires me to be more than I was so I can always give my family everything.
I want my son to be proud he had a single mother and all that comes with our unique family.
Being a solo parent is hard, being a parent full stop is hard. Its how you chose to deal with parenting that determines how hard its going to be. I have no choice but to give in to certain things as if I didn’t nothing in my house would get done. However I don’t let my son cross my boundaries I remain firm as I know in the future I could have plenty more issue being on my own.
I have had many a night crying myself to sleep, longing for my own space, going on holiday with just my friends, drinking a bottle of wine then panicking I’m too drunk to be in charge of a child, its a non stop roller coaster, once one thing is mastered another rears its head.
I can honestly say I wouldn’t want my life any other way, I am so proud of myself, so proud of my son and proud to be a strong, motivated, independent solo parent.
We do what many never could.