I’m not a single parent, although sometimes, thanks to The Hubby’s shift pattern, and hobbies it can feel like it! There are times when I spend virtually all weekend on my own with the kids, and it can be bloody hard! Fortunately for me, there are times when he is around that I can delegate responsibility to him and take myself off somewhere (usually shopping, but hey, it’s a break, right?). It struck me recently, when I was trying to tag some friends in a post to win a prize for ‘couples’ just how many single parent friends I actually have. I’m in awe of these (mostly) ladies, who are mum and dad in many cases. So, seeing as this week we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, here’s a shout out to the single moms who are doing it all!
I asked some of my single mom friends what they love about flying solo, and here’s what they said…
No parenting conflicts
Doing the bulk (or all) of the parenting alone means that you get to be the decision maker. No arguing over who is right about a particular subject, no trying to convince your other half that your way is the right way. If things go pear-shaped, there’s only you to blame! As long as you have a good support network so that you can bounce ideas off them for the really big decisions, you’re a winner.
Bond with Children
If you’re a single parent, you may have a special kind of bond with your kids, especially those who are older and that bit more capable. You might find yourself leaning on them for practical help and support with the younger ones, or they may just assume the role naturally.
The ability to do what you want, when you want to is something we coupled-up people don’t always have. Whilst The Hubby would never stop me from doing something, I’d always consider him and the kids first anyway, out of respect. Sometimes this means I chose not to do something I’d wanted to. If you have no-one else to answer to but yourself, you have the freedom to be who you want with only your kids to consider. My single friends love that they can go out to eat, or go away for a weekend with the kids on whim without having to agree it with someone else first.
Most of my single friends are that way because of a relationship breakdown. As a natural part of that breakdown, there is often animosity, or the breakdown was caused by unreasonable expectations or behaviour, which causes upset and unhappiness. Several of my friends have told me that what they love about being a single parent is that they’re happy, and not only that, but their kids can see they’re happy, so, in turn, they’re happy too! There’s no tension any more, no walking on eggshells, no controlling behaviour. Just… happy!
Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash
One thing that stood out to me when asking my friends what they love about singledom, is the pride they take in doing a bloody good job of raising their kids alone. And not just keeping them fed, clothed and warm, but raising healthy, happy children. Some mums are working, often full time, then coming home be cook, cleaner, ironing lady, taxi driver, teacher, nurse, hairstylist, referee, finance manager, gardener, personal assistant, personal shopper, and more – on their own. Go mums!
One thing my single mum friends love is the gifts their kids give on days like birthdays and Mother’s Day. There’s something so special about homemade cards and ‘gifts’ of flowers picked from the garden, or a collection of loose change they find around the house.
Not Sharing the Bed
One of the obvious advantages of being a single parent is not having to share your bed with a snoring, farting thing that steals all the covers. Unless your child takes after their father…
Becoming a single mum is, I imagine, one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do as a parent, whether it’s out of choice or just circumstance. There are times, when The Hubby is being particularly annoying, that I think I’d be better off alone, but then I have a weekend of just me and the kids and I realise just a little of how hard that would be. It does make me appreciate how much he actually does, and how we work well as a team most of the time, and I’m thankful.
So, if you’re a single mum, whether by choice or circumstance; or whether you spend a lot of time parenting solo, I just want you to know how in awe I am of you – you rock!
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash
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