Being A Single Mum. Is It REALLY That Hard?
The answer is yes. The answer is no. The answer is, it depends on a number of things. I know, with the headline you probably thought I would be bagging out single mums who claim they have it hard. If someone says shit is hard, single or not. Shit is probably hard.
How Did I End Up A Single Mum Of THREE Kids!
It’s not as if I planned single parenthood. We all have a backstory and my relationships have been ugly. Not all of them of course, and not the WHOLE part of them. But my point is, I certainly didn’t set out to be a single mother.
I hate people feeling sorry for me, I find pity difficult to swallow. I left my last relationship because I wanted to be an empowered, independent woman who is in charge of how I’m treated & spoken too. I made a decision at some point that it was time to get out of a situation that left me feeling chained to the bottom of the ocean.
Now that I am raising my kids (two are in a shared care agreement) without a father in the home with them, there are some aspects of being a parent that are easier. I don’t miss the disagreements and I’m happy. Happiness is often the key to something being extremely hard and relatively easy. If you are miserable, every little damn thing is like climbing a mountain.
I got to the point in my previous parenting role (before being a “single parent”) where I just felt like I couldn’t win. It didn’t matter what I did, I sucked. It didn’t matter how hard I tried, I was an utter failure. Eventually, I stopped trying and became a miserable pile of steaming poo. I don’t recommend the “just stop trying” route…that’s when it’s time to face the music.
The fat lady sang and I started over again on my own. It was almost like someone died, I mourned the death of a shitty relationship for weeks. It didn’t even deserve an obituary let alone a funeral, but I gave it one.
Of Course, Being a Single Mum Has It’s Hard Times
The hard part is there is nobody to save me. If I get sick then I can look forward to having a little audience while I’m draped over the toilet bowl, vomiting furiously and wallowing in my own self-pity. Meanwhile my 5 year old wants to know when you will be available for a vegemite sandwich.
Sometimes I just become exhausted. I lay on the lounge sleeping with one eye open while the children attempt to fend for themselves. Those “half” nanny naps often result in every board game in the house pulled out, kids running around nude, spilt milk on the carpet and gummy bears shoved in your shoes.
Single Parenting Isn’t Just A Physical Slog, It’s A Mental One.
The negotiations with the other parent can be draining and tough, with history there an ex-partner often knows how to manipulate, using the past as leverage. It can take time for old ways to simmer down. It can take a lot to form a respectful co-parenting relationship, especially when the original relationship was so so broken.
It’s difficult explaining to the kids why you are not together, emotionally that can bring up some feelings that cause pain, guilt and regret. Not regret of separation, because you know your family is better off. I guess it’s regret that you didn’t foresee the situation, and maybe you should have.
This emotional turmoil doesn’t help when friends around you mention they “knew it wouldn’t last” or “I knew something wasn’t right with him“. Well, that’s funny Sharon because you didn’t mind asking my evil partner to fix your fridge that time and thanks for the fucking psychic report Deborah, you are 3 years too late. This kind of ignorance is often unintended, I know this.
Then there is the shame, a horrible feeling. There is a lot of shade thrown at single mothers. There are people that are accepting of us and understand that things don’t always work out. There are those that are just downright judgemental and there are those that pretend.
The “pretender” is the most infuriating. If anyone has a problem with my “single parent” status, they are welcome to just avoid me. There are those who I’m sure, keep my acquaintance just to witness the hard times, that is just weird.
You see it’s not just the physical part of being a single mother that is hard, It is the emotional side of things that can really take its toll. It’s important to have a support network, even if its professionals. I feel like I am only tough because I have dealt with some shocking curve balls in life, so I am prepared for the “Single Mum” life.
There Is A Silver Lining In Being A Single Parent
Being a single parent is tough at home, the workload is huge, or is it? I hear women complaining their partners do absolutely nothing to help out. It’s just another person’s mess to clean up. I don’t miss being responsible for another grown person and the delusional attitude that they don’t make a mess, or do plenty around the home.
Being a single mother after separation can be an opportunity to achieve self-love, freedom and awareness. I embrace my freedom like its made of gold. I treasure it because I know it only takes another relationship to start milking the cow of freedom. I’m not saying all relationships void me of free will, but they always contain compromise.
Compromise is healthy and often leads to happier times. But for me, I feel like I have “compromised” on things a woman should never have to consider. Things such as respect, safety and emotional well-being. These things should never be trodden on, I enjoy these things 100% intact and keep them shielded for the time being.
I’m at a point where I feel comfortable parenting solo, just myself and the kids. I enjoy being alone. I feel like enjoying myself, not feeling like I “need” someone else all the time is the answer to the question. A question I didn’t even realise was pressing me until these past few years.
So you see, single parenting is hard. But relationships can also be hard. Both require hard work and compromise. But nobody should fear becoming a single parent, nobody should remain miserable because they are nervous about parenting solo.
Parenting Solo & Being HAPPY all comes down to believing in yourself.