AD Collaborative Post – Growing up as a kid I never really thought much to being in a single parent family. My dad left when I was about 8 years old and I was left with my single Mum. My parents just weren’t getting along anymore and it was the right decision. He didn’t go far. Around 10 minutes up the road and we saw him most weekends. This was ok.
I guess I never appreciated how hard it must have been for my Mum, until I had children of my own. It wasn’t that long until she was with my now step-dad but we lived alone with her for a very long time initially.
Life as a Single Mum
Obviously one of the biggest worries is money. Although my mum did work and my dad paid maintenance, there were still financial struggles. We didn’t have a car until my Nan kindly gave my mum hers. I always had to rely on kind friends to give me lifts, public transport and walking. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have all the things my friends had; the expensive designer clothes and holidays abroad. Sometimes I was a bit wistful, especially when there was a pair of Adidas joggers I was desperate for but it never massively bothered me. We had lovely holidays in the U.K. with family and I still got to pick my clothes!! You can see a bit more about the real cost of family activities for single parents below.
But it’s not all about money. My girls drive me around the bend someday and when you are alone doing it Day in, day out, you do lose your sanity a little. Luckily I was 8 and my brother was 5, so we weren’t babies or toddlers but still. Cleaning, cooking, homework, the bedtime routine and working! It’s massive. Plus you are making a lot of the parenting decisions daily without support. Very hard.
Adult company is just so nice too. If I couldn’t talk to my hubby throughout the day (he works from home) I would feel quite lonely. I always remember as a teen staying and chilling with my mum in the evenings. I often wonder if my dad was around, would I have gone out more and been more rebellious!! Whenever I’ve been alone, when hubby is away and the kids are in bed, I’ve enjoyed it for the first night. Time alone. Quiet. My TV. However, the novelty always wears off and you do feel quite alone. Having this long term must have been tough.
I’m lucky my mum was quite healthy. I don’t remember her having many sickness bugs and bad colds, but we didn’t as we got older. Coping alone when sick with sick children must have been so difficult. After we have just been through it with the three kids, I really sympathise. It must be so hard!
Kids only know what they know. They adapt and we did. I don’t think we were sad or fed up with just having my Mum at home. It just became a normality and we were happy. I just can’t imagine raising my three as a single Mum and I admire mine and all the other single parents, who do this job on a daily basis.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.