February 6, 2012

the single parent hangover


image from here 

I had to go away from home last night. Easy some might say, a chance to escape the school run, lunchboxes, life in general. But its not so easy.

I havent been a single mum technically in almost 4 years. My girl was 2 1/2 when I moved in with my man and his two girls but the single mum hangover is hard to shake some days. You see no matter how good, supportive or encouraging your new partner may be. No matter how good a step-dad, child rearer, rule maker, band-aid putter-oner he is it actually will always come down to you. The hardest part about single parenting is that it never goes away, no matter how long ago it happened. Its a club you’ll always belong to.

Im a pretty anxious person some weeks. I always have been, I try to be zen, I try to breath and relax and do all those things serene people seem to do but I just cant. Im a perpetual list maker, a person always thinking of what needs to be arranged next. When my daughter was little I used to go away a lot for work, it was easier when she didnt understand space and time because I could walk out the door and she would be none the wiser that I might not be home for a day or so. Once they get older they understand more, there is more to arrange, more responsibility placed on their little shoulders. Directions about after school care, who will be picking up, dropping off – so much remembering for a little person (and a big person).

I cant run out the door anymore. I have to explain, I have to wipe away the tears, I have to talk about my main job as a mum as well as the the other parts of me to that need time, need nurturing and need a break. Not having the other ‘parent’ to step in makes the strain on the shoulders heavier on some days. I know some of you might be thinking that my husband can fulfil these roles and he can. He does with our son, I dont think twice about leaving him behind but my daughter and her strong attachment to me means that its just not as simple.

You never shake your title as a single mum. Its an awesome responsibility. I do it, but some days it feels like such a grown up thing to have to do.

Are you a single parent, what are your heavy times?

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I think children everywhere feel just like this about their mum. Not ignoring how difficult it must be to single parent, and I hope you don’t take my comment as trivialising that, but I can’t leave my children even with their own adoring dad without heartache and tears and whys and whens. They just love us especially so, it seems. x

    • I agree too bron…I think that the added layer sits with me rather than her because I know that she is all mine so it never feels like its assumed that someone else cares for her…Im pondering the surprise leaves to decrease the heartache. It just makes it so tough sometimes to get on with your own stuff – perhaps a colorful cardi will solve things?

  2. No one can exactly know how much problems and troubles were faced by a single mother in raising of kids. Only a mum can tell you about it. But its sure that with passage of time all mums will cope up with their life. I will follow your blog in the future for sure.

  3. I used to feel like this, but not so much anymore. As my daughter has got older, she has developed such a beautiful relationship with my husband, and prefers him to her own dad, that we often forget it is any other way.
    It can often be a rude shock to reality when we remember the truth. 🙁

    I understnd though. There is a difference; even when they don’t feel it, we do.


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Mental health, Parenting


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