Mummy stuff

Here’s to all the single parents

My husband is away for the weekend. Both kids have been bathed, fed and tucked into bed by seven o’clock last night. This morning we all had breakfast, I had a shower (wahey!) and a load of laundry is now rumbling in the washing machine. And here I am, feeling smug like Superwoman (and also stressed out like a headless chicken), because I just about managed without Big M. This weekend has given me a teeny tiny bite of what single parenthood could feel like. For millions of other parents though, this is their daily reality.

I sometimes wonder what I would do as a single parent. How would I cope? Would I be equally relaxed about life in general, as a single parent? Probably not.

Apart from the financial difficulties I’d be facing, there also wouldn’t be any down time for me. No ‘can you go in?’ when the baby wakes for the fifth time that evening, no ‘can you bring her?’ when the older one wants to visit a friend. And definitely no ‘I booked myself a massage on Sunday’.

To be confronted with all the small and bigger worries that evolve around children and being forced to make every single decision on my own would certainly mean the end to my zen state of mind. I wonder how much I could take without losing myself completely.

So here’s to you, Rosie, Supermum and all the others. I salute you!


  1. Well done you for managing, even if it was super stressful. With such a new little one in the house and an older child to boot, this is still a major achievement. As a single mum myself and soon to be single mum to two, thanks for the shoutout. People don’t always think about the realities and single parenting is who world of tough on top of the general difficulties of parenting. Single parents deserve a lot of respect rather than the regular disparaging that we receive in the press. As I often remind people, Barack Obama was brought up by a single mom!

  2. What a lovely post, and thank you for the salute. I also appreciate the comment you left on my blog, it’s been a difficult week for us so I really appreciate the support. Thank you, and enjoy your lovely family x

  3. You would manage because we all do.

    I wonder how married’s with kids manage when they’ve a husband and kids to shoo out of the house, a child-minder one end of town, kid #2’s school the other end of town and a job to get to.

    Every family has its challenges, there are things about being just me and my daughter that are BRILLIANT! No-one to compromise with, I’m the boss (most of the time) and no arguments that can’t be resolved by the naughty step (though some of my friends have tried that with their other halves too)

    Financial hardships come to all families too, but the one thing that absolutely is knackering is the no down time, the fact there is no sharing of the responsibilities – large and small and alongside that the loneliness of not sharing the good and the bad.

    But out of all of that you find resilience and a bloody mindedness that you never knew you had which brings with it a very different kind of Zen – one that hones you into exactly what is and isn’t important in your lives.

    And now I have to a small child to get to bed and a cold gin to pour. Here’s to you.

  4. Kate Allott says

    I did it for 6 months while my husband was working away. He’d visit every other weekend and we managed; I managed, just. But it was soooo tiring and I drank far too much wine!
    I don’t know if I could do it again, but at the time youjust get on with it.
    Now we’re all together. J doesn’t miss his Daddy or cry when he goes to work on a Monday – that used to break my heart and we’d both be crying!
    Sharing it all is great, especially all the funny and impressive things j comes out with. And sitting down to dinner all together is lovely too.
    I am in awe of single parents, it’s tough, but you have to manage so you do. I’m just glad I don’t have to do it alone anymore!

  5. Melanie Brzonkalik says

    Thank you all for posting, the shout outs and the honesty. As I sit here nursing a headache inwardly begging my children of 13, 11 and 3 to be more quiet, I can relate to all of your musings. Single parenthood is brutal and exhausting and lonely. There, I said it! One hopes that they’ll ‘get it’ when they’re older but not many people can imagine the daily struggles of being in 3 or 4 places at once and getting to my job as an Assustant Teacher fully dressed, with brushed hair, make-up applied, coherent and on time is nothing short of a miracle. It has its rewards but no-one to share that with. I praise God for friends, candlelit baths, Iplayer and pink wine. Just not necessarily in that order!

  6. So true. Not having kids, but having helped a friend post divorce with three kids under 4….I don’t know how she did it..she also worked full time and had them in daycare with minimal support. She was truly unbelievable. I was tired by 10 am.

  7. My OH works away a lot – since August he’s been home for the weekends only, sometimes for just one night – and I too wonder how I would cope if I didn’t have those one or two days a week of shared responsibility to lighten the load a little. Hats off to all those who do it 365 days a year…

  8. Ditto Potty. When my older two were little my husband was basically gone all week, and I have no family here. It was bloody knackering but I remember thinking that it wasn’t the same as single parenthood because I didn’t have the financial worries that usually go hand-in-hand, and I knew I could guilt my husband into taking over at the weekend.
    So yes, hats off.

  9. I totally have been having the same thoughts…I don’t know what I’d do with Mark but I guess I would have to do it. But I have so much respect for single parents now – as well as just normal parents in general! You never really get it until you have a baby. How is it going???? Wesley just slept for 11.5 hours last night! I woke up right before him at 7 this morning and was so confused when mark said he hadn’t gotten him earlier, haha!

  10. My 1st marriage ended when my older kids were 8 and 6 and you are right it is hard work. But I guess your perspective is from a happy marriage (as I have now with my 2nd husband), and staying in an unhappy marriage was infinitely more difficult for me that setting me and my children free. I wouldnt be afraid to do it again, I just wouldnt want to 🙂

  11. They deserve medals, praise, gifts, accolades. I’d be a wreck if I had to cope for longer than a couple of days by myself. I crave peace and quiet. Can’t survive without it. Lovely photo, by the way. Such a good-looking family x

  12. Yes, so stressful when my husbands away, thankfully he’s not traveling as much now (although I think he misses the peace and quiet.

  13. Yes… I remember when the boys were younger how I used to think the same, I had my husband who would be home pretty much every day at the same time and the days he didn’t I used to hate those. To think some parents never get a relief is making me feel so lucky…

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