Please note, this is from my personal experience. This is no way to disregard or question the abilities of single mothers or fathers.
As Alice reaches her 10th month, I am stuck wondering and questioning if we will ever get out of my parent’s house or if we’re really going to be stuck here until I get a full-time job and she is in full-time school. I’ve already said this before but if you had told me what my life would be like right now, I would laugh it off and told you to stop being so silly. Had I foreseen what was going to happen, would I have done things differently? Would I have saved every last penny I had to buy a house? Would I have stayed at the home me and Will shared and claimed the benefits I can get today? Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it. You run through everything through your mind that you could have done differently, but would it had mattered? I’m a big believer in fate so either way, my path was set no matter how many turns I took to avoid the ending.
There are many things I am currently struggling with being a single parent and I was going through my facebook feed the other night and believe it or not, it’s very common for you to be a single parent. More so, a single mum and dad normally get’s the best of both worlds. Freedom whenever and to parent maybe two or three times a week. I am lucky in my situation that Alice’s father and his family love having her and they don’t miss out much in terms of her milestones and growing.
However, here are my top five things I feel are my struggles.
As you all know, I’ve been trying out Tinder and the first time wasn’t that bad but it did end pretty crappy and now I’m back on that horse (Excuse the pun). I’ve been on a few dates so far and out of five, one is the only one even worth mentioning. But trying to date as well as juggle being a parent is bloody hard! I am very honest with being a mum and if someone doesn’t like that, I tend to send them on their way. The worse I have found so far is, if you want to stay at your dates house you have to pre-plan it by getting overnight childcare sorted. And let’s be honest here? Who plans to spend the night at their dates house? Most of the time it just happens. Well now I am an organised person and in some aspects of my life that’s great, dating and overnight stays… Not so much.
There’s something about moving back into your parent’s house when you thought your life was going somewhere big and exciting. And with moving back, it comes with rules. I’m in my 26th year and so far I feel as if I am the 16-year-old daughter who got herself pregnant and isn’t allowed to do anything. When you are a big sufferer from Postnatal Depression, having some freedom aids with your recovery and it’s only now as Alice gets more into a bedtime routine and explaining to my parents I am losing my mind, have the “chains” been loosened. Of course! I respect the rules as after all, it’s their home and I will most likely have the same rules set for Alice, but no body really tells you after you have a baby how much of your time you lose and how many hours you spend sitting on the sofa, doing loads of washing or chasing a little person around.
When you’re in a partnership with someone, there’s another person who supports you and your child. I worked out in total a week I spend around £70, that includes all of Alice’s food, nappies, new clothes, days out and anything I myself need. It’s a depressing feeling as I do enjoy working, I loved looking at the end of the month and seeing my wages just sitting there and now, with no hesitation my money goes on Alice and I save as much as I can in-case of a rainy day. When you’re a single parent you do get to claim some benefits however, no one even takes a second to explain to you what anything is or what to do first and that in itself can put a massive financial strain on your mind.
- Keeping Your Mouth Shut
Now, I’m not sure how many parents do this and I for sure have had a massive wake up call these past two months but keeping your mouth shut with the other parent might do something you don’t agree with or you just want to get your two cents in. Now that is difficult. Many of my friends will tell you, I will say my piece if I have to and I won’t have a problem if it causes an argument, I like to get things out in the open and it does help with my recovery to not keep things bottled in. However, as you become a single parent, the other parent no longer has anything to do with you apart from share a child so therefore what they do in their free time is up to them and you will need to stay out of their business unless it affects your child. This can only work both ways and as frustation, as it is, keeping your mouth shut is normally the best thing. Meaning no facebook posts, no snapchats directed to them or even an Instagram quote because let’s face it, we’ve all done it.
- Living a different life.
I adore being a mother, it’s the most amazing feeling the world. It empowers me to be and do better. However, before I found out I was pregnant in October 2015 I had big plans! Adventures, going on weekends away, photography days and so much more. Fast forward to that day of positive lines, it took me a while to accept that my life had changed and I wasn’t going to be able to do those things, at least until Alice was a lot bigger. You don’t really realise how much your personal life stops because a little person is on there are way. I’m excited for the years to come but they don’t really tell you how difficult the first year really is.xoxo