I knew the moment would finally come…the dreaded announcement that my partner would have to vacate the family home…for a week. I had always thought that having to parent solo would probably end up with me promptly having a nervous breakdown, and shutting myself in a cupboard to sob a river of tears.
However, much to my surprise, I survived the week, and not only that, I learnt some stuff too:
1. Single parents are legends
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. You single parents are amazing. You have to do it day in, day out, without a partner in crime. There’s nobody to pass the baton over to when you’ve had a bad day, are ill (and boy was I seriously sick over this period), or have just had enough. In a way, that really does help to adjust you mind better to the “just get on with it” state that is so very much required in parenting, but nonetheless, single parents everywhere – you are my heroes.
2. Kids act up less when there’s just one of you
Weirdly, although in some ways parenting solo IS harder, in many ways it is also most definitely easier. Many kids seem to operate on that age old ethos of many a dictator – divide and rule. One there is just one of you, there is nobody to play you off against; there is nobody else to run to when you law down the law, or simply make a request you don’t like. It’s your way, or the high way….and the kid knows is!
3. You become more organised
….because you need to be. There is nobody else around who is going to help you out with any tasks or duties. You become a powerhouse of efficiency…because there is simply no other option. Just when you thought you couldn’t fit anymore into your day, you discover as a solo parent you magically can!
4. You talk to yourself more
Solo parenting can get a bit lonely. You don’t really have anyone to discuss the day’s events with, apart from the one who you are parenting…so don’t be surprised if you start talking to yourself a little more than you usually would, just to make sure that you actually still exist when the kids are not around…errrr…or is that only me?
5. Don’t count on a shower in the morning
I have to say, I got used to the luxury of having a shower in the morning, and EVEN washing AND drying my hair. Not a luxury you can count on as a solo parent.
6. It’s not as bad as you think
I remember DREADING this moment so much. I thought it would be the end of me. Actually, it was the making of me. I felt strangely more confident and empowered as a mum, knowing I can do this 100% alone. That feeling still remains.
7. Being the only parent is an incredible bonding experience
Prior to this week, things had been a little shaky between my girl and me. We were in the midst of a massive developmental transition as she edged ever closer to three years old, and we were experiencing MASSIVE growing pains. Amazingly this time together really helped to fortify our relationship, and left our bond even deeper than before.
Do you solo parent frequently? How do you find it? Are you yet to solo parent and wondering what to expect? Or are you a single parent for whom parenting alone is the norm? I’d love to hear your experiences of solo parenting in a comment below…
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