I am a seasoned single parent, I generally consider myself pack leader of my three people, but in all honesty, most of the time they rule the roost. I have worn the single parent badge for almost three years, I am accustomed to trying to make every school event, be both good and bad parent. I rarely get it right, but I don’t think I every get it disastrously wrong – however the teenage years will show me the truth.
One thing I have become aware of, is that there are assumptions and presumptions about single parents.
Today feels like a good day to rebuff them.
- You get every weekend off
Every tried to work, look after three kids, and keep on top of all the usual stuff that needs to be done? On my last weekend off I filed a million pieces of paperwork, cleaned out the cupboard under the stairs, then I washed my hair and popped some make-up on. Wasn’t going anywhere – but I never get time in the week. Then I walked the dog, sorted out stuff for kids for secondary school, worked (on a Sunday), then mowed the lawn.
It is all glamour on those weekends off!
And when you do think – feck it – I deserve this, and make plans to fill your 48 hours, you will spend the next fortnight on catch up!
2. If you are a mum, your ex partner has to pay you money
Your ex partner has to contribute to bringing up your children, both emotionally and financially. They don’t pay you, you are not receiving a wage – and jeez louise – if you were it would be bloody criminal. Try and hire a Nanny on maintenance money and you will find yourself a laughing-stock.
3. You get to try online dating – that must be fun…
For all of five minutes.
Then Tinder makes your toes curl. Plenty of Fish makes you wonder if the guards know the prisoners are on line, and Match.com will make you miserable with the men it suggests as compatible.
Fun is friends on a Friday night, not texting strangers.
4. At least your marriage isn’t making you miserable anymore.
This is true, but the misery of marriage doesn’t come close to the drama of divorce. You get to start a whole new relationship with your ex spouse, one that is built on general dislike.
It’s a barrel.
But don’t get me wrong, I may sound like a bitter old maid, but the beauty of raising my three children twelve days out of fourteen is a joyous task, fraught with arguments, running late everywhere, movie nights mid week, adventures for four, loads of huggles. Some morning waking up with an extra six legs in my bed, sometimes starting that way at night. It isn’t easy – and is wasn’t in the grand plan.
But it is my life, my job, – but no – my ex husband doesn’t pay me to do it!
Cover image courtsey of Shutterstock