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Old 11-16-2011, 10:32 PM   #1
 
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Default Single Mothers-- question for you

I'm not even sure if I should call myself a single mother anymore now that my daughter's grown up and married!

Anyway, do you think we feel as though we don't have the right to complain about how hard parenting is because we're single?

Because I had my daughter when I was young, most of my friends are now at the stage I was 23 years ago and was a new parent. My sister this weekend was fretting that she feels like she can't give 100% to the baby or 100% to her business and that she's doing a half-assed job. I told her of course she can't give 100% to both, that she's only one person, was supportive, etc.

But a lot of my friends that are married I've noticed do complain about how difficult it is to be a parent and how their spouse isn't helping.

It IS difficult to be a parent for sure. But I think I never said it because I didn't want to hear the: Well, you CHOSE to have a baby and not be married.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you think we're quieter about how hard it is?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
 
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I don't know. My grandmother and aunt were both single mothers (Aunt by choice) and about a year after my husband died I was having a very rough time trying to be a single mother. Instead of giving words of encouragement they were quick to point out that at least I had enough money to be a SAHM and they had it so much harder because they had to work full time so I should feel lucky. I distanced myself from them after that. I was very hurt. I went to them for advice and I got judgement.

ETA: I do realise that I was/am lucky to be a SAHM. It's just that I needed advice on how to balance having to be both mom and dad and what I got was "Well at least you don't have to work too."
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:53 PM   #3
 
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I don't have kids so take this with a grain of salt...

I wonder if it has more to do with how much more flexible and ignorant you are when you're young. You also have WAY more energy when you're 23 versus when you're in your late-40s.

I think most 23 year olds don't consider they're doing a half assed job. I remember how I could stay out drinking and dancing until the wee hours of the morning and still get up and go to work. For the most part, I was fine. I simply had more energy than I do now. There's also the fact that I didn't know what I didn't know. If I wasn't a business whizz or mom of the year, how would I know that I couldn't give 100% to either one?

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Old 11-17-2011, 02:53 AM   #4
 
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I just wanted to put my 2cents in.. I'm not a single mother but it is 'Hard' for me to raise my children and I will tell you just my story.. I am Catholic my partner is Muslim .. he is from Iran and I am from El Salvador .. we both come from 2 different cultures and religions making decisions very hard for us to I suppose come to an understanding..

My grandmother I consider a single mother, (she is still married til this day but her partner was never there, never brought food to the table, never looked after his child, and used to beat her and my mum).. she has never complained once about how she had to raise my mum as she just had to do what she had to do, as she says it was Gods plan.. I consider her my hero.. she's such an incredible role model, she still remains faithful to her husband even though he's in a different country (we don't even know if he's alive)..

I admire single mothers because they have to do what they have to do. I honestly don't know how life would have been as a single mother but I'm sure decisions would have been a bit easier..
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:21 AM   #5
 
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I have the same thoughts as you. I have it really hard being a single mom and not really having anybody there to help with anything but I feel that if I say anything my choice in terms of having my son will be questioned and I just don't want to hear it. So I just keep it all to myself and secretly pray that keeping so much inside doesn't affect me later on.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:58 AM   #6
 
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I think probably the less you have, the more you're grateful for.

In the case of a single parent, you probably wouldn't speak up and complain about it bc you have no other choice. It's just you, you can't rely on anyone else. If something needs to be done, you just do it.

Someone who is partnered has an expectation of the other person in the relationship. They want the other person to step up and be involved. When they don't, it makes them angry and resentful to the person the feel isn't doing as much as they are.

When my ex lived with me, I felt frustrated and resentful that I did everything alone. I was always angry that he didn't step up and help as much as I thought he should. I actually found parenting and housekeeping and such to be easier once he was moved out.


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Old 11-17-2011, 06:03 AM   #7
 
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i didn't complain as it was happening because lol, that would've been to everyone's delight.
i still don't complain.
btw, my life was harder with a partner than without one.
i didn't end up having more money (we had more expenses).
i didn't have more time (had to now care for 2 instead of one).
i just became more respectable in the eyes of the public.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
 
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I've been a single mom. While co-parenting with an agreeable partner is, of course, preferable, I thought single parenting was easier than parenting while also being in a bad marriage...cause that sucked really bad.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:27 AM   #9
 
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I think probably the less you have, the more you're grateful for.

In the case of a single parent, you probably wouldn't speak up and complain about it bc you have no other choice. It's just you, you can't rely on anyone else. If something needs to be done, you just do it.

Someone who is partnered has an expectation of the other person in the relationship. They want the other person to step up and be involved. When they don't, it makes them angry and resentful to the person the feel isn't doing as much as they are.

When my ex lived with me, I felt frustrated and resentful that I did everything alone. I was always angry that he didn't step up and help as much as I thought he should. I actually found parenting and housekeeping and such to be easier once he was moved out.


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I agree. It was harder with my ex-husband because I lost the expectation of having someone help. My mindset changed once we physically separated into different households. Over the past year, I've had a lot more help (he is finally working WITH me, especially when something dictates time - like if her school is closed and I have to work, he has been willing to keep her extra days so that I don't have to pay a sitter) and I'm grateful.

If gave this amount when we were together, I'd be angry that it wasn't enough, but since my expectations of him have changed, it's more than enough for me. For her, I can't say the same.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:46 AM   #10
 
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I don't have a child, so my opinion can be taken with a grain of salt, although my BFF, another friend, several friends of friends and my sister are single mothers. None of them have complained extensively to me about how difficult it is for them, probably because they figure I wouldn't get it or they fear I'd judge them harshly. Not that I would do so, but single parenthood still carries some stigma in our society even though it's become so commonplace. I personally think it can be a dichotomous thing-sure, it can be burdensome to have to carry all the weight by yourself by having to hold down a job, then go home and care for your child, cook, clean, etc. At the same time, there's some freedom and independence in single parenthood that married parents don't have. Whatever decision you make regarding your child doesn't get challenged by a partner. You don't have to nag an uncooperative partner to help you in the running of the household. Single mothers are often at a disadvantage financially so their children often doesn't have as many of the expensive toys that their classmates from more traditional families have and they may sometimes even lack some basic necessities. Having said that, it's better for a child to grow up safe, secure and happy with a single mother than to be insecure and unhappy with an intact home where there's abuse or neglect.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:54 AM   #11
 
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I have always been a single mother by choice! Yes it's hard, but for me it was easier to just do everyting. I didn't depend on anyone. I had my babies when I was 31 and 39.....best thing that I have ever done, and they are great!
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:12 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspoppers View Post
I don't have kids so take this with a grain of salt...

I wonder if it has more to do with how much more flexible and ignorant you are when you're young. You also have WAY more energy when you're 23 versus when you're in your late-40s.

I think most 23 year olds don't consider they're doing a half assed job. I remember how I could stay out drinking and dancing until the wee hours of the morning and still get up and go to work. For the most part, I was fine. I simply had more energy than I do now. There's also the fact that I didn't know what I didn't know. If I wasn't a business whizz or mom of the year, how would I know that I couldn't give 100% to either one?

Life is wasted on the youth.
These are all really good points. When I was 22 I was in college full time, walking with my two year old and an armload of books to college, dropping her off at daycare and going off to class. I don't remember ever thinking, "God this is exhausting." yet I get tired just thinking about it now at 44.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
 
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no kids yet just want to chime in that i have a close girlfriend that is a single mom and i NEVER hear her complain. she doesn't have help (financially or otherwise) from the dad and she lives halfway across the country from her family so she doesn't even have them to help her with her child. everytime someone helps her with her child she has to pay and for that i'm sad BUT she never complains and she's said she wouldn't trade her child for anything.

also, in general, i think the grass can always look greener when it comes to parenting, relationships, etc. you just have to take what you have and try to make it your happy.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #14
 
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no kids yet just want to chime in that i have a close girlfriend that is a single mom and i NEVER hear her complain. she doesn't have help (financially or otherwise) from the dad and she lives halfway across the country from her family so she doesn't even have them to help her with her child. everytime someone helps her with her child she has to pay and for that i'm sad BUT she never complains and she's said she wouldn't trade her child for anything.

also, in general, i think the grass can always look greener when it comes to parenting, relationships, etc. you just have to take what you have and try to make it your happy.
Are you a friend of mine? Lol.

No, my ex is a total pita, but he's not a horrible father, he's just dumb. And I am helped financially. But both my parents live on practically opposite ends of the east coast from me, and I don't have any other family or 'help'.

From wake up to bedtime, all week, and every other weekend, they're mine all mine.

I'll do the usual 'my kids are driving me crazy today' or 'I'm so tired' occasionally times come when I'm really burnt out and I need a mental break - but I don't regime about my situation.

I do laugh when people complain about how they have it so tough and their mom and/or sisters live down the street and help them with the kids constantly.


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Old 11-17-2011, 10:07 AM   #15
 
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^^^ yeah i can't imagine not having family close to help with occassional babysitting that EVERYBODY needs. we just have my one nephew and we all help my brother with him. it really is true that it takes a village.

kids can be such a joy. i don't know about single or married parenting at all yet but i hope when it's my time i won't complain. i think it just isn't right and kids can feel it.

i do think in reference springcurl's comments someone people get so used to having other hobbies, a job or business and a bunch of other stuff going on that when kids come along, even if they think they wanted them, the kids can seem like a major burden. that's unfortunate....you can't do everything at 100%. everything doesn't need to be 100% but you simply can't do, the numbers don't add up. the best advice i heard for working outside of the home moms is when you're at work, be at work and when you're not, give your attention to your kids and family, that way whereever you are you're giving your full attention.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #16
 
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^^^ yeah i can't imagine not having family close to help with occassional babysitting that EVERYBODY needs. we just have my one nephew and we all help my brother with him. it really is true that it takes a village.

kids can be such a joy. i don't know about single or married parenting at all yet but i hope when it's my time i won't complain. i think it just isn't right and kids can feel it.

i do think in reference springcurl's comments someone people get so used to having other hobbies, a job or business and a bunch of other stuff going on that when kids come along, even if they think they wanted them, the kids can seem like a major burden. that's unfortunate....you can't do everything at 100%. everything doesn't need to be 100% but you simply can't do, the numbers don't add up. the best advice i heard for working outside of the home moms is when you're at work, be at work and when you're not, give your attention to your kids and family, that way whereever you are you're giving your full attention.
I think that's true. The older someone is when they begin to have children, the more they have their own set hobbies, interests, lives, things they do, etc.


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Old 11-17-2011, 11:36 AM   #17
 
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I'm a single Mom. When my daughter was little, my sister was also raising a family, but she was married and it seemed that her husband was more of a hindrance than a help to her. My sister actually envied me to some extent. So EVERYONE flew to her rescue, helping her out all the time. Me? Not so much help. Granted, I wasn't living within a mile of other family members like she was, but no one ever even offered help back then, it was all about my sis, poor thing, she had her hands full. Sure, it was my choice to have a baby and remain single, but my sister made her choices too.

Anyhoo, I think, yes, I was less inclined to complain, to family anyway, because I chose that life.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #18
 
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Anyway, do you think we feel as though we don't have the right to complain about how hard parenting is because we're single?

...I didn't want to hear the: Well, you CHOSE to have a baby and not be married.
i'd be livid and hurt if anyone had the nerve to say something as loaded as that to me.

and i'm sure the very people who would say that are the same ones who had sex outside of marriage and could easily have ended up single mothers themselves. or maybe they did end up pregnant, but made other choices ...

at any rate, i think if you are a mother, you have the right to complain about how difficult parenting is at times (because it is), regardless of your marital/relationship status.
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