The pros and cons of life as a single mum
Being a single mum is at the best of times hard work but it is also very rewarding. Here I have talked to other single mums, as well as my own experience to find out the pros and cons of being a single mum.
Being a single mum is lonely
Cons – It’s lonely, especially if youâ€™re not working and the kids are at school or after they have gone to bed. Not everyone has family nearby or friends who understand the situation. You may feel tied to your parenting role and restricted in what you can do. Then there is the good old saying of feeling lonely in a crowd. Whatever your situation, at some point that feeling of loneliness can hit.
Pros â€“Being just you also means you have your own freedom and before you shout at the screen, youâ€™re not free you have kids to looks after – freedom comes in many forms. Though it may feel like you have no freedom, you do have other freedoms to enjoy. What you eat, when you eat, where you eat – itâ€™s your choice. Want to paint all the walls pink with white spots – itâ€™s your choice. Wear huge Bridget Jones knickers everyday instead of sexy lace cheese wires – itâ€™s your choice.
The bed is so empty.
Cons- That double bed can be very cold and feel very empty
Pros -all that space to stretch out and no one else pinching the duvet. Doesnâ€™t matter if you snore nor do you have to put up with someone elseâ€™s snoring in your ear and keeping you awake?
No Back up
Cons – When a child has a strong will or determination and they know how to push your buttons it can be a battle of the wills. With no one to back you in your corner, it can feel like youâ€™re arguing with the whole world and not just one 6 year old who is adamant odd socks, that are a week old, reallyÂ are cool. As one mum rightly put it -”as the â€˜primary care giverâ€™ you are your childâ€™s world”. When they fall it is you they cry for, when they see something new it is you they are bursting to tell andÂ Monday to Friday at least, when you say no, they donâ€™t have someone to go and play you off against.The downside of this of course is when you say no and a tantrum ensues, or when theyÂ are utterlyÂ refusing to go to bed, or when they wants something that they simply canâ€™t have, you are alone, totally. If it takes 4 hours and your shins being kicked to hell and the whole house being trashed itâ€™s still all you, just you.Â You haveÂ no one to take over for just 5 minutes so you can go outside and scream, no one to pour you a glass of wine, or make you a cup of tea, or to take over and sit in the hall way outside their room putting them back into bed over and over and over again.
Pros - you can develop your own parenting style and not have any one else criticise you. You decide the house rules and it is up to you how you dish those rules out.
One person to do everything.
Cons - Well no-one else is going to do it, are they?! In the past if a light bulb needed changing I would call for the man in my life. I would even leave it un changed all day to wait for the man to get home. Now that isnâ€™t an option (unless I want to wait a whole week!!- sometimes longer!) If something goes wrong then itâ€™s down to you to put itÂ right and fix the mess. And we all know there are way too little hours in the day to successfully fit in all the people you are expected to be.
Pros – The high you get when you realise you can do it is amazing. The skills you learn along the way will not only stay with you but enable you to help others. They are also brilliant skills to pass on to your children.
Cons- Everyoneâ€™s circumstances are different, some get maintenance, some donâ€™t, some work and some donâ€™t. Whatever the circumstances money is bound to be tight and the cost of raising kids is still the same. Expensive! Â One of the mums said that all of her money, every single penny is spent on her son. On providing him a home, on paying for his school dinners, on getting to and from work so she can buy him school dinners and provide him a homeâ€¦ On buying him the clothes he needs and trying to buy him the clothes he wants. On trying to make sure he doesnâ€™t LOOK like a child with a single mum….the list is endless.
Pros- Having a small budget makes you manage on a small budget. One good thing to come out of this for me was the realisation how much we actually waste. When you only have so much electric or water its amazing how you learn to cut down. Same with food shopping. I never realised how much food I threw away at the end of each week. Or how much convenience food we were actually eating.