10 things no-one told you about being a single parent

Being a single parent is not easy, in fact, it is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It’s a huge responsibility with zero support.  Even your most supportive grandparents, aunties and uncles can’t be there to tell them to brush their teeth every night, read them a story, wash uniforms, put them to bed, get back out of bed…the list is endless.

With that in mind…here are 10 things all single parents can relate to:

1) Privacy is a distant memory

Because you are all they have, they automatically think they own all of you, why should you have privacy!? Even if it’s number one, two or worse (that time of the month)– expect the bathroom door to be flung open by little hands. You’ll be fully expected to carry on with your business while you get the low-down on what game’s missing, who’s fighting with who, or told to hurry the hell up because they’re HUNGRY!

2) Dating is a chore

Showering can feel like a chore after a full day’s work, dinner, homework, getting ready for the following morning chaos; never mind beautifying yourself for a date and appearing fully awake with a sprinkle of sex appeal. Organising a sitter is another added stress – as sad as it sounds, a date with the couch and Netflix is often a whole lot more appealing.

3) There is no such thing as being sick

Either your children don’t understand when you’re under the weather or they blatantly don’t care. There’s no rest for the wicked, no matter how unwell you feel, the kids still need to be fed, dressed, and chauffeured.

4) What’s yours is theirs, especially your bed

And they never ever grow out of it! No matter what age they are, the space in your bed is owned by them and they think they can claim it whenever they feel like it…which is usually every night.

5) Family spoil your child rotten

The ‘one parent child’ often gets as much material goods and sympathy as your family can muster. You tell them your child doesn’t need anymore toys or his/her misbehaviour should not be excused as a result of a single parent household, but do they listen?

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6) On nights out you are stalked!

A Personal favourite – You re-assure them you will be safe and return at a reasonable hour but in the ultimate case of role reversal they’ll hound your phone for the evening. Refuse to sleep until you’re tuck up in bed safe and sound, it’s time for Cinderella to go home without a Prince Charming. (It’s nice to know they care, I suppose)

7) Sixth sense

Because of that close bond you share with your children, they become keenly in tune with your moods and thoughts. No matter how hard you try to hide those down days or stressed emotions, they can read you like a book (scary). Is it possible for one person to know you so well?

8) Part-time parent resentment

Although you’ve made peace with your decision to be a single parent, those feelings of disappointment sometimes simmer under the surface when your ex-partner gets to do all the fun stuff; minus the dreaded school run! But then you remember it’s those fragile small moments that build a little person into an adult.

9) When they’re gone, you’re lost without them

We’ve been waiting for this kid-free holiday for eighteen years…and the first hour of it was fantastic! But once you’ve re-organised the house for the third time and had a weekend long girly catch up there’s an empty space where our children should be…can they come back now?

10) You are part of special bond

One fantastic part of being a single parent is the bond between you and your child. While every parent has a place of pride in their child’s heart, yours will one day know the fears and challenges you had to face alone in order to give them their life. While you may still be a single parent, you’ll never be alone again!

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