I've written in the past about the positive side of raising children on your own, but sometimes...well sometimes I can't see past the negatives.
- There's nobody else to help out at home. Putting a shelf up, mowing the lawn, settling an argument between the girls, speaking to a teacher who my daughter says is 'picking on her', nipping out to the shops for a forgotten pint of milk, making a meal, paying the bills - all done by me.
- Lack of emotional support - who is there to reassure me when the going gets tough? To pour me a glass of wine or put the kettle on and tell me why everything will look better tomorrow?
- The Teenage Years - I need help with the hormonal surges in this house (mine and theirs!). The Teenager knows how to push my buttons, and today she told me that I'm not a real mum because if I was I would know that she was upset about something;
- Facing the future alone. One day in the not too distant future my girls will fly the nest and I will be home alone.
- Illness: when a single parent is ill, and I mean really ill as in stay-in-bed type of ill who is there to take care of everything else? Or even worse, when you get taken to hospital and told you have to stay overnight - who is there to look after the children?
- No social life. I have one or two babysitters I can call on, but more often than not I have to turn down social invitations because it's just too blinkin' difficult trying to sort out childcare arrangements. Or, if I do go out it has to be an early dart home, just before things get going, to get back in time for the babysitter. Although as time goes on I can't be bothered staying anyway. Or even going out in the first place.
- The loneliness of being a single, single parent. You know, single as in not having a boyfriend. When do I get to go out to meet anyone? And if I did meet anyone, the times we could see each other would be very restricted (see point 6).
- Exhaustion. I'm tired of being the only parent pulling their weight. Tired, tired, tired. Being a single parent can sometimes be an unremitting, grinding slog. And today it feels like one of those times.