How Life Changes for the Single-Mum
For anybody life changes dramatically when you have a baby. There is a new person that your life has to revolve around and you can no longer come first.
It makes it easier that there is two of you going through these changes together. But what if there’s not, what if your a single-parent?
My life before Molly: Studying (number one of course!), Partying, Drinking, Socialising, Shopping, Cinema trips, Spending all of my money on me, Spending hours getting ready, Wearing high-heels, Sleeping lots, Living at home, Days to myself — A very typical young person’s life!
D’s life before Molly: Studying, Gym, Music, Partying, Drinking, Socialising, Cinema Trips, Money for himself, Lived with his friends, Days to himself — A very typical young person’s life!
We lived very typical lives for young people, we did the same as our friends and everybody else we knew. We filled our days doing whatever we wanted and spent the weekends going out.
Then one night we met and Molly happened! We tried to make the relationship work but it just wasn’t meant to be. Separating when Molly was six months old, she is now just shy of her first birthday and life has become very different.
When we were together through Molly’s first few months, we were both still at University so life was manic and at the time we were both focusing on our studies, we still had lots on common with our friends. But now that stage is over. D moved out in June and since then we have gone in completely different directions:
My life since then: Job hunting, No partying, No drinking, Rarely socialising, Supermarket shopping, No cinema trips, Spending all of my money on Molly, Spending hours getting Molly ready (after a million changes!), Wearing flats, Sleeping little, Living in my own house, Days to do what Molly wants — A very typical mummy’s life!
D’s Life since then: Job hunting, Gym, Music, Partying, Drinking, Socialising, Cinema Trips, Most money for himself, Lives with his Dad, Days to himself — A very typical young person’s life!
Can we see any differences?!!!!
Ahhhhh!!!! He makes me so angry!
Now, I am not complaining about my life with Molly, no no no, I wouldn’t change that for the world, she truely makes me happy, but what upsets me so much is the fact that I should have D’s support and respect, yet I do not. His life has barely changed apart from where he lives and he has to pay child maintenance now, yet in all that free time he has, he doesn’t seem overly bothered about his daughter. Now, I am not talking about how he is when he is with her, because in that respect he is a good dad, I am talking about his co-parenting skills – they are SH!T!
And I am now at the point where I have had enough.
Ever since Molly was born we have had the same discussion every month about how he doesn’t do enough and I do everything, and since he moved out nearly six months ago now, things have only got worse. There have been brief encounters where things seem to go well but then we are right back to that same old disscusion. It is something he fully admits to and it was only two weeks ago where we were emailing hashing it all out again. It was here where he promised once again to do more and be more involved with Molly’s life. Do we think this has happened?!… NO!
I am now at the point where I would actually rather he not be in her life at all because then I can never be disappointed by him, something I always seem to be on the co-parenting front. I feel I should be able to rely on him and talk to him about anything parent/baby related but he is nowhere near the top of the list of people I would choose. It is at the point where my best friends know more about what Molly gets up to than her own Dad, and that is by his own doing. Before he got a job he would ask to see her days apart and rarely it was for whole days (occasionally it was because I made an argument saying an afternoon was crap!) and now he has a job he sees her even less. He started work last Monday and he saw her for two hours Wednesday night and two hours last night, yup that’s it in eight days! ..But by his own doing, I am not stopping him! (As much as I feel like telling him where to go I would not stop Molly seeing her Dad!) He doesn’t ask to have her for a whole day at the weekend to make up for the quality time lost, nope, what does he do at the weekend – drink of course!!
**Can you tell I am mad yet?!!**
Two weekends in a row I got to go out with my friends to the pub – I Am Not Just A Mum I am Me Too – and so it was going to be that one night at the weekend Molly would stay over at D’s house and I could have the night off. Twice this happened, then the system failed! I love having Molly and it makes me sick to leave her but I have her every single night and he is a parent also so yes he should have to look after her overnight too.
My one night offstarted to get me excited where I had the possibility to have a long uninterrupted bath, go to the cinema, go to a restaurant and not have to pick up food off the floor, talk to my friends uninterrupted, go for a drink.. normal things my friends do but things I NEVER get to do anymore. What makes it worse is that D gets to do any of them whenever he wants. Why?! Why should he and not me?! We are both Molly’s parents yet it seems like I am the only one who has made any sacrifices and it’s quite frankly not fair!
This weekend just gone made me wild! Originally D said he would have Molly to stay on Saturday night and I could have the night to myself. It was carnival so we arranged to watch it together being Molly’s first one and then he would take her home and I had planned to go and meet my friends for a drink. Did this happen? Nope. During the week, after I had made my plans, D text me saying that he had been invited out and he wanted to go and see his friends. I did say to him that he has six other nights a week he can see them and I only have this one, and he had already told me that I could go out. Well even though we had made our plan for him to see his daughter, that didn’t matter, he told me he was going out and that was that. Yes, he actually cancelled on us to put a pint before his daughter!!!! So I had to cancel all my plans and I haven’t got my night off and he didn’t even bother to watch Molly’s first carnival with us.
Since he left in June he went out nearly every weekend and took mid-week trips to the cinema. I have not been to the cinema once in this whole year, and apart from one night where my mum had Molly stay, I have been out twice in the last few months. Woaaahhhhhh! Clearly that is too much! Things are so fair! On my one night I should be able to choose whatever I do and actually be able to rely on the fact that Molly’s Dad will want to see her. But he clicked his fingers and everything changed.
This is why, if I had my way, he would have nothing to do with her. He doesn’t deserve her!! I love her so much and miss her every second I am not with her, yet he put a night out before his daughter when he hadn’t seen her all week?!!! HOW?!!!!! I just don’t get it!
I don’t care about going out, I just care that Molly’s other parent doesn’t care!
He lets me/us down time and time again.
Enough is enough.
So from now on, I have learnt that I am doing this on my own (When I told him this, he reply was ‘fair enough’ !!!!!!). I have to rely on my mum so I can do some things, like go to the opticians! And it saddens me that D is no longer someone I can rely on, when it is his place.
People keep saying maybe he will learn soon but Molly is one next month and if he hasn’t learnt by now, he clearly never will.
Molly is number one to me and that is all that matters. On the bright side, I get even more time with my little princess.
Mummy loves you Molly xxx
TIPS For the Single – Mummy :
* Mornings – Don’t switch on the tv and go straight to the kids channels – Watch something you would like whilst you feed baby a bottle. Molly plays for half an hour on the mat whilst I drink my cup of tea and watch Daybreak! After that I start getting things ready and she can watch Cebeebies.
* Do Lunch – New restaurant you want to try out? I have found to get less stares as Molly is more well behaved at lunch time. Go for an early lunch so baby is not over hungry and they can pull up a (high)chair too.
* Plan Your Day – If you plan well enough you can fit in a whole shopping day with a happy baby. I tend to start early so Molly is happy. I do an early lunch break so Molly can get out of the pram. Then its bottle time so she sleeps for a couple hours so I can really shop! Then I bring a change of toys and snack so she is entertained until closing time.
* Stay In Contact – I always find I barely see my friends because my life is so baby related. But invite a friend to do something with you and your baby. Chances are they will love it as it’s something different for them but a normal catch up for you. Win.
* Make A Cinema – Kids and cinemas really don’t go well until they are much older. So there’s that new film that you’ve been dying to see, well unfortunately you are going to have to wait until it comes out on DVD, but then when baby is asleep, invite all your friends over, turn the lights off, mobiles off, and get the popcorn out!
* Nights In – Finding a baby-sitter you trust can be really hard so create themed nights in. You could invite friends over for a pamper session, dinner, X-Factor marathon, just about anything really. A simple way to liven up the weekend.
* Bedtime Routine – Really crack down on your babies’ bedtime routine and sleep training. Let yourself have a couple hours once they have gone down so you can read a book, paint your nails, wash your hair, organise the cupboards! Just a bit of personal downtime followed by a night of good sleep will do wonders.
How do you find being a single – mummy?