The Semi-Detached Parent: What Single Parenting Has Taught Me

23/09/2011 20:11 | Updated 22 May 2015
Cartoon of a mumPA

It's now a full two months since I officially became a single mother. This is what I have learned:

That it is bloody hard work and I refuse to believe anyone would do it from choice (I am looking at YOU Miriam Stoppard and speaking in a Firm Voice).

That I will always run out of milk for a much needed cup of coffee the second my child's head hits the pillow and I can't leave the house.

That I will get booked for work-related radio shows only on nights no one can babysit for me and will have to take my tired, grumpy, fractious offspring to the studio.

That I will never, ever be invited away on exciting adult-only trips on the weekends my son is with his dad. Those invites will only EVER be for when it is my weekend to have him.

That despite wanting to have unlimited access and wanting to share all the parenting and associated stuff that it entails, somehow, my ex's job/holidays/life will always take priority over mine.

That any faux pas I make at school (being late, not sending a snack, forgetting PE kit/music books) will now be down to the fact I am a Single Mother rather than my scattiness (and therefore will no longer be amusing, but pitied).

That people will start offering me their children's cast-offs (Really. Er, thanks, but no)

That bedtime routines will go out of the window at the weekends because the sheer gratitude I feel at having company on a Saturday night will mean I am glad my offspring is still up past 11pm.

That my time in the bath will simply be parenting-in-water: the fact I am in the tub will not stop my child from bringing me the phone, his homework diary to sign, or packets/cartons/drinks to open, or demanding answers to questions regarding space travel and black holes.

That my son will try and parent me on occasion... 'Calm down Mummy! You're making it WORSE with all the shouting!'

That the sight of piles of mail still arriving for my ex will give me spasms of rage never before felt... will phone calls for him when I have nearly broken an ankle racing to answer them.

That I can have a wonderful relationship with my son when it is not punctuated with daily screaming matches with his father. Because they're down to just one a fortnight now...

What has being a single parent taught you?

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