Finding it Hard ! Covid, Lockdown, Single parenting

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  • #40365 Report


    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been a single parent for 3 years, I have two children, 4 and 9. I’m just finding lockdown really, really hard.

    Is anyone else feeling the same?

    My single parent friends aren’t finding it that difficult. But I really am. My oldest is only interested in screens, try to take them away and he is very upset. I understand he uses it to talk to friends (2 hours xbox headset) and to escape the current life, but I’m not a TV person anyway and find it soul-destroying. We don’t have another separate downstairs living space ie dining room so it’s just always in my view. He has very little interest in anything else or going outside. He wants to wrestle me which tbh I don’t have the energy or patience for after 9 weeks of lockdown. My 4 year old has all the energy in the world, has many activities she’d like to do together but doesn’t play independently. Her brother isn’t interested in playing with her, they are arguing quite a lot. And once again I’m fine if its playdough or table activity but otherwise I’m just knackered. They/she is up until 10pm most nights, it was 1am Sunday night 😭 I’ve tried to be stern and take things away, xbox for the older one, younger one does not care if things are taken away. And I’m ashamed to say but I’ve become a massive shouter. My oldest called me a bully tonight because I shouted, told them to get into bed and that I don’t care (for their excuses). My sleeping and eating is rubbish. They aren’t hungry or bothered for teatime, just small snacks.

    Their Dad has them every other weekend, he was/is controlling and manipulative so I can’t ask for extra help or advice as he uses it to his advantage.

    Does anyone have any advice or support or going through the same? I feel like a massively rubbish parent. Normally in school hols we would see friends and family, go to national trusts, have adventures, anything but be stuck in. I feel normally I’d be stricter or the child better behaved, but feel too exhausted.



    #40366 Report


    Hi hun

    first of all – big hugs. You are NOT a rubbish parent at all – the simple fact you are worrying about being a good parent means you are one (best advice I ever received)

    this lock down is HARD. On everyone. Never mind single parents! Everyone is finding it hard in different ways. Those who live alone are extremely isolated.
    yesterday I had a mini breakdown and cried in front of the kids – they had been doing my head in all day – I am absolutely exhausted and so sick of answering the same questions day in day out – can we have biscuits for breakfast, can I have sweets before my tea, can I go on the iPad (at 645am) all questions they know the answer to but still seem to ask me multiple times a day!! I think it does then good to see how bone achingly tired you are day after day. It takes a lot to bring up children. You are raising human beings into the world. Hardest job in the world! Give yourself a break. Parenting is TOUGH at the best of times! Never mind during lock down! If you don’t manage to cook/clean/wash every day it’s not the end of the world. We started having long walks 2 days ago as they are driving me INSANE (I have 4 – aged 9/7/3/1 been single for a year) thinking it would tire them out – WRONG! 2230 last night they were still noisy and messing about. That’s when I lost my s**t. Told them I have had enough of their behaviour and I am so so TIRED. They looked sheepish and went to bed. Of course I stayed up until 1am to have some “me time” and now been up since 5am watching peppa pig with my 1 year old! It’s exhausting. Are you keeping in touch with friends? By phone / face time / txt. All my friends have partners so I’m finding that hard as they moan about things and I think you don’t know how lucky you are. Honestly you are doing a GREAT job. Your kids love you. Wake up every day with a fresh start. Try to have a routine. Get dressed , out the house for a walk / play in a field , as long as you stay 2 meters. We’ve got this. Keep going xxxxxxxxxx

    #40367 Report


    And my 9 year old is also a screen person – I think it’s their age and way of coping – he also uses it to keep in touch with friends. Are they doing school work? That keeps mine busy for 2 hours a day. And if they misbehave I give them an extra 10 mins school work time! 😉

    my ex is also a massive **** and won’t have the kids unless it’s on “his days” which is two days a week – the days I go to work for 12 hour shifts! So I get no time to myself. I had to take him to mediation in order for him to have regular contact with all of his children otherwise he was picking and choosing which kids he wanted to see and changing it all the time leaving them all confused.
    we try stick to routine – get up, breakfast, teeth dressed , school work for 2 hours, then they get screen time or games. Lunch. Afternoon walk. Then a movie or screen time again until tea. Then it’s free time to do what they want. Bath PJs bed. I involve them in cooking and house work so they feel “useful”

    they constantly fight so you’re not alone in that! Does my head in. Xxxxxx

    #40373 Report


    Thanks Blonde, I really appreciate your reply.

    My kids are asking the same questions over and over. Answer is still no son 🙈

    You must have been so tired after the long walks for them to then still be up. Good try though.

    I’ll try set up a routine as you have. We did initially but it’s just slipped away. Oldest needs so much support whilst doing his school work and after a lot of nagging. He doesn’t have xbox until he has done his school work. Youngest surprisingly gets on with it but then I have parent guilt, ‘why don’t you care about my work?’ youngest said, because I have to support the oldest soo much.

    I think today we will have a family meeting and discuss what I’m feeling positive and negative about, see what they are, and maybe come to an agreement.

    Most of my friends are married so I have that too. Fb amazing family photos, ‘family time is the best’, blurgh… I’m not finding it helps taking to my friends.

    #40377 Report



    I’m on my own with 4 kids 14/12/8 and 6.  They all spend far too much time staring at screens but as i am also working from home 3 days a week and in the office two days a week i can’t be with them all the time.  I try to get them to do an hour a day of school work a day most days but i’m certainly not up to the standard of the supermums from our primary school on facebook.  The days i don’t have 3 of my kids are the days i go into the office and get to speak to another adult but apart from that i see no one, i cried for an hour on Sunday once the kids were in bed because i was so fed up.

    Everyone is missing their friends and we are not used to being suck in together 24hrs a day.  We just have to do the best we can to get through it and hope that we all survive in once piece and if my 12 year old can’t recite 1-20 in french by the time he goes back to school i have to remember the world will not come to an end.


    #40424 Report


    Is it awful to admit that reading your confessions has made me feel better?! It’s good to know there are other mums out there going through the same experience as me! I’m a single mum, but I have plenty of married friends who are struggling too, and doubting their parenting.

    I have a 6 & 7 year old; generally they are great friends, but they also bicker and fight. I’m utterly exhausted. The house looks like we’ve been burgled (I’ve now resorted to filling Ikea bags with the kids’ mess and hiding them in the wardrobe), the home schooling has been an utter disaster, and I’m also trying to oversee our house renovation. I’m angry and frustrated (and frankly, resentful) at my former partner‘s lack of involvement in the kids’ care, and sometimes that anger spills out when the kids are being a pain. I think I’m stuck on ‘shout’ mode too.

    My son calls me a bully when I ask him to put things away, and says he’d rather live with daddy (so wounding, when I know how self-involved his father is). I’d love to offer some practical advice, but I’m still working it out this end 😱

    #40426 Report


    I think there are many of us feeling this post!

    #40462 Report


    I have a 12yo who is MineCraft obsessed and I struggled to get him off his tablet. He called me a bully too ☹️

    I bought him a cheap bike computer (about £15) and helped him set it up. Then I insisted that daily exercise was part of home schooling so he had to do it, but that cycling would count. It was a battle at first but now he’s interested in how far & fast we cycle and he tries to beat his previous record.  He’ll willingly come cycling for an hour in the afternoon.  It’s the best thing we’ve done in lockdown. He’s sleeping much better and has lost that pasty look. I feel a lot less stressed.
    It helps that we don’t live in a city and there are some quiet areas near us.

    #40467 Report



    I can relate to the posts in this thread.

     I am stuck in my home 24/7 with my seven year old.

    I am trying to run my own business, and home school him at the same time. He just wants to play on his iPad and watch TV; it’s a battle every day (which I don’t feel I am winning).

     I am frustrated and running out of energy, even though I know it’s not my boy’s fault and lockdown is not fair in him either.

     It’s strangely reassuring to know I am not the only one struggling.  😉


    #40470 Report


    Hi all, it’s almost as though you each have a direct webcam link to my house. For the last 8 weeks I wake up shouting, feel guilty, cook food, teach, shout some more, break up fights, cook more food, shout again, then fall into bed exhausted but unable to sleep. I love my children (13 & 4) but my God, I need space from them! They need space from me. It’s comforting to know I am not the only parent struggling. Chin up everybody its nearly over, September is just around the corner 😂

    #40471 Report


    Hi, feeling really similar.  I have a 9 and 11 year old.  Their dad has refused to have them since march (despite a court order).  When they are together they are constantly bickering.  I am tearing my hear out trying to get them to tidy up after themselves.  At the start I was thinking in would hopefully be able to get lots of those jobs that are always put off done but in all honesty it feels like groundhog day and just tidying one room, going into the next and then come back and the room is a pig sty again.  Getting them into bed or to help tidy is a constant battle and they are up late, they then sleep in but it means I get no down time unless I stay up really late.  I am absolutely shattered and at my wits end.

    In terms of screens, they are on them more than I would normally allow but I think with all the lock down things that would not  normally be allowed just have to be!

    #40584 Report


    I can relate so much to all these posts, I am a single mum and have an only child – she is 11. She is also staying up late and being difficult to get up in the morning! I am working from home 5 days a week and am struggling to motivate her to do school work, I am getting really depressed with every day being like Groundhog Day and as others have said seeing all the happy families on Facebook baking cookies and having family picnics is making it harder for me. Also people saying they have had time to do all the little jobs at home done makes me feel worse when my house is more messy and getting my daughter to tidy up after herself is a constant battle!
    every day trying to stay calm and positive and think of what to have for lunch and dinner and what we can watch on tv in the evening (if I can get her off her phone or tablet) I worry she’s behind on school work, I am missing any other adult company and I feel like I’m losing the plot and this is going to continue til September! I don’t know if I can take it!
    I feel so alone and lost and like I have no friends anymore (I do but they all busy with their perfect lives

    sorry for negative that I just needed to say this somewhere


    #40612 Report


    I totally relate to all these posts. I am a single mother with a 5 year old daughter and am trying to work full-time from home while trying to get her to do school work. It’s impossible. She’s also very badly behaved and has been scratching and hitting me a lot if she doesn’t get her own way. She won’t allow me to put TV shows on that she doesn’t want to watch so I am always looking forward to 7pm when I put her to bed. But just like you all, she is not going to sleep until 10 or even 11pm on a night and she’s constantly up and out of her bed making a mess all over the top floor (we live in a town house).

    In other ways I find lockdown better than normal life because usually I have to drive 24 miles to work and get up at 5.30 so I can drop her off at the childminder before that so I can get a car parking space at work and I don’t miss that at all.

    Couples and families are getting me down. The constant boasting (feels like) on social media is annoying as hell when single parents are going through such a difficult and stressful time.

    #40629 Report


    You are not alone, reading all the posts,many of us are really struggling, me included. I am on my own with my 13 and 10 yr olds  and work from home half the week in the public service sector.  Started off positive, with a timetable for kids, all of us getting up early to work but soon deteriorated and the eldest wont get out of bed until 4pm, no school work done and will not go outside for exercise. She will not cooperate with me and is disruptive to the routine its an uphill battle. After convo with school pastoral staff i today realised that altho the stress has dissipated ( no school run, commute, toxic colleagues. finding childcare) i am struggling. My boss just said when i told her ‘ last time we spoke you were ok’ ( well of course because i  put on a capable strong facade out of fear u think im not efficient because ive had time off in past for my sick kids, double infact because theres only ONE of me not TWO!!!)  But i think public sector will not furlough and manager has no idea what its like for me as a parent of a child (eldest) who also suffered narcissistic abuse from her father/my ex aswell as me and we both suffer anxiety and depression ( 13 yo undiagnosed)  with debts and on low income, now we are stuck at home mental health has come to the fore.    Why should again i sacrifices my childs m health for work.  I feel unsupported alone, like others, fed up with happy couply pics, active family posts etc when i just feel crap and alone. But do you know what? …….  This lockdown will soon be a short period of time in history.

    #40633 Report


    I’ve just joined this forum because I am losing my mind being home alone with my 6 and 8yo (who has a disability).

    You are not alone!!! I don’t work ATM and still finding it hard. Sometimes I wish I did work so I could just put them in front of a screen without feeling guilty  Today I feel like crap so they’re on their iPads. Sometimes they fight , some times they play. Sometimes I scream and shout and I often cry but I try and be really honest with then that this is a really difficult time for everyone. It will end eventually, I am just taking it a day at a time cos thinking further ahead makes me feel ill.

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