Single mum of 2 who fight like hell

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  • #58649 Report


    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone else is in the same position as me – I’m a single mum (my choice) of 2 young ones – a 5 year old and a 2 year old, and I find my happiness is really falling fast as they fight like hell. Being a single mum is hard enough without having to stop them kids from constantly hurting one another. I get so angry and upset with them that I yell and become the mum I’ve never wanted to be- I’ve always been an advocate of gentle parenting, co sleeping and breast feeding on demand, putting their happiness first, but recently they’ve been just so deplorable together I become scary mum and I say things I wish I didn’t in front of them, such as ‘mummy just wants to run away’, ‘you’re making me so unhappy’ etc. I need to control it but I am really failing as they make me feel so so low with their naughtiness. Does anyone have any advice on how to improve patience levels / coping strategies with this age group!? I used to be so much better and it’s really affecting me. Thanks

    #58655 Report

    Andrew uk

    I’m sorry things are tough. Is your eldest in school? If so, that should free you up to spend some time with your youngest. Maybe they need more individual attention? Do you have a relative or friend who could support or take care of them for a bit? Do they have much outdoor time? E.g. park or playground to let off steam? Can you give them tasks to do that encourage them to be good? Message me if you want and we can chat more.

    #58675 Report

    Hi there

    I’m one of the moderators here and I have read through your post.  I’m sorry you are finding things tough.  There will be other forum users who have felt similar at points and I’m sure it won’t be long before they make contact.  In the meantime you can always call our single parent helpline for advice and guidance.  They will be able to explore your situation with you and may be able to signpost you to agencies who can offer help and support.  Here are their details:

    • Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered

    Hope this helps and best wishes, Justine

    #58690 Report


    Right with you,

    Theres been times ive stepped into the front/back garden as thats the furthest i can go to get away from them (legally). The boys are 8 and 6 and my God they can fight ! I sit out there,have me fag, try to unclog my brain and then come back in again. The respite for me hasnt worked of course. Their still shouting and im still raging as obviously im useless as a parent. In the end we all feel useless and the boys may,just may stop fighting.  Then again,they may not. I wouldnt say ive learnt to deal with it. Maybe just to cope. Under my breath i mutter “bollocks to em.

    #58694 Report



    #58695 Report

    Andrew uk

    Hello? I’m a dad

    #58696 Report


    Thanks for your replies Andrew, Justine and mstime. I do feel they both want me to themselves and play up towards each other because of it. My eldest is at school so I do get that 1:1 time with my youngest, but she doesn’t get the 1:1 back as much which is something I would like to change. The problem is, my youngest isn’t the easiest of kids so my family would rather not take him for too long. I always do a nice 1:1 bedtime with each child and they fall asleep next to me having a cuddle so they do get individual mummy time every day. I will try positive reinforcement more I think with tasks to encourage them to be good more. It just seems like every time I turn my back to do something so 1 second like wash up they wind each other up and hurt each other again. I take the kids out every single day either to a fun park or on days out so they have a lot of time to let off steam. They just fight the second we get back home again! Mstime I loved your reply, I could imagine you having your fag in the garden and muttering bollocks haha. I hope you’re ok and coping as well as possible. It really is so hard. I do feel parenting is a prison sentence in some ways! Justine thank you for the support and advice, I will certainly make use of that information. All the best, Hayley

    #58697 Report


    Hi HRC 🙂

    Just like mstime, am right there with you!!

    Mine are 3yrs apart too, they either get along like angels or fight like hell!!

    Reading your post is like looking at myself a few years ago, (mine are now 7 &10). I was the same starting with attachment/ gentle parenting ethics & methods …. worked great for the baby/toddler years, around the same ages as yours this had to adapt to what I now call ‘damn real parenting’ primarily because the bickering & fighting was driving me up the wall & no end of the so-called  ‘gentle’ methods seemed to work 😅😂 I’d end up exhausted, frustrated & snapping, then beating myself up about it & just becoming more exasperated.

    Damn real parenting’ I guess can mean whatever it needs to for anyone at anytime, but generally for us it’s an adaptable combination of; behaviour/ reward & consequence charts, discussions & explanations, warning systems/ separation or time outs when needed/ a damn stern no & good talking to sometimes! & not being afraid to shout if needed or say this is too much/ dangerous/ unacceptable when it is… Balanced with a lot of wellness practice, stuff to understand emotions/ cause & effect / learning & being accountable/ space to express emotion/ burn off energies.

    Basically cherry picking the bits the kids seem to respond to from all the methods, in each changeable moment! … As long as it lasts.

    Looking back, I think there is so much unfair pressure to ‘parent perfectly’ or have these ‘all the time well behaving’ kids & I’m not sure this has ever actually existed across any of humanity yet, save maybe the privileged few with an abundance of spare hands! – even then… I’m yet to hear of a single sibling who didn’t fight, bicker or argue or drive their parents bananas at times 🙂

    As much as I do respect the sciences, we contend with so much idealised psycho-babble too, a thousand perspectives of ‘shoulds’ to develop a ‘better’ children/ humans as never before… Sometimes it’s like we forget the basics of it being alright if things are imperfectly human.

    The kids, especially siblings are going to fight. It’s taken years, but now I see this as not such a bad thing; they are learning so many skills in this – how to argue, express difficult emotions, what these things feel like, conflict management, what reactions their conflict has with us/ people around. These are important things to learn. – probably better to learn it with each other than another setting.

    I think it’s totally natural & normal for us to (frequently!) get to the point we are just exasperated & exhausted with it too.

    Your on the cusp of things starting to really change … With school & nursery having more of an impact as they get older, extra sets of rules developed & understood, things can get easier.

    Without knowing the ins & outs of how/ what their arguments are about it’s hard to give specific advice, but hope it helps to know your not alone with struggling with it.

    You still sound like a great parent who cares & is trying your best 🙂

    It’s totally alright to hide behind the bedroom door & scream into a pillow or lock ourselves in the bathroom sometimes too, as much as prioritising their ‘happiness’ is great …. Health & wellbeing for our selves & the kids comes first as a foundation! … Or what is happiness without this?

    I’m yet to meet any parent who doesn’t struggle with some part of their kids behaviour, especially with 2 or more!

    Your not failing 🙂

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