Single parenting made me a recluse

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  • #29858 Report


    Hello all, I’m wondering if there’s anybody out there who feels how I do?

    I’ve been a single Mum for 4.5 years, since my little boy was 2 months old. Dad is involved, but the absolute bare minimum, both in terms of contact and financially (and often does as much harm as good).

    Before becoming a Mum I lived in a different area, worked / partied hard and had a big network of ‘mates’. I earned well in a field I can’t realistically work in as a parent (public protection role, 24hr shift patterns).

    My friends all, slowly but surely, disappeared once I became a single Mum and couldn’t go out. Even my brother and sister who have no kids, never (ever) come to visit.

    And suddenly it’s been half a decade. I’ve spent 99% of my evenings alone after my little boy has gone to bed. Literally thousands of evenings.. day after day. I haven’t been able to work in all this time due to childcare and have been out at night a handful of times.

    Next week my little boy starts school, and alternate sat-sun at his Dad’s. I suppose life is supposed to ‘start again’. I’m supposed to go back to work (school hours only!), find hobbies, make friends.. the trouble is I’ve become completely inept at ‘adult life’. I feel hopelessly incapable of talking to adults. I have nothing to say. I’m awkward and I don’t know how to fit in. I’d rather stay in the safety of my home. If my little boy isn’t here, I’d rather drink wine and read than go out into the world and make an a**e of myself!

    I’m so upset about who and what I’ve become. An absolute loner.

    Next week I stop being a full time Mum, so what am I?

    Please, any advice, anecdotes, solidarity, would be desperately appreciated!

    #29860 Report



    I think many single parents, especially those that have moved into a new area feel exactly as you do, however I think a lot of it is partly perception and partly habit, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut.

    I think once you start meeting people again perhaps in your new job then sooner or later you’ll find someone who you will click with and all of those feelings of being socially inept will fade.

    It might be a bit uncomfortable to begin with but once you drag yourself out of the rut you’ll soon find yourself again.

    All the best and good luck with job hunting.


    #29863 Report



    I can relate very closely to the way you feel. I have spent the last 6 years single. I have tried to “put myself out there” but as more and more time went past I found myself more incapable of connecting to others and I just don’t even know how to instigate anything, I just feel akward. I work monday-friday until late and then pick up my two boys straight from work and drop them back on the sunday before rinse repeat.

    I have a very small hand full of friends and nights out are a complete rarity as they have the luxury of being able to plan last minute which I do not have.

    Its hard and unfortunately I do not have much in the way of advice, I am doing more exercise to fill what little spare time I do get.

    But you are not alone :/

    I hope it gets better for you.

    #29876 Report


    Hi Bambi, I was the same when my son started school. I think initially you need a confidence boost. You could use your experience in a volunteering role maybe.  I know one mum who joined lowland search & rescue team, which seemed to  work. Or see what support roles your old employer needs.

    Also check out the schools’s breakfast & afterschool clubs. I managed to work full office hours from 3rd term of reception year, because work was close to the school.

    i do parkrun on Saturdays and being properly fit  again gives me confidence. If you don’t want to run at first, you could be a Marshall while you get to know people. Look them up online. I run some lunchtimes too

    my son is 11 now & things are better. My social life has changed shape but it’s still there. Good luck 🤗

    #29879 Report



    you’re not alone at all! , I feel exactly the same way , I have been a single parent for 5 years , people don’t ask me out I think because they feel I wouldn’t be able to make it , I’ve tried making new friends but feel like you I have nothing to say as nothing happens in my life , I do work but in a very small office with the same people for the last 10 years so no way of meeting new people! , I tried setting up a Meetup group for single parents but nobody came . . It felt just hopeless!

    I have really good days and really lonely days where I just want to hide under the covers! , but I have come to realise that I am luckier than other people on this planet and I try and tell myself that daily , I have my amazing daughter , a roof over my head , food on the table , and if I want to go out into the world then I do so on my own , if not I curl up with a glass and a book/film . . I’ve found limiting social media on a bad day a good thing , that way I don’t feel so lonely knowing everyone else is out when I’m stuck in! , planning days out with my daughter to parks etc , always manage at least a 5 minute conversation with a stranger that can be uplifting!

    You will still be a full time mum , your job is part of that role , being a good role model for your child and earning pennies to be able to look after them . . Something to be proud of!

    you are not alone , there are plenty of us out there feeling just the same way <3

    #29882 Report


    Totally agree with the volunteering and the other comments this is why this site so good you realise your not on your own 😊😊😊 or maybe a course might be a good start something for you 😊

    #29886 Report


    I am in a very similar boat. I have returned to the uk after 8 years over seas. I’m here with my 6 year old son who we think has special needs. He is very delayed in his speaking and he seems to be of a lower mental age to other kids. My wife and two daughters are in South America because the uk visas have refused her entry into the uk twice now, even though I make over 50k a year, but that’s a whole other story.

    The thing is, I am alone and I have seen those who I though were friends slowly vanish into thin air. I spend the majority of my time in work, staying late simply so don’t have to return to a house without my family. My son is at school and my parents take him whilst I’m working. Weekend consists of the two of us watching cartoons, walking around shopping malls and going out for pizza and burgers. I spend night after night on my own, chatting to my wife on WhatsApp and missing my daughters like crazy. I’m just so lonely. I have no friends and I have no one to talk to.

    #30165 Report



    It seems that you may be developing social anxiety. I used to have the exact same thoughts ‘can’t go outside because I will do something silly and everyone will laugh’

    Best way to get chatting is a lot of small talk. I’m from a town where everyone says hi 🙂

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