So much more difficult than in the movies…

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  • #9155 Report


    Hi, I am new to this forum and to Gingerbread in total. I am a 38 year old full time working mother living in Skipton with a successful career and 2 beautiful children (6 and 5). I split up with my husband 6 months ago because our relationship had more than run its course and I needed to take control back and live my life the way I wanted to. I spent the first 3 months of being single doing just that. I found a new house, got a new car (both important steps as I finally owned something that belonged to just me), and even got promoted at work. My ex and I were being amicable as we both knew it was for the best, the kids handled the separation better than we expected, and we agreed a 50-50 custody which we felt was the best for all parties especially the children. In fact, it felt like everything was working out the best possible way it could…

    Then Christmas happened… which was just awful and threw everything up in the air. We tried to do it together for the sake of the kids and it was a disaster and left us both full of anger and hatred to each other. And since then I just feel like I am spiralling a little out of control. The worst thing is that my ex used to do all the disciplining of the children. So now, I am finding it really difficult to be the correct balance with my kids. We can have so much fun together and then they both just turn on me and refuse to listen or do what I say. Which is really tough. And after 5 days with them constantly pushing the boundaries, I finally broke down in front of them this morning. Because Leo refused to brush his teeth, and I used the wrong hair brush on Poppy which sent her into floods of tears….silly little things but after a weekend of it, I just couldn’t cope. I literally just broke down and cried in front of them. They didn’t know really what to do and tried to cuddle me. And now I have come into work and just feel so so sad. Like I am failing them. They have been so good over this whole separation thing, and all they need is for me to be a strong mother for them. But I’m just not sure I can do it. I don’t think it helps that I have no real friends or family locally. I am from the South originally and my family and best friends live there. Which means that when I have the kids I am literally on my own with them the whole time and sometimes get very little interaction with other parents.

    Which is why I googled single parent support groups this morning and have found Gingerbread. I am hoping this group can help me feel less like a failure.


    Sorry for the little rant. But even being able to write this down has actually made me fell a lot better…

    #9156 Report


    You’re not a failure at all. You’re just Human.

    I suggest you try and find a Gingerbread group locally – you can take the kids and meet other parents. Also, maybe get a bit more involved in your kids’ school, such as PTA.

    Support with any parenting problem: Family Lives 24 hour FREE helpline 0808 800 2222

    These could give you some pointers as to how to handle your children and your own stress levels.

    You had a great relationship with your ex up until xmas. Maybe find some time you can both sit down calmly (after the kids have gone to bed?) and work through how to move on from that and get the amity back – you both need that, and even more so, the children.

    All the best and come here to post any time – either to seek a little company or help, or even provide some of your wisdom to others.

    #9183 Report


    Hi Mellebelle

    I know exactly what you mean about deciplining. Now my my little boy is getting older (4) I feel the hardest part of single parenting is not having that back up when you are trying to discipline them.

    I too have got upset in front my little boy when his behaviour has been poor or not not listening and if there is one thing I have learnt is that it is actually ok for them see you upset at times as it makes them think more about their actions.

    I am assure you, you are not failing it’s all part of the fun of parenting it’s just through we have to do it alone, which we can and will!!

    Take it one day at a time and you will get there, just think how far you have come and what you accomplished x


    #9184 Report


    Mellebelle! Firstly welcome to Yorkshire 😁 I’m sure this is one of those ‘blip moments’ where things are just not in perspective for you. You work full time, bring up 2 young children and all that entails, manage a home and no doubt chaotic lifestyle, please don’t beat yourself over a minor meltdown, we’re entitled to one occasionally! Believe me when I say the kids will forget your tears and be back to challenging you again very soon! There is a gingerbread group not far from skipton where you can socialise with the kids and meet up with fellow single parents for a natter. If all else fails you have a jolly good tearoom there, sure you’ve been? Head down there for a slice of rainbow cake, it’ll make you feel more positive and I’m sure the kids will enjoy it too 😁 (Cake ‘ole). Also as Empty suggests, if you get back to the amicable relationship with the ex it will help you in the long term

    #9228 Report


    Thank you all, you have no idea how your comments have helped me. I really do feel a lot more positive today. I will def look up the Skipton group. Thank you again x

    #9299 Report


    Hi,  First of all look at what you have achieved – You took control of your life, got a new house, car AND were promoted at work!! – All awesome and all achieved whilst going through one of the hardest times of your life that in itself should tell you how strong and capable you are! – so now when the dust has settled you have a little melt down you deserve to… then we feel guilty that we do it in front of the kids but in a round about way it is good to let children see emotion occasionally it is part of growing up and shows them a lesson that showing emotion is good at times and DMP is correct the kids will have forgotten that moment already and won’t be affected in a negative way by it.  So do not beat  yourself up!  I feel your pain I done my last together Xmas 2 years ago and said never again it was awful, you think you are doing the best for the children however sometimes it confuses them more.   This xmas was the first happy relaxed xmas in 22 years and it was a great day for the kids and me…

    Keep focus on the amazing stuff you have achieved so far and remind yourself of that every day, children will test the boundaries in any situation and sometimes whilst going through the difficult times it’s easier to pick your battles and let go the minor things that aren’t worth it – But so far you have done amazing in a difficult situation so keep your focus and get involved in groups where you can meet new people in similar situations it will help you so much.

    Good Luck!

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