Tired of stigma

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  • #27713 Report


    Hi, I have been a sole single parent since my daughter was 3months. I moved out of the city, (where we were generally accepted) to a smaller town, to give my daughter a better quality of life, with cheaper rents, nicer areas etc. Unfortunately this was a bad move. We moved from a council tenancy to private let, which led to nothing but awful landlords and being forced to move 3 times in the past 5years. We suffered so much stigma, being the only single parent in the village, barley anyone or the school accepted us. We are constantly pushed aside and completely ignored, although I have tried to intregarte, I find all supposed friends we have made have used us, disrespected us to our face, belittled and made us feel small for not having the 2.4 family, car and holidays abroad, honestly, I have been so upset and cried many times by the way we have been treated. My daughter gets upset as well due to the fact kids ask where her dad is and why she doesn’t have one. Recently  the class teacher went round the whole class and each pupil had to say what great qualities their Dad had. My daughter (8) was last, and was asked out in front of the whole class, she had to say she didn’t have a dad. The teacher ignored and moved on. She was extremely upset. Am I being overly sensitive. I would think people should me more understanding of different types of family and I would say the same if the teacher asked about mothers. I have now cut all the toxic people out our lives but this affects my mental health so badly. I feel like we should move back to the Town. Does anyone relate? Many thanks sorry for long post.

    #27723 Report


    The sad thing is no matter what we do as individuals, we can all be subject to stigma. There are some narrow-minded folk out there. But it doesn’t matter what they say or think. What matters is finding a way to rise above it.

    It is admirable that you tried this move but it sounds like its not working. I would seriously consider moving back 😀


    #27725 Report


    I wouldn’t move back. Why should you and your child be denied a life in a lovely town just because of the stupid attitudes of a few small minded people.

    i’m in the same boat. Small town, absent ex.  I’d do a couple of things.

    1. Complain to the school.The teacher is completely out of order and it needs to be pointed at.

    2. Kids will always ask questions, they aren’t being mean, so prepare your daughter . Sooner or later she will have a right to know so start now with some simple things she can tell her friends. She has a daddy called Fred, he has brown hair, likes Manchester United, and hates sprouts etc. He lives a long way away because of work. For the other children in the class, that will be enough.

    3. Stare down the bigots. I don’t know where you live but there are single parents everywhere. They can’t keep us hidden in a cupboard 😊  You’ll find some of the married ones asking (in awe) how you cope on your own. And recently I’ve had two ask my advice on how they can deal with holiday clubs if they leave their not-so-happy marriages and have to work.

    Honestly, I’m sure the majority view isn’t as unfriendly as you think. Make a cake or two for the pta and hold your head high.  xx

    #27917 Report


    That was extremely insensitive of that teacher.  I would feed that back to their supervisor… they should know better.

    It’s always a challenge moving to a new are where you don’t know anyone regardless of your situation as a parent or not.  Making friends and not feeling alone as well as trying to fit into what will already be quite cliquey (is that a word?) community where everyone knows everyone else’s business can be daunting and sometimes unfortunately it can be a case of “face don’t fit”.  Don’t let it get to you, and realise it is a case of them not you.  It’s their problem… they have no idea of the challenges you are facing and their ignorance says more about the kind of people they are not you.

    Chin up, hold your head high and rise above it.  You know you are  a good parent. Moving from one area to another doesn’t change that fact.  Its still you and your daughter its just in a different place.  Before considering moving back try to think if the reasons why you moved in the first place…. list pros and cons for each.  Certainly the biggest pull for me regardless of location would be where friends and family are.

    You may find that if you get some support where you are things might not be so bad.  I can understand the classroom thing really upset you both but that should be addressed as its not on… the teacher could have on realising the situation they put your daughter in to immediately use it as an opportunity to raise the subject of diverse families in a positive way. They screwed up not u or your daughter, remember that.

    Have you had a look to see if there are any meetup groups for single parents in the area or any gingerbread groups nearby?.


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