Why does it seem like everything is stacked against single mothers/parents?

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  • #16893 Report

    Every now and then I get to a low point where I feel like everything is stacked against my success/happiness/ability to provide a quality upbringing. Most of the time I’m usually quite capable at ignoring these feelings but when I am reminded of things like child maintenance contributions first my blood boils then I feel like there’s no hope.

    The things that make me feel like this are how my ex is only expected to pay 12% of his income, when I spend all of mine (I have a full time job, adding that because I’m so concsoius of being seen as the stereotype of a young single mum) on my daughter, I have £50pm left to spend on myself (including food, bills etc) EVEN though he sees her for a maximum of 12 hours a month.

    How hard it is to find work when you are a single parent.

    And how fortunate my daughter and I are my parents have taken on everything her dad won’t. There are many single parents worse off!!

    I’ve been pushed there again today in finding that this month I’ve finally been pushed to making an application through cms that along with a £20 (which is fine) I will also not receive any payment from my ex this month.

    So by attempting to ensure he is paying the right amount and on time I’m either risking her nursery place or my job because I won’t be able to pay for food, bills, childcare, petrol. The butterfly effect

    Its just this awful awful downward spiral, which I will feel the effects of, however I know I have the security of my parents to fall back on. But I get SO beyond cross when I think of parents who don’t have that sort of security.

    Are they expected to stick with uncertaint family based agreements, or loose a completely necessary part of their income for a month which could easily see them and their child in really bad circumstances. This is especially an issues considering how many people (even those with fairly high paying jobs) live pay check to pay check!

    Im not even sure where I’m going with this post, other than can anyone explain to me why so little is expected of the paying parent? The feminist in me thinks it’s because the paying parent is more likely to be a man, which in the patriarchy is confusing as we know all about the gender pay gap!

    And how do people get through days when they feel like this, what is it that moves you out the funk, I felt like this for months in the summer… I know I’ll be fine soon, but I’m sure I’ll feel like this again.

    Also I know no other single parents, none of my friends have children and this is my first post in any sort of forum, feeling lost.

    #16894 Report


    Hi fayecaroline. I agree with a lot of what you posted about, with things being stacked against you all the time it can be quite draining. I used to say to myself “may I accept myself just as I am “and “may I accept things just as they are.” I found it helped me feel calmer and better able to focus. Do you have friends and family that you can let of steam to about this?

    #16898 Report

    westernchampion, thank you.

    I am practicing staying focused on small steps, small tasks that make up something bigger and appreciating my good fortune. But every now and then it feels all consuming!

    I do have friends and family I can talk to, but I don’t know any other single parents and I sometime feel that they just couldn’t possibly understand how I feel about it all. I’ll get there just feel overwhelmed today.

    #16899 Report


    Hey we all are here to talk. I hear u i get majorly overwhelmed at times struggle on my own with way i feel. I do all the chores and make sure my son has everything he needs and im so proud of myself but at times feel so lonely and like wonder why i have to feel this way.

    You dont know any single parents, but now u have people on this forum who can deffo relate. Some days small tasks are too hard, making a phone call sometimes aint easy with a little one screaming and wanting every second of your attention

    I get times when i feel i put too much pressure on myself to like clean or get the washing done but lose myself in it and think well interacting witj my son is more important and remeber not to forget that…everytjin will get done…doesn’t all have to be today i say

    #17021 Report


    You are quite right about it being stacked agains single working parents, the expectation is still the same as if youre not single. This was driven home to me around Easter when my daughter got chicken pox but she unfortunately had a nasty reaction to the virus (physically she looked awful bless her, but in herself she was fine) but I was expected to be at work that day because of some specific, no ifs, buts or maybes. Talk about feeling like a complete failure to my kid. So I had to bundle her into the car, drive her the 30-40 minutes to her paternal grandparents, worrying about her and exposing them to the horrors of what chicken pox can do to older people.

    there just never seems to be a let up.  Similarly I don’t have any single parent friends, and although everyone knows how hard it can be to raise a family, unless you’re doing it on your own, and in my case literally everything, it’s so bloody hard. I’m usually very upbeat, don’t stress about things I can’t control but you do get those moments when things spiral lol.

    But to lift the gloom, hope you’re all doing great and have a good weekend ahead of you 😀

    #17026 Report


    I completely agree. I’m in a very similar situation. I’m still on maternity leave and my ex has agreed to pay an amount – which will contribute to putting a roof over LO head and that’s about it, everything else will come out of my salary once I’m back at work. Up until then I’m living at my parents, it’s like he’s just washedbhis hands of any kind of responsibilty there and is even moving in to a swanky new apartment in London in a few weeks.


    I take heart in the fact that my baby boy will see how hard I’ve worked, for him. And our bond will be incredible. And it will get better. I’ve set myself some medium (New rental home) and long term (saving for mortgage) goals. And havung one thing to look forward to each day helps me get through these early days. (Albeit cheese and Strictly tonight haha).


    Feel free to drop me a line, I don’t know very many single parents either, and becoming one myself was a massive shock that I’ve still not quite dealt with, but there is tons of support out there. Xx

    #17045 Report


    Same here, my ex does very little, but expects to collect a clean, fed , dressed and freshly ironed child. I’ve stopped thinking about it because it just makes me cross.

    I cheer myself up with the thought I no longer have to put up with his terrible driving, or drunkenness. I can cook healthy food and have the radio too loud while I hoover. I can open the windows without him whining about being cold. I can dance round the kitchen with ds without him complaining about the music. My finances may be shot to bits and I get about 6 days off a year, but actually we are doing OK. Ds is happy. Most single parents are dedicated and brilliant. Have a good Sunday all

    #17093 Report

    Ahh I knew I wouldn’t be the only one feeling like this from time to time!!

    90% of the time I can just put my ex out of my head and get on with it but sometimes I just think wow at what point did it become ok for him to get away with doing next to nothing, practically or financially. Maybe I just need to accept that it will never be something I’ll ever stop being angry about. But like Kathymumofone said, at least I don’t have to put up with everything I never liked about my ex anymore (apart from the laziness and poor money management)!

    But I suppose all our children are lucky to have one parent who can love them so much they will do everything two people should do!

    Someone said to me once if you want something done ask a single parent because they can do anything!

    It’s true, I’ve never felt more or less capable at the same time than since becoming a single parent!

    So good to know I’m not the only one that has these depressing, helpless, down and out days!


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