Filter by Topic:
Top tips from single parents
Going through separation? We've collected practical tips from parents who have been there to help you through. Filter by topic or find out more by following the links.
It gets easier
At the time it would have been helpful to know that there is an end to it, it does get better, and it does get easier to control. We’re both with other people now, my daughter's happy, we don’t argue anymore. He used to drop her off and wouldn’t go near me, give me evil looks. Standing 20 metres away and leaving her to run to me. It would have been nice to know that you will come through this.
Mum, 1 child aged 6Information on communicating with your ex
Helping my son trust men
My son finds it really difficult to connect with men. He always feels like they’re going to abandon him. I’ve done my best to support him however he needs. We watch films like Star Wars together and I play football with him – me and all the other dads! On Fathers’ Day we always make a card and it’s for whoever he wants it to be for – one year it was a teacher at his school, another it was our neighbour. I just try to help him understand that what he feels is justified and it’s fine to be angry sometimes.
Mum, 3 childrenInformation on supporting your children
Let some things go
You may be strict on sugar and TV but they may not, which can create a very wobbly line for a child that is growing up and starting to push the boundaries. I have tried involving my ex-husband in conversations but it always ends in a disagreement or fight, so I have had to just accept and embrace that this is what happens in mummy’s house, and that is what happens in daddy’s house. Yes this is insanely frustrating, but honestly my advice would be to let it go. As long as your child/children are happy, being spoilt a few days a week isn’t the end of the world as long as they know the rules and boundaries in your house.
Mum, 1 childMore on making agreements with your ex
Asking for help is hard but important
I talk to my son's teacher and my mum, being frank about not being able to cope. Admitting I need help has been a massive thing for me to learn. It’s a gradual thing, being able to ask for support. But things are a lot easier now.
Mum, 1 child aged 9More on getting support
Remember stigma can be self-imposed
One thing I’ve learned, I went to work full time thinking people were looking at me - 'single parent on benefits'. I pushed myself to work full time and pay my way. Actually no one cares what I do, the only stigma was what I put on myself. I could have saved myself some stress.
Mum, 1 child aged 9Information on supporting yourself
Ask school to keep an eye on the kids
After we told them about splitting up, the kids were just constantly upset. My 5 year old was crying nonstop and not coping at school. The school staff are really kind so I straight away went and told the teachers. Everyone’s keeping an eye on the girls and they’ve been amazing.
Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10More on supporting your children
Try syncing your free weekend with other single parents
At the weekends they’re with their dad. Then it’s for me to find things to do. That’s where the single mums at school have come in handy. They have their weekends synced so that they have their time off from the kids together. It means when you haven’t got the kids, you’ve got someone to ring and ask to do something together.
Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10Meet other single parents at a Gingerbread group
Check if you can get extra financial help
When you change from a single benefit claim to a joint claim things change and you can get more help sometimes. I got help to pay for nursery fees – they paid 70%. If I didn’t have help with that, I wouldn't have been able to work. And a lot of people don’t know about those things.
Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10Information on finances after separation