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The Reality

1
It’s 10:10pm and I’ve spent the last 30mins trying to settle a very upset 3yr old. I have absolutely no idea what made her upset, she fell asleep with no issues but it didn’t take long for her to wake up again. I had around a 45min window between settling my daughter and her waking upset. In that time I managed to heat up a lasagne and treated myself to a few slices of frozen garlic bread and half a glass of red wine. I popped the tele on and got 20mins into a programme to then pop it on pause, never to be un-paused.

Earlier in the evening I had

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2
navigated pick up from a carefully timed childminder, a quick visit to my parents, which required a coffee and chat, getting my daughter home, organising a load of washing that I hope I can transfer to the tumble dryer before I head to bed or fall asleep on the sofa, circumnavigating my daughters bath as it’s already now 8pm so she can have one tomorrow, and having a 35min game of ‘how many YouTube Kids videos we can she squeeze in before I remove her iPad with military precision, without a complete  meltdown from an over tired toddler and a hangry
SelfishMother.com
3
Mum’.

This is not an uncommon picture of my night and it won’t be unfamiliar to a number of solo parents. I don’t have anyone to pop the washing in for me, to share the bedtime routine, to cook dinner so that when the said bedtime routine is achieved you can sit down, eat, and engage in some adult conversation. No one else to call upon when your daughter gets upset, or conceding that it’ll just be easier to go to bed in order to settle her.

It’s all on you. The domestic stuff, cooking, and ensuring you’re children are happy and settled.

SelfishMother.com
4
You don’t always get to eat dinner before 9pm, in fact in many cases you won’t, you don’t get to catch up on the programmes everyone else is watching as sometimes you might not even have an hour to just sit down and watch something between washing clothes/plates/any unknown goop from a surface and….wait for it….eating. Let alone attempting a reply to a four day old WhatsApp message or having any kind of social life.

I don’t think twice about doing any of it, if it has to be done I’ll get it done, I’ll reprirotise and I’ll compromise

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5
my downtown to ensure my house isn’t a complete disaster and my little girl sleeps well. It’s tough, all parenting is tough, and it can be draining (see the rather flattering picture of me sat on the floor in my bedroom, relieved that the little one has finally fallen asleep, on my side of the bed, at risk of rolling over and falling out….how long do I leave it before I attempt to move her, again, without her waking up?).

When I go into work tomorrow I’ll say I had a fairly uneventful evening, as that’s quite true…I’m not stressed out,

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and I will (hopefully) have had a good night sleep. But the reality of being a solo parent is tough – in house manny wanted!

 

 

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Jennifer Gosling

By

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- 5 Mar 19

It’s 10:10pm and I’ve spent the last 30mins trying to settle a very upset 3yr old. I have absolutely no idea what made her upset, she fell asleep with no issues but it didn’t take long for her to wake up again. I had around a 45min window between settling my daughter and her waking upset. In that time I managed to heat up a lasagne and treated myself to a few slices of frozen garlic bread and half a glass of red wine. I popped the tele on and got 20mins into a programme to then pop it on pause, never to be un-paused.

Earlier in the evening I had navigated pick up from a carefully timed childminder, a quick visit to my parents, which required a coffee and chat, getting my daughter home, organising a load of washing that I hope I can transfer to the tumble dryer before I head to bed or fall asleep on the sofa, circumnavigating my daughters bath as it’s already now 8pm so she can have one tomorrow, and having a 35min game of ‘how many YouTube Kids videos we can she squeeze in before I remove her iPad with military precision, without a complete  meltdown from an over tired toddler and a hangry Mum’.

This is not an uncommon picture of my night and it won’t be unfamiliar to a number of solo parents. I don’t have anyone to pop the washing in for me, to share the bedtime routine, to cook dinner so that when the said bedtime routine is achieved you can sit down, eat, and engage in some adult conversation. No one else to call upon when your daughter gets upset, or conceding that it’ll just be easier to go to bed in order to settle her.

It’s all on you. The domestic stuff, cooking, and ensuring you’re children are happy and settled. You don’t always get to eat dinner before 9pm, in fact in many cases you won’t, you don’t get to catch up on the programmes everyone else is watching as sometimes you might not even have an hour to just sit down and watch something between washing clothes/plates/any unknown goop from a surface and….wait for it….eating. Let alone attempting a reply to a four day old WhatsApp message or having any kind of social life.

I don’t think twice about doing any of it, if it has to be done I’ll get it done, I’ll reprirotise and I’ll compromise my downtown to ensure my house isn’t a complete disaster and my little girl sleeps well. It’s tough, all parenting is tough, and it can be draining (see the rather flattering picture of me sat on the floor in my bedroom, relieved that the little one has finally fallen asleep, on my side of the bed, at risk of rolling over and falling out….how long do I leave it before I attempt to move her, again, without her waking up?).

When I go into work tomorrow I’ll say I had a fairly uneventful evening, as that’s quite true…I’m not stressed out, and I will (hopefully) have had a good night sleep. But the reality of being a solo parent is tough – in house manny wanted!

 

 

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