Taking A Back Seat As A Single Parent

There was a time where I would scrapbook every day of the week without fail.  Since moving to Wales this has just not happened.  It must be over 12 months since I have done a 12 x 12 page and I haven’t worked on Project Life since November last year.  A full 8 1/2 months with no scrapbooking at all.

 

 

I miss this hobby but just don’t seem to have a free hour that isn’t going to be interrupted.  I’m just a super busy single parent bringing up two tweens who always come first whilst my needs and loves take a back seat.  It’s hard work doing it all on your own and regardless of the latest report from the Centre for Social Justice I’d rather be doing it all on my own and my kids are better off with me doing it on my own.    

 

The CSJ is an independent think tank set up in 2004 to put ‘Social Justice at the heart of British Politics’.  Their latest report says that more 15 year old boys now have smartphones than live with their Fathers.  The report goes on to say broken families cost the taxpayer nearly £50 billion a year, through welfare payments for single mothers.  There is also the added strain on the criminal justice system, because the children of lone parents are more likely to end up in court and ultimately jail.  

 

Again, Single Parents are being put in a bad light.  Not all single parents are on benefits.  Not all children from broken homes end up in court.  Where is the praise for children of broken homes who do well.  Why are single parents stigmatised all the while?

 

Yes, I would like to be bringing my children up in a loving relationship with their Father but sadly that was not to be.  Should I have stayed with him just to not be one of these statistics.  No, I shouldn’t.  I was unhappy.  My children were unhappy.  Nasty thing were happening.  It was for their futures that I split from their Father.  It is for their happiness and well being that he is no longer in their lives.

 

I may be a statistic but at least I go to bed at night knowing my children are settled and happy.  The one thing they were not.  I work, I’m not on benefits and my kids are not in trouble with the law.

 

The CSJ’s Director Christian Guy, told The Sunday Times ‘For too long family breakdown has gone unchallenged despite the devastating impact it has on adults, children and communities.’ Family breakdown might have devastating effects on families but it can also be a positive.  Why are single families always viewed as being wrong?

 

The report then goes on to say that children who have separated, single or step-parents are 50 per cent more likely to fail at school.  I look back to my school days and there were very few of my peers from broken homes.  Guess what?  A large proportion didn’t get 5 A to C GCSE’s.  Some of my worst behaved peers had both parents at home.  My children’s school reports are excellent.  Both are thriving with their education.  My son is a little Maths genius,  By rights this should not be the case.

 

Again, things are being looked at in a bad light.  Children from broken homes are 50% more likely to fail at school?  Well how about turning the stats around and praising those from broken homes who do well.  In fact lets just praise all kids, be they from broken homes or not.  Lets praise kids for their good behaviour, the amount of effort they put in and when things go wrong, lets sit down with them and help them to make the right choices.  I’m not saying lets bribe them to behave well but discuss with them what is wrong with their behaviour.  Lets get our society to lead by example.  Bad examples can be given to children by parents who are together not just from broken homes.  Sort the justice system out so children can see it is wrong to be aggressive, wrong to be violent, wrong to carry knives.

 

 

Lets just stop stigmatising children from broken homes and their single parents where the majority do a fantastic job.  Lets just remember that if you constantly tell someone they are bad, they will fail, sooner or later they may start to believe this and the ‘why should I try’ attitude is their destiny.

 

My life takes a back seat because of my children and the things I want to do rarely happen.  I have so many papercrafting supplies along with other paraphernalia for other hobbies that it is unreal and they are all just sat gathering dust.  This summer I will find to to enjoy this hobby I used to love so much.  Find time whilst bringing up tweens on my own.  Realistically this probably won’t happen as much as I would like but I don’t think I would have it any other way.

 

 

This is my life and for now I must take a back seat.  I am happy to do this knowing my children are happy.  My children are safe.  My children are thriving and growing in to respectful, polite, rounded young people.  It takes time to teach them about right and wrong and more importantly lead by example.  This is most likely the cause of ‘the fall of society as we know it’ rather than broken homes,  Setting a good example has nothing to do with having both parents at home.  It’s all to do with the sense of right or wrong.

 

I am happy to be one of the Centre For Justice’s statistics having a boy with a smartphone and no Father present.

Are you a single parent doing it all on your own?  Should you do what the CSJ report thinks we all should do; stay with our child’s Father no matter what?  How do you feel about being a statistic?

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6 Comments

  1. Helena
    18 July, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    Great honest post. So annoying that people always stereotype single parents and view them in a negative light. Most really do a fantastic job

  2. 18 July, 2014 / 10:38 pm

    My parents are not separated but thats the only thing that I am wishing since I can remember. See my father is an alcoholic who drinks every night. Would shout non stop till morning. I have never had a good night sleep since I was a child and I would want my mother to get out of that relationship. She did not. I think that I will be a better stronger person and not a damaged girl that I am if my parents were separated. #pocolo

  3. Katie
    19 July, 2014 / 7:39 pm

    Fab honest post. Takes courage to be so honest. Being together is not always the best

  4. 21 July, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    I applaud you and my single parent friends who are doing an incredible job bringing up their kids, being together isn’t best if you are not happy. Happy parents=happy child. Thanks for linking up. Please add my badge or link back to #brilliantblogposts. Thanks

  5. Emily Shepperson
    29 October, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    Such a lovely post. I thoroughly believe that parents shouldn’t stay together “for the children”. I absolutely adore your scrapbooking.

  6. 29 October, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    This post sums up so much of my own views at the moment!

    I’m a working single parent who receives no money from his ‘father’ and I also don’t just claim benefits because they don’t give you much help when you have a mortgage.

    I enjoy working (although do it at night when my toddlers asleep so don’t sleep much!) and hate being looked down upon. I am more of a mum and dad then his father ever would be yet I’m judged just like you.

    So glad companies like Gingerbread are trying to change this!

    Thanks for linking to my new #singleparentlinky and hope to see lots more from you!

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