My eleventh interviewee is 32-year-old Veronica Collins, a kitchen designer from Devon, who has a sixteen-month-old daughter
|Veronica & her gorgeous daughter|
The relationship broke down in the run up to her birth, although we tried counselling etc. She was about 4 months old when we officially split. We separated as we had irreconcilable differences and I found the relationship to be very controlling.
There were also a couple of instances of physical abuse. The father still wanted to continue the relationship for a long while, however I found it quite damaging to my mental health and well-being.
Where my friends with children can concentrate on putting the little ones to bed whilst the other partner prepares dinner, all the same jobs have to be managed by one. For me, this is generally successful but only through having good routines, although in the event that my daughter is unwell or just difficult to get to sleep for example, then I may not get anything to eat until very late!
There is no fall-back option if you are parenting alone. This is also very relevant when you run out of milk! All too often it’s easy to feel a bit like a prisoner in your own home as you cannot leave once your child has gone to sleep for the night, or during the day for a nap.
I often feel sad that I can’t give my daughter the typical 2-parent household that we are all led to aspire to, and I know that if I could turn back time then I wouldn’t have made the same choice to have children with my ex-partner, however I feel an intense guilt for thinking this as I know this would mean I wouldn’t have had my daughter.
I haven’t had any negative judgements or stereotypes directed at me that I can think of, however I am aware of many peoples negative perception to single parents, and so it has influenced me on some occasions. In these situations, I have found myself being reluctant to admit to being a single parent, or trying to avoid a conversation that would indicate my status.
What sort of relationship do you have with your ex, and how easy/difficult is it to maintain for your child/ren?
He has her all day most Saturdays as I work, and he also has her overnight as often as he can and is prepared to, which is 2-3 times a month. He will often want to see her at short notice, which he cites as being a consequence of his job (Royal Marine)
2) Find routines and practices that help save you time and work for you - time is very precious as a single parent!
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