Why Being A Single Mother Is So Hard!

I have always classed myself as a positive kind of person. I try to smile as much as I can and enjoy my life as much as possible. But occasionally even I have a wobble, and yesterday I wobbled so much I nearly fell over!

I have been having problems with Monkey and the potty now since she started nursery 5 weeks ago. She woke up the morning she started school and it was as if a switch had flicked inside her! It started that morning and hasn’t stopped yet….

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an occasional accident (that I could deal with.) It’s full on up to 5 times a day. Sometimes she will use her potty, sometimes she won’t! There appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the accidents. Nothing seems to trigger it and it isn’t down to a health problem.

It is times like this that I find being a single mother so hard! I have no back up, no support and no soundboard. It’s just little old me trying my best to figure out what is happening, and what to do about it for the best. I have tried EVERYTHING!

I have ignored it, I’ve shouted at her, I’ve treated her when she has done well, I’ve stopped treats when not, I’ve taken advice from friends, I’ve asked the teachers, I’ve had a urine sample done (in case of infection) I think I have pretty much tried all there is to try…

So yesterday I gave in! I broke down and cried as got us all ready to go to the cinema. I couldn’t bear the thought of her wetting the seat in there, so did what I said I would NEVER do… I took a step back and put her back in pull ups!

THAT was when I realized I was alone, a single mother, a completely useless one who doesn’t know what to do. I had no one there standing by my shoulder to give me a cuddle or to help me. No one to tell me it will be ok, no one to split the problem with, no one with authority to make Monkey sit up and take note. JUST ME!…

Today is better! Today I feel more positive! Today we have had no accidents… YET! Is there anyone out there who can help a single mother? Someone who can give me a bit of advice that hasn’t already been said? Something to stop me standing in front of my daughter opening and closing my mouth like a demented goldfish, not knowing what to say or do next. Do you have the answer I need?


  • Kate Takes 5 says:

    Oh you poor thing! I’m not an expert by any means and I don’t know how old your little one is but I had problems training all three of mine. One was in pull ups at night until the age of six and we went backwards and forewards with day time pullups \ no pull ups for ages. In the end your own sanity is the most important and I wouln’t blink an eye at putting on a pull up if and when you feel you need to. Give yourself a break. It will come good in the end. ((Hugs))

    October 22, 2012 at 14:27
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Ahh thanks for you message and support. She is three. It’s very frustrating as her twin sister has been fine. But its good to know I’m not the only one who has suffered this problem ;-)

      October 22, 2012 at 20:46
  • Stacey says:

    Oh sweetheart, I feel for you I really do. I can also sympathise a little with how it feels to be alone, with no-one to turn to for help when you need it the most. Before my other half came along, it was just me and Big Bro who was 8 months at the time. I remember having to take him for an operation, all on my own and stay there for four days with him, sleeping by his bedside, alone. Sometimes it seems like an impossible task, and you feel like shouting “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?”. But, days, weeks, months pass and so much good stuff happens and before long, the wobbly moment is just a memory.

    You are an amazing person for doing this all on your own and hell, you’re definitely allowed some wobbly moments, purely because there is no-one else. Just remember that you are strong and are doing a great job, and if all else fails, there are people out here in cyber space who are more than happy to let you sound off at them – well me at least :).

    As for the potty training, I’m only just starting that one myself with my eldest, so can’t offer too much advice – just keep doing what you are doing and hopefully it will click.

    October 22, 2012 at 14:31
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Wow, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to cope with what you went through alone! My problem isn’t as serious thank goodness. I suppose you do what you have to, but hats off to you!
      Thank you for your support, it’s nice to know there are people out there that don’t mind listening to me winge LOL. She had two accidents today, but I ignored both, so I must be feeling a bit calmer ;-)

      October 22, 2012 at 20:50
  • Mark Richards says:

    So here – for what it’s worth – is a dad’s point of view. I simply have no idea how single mothers cope. I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have children can appreciate how hard it is to bring them up and how much it is a team effort – and that doesn’t stop, even when they’re teenagers. As to Monkey, I suspect that patience is the answer, but that must be bloody difficult on your own.

    My son used to wee sitting down. You can imagine that this had us a little worried, but he wouldn’t stop. Then one day he came home from nursery and announced that he was weeing standing up from now on. They’d had a talk from the community PC on road safety (or something) and he’d seen the PC have a pee. So what sort of Dad was I? Had to rely on the police to teach my son to pee standing up…

    I suspect the same will happen with Monkey. One day it will be solved and you’ll be on to the next problem. But until then all I can offer is a huge dollop of sympathy and admiration.

    October 22, 2012 at 21:12
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Thank you so much for passing by and taking the time to comment. It’s good to know there are still nice guys in the world that appreciate what us single mums have to go through!
      Your story makes me realise we all have our problems. I’m feeling more positive today than I did yesterday. Even though we still had two accidents! Hopefully she will sort herself out soon ;-)

      October 22, 2012 at 21:44
  • jackie says:

    Listen to all the above …….everyone just doing the best they can .Thats all you can do, and just hope that this will just all fall into place naturally.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    October 22, 2012 at 21:46
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      It had better click into place soon, or I’m sending her up to you! ;-p xxxx

      October 22, 2012 at 21:48
  • Love All Blogs / imcountingufoz says:

    Oh love! my mum brought my sister and I up alone and she said on one very big hand it was hard and frustrating and exhausting, but she also said even though she had no back up, it meant she could set all her own rules and no one was there to undermine her. She got to parent us exactly the way she wanted.

    I think, take each day as it comes, and shout for advice from twitter if you need it. We’re all here for each other xxx

    October 22, 2012 at 22:29
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      There is a lot to be said for being a single mum. I get to sit and eat dinner with my girls instead of waiting a partner to come home. I have full use of the remote control! I have no one to answer to about anything ;-)
      It is only when I get defeated by a problem that I feel lost and alone! Not having a second opinion is really hard sometimes…
      But I guess with FB, my blog and twitter I’m never really alone ;-) xxx

      October 23, 2012 at 07:53
  • amy says:

    I’m a single mum (since day 1) of my 2 year old monkey and I know EXACTLY what you mean (about single parent status, not potty training although you have my sympathy about that) about when you have a wobble feeling so alone. On the good days, the fact I am single doesn’t cross my mind and I relish the special situation of it just being me and my little girl, being able to just go with the flow, set our own rules etc etc. On a bad day, I curse everything in the world and want to hide. I snap and then hate myself for snapping when it isn’t her fault. And of course, if you have no back up you can’t just bog off even if you wanted to. We have serious feeding issues in my house, and I just have to remind myself to keep patience in bucketloads and be consistant to the point it is obvious the current plan of action is failing miserably and then switch. Some days, this alone takes every shred of energy I feel I have. I really admire you with twins; quite often I feel sorry enough for myself with one! Keep going, she will get there. xx

    October 23, 2012 at 14:34
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Ah I hope so. No accidents today thank god and I’m feeling much stronger again today! Will leave it a few more month till my next big wobble… I hope! Thanks for passing by my blog and commenting ;-) x

      October 23, 2012 at 17:41
  • Molly - Mother's Always Right says:

    I’ll let you into a secret. I’m not a single mum but I regularly stand there like a demented goldfish with no answer to whatever problem has presented itself that day. I think you’re extremely amazing for doing all that on your own and am constantly bowled over by how hard it must be to be a parent when you’re doing it solo. I’m afraid I have no advice to offer in the arena of potty training – I have a two year old decided to start potty training and then decided she’d go nowhere near it ever again. I fully expect her to still be in a nappy at the age of 21. Keep strong, keep patient and keep writing. x

    October 23, 2012 at 20:23
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Hi Molly, thanks for passing by and taking time to comment on my blog. It is hard sometimes, but I’m so glad I’m not the only one suffering from demented goldfish syndrome! You have restored my faith in motherhood ;-) x

      October 23, 2012 at 21:01
  • Pressies by Pebbles says:

    I think you’re doing phenomenally well. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice except “everything’s a phase” – not that this will help you now but I pray the phase finishes asap. I did just want to write and say from what I read you are an amazing Mummy and your kids are very very lucky to have you. Stay strong (well as strong as you can) and I hope life starts getting easier. Keep writing as I love reading x

    October 23, 2012 at 21:11
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Ahh thanks for your lovely comment ;-) I definitely feel better now, the accidents haven’t stopped yet but we only had 1 today… Fingers crossed x

      October 23, 2012 at 21:59
  • Milly says:

    I’m a single mom, too, but I’m not sure potty training would’ve been any different if I had stayed with my ex, so I’m not sure how this is related… In any case, my 3yo diva regressed after training, likely for 3 reasons: 1. I stopped reminding her to go potty because I was relying on her to be conditioned enough to know when to go, and 2. she didn’t want to stop playing (her imagination was just developing) to pee, and 3. there was instability in her life due to the split. She finally stopped wetting her pants (the bed is another story, but come on, can you hold it in for 12 hours straight?) after she had to stay home from nursery for several days straight and we practiced it together, me stopping her from playing every 30 minutes or so and talking to her about how important it was to just try peeing (no yelling at her for accidents). It’s worked, knock wood, and if all else, just know, she won’t likely be pissing herself when she’s 16 — you just have to wait this one out, like everything else.

    October 23, 2012 at 21:25
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Yes I do need to get into the habit of making her sit on the potty every so often. Although she hates me doing it I see no other way forward… As for night times, well I think I’ll be waiting a while before we try that one lol ;-)

      October 23, 2012 at 22:03
  • Carolyn says:

    don’t beat yourself up, I know from being a Nanny, Maybe you need to say, right , Pull ups it is, we will try again in 4 weeks, But remember even in pull ups They can still use the potty, IT WILL COME

    October 23, 2012 at 21:55
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Thanks for passing by ;-) I think I’m afraid of going back to pull ups full time because i feel its taking a whooping step backwards… However, when we go somewhere for a long period of time with no toilet I will have no option but to bring back the pull ups ;-(

      October 23, 2012 at 22:08
  • Homeless Mummy says:

    I’ve just found your blog and wanted to say you are certainly NOT a useless mum!

    I am a single mother and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Sometimes there is such an ache for reassurance or support from someone who is supposed to feel the same about your child. It’s especially hard during these tough times but you should never doubt your ability. You’re doing the best you can in a situation that often has two people to muddle through.

    And it’s equally hard for some of the good moments when you just want another person beside you laughing and bursting with pride. But you know what? Those moments belong to you. You earn – doubly hard – every last smile, giggle and hug. And you deserve them too!

    As for the potty training – I tried my son but he was the same as your daughter so I gave us another week of pull-ups. Decided not to think about it or stress over it. We’d try again in a week. I ended up doing this twice. It just wasn’t worth the stress or the worry. the third time he had one accident on the first day and then nothing again.

    Good luck though!

    October 23, 2012 at 22:23
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Hi there, thanks for passing by and for your lovely comment. Your right about it not just being the tough times, but the happy proud moments too that you miss having someone to share it all with.
      I am normally quite a strong and independant person who actually quite enjoys being on her own most of the time. It’s only the odd wobble that makes me wish for support.
      I have popped over to your blog and left a comment but I’m not sure if it was delivered as my wireless cut out ;-( You are very brave and I cannot imagine what you must be going through. Good luck in your search for a decent property… You deserve it xxx

      October 24, 2012 at 12:45
  • Jen says:

    I was going to say as well that I’m not a single Mum but I feel very alone in dealing with my kids as well sometimes! I’m home most of the day with them and everyone needs a break- something you don’t really get as a parent! My identical twins (the same age as we’ve discussed!) didn’t train at the same time, I couldn’t face it. Do you have any marbles? (Not the lost your marbles sort hehe). I used small ones for wees and large ones for poos and they used them to show themselves and us how well they did by the end of the day! They weren’t for playing with but they quantified their efforts and every night I dumped them back in the bag to be chosen again the next day. It may be worth a shot? I didn’t let my reluctant trainer even touch them until started going in the toilet like her sister was. Healthy rivalry? I never compared them, just let the marbles do the work :)

    October 27, 2012 at 07:17
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Lol I did think you meant MY MARBLES… No I don’t have any but I think it’s a great idea. Monkey has been much better towards the end of this week so I’m hoping we are over the worst now ;-)

      October 27, 2012 at 20:10
  • PAOLA says:

    Hi there! Congratulations to all of you posting and writting! I’m a single mum and i have an 18 month old son who is currently sleeping after having a bad cold over the past week…so you can imagine i have had no sleep these days…and yes it is hard having no one to tell you how great mum you are and give you a big hug whereas for every mistake you feel you make or for any crisis that you are lost to deal with you get a hammer and you beat up yourself for not knowing or not dealing correctly to the situation! I question my self all the time if i am a good mother…it is good to know that you are here guys…any advice on what to be careful about with my 18 month old boy is welcome since you’ve been there done that!

    January 12, 2013 at 19:58
    • twinstiarasandtantrums says:

      Thanks for passing by my blog and taking time to comment.

      Funnily enough Mookin had a bad accident today. We were at a party and she fell and hit her head on a wooden beam. I was really upset that I had to cope alone with no back up. She is now in bed with a big lump on her forehead, I’m worried she is might have slight concussion, I’m worried that I should have took her to the doc and I’m worried that I’m so worried. I think all mums beat themselves up. But single mothers do it more than most! If you need any help in particular just shout and I’ll do my best to answer your questions ;-)

      January 12, 2013 at 21:07

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