Being a single parent is hard work. There’s no denying that. Not only do you have to do the work of two parents, you have to put up with one of two looks from most people:

1. the “oh-you-poor-thing” head on one side fawn, or

2. the “my-taxes-are-paying-for-your-child-you-useless-wastrel” down-the-nose glare.

Neither is particularly desirable, if I’m honest.

Here is a list of good and bad things about being a single parent.

The Bad:

    • When your nose picks up that tell-tale smell, there’s no point in ignoring it. Nobody else will smell it and change the stinky nappy for you.
    • You’re the only one on duty for middle of the night cuddles, nappy changes, teething comfort and general shenanigans. There is no “just hold the baby while I…” – you have to learn to do it while you’re holding the baby.
    • You may as well give up; you’ll probably never pee without an audience again.
    • When your child picks up a bad habit… you can’t blame it on someone else; they probably learned it from you.
    • The buck stops with you. You are entirely responsible for this child.
    • When your child has a bit of a temperature/looks a bit peaky/may have put something untoward in his or her mouth, you have nobody from whom to seek a second opinion. There is nobody who knows their “normal” well enough to know if you are just over-reacting.
    • Your friends and family may mean well, and show an interest from time to time, but realistically you are the only person who is that interested in your child’s development. Nobody else cares that much about that cute little face she just made, or that she’s just done the cleverest thing with her sun hat.
The Good:
    • You get all the cuddles. You don’t have to share them with anyone. All that love, just for you.
    • You get to make all the decisions. You don’t have to agree to disagree or compromise on what you think is the right choice for your child.
    • You can have an amazingly close bond with your child that may not be so close if there was a third person in the relationship.
    • Did I mention the cuddles?
    • When someone says “you’re spoiling her” you can tell them to knob off; it’s none of their business. If your partner said that, you’d probably have to take their opinion into account.
    • You can do what you want, when you want. Let’s have breakfast, and then go straight out to the park. Let’s go to soft play. Let’s go swimming. Let’s stay in the house all day in our PJs and watch CBeebies. There is nobody to disagree with your ideas, and nobody to hold you up while you wait for them to have a shower/make a coffee/tie their shoelaces before you can leave.
    • You know when you look at your child, and you’re just amazed by how awesome they are? You did that. On your own. Not as part of a team or a group effort. You. Be proud.
Can you think of any more good or bad points?
Add your own in the comments!


Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


Vicky LovingParent · 17/06/2013 at 10:23

Love this! And I absolutely know what you mean. The challenges change as they get older (my eldest is now 7 and my twins are 6) but the goods and bads stay pretty much the same. The cuddles, however, get EVEN MORE AMAZING, especially when you also get love letters, pictures, cards and stories written just for you. :) xx

    Vicky Charles · 24/06/2013 at 20:33

    Thank you for your comment! I thought of this last night when my S gave me a kiss goodnight as I put her in her cot. Am loving being a single parent these days!

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