Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Confession

I decided to add this to the #BigFatLinky this week. Although this was a post that I published last November, my parenting life is pretty much run on good and bad days. On the bad days this is a good reminder that it's OK sometimes that we all have them. 
 

Confession time for me..........

I struggle being a Dad.

I struggle being a Single Dad.

And Finally, I struggle being a Stay-at-home Dad.
 

Silly isn't it?

I have put this post under the Title 'A Confession' not to lure you in with some dark seeded secret about my past or my life, but because I wanted to say something that I find incredibly difficult to admit to.

Two weeks ago I was really struggling, the Boys are both at great, but challenging, ages where they want to do everything, be a part of everything, they want to push their boundaries and want to challenge your voice so they can clearly identify their own individual voice.

It was truly a week of nightmares!

It was a week where I have had the boys for longer (Saturday evening to Tuesday Evening, Wednesday evening to Thursday evening) this can happen up to twice a month but usually only once a month.

  1. I had William refusing to do more than his minimum in Home Schooling.
  2. James waking up several times a night every night.
  3. Both boys in every way defying everything that I said and quite often being rude whilst they were being disobedient. 
  4. I had James emptying a bottle of talcum powder all over the floor (I turned my back for 10 minutes to dish up their dinner) Why? Because he wanted to make foot prints in the snow. (makes perfect sense)
  5. I had James also putting his hand fully in the SudoCream and putting prints on me and the furniture.
  6. They had both started to make high pitch noises from nowhere and for no reason (Tourette's in toddlers?)
  7. And as a previous post had said they both had head lice.
 
This was on top off a hard week personally as well as with work. Obviously, with hindsight, it all happens at one time.

This was with the normal struggle of doing things a hundred times over with the boys.

As a parent reading this you will know what I mean; like taking 40 minutes to get out of the door because one puts their coat on whilst the other loses a shoe all of a sudden (because for some reason doing your coat up allows the the shoe fairy to come in)

I went to my Church group at the end of the week and they asked me how I was; within seconds I was welling up as the flood gates were about to open explaining my week.

It was great to talk but at that very same moment I felt terrible, these lovely people, albeit my friends, will think that I am a terrible father and a terrible person; I clearly felt that i am not fit to cope as a person of responsibility for my children.

However; Little did I then see, by the end of my long ranting, that they were sitting there nodding there heads, smiling in places and the occasional odd laugh.

Are they mocking me now?

No, they understood. These are all thing that parents go through, these are thing that happen, nothing to do with gender or that I was a single parent.

They spoke to me about how they too would feel like that and how both of them were exhausted and in tears by the end of an evening or a week. They exchanged stories of what their children had done or been like. They also, very kindly I believe, told me how much more they admire me, not only because I am Disabled, being single and not having someone to tag team with when times get rough.

But the truth is I felt ashamed. I have most of my life seen female/male judgements when it comes to parenting. This next part is not a anti- woman rant, not at all, but some women in the past have made very rude comments about me being a man, as a teacher, and a nursery worker, as a parent and especially as a single dad. I have dealt with so much negativity in the past that it falls on your shoulders, you might think that you can shake it off but at times little pieces sinks in.

Sometimes it is almost expected for a man to fail when looking after their children. Something will probably go wrong.

There are hundreds of Single dads; newly single, a long time single, who have the children with full custody, 50/50 custody or every other weekend, who feel alone and isolated. These dads often don't want to share their difficulties because they don't want to look like a failure or that they honestly don't know who to talk to.

I am lucky that I have good friends as well as my church community but yet some dads don't. But even with my friends I was worried; the main reason was that I was scared to think what would happen to my access with my children if I admitted something as terrible as I sometimes struggle.

But the truth is this:

It doesn't matter if your are a Single Dad or a Single Mum or if you are part of a couple; Parenting is hard!

We all have bad weeks. Don't hold it in and carry it because with it you can also carry shame by not admitting that its been a bad week and you have struggled to cope.

We have all been there. We are only human, I want to be Superman though but there is only so much that we can do without coming to a point and over doing and feeling exhausted and upset.

Do you have bad weeks? Struggle coping? Single Parent or part of a Couple? As always, Would love to hear your comments below.




Single Parent Pessimist

 
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The Dad Network

64 comments:

  1. HI, welcome to #singleparentlinky so glad you have linked up!
    This is such a useful post for me to read today as I have been feeling soooo similar and very much a failure at the moment- this week has been hard with my son being ill and all the stresses I have, and with no one to give him too (he doesnt see his dad) so I feel your pain!

    I am glad you manage to talk about it, as I too find that once I say things to fellow parents I feel so relieved to know these feelings are totally normal!

    Hope to see you again at the next Single parent linky, feel free to add yourself to my Fb group Single Parent Bloggers UK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      It is amazing at how, as a single parent, alone you can feel especially when it has been a bad week. For me It was about time I just admitted that I struggle from time to time and then feel guilty that I struggle. Glad it was a good read for you.
      Will definitely be joining the Linky again.

      Delete
  2. A great read and a very honest one. I think parenting is full of guilt but sounds like you're doing a great job. The boys look like that have a blast with you as their teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting. I think that's it. It doesn't matter who you are as a parenting or your set up but it still remains hard. I don't always feel like I'm doing a great job but again that's parenting for you! The boys do have fun and are happy and ultimately that's all that matters.

      Delete
  3. I think if you feel like you've got everything under control, then you're not doing it right!!!

    The Sudocream and the talcum powder made me giggle as my youngest did both of those this week. It's a bugger to get out isn't it?!??

    I take my hat off to you Martyn, single parenthood is a tough gig, sounds like you're an amazing Dad giving your kids a great foundation for life. Admitting you sometimes struggle is a sign of strength I think!
    #brilliantblogposts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Mumma McD!
      Yeas I have it under control if I really struggle I talk to the boys mum and canes things for a week. Good communication helps there!

      It sounds like a lot of kids do that


      Thank. It is tough but I think it's tough on all parents.

      Delete
  4. Wow this is completely normal whether your a mum or a dad, single or not. Kids push it as they grow and they know your buttons to press better than anyone. As you say, things always come at once too. Hope things feel a little easier this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting! As is life we have good and bad weeks. This is a good one especially compared to the one mentioned above.

      Delete
  5. Also added you on Bloglovin, love how you write ;) #brilliantblogposts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome. Thank you. Although I don't have a fb page yet you can also find me on Twitter at @mr_kitney

      Delete
  6. I'm so sorry you are having a tough time, you are so right, parenting is tough and we all struggle and it's important that those remember that. My husband is equally capable to care for my kids and is a hands on father, he is better in some areas than I am (more patient) and I excel in other areas (more energy). It is so hard being a single parent, I know from close friends who are, you have to be both parents at one time but you are doing a great job. I hate that you've received sexism and prejudice, here's to surrounding yourself with more positivity as with your Church group who sound wonderful. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's ok. And weeks like this will and do happen a lot. It's what happens when you're a parent. Even more so as a single parent because, as you said, you've got to play both roles and not have anyone to tag team you.
      Between my church group and the blogging community I get a lot of support and reassurance. But I know a lot of Dad's done. My only hope is that more Dad's can speak out and join more groups like 'The Dad Network where we can speak openly and support each other. Otherwise, sadly, some sexism will always be around.
      And thank you. I know I do well....but difficult to remember in the tough weeks. But it's good to look back at posts like this and see that I'm a: having a good week, and b: that I survived the last one without any major dramas.

      Delete
  7. I can't imagine the challenges that single parents have to overcome. With my wife's job it can sometimes feel like I'm a single parent for a few days at a time, but then she'll get a few days off and I get to have some help. My hat's off to you Martyn! Keep up the great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate, even more so, as a dad and part of a couple. It just clarifies that parenting is hard for all concerned. Thank you, it can be hard but we, all parents, have bad weeks when it's hard!

      Delete
  8. Martyn, you are a beacon of light when it comes to single dads. Your words erase a lot of the "presumed" negativity of single fathers that unfortunately all of us are lumped into. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the crop, but those bad apples haunt all of us. It's a label that none of us chose but we all do the best we can with the cards that were dealt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ever so much Gary for your kind words. I truly hope that my words do that. I do have an ever going battle to prove that single dad's are not the stereotypical talk show bum. We do as well as anyone else. In lots of ways that the true message for me in this post. It's not a male vs female post or a single dad vs single mum or a rant at how lucky coupled parents are. The truth is parenting is hard!! And people need to talk about it more especially dad's, single or not.

      My massive reason for fully supporting A's great work with the Dad network.

      Delete
  9. For sure, parenting is hard for everyone, but when you're a single parent and/or a stay-at-home one, it must be doubly hard - at least. I pat myself on the back when I do a week with the kids - to have to do so on a consistent basis ... well, I salute you, sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's it. Parenting is hard for everyone. Bit a good remind that we're not all superparents.

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Parenting is hard. We've had a whiney week and I just want to take a holiday. Two months until we are actually holidaying with the Grandparents and we can have a little break. Can't. Wait.

    #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some weeks are just like that! Hard going as a parent. But it's worth it. Just wish there was a breather inbetween.

      Delete
  11. Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. Parenting is hard. We've had a whiney week and I just want to take a holiday. Two months until we are actually holidaying with the Grandparents and we can have a little break. Can't. Wait.

    #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aww this must have been s tricky week to get you feeling like that so don't feel guilty. You do a fabulous job as a single Dad and will two little ones I can only imagine how they must test you and play up now and then. There is only so much you can take without exploding!! I bet another week they are little angels and you will have forgotten this xxx #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H! Yes some weeks they're perfect children other weeks I question where those children went ;)

      Delete
  13. I remember commenting on this when you first posted it. Very powerful stuff and I can certainly relate to it. #BigFatLinky

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a single mum to six children and struggle some days (or more than some). I have decided to leave my job as it is too much to manage it all and go self-employed instead. Hoping that will ease off some of the pressures to juggle it all and I may actually get to meet other parents as feel isolated at the moment. Apart from Church once a week, I don't get to chat to people.

    It is so hard to be a parent. My 6 year old has been having terrible tantrums (4 years late!), while my 4 year old has been ill and I'm shattered. But I know that I'm not the only one in this situation. Would be good to meet others that can confirm this though.

    Being a single parent is a lonely job but those good days are amazing.

    Keep going - you are doing a fab job x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I'm not alone. Those good days to make up for it. Can't imagine it with 6!

      Delete
  15. A very honest and heartfelt post. As long as you've got a good support network, days or weeks like this will be so much easier. It sounds like you've got the perfect group of friends to load off on. #bigfatlinky Ali @muminanutshell

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Martyn, I can't imagine what it must be like for you. I have a few hours when I'm left on my own with the toddler sometimes and that's hard enough, let alone trying to look after two boys. It's always good to get these things off of your chest though and just know that you're not alone. We all struggle sometimes. Parenting IS hard, but is completely worth it! #bigfatlinky xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly it. And the point of the post. Parenting is hard! But the good times definitely out weigh the bad

      Delete
  17. I love this post! Not because you were struggling (obviously I feel for you for going through all that at once) but because it's a great reminder that we're not alone in this parenting game.
    I'm lucky to have my hubby to help me but when he's at work it can be a very lonely and brain mushing job. You begin to feel like their actions are personal and they just want to upset you. And it's scary to admit that you're struggling with it because you don't want people to think you're a rubbish parent.
    So well done for talking about it and sharing your perfectly normal thoughts, we've all been there and no doubt will be there again many times in the future! x

    #BigFatLinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate. That's why I wanted to write it. It was and can be so intense that it feels like I'm alone but know so many in the same boat

      Delete
  18. Kids are definitely our kryptonite at times. I always say without the rough, we can't appreciate the smooth, and overall it's smooth sailing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100% agree. Luckily don't get lots of these weeks and the good times make such a difference

      Delete
  19. A very honest post and something most of us can relate to in some form or other. Parenting is hard and sometimes i'd like to go back to work for a rest! #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great post - there will always be bad days/weeks. I had one this week . In the end I have to just laugh and start again #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
  21. Already read and commented on this one but glad you linked it up buddy #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love this post. I know that every parent goes through the tough days (months....) but it's really great to read about other people's struggles.

    Not because it makes me feel better, but it's great to know that other people understand and have the same feelings about parenting. It's HARD, so hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely. I don't enjoy the posts of perfect parenting where in truth it has its bad points too

      Delete
  23. What a beautifully candid post! We all have bad days, weeks, months (I am in the middle of a week one), however I say this time and time again that I massively respect single parents - whether they be mums or dads but probably dads for having to massively go against the grain as it were and both for having to deal with this parenting thing primarily on their own. And for that, I salute you! #BigFatLinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. But I think we all experience the bad days and weeks. It's so draining

      Delete
  24. Great post Martyn, I know what it's like to be a single parent and the struggles that come with it; I've felt like a crap mum loads of times and hated admitting that I wasn't coping very well. It's good that you have friends and your church community when you're in need of support. Life would be so much harder if you had to cope as a parent without a network of people to lift your spirits. xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. You must have helped a ton of single parents with this post! You are definitely not alone at any point even if it feels that way. We all have bad weeks, we all have wonderful weeks - it just part and parcel of the parenting life. I hope that by posting this you have rendered exactly that. As someone who has constant back up in dealing with the toddler, I have the hugest respect for single parents because honestly, I don't know how you do it! #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks lisa I hope so too. I think single or not parenting is tough work and we must remember not to be so hard on ourselves.

      Delete
  26. I totally agree with your point that it doesn't matter what your situation parenting is HARD! I often (always?) feel like I am failing in so many ways to be a good parent, but we all just struggle on. I have definitely found blogging is a way to connect with others who feel the same and take comfort from the fact that actually, we are all doing pretty well actually!
    #the big fat linky of the week

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I take from it the same as you! It's comforting knowing that you're not alone

      Delete
  27. I love your honesty in all your posts, especially ones like this where I am nodding along. I feel bad when I struggle as I have the luxury of being a sahm, then he giggles or does something cute and I instantly have guilty feelings for whatever shouting I have done! #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura. I have the same guilt. It's so tough.

      Delete
  28. I was dying laughing about the shoe fairy! So true! We definitely all have bad days. Sometimes I feel like the bad days outnumber the good days. I can't even imagine have to do it all as a single dad. So challenging! Great post. #BigFatLinky

    ReplyDelete
  29. Aagh I was just saying this to my husband when he came home tonight - he asked how my day was and I said ok but I feel like a rubbish mum and like I don't achieve anything. Now add the single parent component and I'm afraid I totally am wow'd by you all. Seriously. Never ever ever EVER feel bad for finding it hard. You do a difficult job very well and kids are kids with all their moments and tests they set us. You seem to do so much more than all of us put together!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elfie! Parenting is just tough going. Think we all need medals!

      Delete
  30. Everybody has bad days, weeks, months, heck I'm going on a bad year, lol. Things always get better. I'm not a single parent, so I know things are a bit different, but I am a SAHD and its tough. We have to support each other as dads and SAHDS.

    Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love your honesty Martyn. We all feel like this at times but we don't admit it. I can imagine it's a million times worse when you are a single parent and don't have that extra support too. It's such a shame you have up against negativity in your job - remember it's just ignorance and totally their bag. I think it's so good for children to have both male and female influences in their schooling. My daughter has a male nursery worker and he's just so great with them! It's so refreshing to see! #bigfatlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's the side of parenting that people seem to miss at times. Thank you again. I think men in this role is good.

      Delete
  32. Being a parent is hard work, and being a sahp is really hard work because there is no change of pace no let up. I think we all struggle with parenting at times. The great thing is that we can admit it and get support from all the other parents out there.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Being a parent is hard work, and being a sahp is really hard work because there is no change of pace no let up. I think we all struggle with parenting at times. The great thing is that we can admit it and get support from all the other parents out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The community support it fab. It's great knowing you're not alone

      Delete
  34. A friend of mine recently messaged me and asked "Does it get easier?"
    Again he seemed to have alot of stuff happen all at once. Kid being poorly, wife being ill so unable to help, car breaking which cost a fortune ect ect.
    The bad thing was I couldn't give him any advice. I just had to tell him it sometimes does and sometimes it gets harder. But I have found when things are hard, if you look back at stuff you have already made it through before, whatever is standing in your way now is probably gonna be a breeze!
    L
    #BigfatLinky

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sorry Martyn I'm laughing at the talcum powder and snow thing. My little lad went through a phase of dumping talcum powder everywhere so I know what's it like.
    He never said it was to make footprints in though.

    Seriously there's two of us here and we still have days where we struggle. I can't imagine doing it all alone, never mind adding home schooling into the mix. Home work is bad enough.

    ReplyDelete