Blog of the Week – Single parents, I salute you

Blog_of_the_week_badgeOur blog of the week this week comes from Dad Down Under, who writes brilliantly and amusingly about being a stay at home dad in Australia.

This post is his little nod to the amazing job so many of those single parents out there do – a hard and often unacknowledged role.


Single parents – I salute you!

Last night I watched on from the comfort of the sofa the ritual that is my wife getting ready for a night out. I have no idea what happens during the hour that passes but there is lots of noise, lots of indecision and lots of “how does this look?” ‘s. I still don’t really know the ‘right’ answer to that question, I’ve tried honesty and I can assure you that it’s not always the best policy and I’ve tried lying through my teeth and she sees straight through it.

I don’t relish the nights when me and Max are left to our own devices. He smells my fear and with 50% fewer parents to contend with he goes all out to break me. He kisses his Mum goodbye and looks for all the world like butter wouldn’t melt. But as soon as it’s just me and him he looks at me as if to say “You’re my bitch now”. Food, bath, PJ’s, books, milk, more books, teeth, more books, bed are all ticked off the list but the ticks are great big angry red ones that tear right through the page. Food is thrown, bathwater drunk, PJ’s are resisted, books are ripped, milk is dribbled, teeth clamp down on brush and bed is just somewhere to perform some toddler cabaret.
As if that isn’t enough to have you reaching for a bottle of something strong you spend the next couple of hours, cooking, cleaning, tidying, washing up and putting out a large glass of water and a couple of Berocca’s for the party girl (this is reciprocated when I over indulge), to the backdrop of your child doing everything in their power (banging, bouncing, screaming, kicking) to resist arriving in the land of nod. At around 9:30pm all goes quiet and you allow yourself a whopping 30 mins of whatever constitutes relaxation before hitting the sack and mentally preparing yourself for a 2am wake up call from a slightly slurry wife who can’t quite understand why you don’t share her enthusiasm for a blow by blow account of her evening.


I’ve recently made friends with a local single parent and she has become my hero.

The strength this lady has to raise her beautiful child so well, to provide for them both, to run the house, to find some way of nourishing herself and doing it all with a smile on her face I find incredible and I am completely in awe of her and I tell her that regularly.

Every single time I find myself about to complain about how hard parenting can be I stop myself. Every time Max wakes up in the middle of the night and Anna goes in to settle him I am thankful. Every time I need a quick timeout and Anna steps in and I am thankful. Every time I question my ability to parent Anna is there to tell me otherwise and I am thankful. Basically every time I need someone, Anna is there and I am truly thankful for that.


With this in mind I would like to pay tribute to all the single parents. I don’t often wear hats but if I did I would take mine off to you. I am sure there are times when you feel like everything is conspiring against you and I just wanted to tell you that you are all heroic in my book.


Find tips, support and advice for single parents over on Netmums.

And if you missed our blog week on busting the myths of being a single parent then it is well worth a read.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Blog of the Week, Busting the myths, dads, Single mothers, single parents and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Blog of the Week – Single parents, I salute you

  1. Eeh Bah Mum says:

    I totally agree. Parents of multiples have me in awe also.

  2. Wow amazing blogpost! I too am in awe, Sometimes I feel like I cant possibly do anymore and my hubby is very hands on. I would hate to have to do it all alone! Im going to send this link to a few special mums.

  3. Katie says:

    Well I am a single mum of two, a 2 & a 3 year old, and this has just honestly made my day : )

  4. i am a single mother to a 18 yr old and a near 2 yr old. loved reading this, as mostly single mums only get bad press, so i thank you for acknowledging our strengths

    • daddownunder says:

      So many strengths Amanda, I know that whatever the situation you always find a little bit more but I don’t know if I could do what you do – you’re spinning a lit of plates. Glad you enjoyed it

  5. L says:

    I’ve been a single parent since my ex walked out when our kids were 2 years old and 6 months old respectively. They are now 4 and a half and 3 years (just!) and I have to admit, it hasn’t been easy. Sometimes I forget to eat until they’re in bed, sometimes I forget to clean my teeth or brush my hair! I once went an entire week without a shower when my youngest was sick with a fever and wouldn’t let me leave his side. Most of the time though, we are a fully functioning, regimented, well oiled machine, and though it hasn’t been easy at times, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for this blog, sometimes it’s nice to be appreciated 🙂

    • daddownunder says:

      I can completely believe all of those things L, its programmed in all of us when we become parents to put ourselves 2nd and your workload is doubled so i take my hat off to you

  6. Nell T says:

    I’m a 44 year old single mom to a 9 year old and an autistic 7 year old. I cannot tell you how much hard work it is trying to do it all. I don’t even have support from grandparents, aunties etc.

    Loved reading this blog 🙂 Single parents get so much negative press that this was a delight to read

    • daddownunder says:

      Its lovely to read all your nice comments and I was aware of the stigma you guys get and it couldn’t be any further from the truth, you’re doing one of the hardest jobs all by yourself and I commend you.

  7. Holly Smith says:

    This is one of the nicest things I have read in a long time and has put a huge smile on my face. I’m pretty in awe of dads who stick around to share the parenting and even more when they enjoy doing so 🙂

    • i agree. i brought my daughter up on my own and 16 yrs later im now doing it all again with my son. i am in awe of the good men who do stick by their partners but who mostly enjoy it 🙂 i trully do enjoy being a mum. guess i like challenges lol just started my own buisness a month ago, for an extra wee challenge. its good to show him you have to have goals in life. the men who dont stick around are the ones who are missing out. yes its hard work, but being a hands on parent is the most rewarding job you can ever have

      • daddownunder says:

        I couldn’t agree more Amanda, its hard work but I wouldn’t hav eit any other way and a little smile and a kiss here and there can make most of the negatives melt away. Thanks Amanda

    • daddownunder says:

      Its absolutely my pleasure, I get some of the comments and looks too but its water off a ducks back because I know the importanc eof what I’m doing. Thanks Holly and glad it put a smile on your dial.

  8. Rowenna says:

    I’m a single mum of a 17yr old and a 5month old, both wonderful kids.
    Great blog post, thank you, we are so often looked down upon and it’s great to see your positive post.

  9. Emma Hallam says:

    What a lovely post! Being a single parent can be tough, but you find the strength to do the best job you can, because beyond the pain of separation, is the desire to provide the best possible life for our kids

  10. Rebecca says:

    i am a single parent to 3 children and have had quite a difficult day so reading this blog has lifted me and made me feel fuzzy inside!! thank you

  11. Davina Beck says:

    What a lovely thing to say as a single mum of three boys one of which has asd and this made my day!

  12. Chris S says:

    I know an absolutely inspirational single mother who is raising 4 kids, is doing a law degree and also works full time. She is raising well-balanced, well-disciplined, creative and wonderful children. Single parents are capable of so much, it is lovely to read this Nell T says, it was a delight to read.

  13. tracy pickering says:

    I am a single mum of 6 and it really made my day to read this as it is really tough at times

  14. Happy28 says:

    This made me count my blessings. Cheers 🙂

  15. claire says:

    Thank you!! U have made my day, I’m a single mum to my 2yr old and
    it’s nice to know we don’t just get negative press x

  16. Wendy says:

    Thank you for such a positive blog and others have said it is great to read something positive about single parents. I like to think of myself as a solo parent… whilst it would be great to have a team of parents, single parents (male and female) are more like Ellen MacArthur, world record holder for sailing round the world solo.

    You’re trying to cook, mop the deck (that will be the sea sickness!) and keep your “little boat” safe all at the same time and it seems never ending as the waves (life in general) bash you about, the stove breaks, you’ve run out of clean clothes and totally lost your way but in moments of calm your heart swells with pride and you realise that your “little boat” is not just sailing along but being gently guided and truly loved.

    To all crews, solo and larger, with one little boat or an entire fleet… I too salute you all x

  17. Ana says:

    Time to traslate? Muchisimas gracias,realmente aprecio su comentario.Me agrado mucho saber que aun hay parejas que aprecian mucho el estar unido a su otra mitad y compartir las responsabilidades. SU niño se ve muy saludable y es muy lindo…..Ana from Peru..
    Thank you very much, I really appreciate your comment., I like to know that there are still couples who very much appreciate being together with your other half and share responsibilities. Your son looks very healthy and is very cute…:-)

  18. daddownunder says:

    A huge thank you for all the lovely comments, I meant every word I said and I’m glad that they spread a little bit of happiness on some of your days.

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