Parenting Life // The problem with going 'solo'

Whatever your parenting dynamic is; there is no arguing that it’s a tough game. We live in a different world these days and that traditional nuclear family is no longer the norm.

Recently I’ve found myself feeling uneasy when people say that are ‘solo’ parenting.
Usually, this phrase is mentioned when a partner is away for a period of time (be it a day, week, month), we highlight how hard it is going to be as we parent alone.


And that’s the word that strikes me.
Those of us with a significant other are never truly doing this alone (of course there are exceptions to every rule, but for today let's stick with the majority).

Searching through the internet I come across a handful of opinion pieces where the term ‘solo’ is associated with being a single parent. Collins dictionary (yes, i’m going there!) also defines it as the ‘usual term for a single parent’.

Putting myself front and centre our family dynamic is similar to that of others. I work early shifts whilst my partner works a late shift. This allows us to drop off and pick up without the need for childcare costs (after the first 2 years of nursery we were financially screwed). We are only together as a unit of 3 once a week. There are absolutely times when I feel like i am doing this alone. Those days where the KID.WON'T.STOP. When bedtime can't come soon enough and I have no fight left in me.

But (and here’s the but) someone will come through those doors so I can vent, occasionally cry and more often than not, run out so I can go and have a coffee on my own.  

We appear to live in a world where we feel the need to declare that we have a harder time than someone else. Why can’t we just crack on with doing our best and supporting others when they may need a leg up.

Chatting about this over on my Instagram the other day led to some great, healthy and educational conversations. No judging. Just sharing of opinions. Here are some of the comments below to add more to this than just my own thoughts. 

‘.....but co-parenting is different from solo parenting. Mum was widowed when I was 5 and when my sister divorced she fundamentally single parented, but acknowledged that every other weekend she had her own time as the boys stayed with their father.’

‘Your not solo parenting because you do bedtime with your kids for 3 nights. I remember running out of loo roll and kitchen roll when I was first a single money to buy anything, no one around and I felt’s a world away from getting the bed to yourself for a few days. 

‘I think people don’t mean to make light of the situation, Also people don’t mean to offend.... I think that it is mainly used for ease.’

‘All families are unique and really don’t need labels’

And that’s it really isn’t it. It’s easy to say you are flying solo. I guarantee no one ever means to offend, so perhaps next time just phrase it a little better. Or better still we just stop using phrases (wouldn't that be a radical idea?).

I’ll finish as I started. Everyone’s dynamic is different, it’s a tough game. One thing I’m certain of is that my tough days will never compare to those truly who truly do this alone.

AndSoWeWent // Birmingham Adventures

We all know that the fair city (My fair city) of Birmingham has more canals than Venice, over 8000 acres of green and open space and most importantly we are the home of Heavy Metal.                         
So now you have succesfully searched (and booked) for Hotels in Birmingham (based purely on those 3 facts), here are some places that you should most definitely go and explore. I Recently spent the day as a tourist in my own city to see what I had been missing out on.

We started the day in the city centre and headed to Wayland’s Yard for some most excellent breakfast choices of Pancetta hash cakes and poached egg perfection while we decided a plan of action.

Decision made we jumped on the tram (right outside) and headed to the Jewellery Quarter just a few stops away.

We spent some time walking around St. Pauls square and then headed up to the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. The space is run by artists for artists and there is always something there to catch your eye,.We saw the Photogenic Prize Exhibition 2019 showcasing established and upcoming photographers from the Midlands and further afield.

If you feel more like taking in some culture then head to IKON in Brindley place or BMAG in Chamberlin Square (just look for the Floozie and you know you’re in the right spot). But for today we decided to talk a walk down the canals, into Digbeth the beating heart (and one of my favourite parts) of the city.

Of course, we headed to the famous Digbeth Dining Club; home to some of the finest vendors of eats in the UK we were spoilt for choice as we refuelled for the final leg of the day.

With our bellies full we headed to the last stop on today's tour. We rang the bell at 18/81. Hidden somewhere on Thorpe Street, this is one of my favourite places to hang out. If you want amazing cocktails, in a relaxed and welcoming place then you need to have these guys on the list.

I am biased, but our city is filled with wonderful things to explore and see. With an ever-growing number of Independents, come and check out something different. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The spending money for our adventure was gifted by, but all views and opinions as always are my own.