When their is one of you parenting your child you never get to play good cop, bad cop or tag team. It is the rubbish bit of being a single parent for me.
Having a child is often challenging – read- hard, frustrating, tiring. Thats where a team of two comes into its own, can’t get the screaming child off to sleep? hand it over to your other half while you have a breather (read- glass of wine, or cup of tea in my case as I am now boringly dry). Take turns at having the Saturday lie in. Make the big decisions together, be able to discuss how to handle situations, be consistent in actions so no playing one off against whether as much as possible. Play good cop, bad cop – remember that phrase ‘wait this your father gets home’? I’m not on board with the original meaning (I didn’t grow up with a dad) i.e. if you don’t listen to me he will deal with you but there is a certain security found in the unity of two parents who live in the same house, someone you can turn to in the middle of the night, wake them up and say, do you think I handled her refusing to eat dinner ok? and have a constructive discussion. Like having a cheer leader of your very own, to clarify things in your moments of parenting self doubt, someone who shares the same intensity of love for your child as you do, since it is half theirs. But, when there is only one of you (me) at home you don’t get to do that and it is hard at times, sometimes I want to hand Lulu over to her dad when he gets home so I can go and cool off, re group, wee, whatever! It must be nice to hear someone say ‘your mother is right, please do as she tells you’. But alas, I can’t hand her over, I am the good, the bad and the ugly.
On the plus side I have learnt to have have extreme patience with situations, have grown much more confident in the decisions I make regarding Lu and in turn in the rest of my life and am not so frightened anymore of being the one ‘to blame’ should she not turn out so well!