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Parenting
Luce Smith, Features Writer
I have been a single parent now for just over a year, and I have to say, it’s not been without its challenges.

I wasn’t able to take any extra time off work, so once I had bought her home, I had to sort day care out from that day on. Only Monday-Friday, but still, it was hard trying to find someone suitable who I could trust. I don’t have family nearby, and all my friends have kids of their own, so I really did have to do some research. I found someone who could come and help out, who understood my needs, and seemed pretty confident, so I felt good about that. I didn’t seem to fit into any benefit category, so had to be really mindful of spending money on myself as day care didn’t come cheap.

The first week was really hard. I didn’t get much sleep as she cried through the night. I tried to take her outside for a good walk, but it didn’t seem enough. She was really difficult, as she wanted attention all the time. At home, I couldn’t do anything as she wouldn’t let me settle. If I got up, she got up. If I sat down, she sat on me. My personal space had been well and truly invaded! What have I done?!

There were many times when I got home from work, where she had made a big mess, ripped things, tried chewing things, making puddles on the floor……. All part of growing up I know, but not what you want after a hard day!

My partner was really good with her, and I’d often come home to find them both fast asleep on the sofa - why can’t she do that with me???????

There were lots of online forums which helped, and I soon began to work on disciplining her. She was super clever and I could easily have been taken for a ride, but I wasn’t falling for it. She tried many things to wind me up, and I knew I had to hang on and be consistent with my approach. I might have appeared a little strict from the outside, but I knew I had to keep going if I wanted to have a good future with her.

She really did push it for a few weeks, and I had to call on a professional to support me through. So glad I did, despite the cost, I could see results from the techniques used. I had to be strong.

Strong I was, but the first 4 months of having her was tough. The next 4 were challenging, but I could see the new approach working, and began to see results. The last 4 months I have seen her grow into a clever, and loving character, who just wants to be with me (and my partner, who usually has treats lying around……)

I think now the worst is over, and I should be able to continue enjoying the next few years knowing that my hard work has paid off! I mean, not all parents can put their kids into a cage when they misbehave, or muzzle them if they talk too much, but hey, it worked for me!

The joys of dog ownership, the transition from rescue dog, to super wonderful dog is worth every minute.

Parenting, 24th July 2018, 10:33 AM