When you’re the woman and man of the house 0

The Tough Stuff


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If life was a fairytale we’d all end up with a handsome prince whisking us off into the sunset on his nobel white stead… Ahh if only right?

Well, as we all know, life isn’t a fairytale and it sure as heck doesn’t end up with you wearing a ball gown to dinner at the palace every night.

No, life is a lot tougher than this and for many women, and men, there is no majestic lover to hold their hand through the hard times or whisper comforting words when they’re sad.


For many, it’s up to you to be both the man and the woman of the house – filling both roles without complaint, no matter how difficult it can be.

A lot people find themselves in this position after a divorce or separation… After years of living in an equal partnership and steady relationship they find themselves alone and having to start over from scratch.

It’s something many of us have had to face and boy is it daunting for the first few years.

Suddenly, you find yourself having to do everything on your own. Your car battery is dead? Better figure out how to fix it yourself. Your lawn needs mowing? Time to haul the mower across the yard. Tap leaking? Toilet’s busted? Kids are sick? It’s all up to you.

It’s a tough gig taking on both roles in the house and not one many people would jump to voluntarily, but it’s one so many of us find ourselves dealing with.

As heroic as it is, there unfortunately doesn’t seem to be much praise or recognition for these go-it-alone heroes out there.

There is so much focus in the media on couples and finding the perfect partner to share your life with that these people seem to be forgotten.

So is it finally time to pay tribute to all the mothers and fathers out there who had to take care of everyone and everything on their own?

We say, yes!


As the first generation to go through high rates of divorce, baby boomers had to figure out what it really meant to make a life for themselves without any help.

A huge percentage of baby boomer women were working from their early twenties, meaning they had to take care of the kids and bring home the bacon without the support of a husband or partner.

Many of us have children who learned to help out around the house as they grew up, but when they’re fully grown and ready to move out it’s a whole new ball game again.

Not only are you doing all the hard work alone, but you’re also doing it with greyer hair and older bones!


Dealing with an empty nest is different when you’re the only one left at home. For many, it’s difficult to come to terms with it at first.

Not only is the house way too quiet, you’re also confronted with that familiar feeling of having to manage by yourself.

Inevitably though, there is a breakthrough; a moment where you realise just how capable you are and how much you’ve achieved on your own.

Managing the finances, taking care of the house, being solely responsible for your lively hood becomes less of a chore and more of a badge of honour.

You don’t need anyone else to make you feel worthy or boost your self-esteem – you can do that all on your own, thank you very much.

You don’t need someone to go to the movies with you, or enjoy a nice meal out with, or even travel the world with – you’re are independent enough to do it all on your own and have the time of your life while you do.

So here’s to you! To all the independent over sixties who battled through and came out the other side bigger, braver and stronger than they ever thought possible.


Maybe it is possible to get your fairy tale ending after all… It’s just a little different from the story book version.

Were you a single parent? Have you had to be both the man and woman of the house?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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