This gets easier right?(8 Posts)
I'm a single mum to a beautiful little boy, he's 14 weeks and really is my entire world.
But it's hard, his dad has had no contact whatsoever, has never seen him. Never paid any maintenance. Makes all the right noises but never follows through iyswim. I'm constantly scared that I'm doing something wrong. That because I don't have anyone to help me with the big decisions I might make the wrong one. He doesn't sleep through, up at least 3 times on a good night, and I genuinley can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm terrifoed that I'll end up resenting my beautiful little boy because of a decision I made. I chose to do this alone, he didn't, what if I'm not good enough?
Sorry for rambling.
It does get easier but being alone with your DS from birth is the hardest part of being a lone parent. Do you have family/friends around you to help? Are you still seeing your HV regularly, or attending a baby clinic? Any baby groups? You will be doing fine, just because he's waking doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong. That's just what babies do. Just have some faith that you are doing it right cos if you weren't I'm sure someone would have told you by now! No one knows your DS better than you so you are the best person for him, and you will undoubtedly be enough for him. Your his mum! Babies are just very demanding.
Have you thought about contacting the CSA regarding maintainance? Your child's father has an obligation to pay for his child regardless of access.
With regards to your babies sleeping it is entirely normal for children at this age to be waking up through the night, I would suggest that you get a copy of Dr Sears's sleep book (he also has a web site with lots of oractical tips that you may find helpful).
These are early days for you and they can be very daunting! Please rest up when ever you can, lack of sleep is one of the worst things that a parent can deal with, be kind to yourself.
You may find it benificial to find out (via your hv) about local parent and baby groups, many people find talking to others supportive and helpful.
I found that using a sling (such as a cloth ring sling or pouch sling) a godsend, I could get on and do things (housework, shopping, visiting friends etc) whilst my children were cosy up against me (lol my son pretty much lived in it until he was 2!!)
Get as much rest as you can, if your baby is unsettled you could read (out loud, I remember reading all sorts of books, from quantum mechanics to poetry......I found a calming voice did wonders) or watch tv cuddled up (at this age routine is not so important).
Learning your babies body language will be helpful to reducing stress for both of you.
Most of all believe in yourself! You are doing fine, you are the best mum that you can be for your lo.
So rest well when you can, eat well and drink plenty of water, go for walks and do not feel afraid when you are having a bad hair day (we all have those). I hope that you can get some real life support around you.
Hugs and hope that you feel better soon
Yes it will get easier. I have three children and been single throughout. I always had them sleep in my bed so I didn't need to get up at night to feed them. A sling was invaluable and a good sense of humour.
Yes, it absolutely gets easier.
Like you, i was an LP from the start. The night feeds were the worst. The monotony of the day times a close second. But after those baby years and toddler years, from about 3+ things became amazing! DD is 5 now and i love her to pieces. She is happy, intelligent, asks questions about her absent father (which i answer honestly, such as his name, age etc and when she asks why she doesn't have a dad, i just say that he doesn't want to be one, which she accepts.)
I had a very supportive family, which did help. My mum would take dd on a Sat afternoon for me. But i still felt myself sliding into a depression, and yes for a while i did resent parenthood. And i did feel sorry for myself. So i began college and work Mon-Thurs 9-5, and my mum minded dd for me.
This was a perfect balance for me. I realise now that i just was not cut out to be a SAHM, and i needed some sort of release, which i found by working and studying.
It's important that you don't put too much pressure on yourself. Don't feel guilty for wanting to 'escape'. If you realise that being a SAHM isn't for you either, don't feel guilty about putting your ds into the care of a relative or professional setting so you can work/study. (this is assuming you don't do this currently, sorry).
Just take each day at a time. Try and get out the house every day. Join groups. Socialise. it's so easy to sink into your own life and quickly lose self confidence when you're an LP and SAHM, as you don't engage with other adults that often (at least this is what i found). So make yourself talk to another adult at least once a day. texting doesn't count. Even if it's just 'hello' passing someone in the street.
I also found planning my days, writing hourly schedules helped me in the baby years. Otherwise the days just dragged by.
And as difficult as it might be, try and savor these early years. I spent such a long time wishing my dd's away, as i found them so lonely, that i really can't remember them now.
I have also been a LP since pregnancy.. Ds is 21 months.. My turning point with him was 16 weeks when he started to sleep through the night!!! Makes such a huge difference not to have your sleep interrupted night after night. Around the same kind of time he was interacting much more & his little character started to develop.
The emotional side of things for me was harder. His Dad rejecting him (& me) was very painful now it's much less so.
Of course a toddler is hard work some days my face looks like this !! But the bond I have with him & the little things he does that make me laugh by far outweigh the moments of , sometimes the level of responsibility is overwhelming mix that with money worries & sheer exhaustion but I'm not sure I'd have it any other way now!
My advice is housework comes second, if you have a day or 2 where you don't even manage to get out of your p.j's then so what?! If you have a bad day just use the mantra tomorrow will be better... The months fly by to toddler-dom but don't forget to enjoy them as much as you can. & use mn as support, you will always have someone to rant to on here x
Another lone parent since the beginning. My DS didn't sleep through until I stopped breastfeeding at 8 months. I had a co sleeper crib which I got him into at 6 weeks. He slept with me before that. I also started a bedtime routine and putting him down drowsy but awake at 6 weeks - never let him cry so was up and down the stairs like a yoyo for the early weeks but it did mean I could cook dinner, and now means I can go out and have a decent social life as I know he will go to bed at 7 and not wake up for a babysitter (well unless he is teething badly). That has definitely helped. Also in the early days, I got showered and dressed every day and got out every day to see friends or to a baby group. That helped massively, even if it felt scary at the time. I also had to go back to work 2 days a week when he was 8 weeks, which was horrible at the time but has probably helped me really enjoy the experience as I really value the time I spend with him.
I am lucky that I am able to work part time and support myself - his dad doesn't contribute either and has never met him.
It can be hard but seek out other mum friends and try and enjoy it. It gets so much easier at 6 months and then it really flies. My boy is 14 months nearly and I don't know where the time has gone. And have confidence in yourself - I don't often, and worry that doing this on my own is depriving my son, but you know, we will have such close relationships with our children and they will know how hard we have worked for them and how much we love them. My son comes up to me and puts his fat arms round my neck and gives me a kiss and my heart melts every time.
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