So tired, lonely and at the end of what I can take

(73 Posts)
HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 21:56:04

I have 2 DSs aged 9yrs and 8mo. At the moment DS1 is at his dad's. DS2 is here (his dad died in June. We weren't together though).

I'm exhausted from the frequent night wakings for months on end. I'm lonely. Finding it so hard to cope when everything for DS2 falls to me 24/7.

I get a couple of hours off each week as I have a fantastic babysitter but that's it - I'm on the go day and night the rest of the time.

Think I have PND and everything's getting on top of me. Have been trying so hard to cope and it's not working. Really not sure how much more I can takehmm

queenofthepirates Tue 27-Aug-13 22:01:21

Okey doke, sounds like you need to accept some help. So have you talked to your HV? If not, I really suggest you do confide in them or perhaps your GP? Let them extend some of the resources they may be able to offer.

Secondly, can you sort out the sleeping situation? Would you be open to some sleep solutions? I did this stretch on my own and it utterly saved my sanity.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Aug-13 22:05:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:06:32

I'm thinking about help. Just really disappointed in myself I guess that I can't do this on my own.

Not sure about sleep training tbh. We co-sleep which until now has probably saved my sanity. I think the problem is that on top of all the night wakings I'm now having trouble sleeping as I just can't switch off.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Aug-13 22:09:03

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HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:12:24

I have some lovely friends but they're often busy and I don't like to ask for help too much. They have their own families.

And weekends are awful. Friends are spending time with their partners and kids and I can literally go all weekend without talking to another adult. Don't get me wrong - I don't begrudge them that. But my god do I feel alone.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Aug-13 22:13:04

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HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:13:07

Wired describes it perfectly!

HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:14:13

Maybe I'll make some phone calls tomorrow.

corlan Tue 27-Aug-13 22:16:47

HHH3 - I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.

You struck a chord with me when you said you felt disappointed you can't do it on your own. I did it on my own and I'm still bitter and angry about it sad.What I'm trying to say is doing it on your own doesn't make you a hero!

Reach out for help and definitely go and see your GP to check whether you're depressed.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Aug-13 22:23:50

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HHH3 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:29:01

No such luck. DS2 naps for 45mins exactly! It can take me longer than that to get to sleep. Also, when DS2 naps it's DS1's time with me.

ShiningBright Tue 27-Aug-13 22:50:43

I really feel for you. I have been on my own with DS, now 4 yrs was 7 months. I coslept too (which I am really glad about) and he was really bad at napping until he got to about 1 yr and started to nap for 1hr 15min. Yippee. I remember the utter exhaustion and the painful loneliness of not seeing people for days at a time. I have no family support and friends are almost non-existent, but I do feel better in myself.

It might help a little bit to recognise that you are not meant to do this on your own. We live in a weird society where too many people don't have the support networks to keep them mentally and emotionally healthy, let alone bring up children as well.

It is also very early days for you being on your own. Little by little, you WILL pick up. I've been there.

Some other things that might help are Homestart - didn't work for me but others find it really helps. Gingerbread might have a local group and if so, they often meet at weekends which is just what you need.

I am currently getting help for my son's behaviour from a family support worker at the local Surestart Centre. I know that a lot of what has been going on has been due to the bad emotional state I have been in these last years, but she is giving me constructive help about how to deal with him now. It hasn't solved the problems but it's early days. I only wish someone had helped us right at the start.

So, if there's any chance of any help whatsoever, I'd grab it. You are doing a great job, but you're not meant to be doing this without the support we all need.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 27-Aug-13 23:44:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thornrose Tue 27-Aug-13 23:49:39

HHH3 my dd's dad died when she was 10. It's very different being the only parent rather than a lone parent.

Don't feel bad about coping alone, you have a lot on your plate and most people would expect you to need support.

anonnymousey Tue 27-Aug-13 23:57:23

just a suggestion mind - at about 7 and half months I moved ds into his own room and we both seemed to sleep a bit better. I had a single bed as well as his cot set up so could snooze there if needed to or for night feeds. Also when ds2 naps just go and lie on your bed or couch, take every opportunity to just rest. Optimum nap time for adults is supposed to be 20 min so set an alarm for 30min so you don't overnap and feel groggier. See if your council has a local creche, they tend to do two hour slots at ours, enough time to go home and have a cup of tea whilst it is still hot! Hang in there brew cake

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Tue 27-Aug-13 23:58:06

Echoing the HomeStart recommendation - people tell me they can be very good. Also making contact with the nearest children's centre.

I can't imagine how tired you must be given the run of things at the moment. You are doing so well to keep going. Fingers crossed things pick up for you. Might be worth considering giving a (vague) idea of your location as folks on here might be up for meeting?

Jellykat Wed 28-Aug-13 00:15:10

HHH3, i was in your position many moons ago, 9 years between my 2 DSs and completely alone, co slept with DS2, i had to as he never slept for more then 2 hours at a time until he was 18 months old.

You are not weak at all! It's really really hard going, just functioning, just doing simple things like remembering to put DS1s uniform in the wash.. and yes, the weekends are the hardest, you're so isolated.

Please ask for help.. Also try finding another lone parent (through Gingerbread or a toddler group) it can make a huge difference just finding someone else in the same position to talk with, and mutually childswap to allow for simple things like a relaxing bath.

I feel for you, i really do. flowers

HHH3 Wed 28-Aug-13 00:15:16

Just a quick reply as DS is finally asleep again. Sorry if I don't answer everything - I'll read through and try to answer more tomorrow.

No room for him to have his own room. We have the tiniest 2 bedroom flat in the world (!) and no chance of moving. Completely stuck here for the foreseeable future.

To the poster (sorry - on phone and can't look back) who said that being the only parent is different from being a lone parent...that is so true but I've never been able to put it into words before. I've been a lone parent for 3 years. Even when I was with DS2's dad we never lived together and split up while I was pregnant. But being the only parent feels entirely different.

Have been in touch with homestart and they start in a few weeks. Fingers crossed it helps in some way.

thornrose Wed 28-Aug-13 00:38:23

HHH3, the post about being the only parent was me. Don't underestimate your own bereavement whether you were together or not. My dd's dad died 3 years ago and I still find it tough, it's really early days for you.

I really hope you get the help you deserve.

bluebeardsbabe Wed 28-Aug-13 18:47:40

Just to say this touched a nerve. I have been on my own with DD 10 months since pregnancy. my family live far away. She is a bad sleeper and I have a lot of external stresses such as financial, things acrimonious with ex (I have to deal with nasty text messags telling me what a crap mother I am) and tons of other stuff. I am also not sure how much more I can cope. sorry I did not mean to hijack but I understand if that helps.

Pannacotta Wed 28-Aug-13 18:55:33

I would try and ditch the pride, there is no prize for managing alone.
SPeak to your GP/HV and anyone else you can think of as there is help out there, but you will need to ask for it.
It must be very hard knowing that you are solely responsible as the only parent, even more reason to ask for support.
That old saying about it taking a village to raise a child came to me when I read your post.
Good luck and look after yourself.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 29-Aug-13 13:24:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HHH3 Thu 29-Aug-13 18:17:50

Sorry for my getting back to this sooner - things have been rubbish. I'm currently looking into some sort of gentle sleep training. His sleep is actually getting worse and worse and it certainly isn't helping with how I'm feeling.

Spoke to the HV briefly today and mentioned that I'm a bit down. But tbh I really played it down. Am just so scared of telling anyone how bad things are.

betterthanever Thu 29-Aug-13 20:57:49

HH3 I only had one DS on my own and I didn't do what you have done and shout for help - I just went on and on and was VERY ill. I was foolish. I was so mad at myself for not being able to do it all myself and then became too ill to sort out help.
Do you sleep in the day at all? I didn't enough. Homestart should really help and please ask your friends in RL for help - even for an hour in the day so you can nap, I am sure they would help - be as honest as you can - no one can do what you are doing on your own and not feel ill.
Do you go to any baby groups where you could do a swap with another Mum and then you may not feel as bad about asking for help.
It is just impossible to do it all on your own - you are not weak you are wonderful and coping with so much - you are coping but it is making you feel ill. I wish I knew you in RL, I would help.
I remember when I was ill I thought that it would have been great if there was a group that had people who you could call for help, mums who knew what it was like - I would sign up as a helper as I know what just one hour a week to just sleep would have done for me.

HHH3 Thu 29-Aug-13 21:14:59

I had PND with DS1 and did exactly that - didn't ask for help until it was so bad I ended up in a mother and baby unit. Which should make me better at asking for help this time really.

I actually go to a group where lots of the mums have had PND so they understand. Sometimes I ask for help/someone to look after him but that's usually if I need to do something/go to an appt and can't take him with me.

I just really wanted to be able to do this right this time. But it feels like it's all crumbling around me.

DS1 is back from his dad's on Saturday and then I'll have to cope with both of them. God knows how I'm going to manage that.

betterthanever Thu 29-Aug-13 22:12:25

I think when you have been through bad times before your body can become more sensitive too it - which is not diminishing how you feel, I hear your pain - but you will not become that ill again I am sure - you body has alerted you now. I would ask your friends at the baby group for some help and take the time to rest - I am sure they will and you will return the favour when you feel better. Don't think about Saturday just yet - get through tomorrow and try and get as much rest as you can - will you sleep when DS2 sleeps? please try - or even just sit and watch tv but get yourself comfy, under a blanket and you may just nod off. Don't get dressed tomorrow, just relax in the house just you and DS.
You are doing things right but it just is very hard - you are doing really well - just think of all the wonderful things you have done for your DS today.. he had been fed and loved and warm and safe because of you. You are a brilliant mum doing a very hard job on your own.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 29-Aug-13 22:22:16

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HerrenaHarridan Thu 29-Aug-13 22:44:47

Fgs please hhh, speak up.

There is lots of help available.

You deserve it!
There is no shame in needing it, children are exhausting and are more than one adult is supposed to be able to cope with.

When I am resenting my lack if super human abilities I always think to myself

"if my friend was sitting here describing to me the struggles I'm having as their own, would I look at them and think 'could try harder' or would I think 'how can I help?'"

Ask for help, keep asking...

If the HV doesn't come through, phone sure start yourself.

Where abouts are you and ill get googling for things like home link (who have been amazing for me, Edinburgh)

HHH3 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:48:47

Sleep training - I'm not exactly sure yet but definitely not something that means I have to leave him to cry.

Might call the HV first thing and be a bit more honest. I'm not going to be able to keep this up for much longer.

I'm in Herts.

HHH3 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:49:32

Sorry - I know I'm not answering everything. Can't think straight.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 29-Aug-13 23:31:05

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HHH3 Thu 29-Aug-13 23:44:56

He normally goes down around 7. But the last few nights he's slept for a little while then woken and refused to go back to sleep. Tonight he went down a little later (8pm), slept for 20mins then was up til 10.20.

I've got the no cry sleep solution - just need to find time to read it!

betterthanever Fri 30-Aug-13 08:38:21

Morning Op - I have just noticed your past post was 23.44 - I am going to sounds like a bossy boots now but you should of been in bed by that time smile I would do that and still do it is nice to have that bit of time when the house is quite but please try and get some sleep as soon as baby does. I didn't and friends said the same to me and I ignored them. You deserve the rest after all the wonderful things you do for your DC in the daytime.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 30-Aug-13 09:26:46
HerrenaHarridan Fri 30-Aug-13 09:28:20
HerrenaHarridan Fri 30-Aug-13 09:28:36
HerrenaHarridan Fri 30-Aug-13 09:29:54
HerrenaHarridan Fri 30-Aug-13 11:31:04

This one isn't specific to lone parents so probably had more options xxx

twosquared Fri 30-Aug-13 12:55:15

Hi HHH3, definitely reach out for help, don't play it down! Its tough doing it on your own, can't even imagine with a baby. A short course of anti-depressents could help you to get some sleep. Not at all a sign of failure, a sign of doing all you can to be on form for your kids. People with even less to deal with than you have suffered - think Brooke Shields who spoke out about how hard it is
If you're not able to fall asleep during the day, can you take a chance to meditate? With practice that should help you to feel less wired which may in turn help you to sleep at night. If you have a smartphone, check out the Headspace App, its good. Pretty sure that's 20 minutes long, so you could do it when DS2 is asleep. Also check out this link on the benefits of meditation.
Hope things improve soon.

HHH3 Fri 30-Aug-13 18:29:28

Herrena - thank-you so much for the links. I'll have a look at them. And thank-you all for your messages.

So, since last night things have got worse. I now realise that as much as I want to, I can't do this alone. I need some help. Today I've been in contact with my old psychiatrist and I'm seeing her next week. She's one of the few 'professionals' I trust and can be completely honest with.

I've also looked more into sleep training and think I've found someone to help. It's probably going to mean stopping co-sleeping but right now I think that's the right decision for both of us.

All I have to do now is hang on til Thursday. Right now I'm hanging on by the skin of my teethsad

ProphetOfDoom Fri 30-Aug-13 18:43:44

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HHH3 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:02:21

Stopping co-sleeping isn't what I'd planned. But I can see that it's the best thing for us right now. I now realise that DS2 is sleep deprived as well as me and I need to fix that.

Tbh I'm struggling so much. I'm an idiot for letting it get this bad. And one of the things I struggle a lot with is the loneliness. It hurts that I'm no-one's priority (not including the boys of course). I have some wonderful friends but their families are, rightly, their priority. It hurts that no-one thinks of me like that.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 30-Aug-13 21:11:50

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HHH3 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:15:47

Yes, he has a cot (which he's never slept in). I just need to clear all the crap out of it so he can use it. Not sure what technique I'll use yet but I defo can't leave him to cry so pretty sure I'll end up sitting with him. I've already spoken to a friend who will stay over the first couple of nights for moral support. If I tried it on my own I'd cave in and feed him to sleep.

betterthanever Fri 30-Aug-13 22:25:18

You have to be your own priority - we all have to think that. You never know he may like the cot - my DS didn't like co sleeping. Great news that your friend is coming to stay over - enjoy every min of that - look at the love they are showing you - people love you - they do and they do because you are a caring person yourself - sleep well.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 30-Aug-13 22:33:05

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ProphetOfDoom Mon 02-Sep-13 21:17:28

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betterthanever Mon 02-Sep-13 21:19:11

I'd just checked the thread to see if there was an update - hope you are ok OP x

HHH3 Tue 03-Sep-13 14:55:12

Thanks for asking!

Things are rough. It seems every way I turn there's no help unless I have money to pay for it. A particularly good friend seems to have dropped me. Just got to hang on til Thursday when I see my psychiatrist. Not that I expect much - I know full well that there's nothing she can offer me. But hey - I might be surprised.

cestlavielife Tue 03-Sep-13 15:33:24

som counselling might help as you have had a bearevement even if you weerent together - or on behalf of your ds you are beareaved if that makes sense.

hv might be able to get you some support eg community nursery or childminder for few hours per week if you need it (work with GP to ask for it) . if having a fixed break few hours per week could make he difference then ask for it - otherwise try homestart/cuch volunteers/etcetc

HHH3 Tue 03-Sep-13 18:25:48

I pay a fantastic babysitter to have DS2 for 2.5hrs a week. I know it's more than some people have and I'm grateful for it - but it's really a drop in the ocean and I can't afford any more.

Social services have said they can't help. If he was in care they could provide loads of childcare and help but as he's not there's nothing they can offer.

I can't get counselling as I'm under the community mental health team. I have a mh social worker but I rarely see her and she seems to be off sick more often than not. Tbh seeing her doesn't really help anyway.

Homestart start in a couple of weeks but that won't give me a break.

It just feels like every way I turn doors are shut in my face. I guess that's not strictly true - the sort of help I need just isn't availablesad

ProphetOfDoom Tue 03-Sep-13 20:23:54

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HHH3 Tue 03-Sep-13 20:43:10

I haven't made a final decision about sleep training yet. At the mo we co-sleep, he wakes frequently and will only feed back to sleep. I'm just worried that if I move him to a cot and stop night feeding he'll still wake just as often. Then I'll have to get up to him and it might take longer to get him back to sleep. So then I'll have made things worse for myself instead of better iyswim?

I've been thinking about going to my gp but as I'm under the psychiatrist they prefer me to get help from there. Tbh I'm scared of saying too much as we've nearly got rid of social services. It's probably best I wait til Thursday and talk to the psychiatrist as I know I can be completely honest without her overreacting and starting to worry about the boys. She knows me well enough to know that however bad things are I'd never let any harm come to them.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 03-Sep-13 23:13:15

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HHH3 Wed 04-Sep-13 07:52:49

He won't take a dummy or a bottle. And tbh he doesn't need to feed at night. He's learnt that this is how he gets back to sleep and I know I need to teach him a different way. I need to do it for my sanity as well but I guess I'm scared of making things harder than they already are. Still need to do some more thinking. One way or another something has got to change though.

betterthanever Wed 04-Sep-13 18:56:28

hey Op sorry not been around but been thinking about you - what about doing the sleep training more in the day time when you may feel less pressure? When is your friend coming to stay? Hope everything goes well with the psychiatrist on Thursday, I think having someone there to listen to you will help in itself.

HHH3 Thu 05-Sep-13 14:48:18

So, it turned into a meeting with psychiatrist, mh social worker and HV today. That was fine and I was fully prepared to go in there and say that I just can't do this on my own anymore. I need a proper break at least once a week (in reality I need a few days off I think but that's never going to happen - especially as DS2 is still bf).

What actually happened is they spent a long time saying what they can't do - no funding from anywhere for any sort of childcare or help. I'm going to be referred to psychology but no idea how long the waiting list is. The mh social worker is going to look into getting me a personal budget but as it's to spend on childcare it's very unlikely I'll get it.

So in the end there was no point in me saying anything really. I tried to speak to the psychiatrist afterwards just to tell her how bad things are but she had to go.

I'm now at the point where the only thing I can see that I can do is ask for DS1 to go to his dad's and for DS2 to go into care. I really, really don't want that but I honestly don't see what other options I have. I just can't carry on like this - I need a break. If I could see some sort of end in sight then maybe I could manage. But there's no end to this for a very long time. At best, DS2 might be eligible for a nursery place when he's 2. He's 9 months tomorrow and I can't do this for another 15 months. I'm out of ideas

ProphetOfDoom Thu 05-Sep-13 19:10:24

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HHH3 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:17:47

I don't think so. It's been made clear to me on more than one occasion that there simply isn't any help. After writing my last post I rang the HV because I needed someone to know how bad things are and what I'm considering. She didn't really know what to say except to agree that there's nothing available.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 05-Sep-13 21:45:52

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betterthanever Thu 05-Sep-13 22:04:28

OP I was were you are, I was so shocked that there is nothing for people in your position. It is truley shocking - esp. when you think where the money does go... (ill not go there)

You are burning out... BUT you are not burned out yet as you would not be able to type on here even.. so that is a good sign.

It isn't all over for you yet.

I got some MH help - my advice would be to not think too long term - just a day at a time for now - I know you need to keep looking for the help but assign an hour or so to concentrate on that don't let is eat into your precious time.

Can you get some CBT? your GP should be able to refer you. Try not to panic 9I know how difficult that is - reading it will probably make you panic) as that will take away your precious energy too - you are doing ok for now you are actually coping much better than you think- you can keep going for a little longer while you work things out.

Try to split your day up if you can and just get through the morning and then the afternoon and then the evening - don't think much further on. Sleep whenever you can.

There are some things you can do for yourself - google burn out and get some advice - have you ever tried meditation? even for a couple of minuites the rest it gives your mind works wonders - I was shocked that even though I was lacking physcial rest I could get through better with mental strength but please try and get that sleep.

Keep posting - just get through tomorrow morning doing only what 100% has to be done.

HHH3 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:15:46

You're right - I'm burning out. And I'm so close to being completely burnt out. I can't do this for much longer.

DS1 will be back after school tomorrow so I've decided that I'll get through the weekend and then make some decisions.

My GP can't refer me for anything as I'm already under mh services. I just don't know which way to turn.

I really can't do this much longer.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 06-Sep-13 13:11:06

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HHH3 Fri 06-Sep-13 13:34:59

No, no family help. Tbh I'm struggling to see the wood for the trees. I'm sure there are things I can control but I don't know what they are atm.

I'll pm you but don't try too hard - I've tried everything I can think of and come up against a brick wall every time. I don't want you to waste your time.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 06-Sep-13 14:26:02

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HHH3 Fri 06-Sep-13 14:28:09

Got your pm! Just about to do the school run so will reply later.

betterthanever Sat 07-Sep-13 00:12:31

Schmalt your advice there is great. Op take up the offer of some hand holding on the sleep training - you need that rest * Schmalt* is right - with sleep you can plan with a plan things will move forward - nothing massive will happen over night but every day a small step - you can do it. scmalt hand holding with you will be just as good as any professional agency help maybe even better.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 11-Sep-13 19:07:08

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ProphetOfDoom Wed 11-Sep-13 20:56:10

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ProphetOfDoom Sat 14-Sep-13 14:44:47

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HHH3 Sat 14-Sep-13 18:30:45

I had a full 8 hours last night which was amazing! DS2 was absolutely fine although it sounds like he woke a lot so I'm very glad it wasn't me dealing with itgrin

Still feel absolutely shattered today and I'm starting to wonder if it's more than lack of sleep. I also have MS and I'm wondering if that's playing a part as well. Have a couple of other symptoms going on as well so it could be.

But I'm so glad we did last night. As well as sleep it gave me confidence that he's ok without me for a while. Hopefully we can do it again soon.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 14-Sep-13 20:35:56

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