I don't know if anyone else feels like this but I just feel guilty all the time. I have a DD 4, she is perfect and seems like a really happy child but I just worry all the time about not doing enough with her, that she is (and will be) an only child, I find myself forcing myself into this cheerful happiness of making pancakes, doing jigsaws, visits to the park, swimming etc and 'going through the motions'.
I live abroad and have no real friends and no family here and just feel a little overwhelmed I think. The language barrier makes it hard, silly worries get blown out of all proportion - my husband and I have recently separated and I worry about the effect of that on her too. (She seems fine and gets much more attention from her father now) but I still worry about it all.
I also feel people judge me (I am in Spain and people are nosey/very interactive with all small children) but it just feels intrusive to me - I feel I am turning a bit mad! My DD has a very English routine (it's all I know) and is in bed by 8pm - here 4 year olds are up until at least 10pm - if not later, I can't seem to find my confidence as a parent.
I need a bit of perspective. Does anyone else feel like this? Worry, worry, worry... (not just the living abroad thing, just parenting in general)
Any advice/empathy would be great and make me feel alot more confident in my parenting skills. A kick in right direction is also most welcome!
Honey, what you are describing sounds perfectly normal, and I think a lot of parents feel the same. Often we either can't provide The Ideal for our children (for instance the idea of the perfect life, the perfect house, white picket fence, mummy and daddy together) or life doesn't oblige us and be perfect - relationships break up, one or even both parents may become ill, moving house, etc etc. I think when something 'bad' happens, like when I fell very ill 2 years ago, I think 'into every life a little rain must fall.' Yes I was poorly, relied on dh to look after our dd and I wasn't able to play with her and stuff. I know she missed me. I know she worried about me. And I know that made her sad, it affected her negatively. But in order to develop and grow as a person, she has to learn to cope with things like that, because life is never perfect and is constantly changing around us and challenging us with shit we'd rather avoid, probably! So don't worry. Your relationship with her father ending will be stressful, full of uncertainty about the future and upheaval - but you and your dd will get through it, and come through the other side. She will look to you to show her that it's okay, it's okay to have a good moan and complain and then pick yourself up and get on with the fun stuff. Sounds like you do a great job. Personally I love doing baking / drawing / park / swimming with my dd, but she loves to shove a plastic animal into my hand and tries to hold a conversation with said animal, via me - and I can't do it! I hate it! It makes me want to chew my own eyeballs in boredom! So it sounds like you are doing a great job doing all the stuff you are doing. If I get one activity in per week with dd I'm doing well! Next week, I plan to take her swimming and do some baking, we'll see if I have the energy!
And the worrying never stops, but try not to be too hard on yourself, and check whether your worry is a real concern, or just a daft fantasy worry.
standyourground thank you so much for your lovely post. I feel better for it... if I had a proper friend in real life and told them my OP and they replied like you have I am sure I would worry less!
I am so sorry you have been ill. I hope you are better now.
I love the analogy of a little rain must fall in every life, you are right, everything can't be perfect all the time. I will keep that in my mind.
The good thing is that DD seems ok about papa living somewhere else nearby, as she is only 4 and he has lived away for a while before while we worked things out, or rather, not out! (rather than argue at home in front of her - that I can't tolerate) I think she is used to him being in a separate home.
I get the boredom you describe - it's what I mean by 'going through the motions'!
Right, must be optomistic.
Thank you again. You are very kind to reply to me.
hi yes, with the exception of the language / culture thing what you say is not unusual at all. You are going through a very difficult time. Will you stay in Spain if your relationship has ended? Are your family here? You sound like you are doing lovely things with your DD and loads of us don't hugely enjoy it. I do if its a family outing but when its just me and the DCs I do feel like I'm just marking time at the park, AGAIN! Hang in there
Yes, yes to 'marking time at the park AGAIN!' this is how I feel!
My family are very small and live in the UK, my sister comes over now and again... I don't want to move back to the UK (well, I do) but for DD's sake I want her to remain bilingual and have a realationship with her father. By law I am not allowed to leave anyway! Since he has moved out we are getting on well (so far) and childcare here and lifestyle is SO much cheaper, so, for now, here I am.
Everyone here has granparents who take a huge part of bringing up the child/time off etc, but we have none. It is just the isolation that brings on the old paranoia.
Thank you again for taking the time to write. I shall hang in - thank you!