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struggling single mum. don't know who to turn to :((43 Posts)
I've been reading these boards for a while and have finally plucked up the courage to post.
Anyway I'm not too sure what type of advice I'm after but I feel as though I'm not coping very well at all
So.. I'm a single mum in my mid 20s.
I live with my elderly mother who is quite poorly so i'm looking after her constantly and I have lived with her for a lot of my life.
I have a DD who is 2.5 years old and she is a very demanding child and always has been.
I was with my ex for 4 years and he was very , very violent and abusive.
I didn't initially want a child, he did and he pressured me into it and took steps to try to get me pregnant, destroying condoms, throwing pills etc.
I look back now and of course I should have walked away but it's like looking back at a different person. I was completely in love and blind to all this.
I love my DD to pieces now and of course, wouldn't change her for the world.
I had a horrendous birth and had a third degree tear, haemorrhaged and lost a LOT of blood.
To cut things short.. my ex didn't look after me and treated me like dirt. He was very violent and controlling and tried to make out I was going mad.
the final straw came when he started beating me up while I was holding DD and that was it. I left him and told him he needs help and I would not be returning.
I have not heard a single word from him since DD was 6 months old, which is around 2 years.
To say I have struggled is a massive understatement.
I look after my elderly mother everyday, my DD, run the house.. and I have no friends at all, also no family to turn to.
I feel as though I am just keeping my head above water which is so difficult because I have a long history of depression and abuse and self harm.
I am currently prescribed antidepressants by my doctor but they just lift my mood slightly. nothing can help me with all I have to cope with on a daily basis.
I'm not sure what advice I'm asking for but I'm struggling so much to cope and I don't know who to turn to.
I've been reading these boards for a while now and all you ladies (and gents) seem to give some very good advice.
I have DD 24/7.
I have not had a break since she was born and I am so shattered.
I'm hoping to get her into some kind of nursery soon but there is a waiting list.
My DD is perfectly happy, healthy and well looked after. it's me that's struggling but I love her dearly, she is all I have.
thank you for reading and thank you to anyone who may have some advice. or maybe I just needed someone to listen.
sorry it was long.
Justsomebody, I know how you feel. I'm also looking after an elderly Mum and have a 3 year old and an older child too. It's v hard.
Just wanted to post to agree with advice others have given. Your mum can't have it both ways. Disappointed you've not been to university etc. then expect you to care for her on top of looking after your daughter. Either she needs a carer or she doesn't. If she does then you need to decide if you can still do it and what help is available. Also you dont mention in your post if your mum needs longterm care. You need to think about yourself for a change. I do think you need to speak to your HV. I'm a single mum to my ds who is nearly 3 and that keeps me busy enough!
Hello, Wanted to say that in a strange way your mother is abusing you as well, clearly disappointed in you can't be a good feeling which leads you to think that you constantly have to try to gain her approval, which now seems to include not getting support you need because she wouldn't like it. I think to go and ask for counselling would be a great start to sorting out what you want for your life. Sounds like siblings, mum and Exp have all added to you lack of self worth. MNers recognise that you are amazing and doing fantastic. We would all like you to not feel as you do. Please lovely take up the suggestions of these caring women who understand. You are not weak or a failure or useless. You are amazing strong woman who is clearly very capable. Well done for breaking the deadlock. Hope you can take the next step to moving up!!!xx
Re the HV: you will need to contact them. Look in your red book for the number, or your children's centre or ask the GP. And another vote for Homestart as they are basically caring volunteers who understand what it means to struggle or feel isolated.
As regards your mother, you are the one strong, healthy adult here. You need and deserve to look after yourself so that you can help your mother and your DD.
Carers allowance is for you and has nothing to do with your mother. If she has a particular illness, phone the helpline for whatever charity is appropriate and phone age concern or whatever they are called now.
You need to be tough on your mum, if she doesn't want you going out and doing your own thing then find a day centre and simply say you are going out to a playgroup or whatever and your mum has a choice.
Don't worry about other people's reactions ie your GP, they do understand and can point you in the right direction to find some more support. Have some for doing such a great job so far.
I second the HomeStart suggestion. They helped me massively when I had a toddler and newborn and was struggling with PND and living in a new area. I've just started volunteering for them now youngest is at school, and we help people just like you, providing friendship, support, a listening ear etc. You can refer yourself to HomeStart or ask your GP or Health Visitor to refer you. Sure Start centres are also great. Do keep posting here OP, you need and deserve a bit of a break. I think Skyebluesapphire makes an important point - don't allow your mum to control your life. You have needs too.
I am a single mum and have just spent a year caring for my Grandad before he passed away so know how exhausting it is, I also know few people and find it difficult as I too have dd completely on my own although dd is at school now. With the sound of things I came from a similar relationship as you too
I'm also in Manchester so please give me a shout if you fancy a coffee/break!
sky I don't think your post is that harsh .
How are you OP? Please keep posting here, you'll greatilly benefit from the advice and support.
Hi justsomebody, What a good thing you did find the courage to post on here, eh? I hope you feel the advice you've had gives you a few steps you can take to get a better life for yourself. Just taking a few tentative steps in the right direction could help enormously.
No one will think you are weak for asking for help.
Your mum may be a very proud woman, but don't let that get in the way of any benefits you may be entitled to.
Very best wishes
To be brutally honest, this isn't about your mum, it is about you. Your mum actually sounds very controlling from the very little you have said about her. Carers allowance is paid because you are looking after somebody.
If your mum wont help you, then maybe you should start to step back from her a bit. Be cruel to be kind, but she cannot dictate what you can or cannot claim. If she is that sick, then she should be getting attendance allowance and carers allowance for you. If she doesn't need it, then how sick is she? She can't have it all ways..... and she cannot keep you trapped at home running around after her.
I have seen my own grandmother pretend to be a lot worse than she actually is, just so that people dance attendance on her. Obviously I don't know what is wrong with your mum,, but you do need to be sure that she is not just taking advantage of you or controlling you.
I do realise that this post is quite harsh, but I am concerned about YOU. xx
Have you taken abusive ex-partner to CSA? Whatever he earns he will pay 15% max of gross wages. Every little helps.
Carers allowance isn't for her, it's for you. So it's your income that would be considered.
And I'm surprised that you haven't seen a hv in ages. My experience has been that you usually can't get rid of them!
Again, thank you all so much for responding.
To answer a few questions..
I actually haven't seen or heard from a health visitor since DD was a few months old.
I don't receive any kind of carers allowance as I've never applied for it. My mum is a very proud woman and wouldn't want anybody butting into her business and I wouldn't be able to change her mind.
I'm going to check out some of the websites people have mentioned,
I honestly didn't know that kind of support existed.
I'm so used to keeping everything to myself and I've always been scared of reaching out for help or support in case people thought I was weak or something.
thank you all x
Oh OP, my experience was similar to yours, except I had the glorious support of MN just before my birth and ended up telling the hospital staff about my abuse, which led to them contacting my health visitor, which was the gateway to all sorts of help, without which I would have gone under. Please, please ask for help, you need amd deserve it.
Also please consider contacting Women's Aid who may have further advice/resources for you.
Well done on getting out. This is the start of a happy and positive time for you and your DD x
What about Home Start? They have branches in North and South Manchester
it soulds to me like you are doing a really good job I do have a couple of thoughts for you.
I was wondering whether you get careers allowance? alternatively I was wondering whether your Mum needs you as much as you are currently there? when you have approached the sure start nursery do they know your situation? if not please consider telling them(the head so you can be sure the message has got through) our local sure start would have found a place for someone in your situation in a week or two
have you asked the HV? you might be able to get the 20 hours in a private nursery or some other kind of childcare.
Failing all that trying to get out more really helps I've found, park random playgroups sure start stuff all helps
Sorry for the typos
im half asleep but still wanted to help
Hi OP, lots of ((Hugss)) to you.
Couldn't read and run, I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. Every poster here has given you great advice and I'll take in some for myself too. I'm a single mum, my DD is 15mnths and left her abusive dad pushed my life to the edge of depression and other mental problems. Your DD is very lucky to have such a caring mum and so does your DM. I totally understand what you mean my 'not wanting to speak to GP' about situation. Since your DD is still under five, you can ring your local CC and get back intouch with a HV. They are very helpul and mine turned out to be like my counselor. She was great! I reckon you could benefit from their services quite a lot.
Please don't suffer in silence, start getting yourself all the help you have been advised on here and you'll be ok.
Wish I was in Manchester, I'd be your friend(at your will) and i could help by babysitting. Check your local Mnet, there could be mums who could be willing to do alternate babysitting for free. That way, you creat a circle of friends and you some YOU time.
be strong, Everything will be ok.
That sounds more positive. My local Children's Centre did courses in cooking, literacy, numeracy, all sorts of things and I made some lovely friends along the way. Your HV would know of local toddler groups too.
The Children's Centre also provided me with a home visitor, counselling, and offered advice on benefits etc. they can do so much to help you if you ask them for it. Also ask your HV if there are any Carees groups near you too. And find out about respite care. The health service is there to help you.
I'm glad you are feeling a little more positive and I hope that you get help to sort things out.
thank you for the responses everybody.
To the lady who wanted to PM me, yes please do. I'd love to hear your experiences and any advice.
I've been really ill with the flu for the last few days but I still have to continue and look after everybody,, which isn't easy.
I'm thinking of looking into maybe going to a play group of some sorts, starting with small steps.
I find it very hard taking first steps as my confidence is none existent at the moment but coming on here and hearing everyone's wonderful responses may have given me the nudge I need.
I need to do it for my DD more than anything but also for my own sanity.
Thanks everybody and if anybody wants to PM me then please do x
Just checking in, OP. Thinking of you
I echo the others, I think you are doing a fantastic job. Your daughter is lucky to have you.
While you're waiting for a nursery place, have you thought about taking DD to events at your local library? I started taking my daughter there when she was a few months old (baby rhyme time) and met a lot of other mums there. Have stayed friends with some of them for a couple of years now.
For 2 year olds I think they have story time sessions, stay and play, and that sort of thing. They are generally free or no more than £1, and there are usually at least a couple of mums who hang around afterwards and have a chat while the kids play.
I realise it's a small thing and is not going to be a magic wand, but it might brighten up some of your days a bit.
All the best
I couldn't read and not post. You have dealt with several things which would be tough in isolation let alone stacked up. There's lots of well informed and clue up posters here for you on this thread, I hope you can begin to see some improvements.
I wonder if manchester carer's centre would be a good place to start to get some support. Even if your Mum doesn't want help from anyone else you can get support for yourself as a carer. If there were any relevant activities you could join in with you might meet people who had more of an understanding of your situation.
Big hug for ((you)). Please get some outside help. Contact the Children's Centre and explain what you are going through. They are there to support you and get you help in all areas. They usually run courses with creches where you would be able to meet other mums and they all run toddler groups etc.
you have made a big step and the right one in getting away from that man. It must be difficult having to look after your mum, but please see what extra help you can get for her. Don't feel like you can't ask for help. Nobody is going to criticise you for not being able to cope, you have a massive amount to deal with.
I agree that you should speak to your doctor, and health visitor. Does your mum have other carers? Are there other people who could come in for a day a week and give you a break?
Please make sure that you and your mum are getting all the benefits that you are entitled to, carers allowance, attendance allowance etc. The Childrens Centre should be able to help you with that too.
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