Feeling overwhelmed...(15 Posts)
My 5 1/2 year old step daughter (SD) has recently come at our home and started living with us. She had been living with her Biological mother (BM) previously, but the BM has created a lot of drama recently and told hubby that he should take the child away as she can't take care of her anymore.
Its only been a week and I know I should be giving things time to settle down. But I have been already under a lot of pressure since a few months due to work and family related issues. I have been depressed for a long time, so small things in life can make me feel overwhelmed.
Now that the SD is here, I am hardly getting anytime for myself. I feel tired all day long, can't focus on work in office and doing house chores seem to be difficult. I am hardly getting any time to spend with husband. I work in morning shift and get back home in afternoon, and he works in afternoon shift and gets back home at night. All of a sudden I have become from a motherless child, living with my partner to having SD from husband's first marriage.
I have no idea how to manage my day, how to handle the child, how to deal with her constant questions about everything. Making her do something takes a lot of patience as she keep on negotiating for things to be done her way. Having a short nap in afternoon always starts with the negotiation process. She wants to watch T.V, she wants to play with me, she wants to draw, she wants to do everything by go to sleep and let me have an hour of sleep. She has been allowed to have her own way when she was living with her biological mother.
I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising the child. Telling her not to do something, she just wont get it. Asking her to do something, she wont do it. It has just been a week and I am beginning to feel burn out.
I feel completely lost!
Leaving everything else aside, why on earth do you think a child that will soon be 6years old, and therefore presumably is in full time education, needs to go for a nap every afternoon?
You might quite fancy it, but I don't think it's the norm!
An afternoon nap for a six year old? In your dreams. Negotiate a nap for yourself. Hire a sixth former/gap year student to take her to the park for the afternoon. Don't worry. You'll get the hang of it. And I don't see why it's all come down to you by the way. Where is her father?
It sounds like it is you that needs the nap, not your DSD. I sympathize! You have taken on a huge job.
What is the arrangement? Are you working full time and also looking after her?
Yes, you are right. I am the one who needs this nap and not her. But I don't know what to do with her if I am sleeping.
I am working full time and looking after her too.
That's too much, isn't it? Especially if you are new to the whole thing. I work full-time (in 'unusual' hours) and do the bulk of the care for my DD, and it is exhausting - but I have had some time to work up to it, and at least I can feel that I have full parental authority along with the exhaustion!
So. What can you do? Is there anyway you guys can get some outside help? I assume that your DP is at work during the hours you're looking after her? - but he needs to step up. Her care really is his job to sort out. It is totally unfair to expect you to be able to manage your job and his daughter's care. Can he give up something else, to be able to provide for a few hours of childcare?
I assume SD will be going to school in Sept so the main concern at the moment is muddling through the holidays as best you can? Can you find a Childminder who might have temp spaces due to other mindees being on holiday? Will you do all the after school childcare once the new school term starts? Could you look into a childminder or after school club for a few hours a week to give you some respite? (Make sure you apply for child benefit and tax credits, they could help fund this).
I imagine SD is very confused right now with everything that's happened. Can you make a set of house rules so that she knows what's what and what she isn't allowed to do? It might help her understand the boundaries and help you cope a little better.
The girl is probably feeling very wobbly right now. That is not an easy thing to deal with.
She is probably feeling very unsettled a the moment. She probably wants t spend time with you as she needs the extra reassurance that she is wanted after her mother has dumped her.
If I were you, I would do your best, grab an apron, get baking, don't be afraid to plonk her in front of the tv and have a nap for an hour.
Can you get some support from grandparents etc? That way she will have one on one time with someone she feels secure with and knows and you will get a break? I really sympathise. I was 21 when I moved in with my dh and took on his daughter full time. She was 5 too. My whole life changed overnight. In hindsight I should have put my foot down and asked for more support from dh but now I wouldn't change it for the world. Things were tough and we have had some difficult times but it will get better. Xx
Why are you looking after her? What's your partner, her father doing?
My Little Girl - Tim McGraw
I think in the circumstances your dh needs to use some annual leave to be with his dd. you then need to talk about your future and where to go from here.
Do you want to be a full time step mother, is it difficult because it was all so quick or is it not what you want for your life. Obviously he has to live with his dd and provide her stability but you need some time to decide if you want to live with them or not.
He can't just force you into being a full time step mum and primary carer.
Don't worry. And don't be afraid to tell your dh you need help, if he HAS to work afternoons, consider holiday clubs like Baracudas or similar, child minder, older teenager wanting to earn some money even.
Leisure centres often have play sessions in the afternoon as well as the morning.
And your dh should absolutely try his utmost to get time off to settle her in.
I feel for you, it sounds very difficult and I hope you're able to find a way to bring about some balance for you and your dsd.
She's probably feeling unsettled and not sure of much, although its really hard and you're knackered she will probably need reassurance that you're sticking around and she's not going to be sent somewhere else.
She's only little still I really feel for her, some house rules are important and you and your dh need to support each other in discussing what they are and sticking to them.
If you're able some family time would be nice, stability is really important I would think at this point.
You sound like you're doing a great job and its ok to be overwhelmed don't allow your dh to take the reigns and do it all. Good luck!
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