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to find raising children so hard when I have no support from family or friends?

(24 Posts)
SickAndTiredOfBeingSickAndTire Fri 07-Feb-14 21:07:32

It is so lonely and stressful especially when there is no one to talk to during the day (DH works until long into the night, and quite often, a long way away). I just would like someone who I could pop to for a cuppa and a mutual whinge/gossip/laugh or meet for lunch with the toddler or go out for the odd glass of wine once in a blue moon.

I have NO ONE. No family and not one friend. I find it really hard to make friends due to an abusive childhood and I have not been able to make one in the 8 years we have lived in this town.

I have had several occasions where I have had to take one or other of my 4 DC to A&E/OoH GP and not even simply having someone in the area who I could drop the other's off with made it so stressful.

I always remember taking DS1 to A&E with breathing difficulties, he was admitted, and I had a nurse telling me to get my other children out of the ward. She could not believe I had no one else to look after them until my DH got back 3 hours later (he is trucker and was far away) and was extremely rude but I was not going to leave DS1 there alone hmm.

I gave birth to my last DC alone as DH had to stay with the others.

I also sometimes worry that if I was taken ill during the day and could not get to pick up the older DC from school, what would I do? Also if I was alone with my 3 year old, I would have no one to call.

It is utterly shit and the main reason for my anxiety and depression I believe. DH changing jobs would not be an option as that would be nigh on impossible without a massive pay cut. I can't find a job to break up the day either.

It's not normal is it?

Bearfrills Fri 07-Feb-14 21:16:17

Your youngest is 3yo so you're still under the umbrella of the health visiting team. Contact your Health Visitor and find out from her what support there is in your area. Also contact your local Sure Start/Children's Centre - they're accessible to anyone with a child under the age of five and can also offer support. Many centres offer 'meet a mum' drop-in groups, there will also be playgroups and classes. You don't necessarily have to throw yourself head first into every single group going but if you know what's on you could maybe pick one group that appeals to you and go along to see what it's like. That's how I met most of my 'mum' friends, from taking the DC to playgroup. It's daunting at first when you don't know anyone but its a start and you already have an opener purely because you have DC of a similar age.

Russianqueen Fri 07-Feb-14 21:19:42

I totally sympathise, it is really difficult to go through the day with no adult conversation. What activities do you do with the toddler? I am not good at making new friends but have met lots of people through going to various groups with my daughter. I wouldn't say I have met anyone that I am good friends with but I certainly have met people I can arrange to go for a coffee with or to soft play etc. Even if money is an issue, there are usually really cheap mother and toddler sessions around if you look hard enough.

Norrsken Fri 07-Feb-14 21:21:04

I'm sorry to hear about your situation OP, just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I also have no one apart from DP.

Calloh Fri 07-Feb-14 21:24:23

Where are you in the country OP?

Bearfrills has some excellent ideas. libraries sometimes run groups too, might be worth a bash?

I did find it took a long time to meet people through groups but between that and the school gates one does eventually make friends - it just takes a while to find like-minded mothers sometimes.

Go to everything you can afford to go to if possible and try and catch people's eye and talk to friendly ones if you can - easier said than done. Even if you never see them again contact with other grown-ups can just make the day feel better.

It is shit. I felt like that when mine were that age . It is so hard, my husband is out tonight but he is rarely home from work before 10.30 and leaves early in the morning. My family live far away. I was just mooching around the kitchen feeling a weird combination of ennui, loneliness, frustration and boredom.

I definitely found the age yours are at the loneliest and it definitely does get easier.

This probably didn't help at all.

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 07-Feb-14 21:26:51

You are not alone. X

heatseeker Fri 07-Feb-14 21:42:20

I really feel for you op that sounds difficult. I have spent more and more time alone since having DS2 and it is not a nice feeling, hence trying to find part time work to break the cycle.
Perhaps it's because you now have 4 DC and struggle to make the effort at times? I know I made more effort when I had DS1 because I had more time. I met a few friends through mums & tots groups and NCT class. I have managed to maintain some of these friendships, although it has become more difficult now that our kids have started at different schools (made more tricky as a couple of friends only had one child where we went on to have another and I felt as though they had moved on with their lives).
I had a troubled child hood and was moved around constantly, as a result I also find it difficult to get close to other people and form a true friendship.
Try to put yourself in a situation to strike up conversations with other mums whilst picking kids up from school or at kids parties. Hopefully an opportunity may crop up where you share a common interest. Try to attend play groups, it is difficult at first but put yourself out there.
As for not being normal, I think feeling isolated and lonely sadly occurs a lot more than you think.

Purplepoodle Fri 07-Feb-14 21:56:54

Your not alone. It's really hard to make friends. The openly ones I have are though pt work and then only 1 who I could call in a crisis. Work keeps me sane when having to deal alone with the kids.

LingDiLong Fri 07-Feb-14 22:08:59

No, that level of isolation isn't common I wouldn't have thought and I can well imagine it feeling crippling. I don't have regular babysitters or many friends but do know I can call on my parents/a close friend if I need them and feel very, very grateful for this.

Do you manage to get out and about at all? What do you think stops you from making friends?

RavenRose Fri 07-Feb-14 22:35:13

You're definitely not alone. I've never made friends since moving here. I never attended the groups, made friends at the school gate as I work full time. But I don't fit in with the golf and drinking culture there so haven't really made any friends at work either. Plus, if dh is away for work I can't join in after work stuff as I need to look after dds. I have no family other than dh and dds. The in laws don't give a monkeys and won't even help out in an emergency. I worry that if something put us both out of action foster care would be the only option.

I do have some acquaintances from work, but I work mostly from home now which makes me more lonely plus I couldn't ask them in an emergency.

I get the thing with the hospital. I've had so many people not understand that if dh is away I have literally no one I can leave dds with. I'm always amazed how few health care people understand this. It's doesn't help that they are so disbelieving and make you feel so much worse about your situation.

LongDivision Fri 07-Feb-14 22:48:58

Please look into Home-start. One of their primary goals is to help people in your exact situation. I believe an HV (or yourself) can provide a referral.

CrispyFB Fri 07-Feb-14 23:38:19

I hear you. I do have family, but they're over 300 miles away and in poor health so no use at all! I also have three DC, #4 due next month and facing the very real prospect that if I go into preterm labour that DH won't be there for the birth, especially as he works 90 minutes away. Goodness knows what I'll do with the children if he can't reach me due to train problems, flooding, snow etc. I have to have a c-section or we both die so it's kind of worrying being alone with the children and no help at hand. If I reach my scheduled ELCS date we're probably going to have to pay a one-off nanny a small fortune to watch them.

There are people I can say hello to thanks to the school gate and some after school clubs which fulfils a small part of my social interactions (the rest are online and live far too far away to help), but I could never ask them to look after my children. It's hard for people with larger families because whilst many acquaintances are happy to take one or even two children, nobody wants to take three let alone four which is understandable, but annoying. Similarly for popping round for coffee.. it's one thing to have a coffee with one child there, another with three or four.. there's no point even trying. So that puts a damper on taking acquaintance friendships further I feel. It's an issue I never anticipated when we decided on four children!

When I was discussing potential preterm labour with my consultant last month she was genuinely shocked and thought I must be exaggerating that I really had nobody I could ask to look after the children if I needed to go in. It made no sense in her head. Your story about the nurse really rang a bell. The vast majority of people do have somebody.

A few years back I had an allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock - throat closing over, so proper reaction) to penicillin and needed an ambulance. I had just the two DC at the time, and nobody was happy that DH took over an hour to reach me whilst I was on the IV. They kept tutting about my then 3 and 1 year old not staying still or quiet in the tiny curtained cubicle.. what was I supposed to do, I was tied to an IV on the bed - I already had the 1 year old on my other wrist on a wrist strap!

It's not easy, is it? sad

I read somewhere that we're not biologically supposed to be like this - that mothers (and fathers if SAHD) aren't supposed to be with their children 24/7 and are expected to get a break from other members of the community.

KnappShappeyShipwright Fri 07-Feb-14 23:53:50

I can totally relate to what you've posted, OP. I am in exactly the same position, stuck in a town where no one wants to make new friends with an incomer, a DH who works away (long distance lorry driver) and miles from my family.

I've had enough, I'm moving back to home town as soon as I can. If I was taken ill, or my car broke down so I couldn't collect the children I have no one to call. This isn't home, it's just a town I happen to live in. Can you move nearer to your family?

Valdeeves Sat 08-Feb-14 00:12:19

Where do you live?

SamHamwidge Sat 08-Feb-14 00:26:07

Yes where are you OP. I am a single mum always keen to meet someone new for coffee or play date. I don't find it easy either (am really quite a reclusiive person) am in southeast.

LST Sat 08-Feb-14 01:55:13

I'm in the midlands area if ever you require a brew and a chat smile

MyBaby1day Sat 08-Feb-14 07:52:10

So sad to hear that OP, I am in West Yorkshire if you ever need a friend smile. No DC's (yet) but am a good friend to my friends and maybe you wouldn't feel as alone.

lanbro Sat 08-Feb-14 07:57:39

I felt a bit like you on the friend front - I actually met 3 girls through meet-a-mum on Netmums, and introducedall of tthem to each other so now we have a lovely group of 4 to meet up weekly. I have become really tight with one in particular to the point where we just call in to each other if we're passing. It did take a lot of false starts but worth persevering. In the north east ifyou wwant to join!

Jinsei Sat 08-Feb-14 08:24:03

Let us know where you live, OP. I bet there will be someone local who would be happy to meet you. smile

janey68 Sat 08-Feb-14 08:28:42

I know being at home all day with young children can feel isolating but this is at the extreme end of that. It would be helpful for you to try to unravel why you find it so hard to make friends,; can you access professional help through your GP or HV ? You mention an abusive childhood but its possible with help to move on and not let that blight your life now. Everyone deserves friends.

Did you have friends when you worked prior to having children? Or did you just go to work and get on with the job without any social aspect? I suspect the latter was the case but the fact of getting out and having that structure to your day made things seem easier.

Try to think about the impact of this isolation on your children too... I'm not meaning to frighten you because they'll all be at school soon and will socialise and make friends, but it would surely help for your younger ones to go out for coffee with other young children and mums, or to meet other toddlers at playgroup.

There are people out there who are friends waiting to be met, you need to find the key to unlock the issues behind this though.

Chocovore Sat 08-Feb-14 08:35:49

What about your DC at school? I would be encouraging them to invite their friends home on playdates?

I find the best way of asking for help is offering first so if you hear someone is struggling with chikdcare, or needs a lift, offer to help. Then you don't feel bad asking them a favour back.

froubylou Sat 08-Feb-14 08:39:48

My dd attends our local salvation army youth club on a Friday evening. I know from looking at the boards and stuff that they do other things as well. The people who run it are really lovely and warm and welcoming. Have a look at your local one. I know they do stuff in the holidays for families. Free and I bet the kids would love it.

ROARmeow Sat 08-Feb-14 09:44:20

I'm just outside Belfast in NI. Would love a new friend for brew or wine

sparkleowl Sat 08-Feb-14 10:19:14

All really good ideas on here for you to try. I used to be in the same position as you, with literally nobody to help out, and a town that was new to me, with 3 young children.first, I would say , don't aim to make strong friendships, just superficial ones at first, enough to have a coffee and a natter.Be the first to invite another Mother to meet up, if you wait to be invited it could take forever.At playgroup, if your child likes another, try and make friends with her Mum. Is there a close neighbour, maybe an older woman who is on her own all day, you could get to know her. I am naturally shy, but sometimes you have to force yourself to do these things.Good luck!flowers

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