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AIBU to wonder how people fit everything in.

(31 Posts)
spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 14:31:55

Or am I/we just trying to do too much?

So, I am a single mum, DD8.

I want to cool from scratch, do educational shit/homework with DD/encourage her to read and keep my house borderline clean. I don't seem to have enough time for any of that and am beginning to think that I am Getting It All Wrong.

I work 30 hours a week over 5 days. Leave the house at 7.45. Drive 40 mins to work, no break, get back in time to pick DD up. Afterschool activities Mon and Tues. DD sees her dad (at my house while I go out Wed/Thurs eve until 6. Fri evening we are both shattered.

I am in last year of degree.

Weekends are filled with friend and family fun (DD is lonely as an only child).

Am I being pathetic to not be able to find time to fit it all in? DD bedtime is about 7-7.30 as she needs sleep to be worth knowing.

I'm always rushing and it feels like we have no down time.

Voerendaal Thu 27-Mar-14 14:36:49

You are working 5 days a week, doing a degree and a single parent. Of course you can't fit everything in.
I am sure there are dozens of us who know how you are feeling.
Have a glass of wine tonight and chill, I think you are doing brilliantly

EverythingsDozy Thu 27-Mar-14 14:37:59

I manage to get everything done, newly single parent to DD(3) and DS(1). My house can be lovely and tidy, I get one on one time with my 16mo and still manage to teach his 3yo sister to read and do cross stitch with her. Plus I get the time to sit down and relax and watch my recorded tv programmes and do Zumba on a Tuesday.

I don't work sad I would give all this up if I could just get a job. I would love my kids to be in full time nursery, getting the interactions I can't give them and I would love nothing more to have a job, have a few adult interactions and actually feel like I'm making a living.

We can't have it all, in my opinion. Especially not as a single parent. It's crapola sad

Forgotmytiara Thu 27-Mar-14 14:53:05

Op, you sound like a super mum! Carry on but cut yourself some slack, breathe and pat yourself on the shoulder! Maybe it would be worth listing all the 'must dos' and 'nice to dos' and try to prioritize. Once you have graduated things should become easier. Try and take things a bit easy till then.

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 15:11:15

Thanks all. I just feel that some really important things are starting to get neglected. My DD doesn't really read enough, homework/spellings/other school things are shoved into the gaps where they fit. We have no good quality time together.

I'm also a Brownie leader and help out with a charity project. I'm thinking I should maybe give both of those up at least for the time being.

DD did not take the split of her dad and me well and it is still very hard as he does not make it easy.

I guess I'm worried all this hustle and bustle is too much.

Sorry to hear that the grass isn't greener for you Dozy.

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 15:13:20

And things like our diet bug me. We don't eat badly but we don't eat cheaply and it is repetitive. It could do with being better organised but all suggestions seem to take more time than I currently have.

RandomPants Thu 27-Mar-14 15:16:31

I agree you need to drop brownies and charity for a while. You need to prioritise yourself and your DD over those. It's not possible to do everything!

nannynewo Thu 27-Mar-14 15:20:30

OP there will be times when you feel like this but don't panic and take some time out maybe this weekend to spend some quality time with your DD. Or even some time to yourself? Set DD up with a play date and just have a breather and relax. It may seem really hard now, but if your degree is anything like mine (I am also third year) then you'll be finishing in May so will have more time on your hands to spend with your DD. I would also give up the brownie and charity thing until maybe you finish your degree? That will free you up with some more time to prioritise.
You are probably just stressed out and need some time to yourself. I know how it feels because I am constantly juggling different commitments as well as a degree and sometimes you need to sit down to actually think about what to do next.
Good luck OP smile you are doing a great job!

poocatcherchampion Thu 27-Mar-14 15:29:21

cut more out. activities dont have to be every day. mooch around doing nothing. she doesn't need constant entertainment justcos she's an only. bulk cook meals to liven up your repertoire but do less actual cooking.

sounds like you are managing well though - but just need a break. can you make the Easter holiday it?

InternetFOREVER Thu 27-Mar-14 15:41:37

Does DD's dad take her at all at the weekend? If they went out for say a half day you could spend it batch cooking meals for the week, then after work you could just bung something in the oven and free up a bit of time. Although I've just realised that four evenings a week are taken up by after school activities and DD's dad, so no wonder you don't have much time! Does Dad do homework/ reading with DD on his evenings?

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 16:21:14

Ah no. He works weekends. And no, they watch TV for two hours.

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 16:25:26

I am thinking the volunteering needs to go for now. That's such a shame though.

I do feel for her at weekends if we don't see people. She does get lonely and then frets and worries about things that are upsetting her.

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 27-Mar-14 16:25:29

Give your self a break.

Single mum who works 30 hours a week as well as brownies, volunteer work and a degree.

Plus the housework, meals and other things.

I bet you are burnt out.

lovelifeat40 Thu 27-Mar-14 16:27:54

Noway working single mums can fit everything in. Was a single mum to 2 girls for nearly 10 years, my house was never clean, that was the least of my priority smile.

AntoinetteCosway Thu 27-Mar-14 16:41:27

You sound like a great mum OP.

gilmoregirl Thu 27-Mar-14 16:58:37

Hi Spud smile

I have similar week to you ( I work full time condensed hours to allow me to pick up DS from school sometimes).

My DS is eight as well. I am a single parent and DS onlyh sees his dad for a couple of hours every few weeks or so.

I was volunteering at cubs until DS announced he did not want to go to cubs anymore...... he point blank refused so I have given up my stint as a cub leader. Of course I felt guilty. Then I took a step back and looked at my life and thought "you know what, I think it is better for me to go for a swim/drink wine in the time I am usually in a church hall with 20 eight year old boys and they will cope without me". and guess what. they are : )

Agree with other posters who suggested giving up the voluntary stuff - you can always take it up when you have completed your degree. I completed a PG certificate last year and looking back I have no idea how I did it (two years part time in addition to working) as I am exhausted and have no time at the moment. So I cannot imagine how you are managing work, degree, singleparentdom and voluntary work. You must be wonder woman.

Give up brownies and use that time for something you want to do that you find relaxing - I presume your daughter is at brownies so you have and hour and a half or so? Do not feel guilty you are already doing tons.

rookiemater Thu 27-Mar-14 17:01:41

I would try to give up either brownie leader or charity project or both for now, I couldn't fit those in and I work p/t - true friends will understand why you are giving them up.

fieldfare Thu 27-Mar-14 17:07:18

Wow you've got a lot on.
I'd be dropping brownies and the volunteer stuff at least until your degree is finished.
Why can't Dd's Dad take her out for their contact time? Then you've a couple of hours to have a little blitz around.
It's really hard to fit everything in, I've been a LP. Sometimes you have to forgo the outings etc to get things sorted at home so you feel better about dealing with everything else. If my house is chaotic then I feel that way too and can't settle.

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 17:35:16

Thanks all. DD has been making noises about giving up Brownies and has refused to go for the last couple of weeks so I am wondering if it is worth continuing. It's a shame as they do a lot of cool trips but she generally knows her mind. She's going to think about it over Easter.

I think I will give up both volunteering roles for now. I am shattered all the time and I'm sure it's doing me no good and means I'm not doing a great job of anything.

I think I know why I have so much going on. I had cancer a couple of years ago and after getting over that took a year to get out of an awful 13 year relationship. I feel simultaneously like I have to start getting things done in case there's a time limit and free to get on with things for the first time since I was 21.

However I'm also crying because I am tired and strangers on the internet have been nice to me, so I think I may be overdoing it.

I've also redecorated every room but one in my house (tiny house to be fair) and relandscaped my garden in the last 14 months.

I am an idiot!!

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 17:37:43

Oh and re contact time. He says he has no money and nowhere to take her. I worry that she wouldn't see him at all if not here and that if I enforce outside contact (which I am working up to doing - abusive relationship so every move takes up a lot of my low reserves of courage) he will not see her so much and tell her it is my fault for not allowing him to do it in what he still calls 'his house'

spudalicious Thu 27-Mar-14 17:38:25

Ick, that post sounded like the bitterness was leaking through. I try not to let it.

RandomPants Thu 27-Mar-14 18:24:37

Oh spud sad Hugs.

I have a tendency to take on too much and it has taken me years to get to the stage where I'm beginning to have a better idea of my limits. Listen to your body and mind. They know that you need to ease up a bit.

hamptoncourt Thu 27-Mar-14 18:52:57

It isn't up to you to accommodate the XP when he sees DD. Knock that on the head right away.

If he doesn't bother to see her then he she probably isn't missing much is she?

You should not have him in your home when you state he is abusive, time to get tough.

pluCaChange Thu 27-Mar-14 19:00:24

The weather is getting warmer, so DD and her dad can surely go out to a park for their contact time - that's free! I used to take DS to the park once or twice a day, and it kept us out of the house for ages (so my housework suffered - so you will gain a big chunk of time!

Glad you're thinking of giving up the voluntary stuff. smile You need to avoid burnout!

Doshusallie Thu 27-Mar-14 19:02:53

I have recently drawn up a timetable for my DSs and stuck it on fridge. Things like, Monday handwriting practice, Tuesday guitar practice, Wednesday time tables...only for a maximum of 10 minutes. This is instead of watching tv after breakfast, teeth cleaning and bed making. It is working really well so far...

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