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To not know how to cope

(34 Posts)
WorkEatSleepRepeat Sun 30-Nov-14 23:59:40

Regular but have name changed.

I don't think I can cope with real life. I know there are people out there with far worse problems than mine, it's just that I'm really struggling at the moment and I don't really have any rl friends I can speak to.

DH and I are both currently working - him in the town where we live and I do a 60 mile daily commute (round trip) for my job. Neither of us are particularly enjoying our jobs at the moment and are both applying elsewhere, but so far no luck. DH is suffering from depression again and has managed to see a dr but won't take the anti depressants he has been prescribed, mainly because he doesn't like the side effects. He was signed off from work for a fortnight and is due to go back tomorrow. I have been off for most of the week with a bug but will also be back in tomorrow and I'm dreading going back. The commute takes a lot out of me and every day I wish I didn't have to go. It regularly takes around 3 hours a day in travel time alone and I work a 40 hour week.

We have 3DC and I take the eldest to school club before I go to work. For the past few weeks I have been helping to take our other two DC and drop DH near work too. At the end of the day I leave work, rush to get back so that I can pick everyone up and then we all go home. By the time we get home it's usually 6.30 - 6.45 and we then have to cook tea and get DCs fed and then bathed/to bed. By the time they're all asleep it's 8.30/9 and then DH & I will watch a bit of TV or go on our computers. Our youngest DC does not sleep well and we try and take it in turns to get up in the night but we're always just both so exhausted. By the time it gets to the weekend neither or us have the energy to go and do something fun.

I know that the above scenario is probably what a lot of families do, but it just feels like we're failing at being good parents right now. Life just feels like one continuous stream of grind day in and day out and sometimes it feels like I'm playing at being a grown up. I am tired and stressed, DH and I argue a lot and I can be quite snappy with him and the DC. I feel like I'm missing out on the DC growing up and that one day they'll just be grown up and we will have missed out on making their childhood fun. I would love to not have to work right now and to just spend some time at home, but it isn't something we can realistically afford. DH reduced his hours to 32 per week, as he was having to work Saturdays and that was making life even more miserable. We both thought when he sorted his working pattern that we would feel more able to have some proper family time together, but so far this hasn't happened. I find myself getting overly emotional and I keep thinking that there has to be more to life than this.

Both of us are overweight and we know that this is part of the reason we are so tired. We have tried to address this in the past, but at some point we usually fall off the bandwagon and can't seem to get back on. We are really disorganised with meal planning and just a lot of things in general at the moment. We both know the DC deserve more, but it's mustering the energy that is the problem. I am the sole driver and I feel resentful sometimes that it is always me that has to drive or go to the supermarket. I'm feeling a lot more pressure too due to the return of DH's depression. If I could I would just hide away from it all but I can't.

If you've got to the end of this well done. I'm sorry that it's long and disjointed. I needed to get the things that go round in my head night after night out somewhere. I guess my AIBU question is AIBU to feel like this? To not know how to sort my life out? How do you all cope?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Dec-14 00:11:07

Goodness that sounds tough.
But I'm just trying to get my head around the logistics by doing some sums in my head - if you're doing a 9-5 with a 1.5 hr commute, then you're leaving your home town at 7.30. Dropping your dh off at his work at 7.30. If he works 32hours per week, so 6 hour days he finishes at 1.30. Is that right or have I misunderstood?

Tempy Mon 01-Dec-14 00:12:38

I sympathise with you. I feel exhausted just reading that. I definitely would not have been able to cope working 40 hrs a week, commuting 60 miles round trip and looking after 3 DC. Went part-time after DC1.
Can you make a list of things you can do to improve situation? Big things and little things. One thing you can do tomorrow. A treat you can give yourself. People who can help. Use your leave in a different way?

HumblePieMonster Mon 01-Dec-14 00:13:25

I don't.
Would you try to get some counselling into your life and some mindfulness (search YouTube) to give you a few minutes to recuperate daily?
You are overwhelmed, I think, as am I though my circumstances are different. I do think you might see your gp about this.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Mon 01-Dec-14 00:19:59

Could you do a batch cook and freeze it one weekend or use a slow cooker so tea is ready when you get home? I know it's not much help but it would ease the evenings a bit.
There are some MP3 relaxation exercises on this site and your DH might find some of the things helpful with his depression

WorkEatSleepRepeat Mon 01-Dec-14 00:25:52

Sorry I should have clarified the situation regarding work hours.

I usually leave home at 7, do drop off for 7.15 and then go straight to work. I can get there anywhere from 8.45 - 10.00, it honestly just depends on the traffic, but lately I've been averaging getting there for 9.30am. With taking DH and other DCs it's sometimes closer to 10. Generally I will work until 4.45 at the earliest and then leave in order to dodge traffic as much as I can. I arrive at our home town around 6 - 6.10 and then do pick up. So I suppose more like 2hr 30 - 3 hours commute daily. I managed to get work to agree to flexi time, mainly due to the ridiculousness of the traffic. So sometimes I will stay til 6pm to make up lost time. In these instances DH does pick up for all 3 DC via taxi.

DH works Mon - Thursday and has a three day weekend. He doesn't drive so doesn't tend to do the drop off commute for all the DC on the Friday, as he'd have to get 3 buses to do it, so sometimes I take all the DC on Fridays because it's easier.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Mon 01-Dec-14 00:31:49

Also could you afford/arrange an online food shop? It's one less job to fit in and you could meal plan and stick to it more easily because you can't see all the other food.

WorkEatSleepRepeat Mon 01-Dec-14 00:36:18

Sorry I've cross posted.

I think you may be right about the GP for me. Overwhelmed probably sounds about right. I can be incredibly anxious, I have to sometimes run through the drop off in my head as I'm going to work and do a self check that everyone is in ok and where they're meant to be, even though I already know that as I've just dropped them off.

I make lists from time to time and plan to do things, to make life better and easier, but that doesn't tend to always work. Sometimes we meal plan, but after getting home that can go right out the window. We do have a slow cooker and sometimes we use it, but we've been very lax lately. Also, we did start batch cooking but that went out the window too. A lot of it is tiredness I think.

Thank you for the link, I will check that out

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Mon 01-Dec-14 00:38:23

I just hope you get a job nearer to home it must be so hard with that commute, mine was only 1.5 hours a day and I found that tiring enough on top of intensively working. It must also be quite expensive with the mileage/taxis etc, so perhaps something closer to home would not have to pay more to be worthwhile in terms of lifestyle and money. I would prioritise sorting out your job, rather than your husbands as you are the one commuting and working f/t.

I work in an intensive job and the thought of batch cooking on the weekend makes me feel even more tired. I am afraid we eat a lot of frozen food/quick stuff with only proper cooked meals about three times a week. I can't tell you how to do this differently as I have a problem myself with this- and can also relate to going to bed so tired having had almost no time off in the evening.

I do think I would prioritise you getting a new nearer to home job, I don't think this is sustainable in the long term - are any likely to come up?

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 01-Dec-14 00:38:28

If you are on flexi time would working Monday to Thursday doing 10 hours be a bit better.

Then on Thursday after work get all the shopping done.

That way both DH and you will have Friday's off. Recharge your batteries ready for the weekend.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Mon 01-Dec-14 00:40:32

I think it can't hurt talking to the GP. I thought I was tired and overwhelmed, I was actually depressed. You have an awful lot on your plate but your DCs are loved and you are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. Please don't be too hard on yourself (I do it all the time, I'm my own worst critic!)

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 01-Dec-14 00:47:09

Not sure of your dc ages, but would a nanny be an option.

The nanny can take oldest to school ( so dropping the wrap around care) then also take care of the other 2 which I assume are in full time nursery.

The nanny then does all the children meal Monday -Thursday thier washing and get them all bathed and waiting for you when you get home.

WorkEatSleepRepeat Mon 01-Dec-14 00:54:24

Online shopping is something we have done before and could probably do with going back to, at least for the moment to help with not having to think about going shopping.

I've been looking for a new job for quite a while and I do keep applying to local ones, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. I was a mature student and graduated last year (I'm in my mid twenties). This is my first graduate role so to speak and I've been in this position for just over 10 months. I have worked before University too, but I think that there are just a lot more people who have been better qualified or better suited for the roles I have been applying to. My CV and/or covering letter may not be up to scratch either, so I'll have a look at revamping that too. There are jobs, just a hell of a lot of people applying for them.

That's an interesting thought about doing 4 ten hour days. I will broach it with my line manager, but the way my flexitime was set out was that any time that I had 'built up' outside of the 9 - 5 that I wanted to take back has to be agreed to in advance. I can't see them agreeing to my having a full day off per week unfortunately, as I had to fight to get the flexi-time in the first place. They rejected my request for home working on some flimsy business reasons, which I took to appeal but haven't had my appeal meeting yet and the deadline has now passed for that. I think the recuperation thing is an important point though, as DH gets to have time to himself every friday and that is his rest day, so by the time saturday comes all I want to do it have a rest if that makes sense.

WorkEatSleepRepeat Mon 01-Dec-14 07:22:51

So DH is refusing to go back to work today, hence me still being at home and trying to persuade him to go. He won't listen to reason and says he knows we can't afford to live on just SSP from his wage if he doesn't go back this week. My argument is that if he doesn't go back now, when will he be able to go back? He's very good at sticking his head in the sand. When he was signed off two weeks ago we had a discussion on this very matter and he said he would be fine. I don't know what to do with him. I'm trying to be supportive and understanding, but the last time he suffered from depression, it lasted for two years and put such a strain on us as a family. I know it must make me sound awful but I don't think I can go through that again.

MrsNippyCat Mon 01-Dec-14 07:27:07

Rather than having Fridays off as flexi, look into formally changing your contracted hours via your organisation's flexible working policy - they should have one.

Good luck, getting a local job and ending a similar commute to yours really improved my quality of life, I hope you find something soon.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Mon 01-Dec-14 07:54:09

It is an immense strain when one of you is ill. Emotionally and financially. You could do with support yourself whilst you are supporting him.

Thisishowyoudisappear Mon 01-Dec-14 08:47:54

It struck me that you feel you're failing at being a good parent. That's absolutely NOT what I got from your OP - the opposite in fact.

A visit to the GP would be a good idea.

Your DH needs to sort out his medication. What are the side effects he's worried about? Is he on the same ADs as before - if so perhaps a change might be better. There are a lot of options these days. I really feel he should take responsibility in that regard, so that you can support each other and work as a team.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Dec-14 08:55:00

I know nothing of depression so this may be a sillyvquestion - if he doesn't take his pills because he doesn't like the side effects, can he switch pills?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 01-Dec-14 08:56:00

Ah xpost. Well said disappear.

Preciousbane Mon 01-Dec-14 09:07:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

adsy Mon 01-Dec-14 09:23:59

Sorry but that sounds like normal family life to me.have you always had a lack of energy?

Anomaly Mon 01-Dec-14 10:54:44

It doesn't sound normal to me. I'm not surprised OP feels so overwhelmed. I think your DH has to understand that he needs to treat his depression. I think if he doesn't you're in danger of going under. If he was well he could be home Friday to do housework, sort an online shop and cook a proper healthy dinner.

OP do you have any local support?

Thisishowyoudisappear Mon 01-Dec-14 11:18:15

Thanks arethereanyleftatall.

OP, forgot to say YANBU. Also I would not worry if others think it's normal family life (although personally I don't think it is). The point is that YOU are struggling. YOU are feeling overwhelmed. You don't have to soldier on alone, you need support.

theressomethingaboutmarie Mon 01-Dec-14 11:25:29

OP, I could have written the same thing myself this time last year. I resigned my current role (with nothing to go to) as we were just so incredibly unhappy and life seemed to be racing by in a blur. There was just no joy in our lives at all. I picked up a contract that allows me to work part time but the pay is near to what I earned full-time. Is a part-time contract role feasible?

Sonnet Mon 01-Dec-14 11:51:47

This sounds a hard slog. I am not surprised you feel overwelmed!Practically I would suggest the following:
A priority has to be to find a job with a shorter commute - easier said than done I know and you need to be in the right headspace to apply for jobs.
In the short term I would shop online weekly for delivery on a Friday morning (DH can sort and put away)
Make the evening meal easier by a combination of using the slowcooker and quick meals

Hope thinhs work out OP

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