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An extraordinarily exhausted single mum

(37 Posts)
princessbeer Wed 11-May-16 19:58:23

Hi mumsnetters
Posting here for traffic.
My life; I work in a stressful job with vulnerable adults 30 hrs PW.
I have a 3 year old. She's great. She deserves to spend quality time with her dad & have a mum who isn't exhausted. Properly exhausted.
I never stop.
Dd dad goes through phases of being interested in Dd.
He didn't have her for a single overnight stay Oct-March. Then he had her for 3 over nights in April but now not interested again. He works away a lot and is an actor.
He is in UK a lot tho (lives 4 miles away from us) - he will never ever instigate having her. I have to chase him. I Want to arrange mediation as I'm so bored of him ignoring me when I ask when he can have dd. My dad was never around when I was a kid.
I feel selfish saying this but recently my mental health isn't great (feel negative, very emotional) dd gets up at 6 so no lie ins (am going to bed in a minute to catch up) my phys health isn't good, I'm grumpy, angry, feel like my friends don't like me, feel pissed off with myself & lost loads of self confidence. I need a break. And some sleep.
I know I'm lucky to have a roof/job/lovely daughter but most days I feel like I might explode with tears or anger or both & it's horrible.
Because that's not me.
Aibu to just instigate mediation to get him listening to the importance of having a relationship with his daughter? She needs him & I need to have some space.
When he is around he's a Disney dad wannabe. I just feel like a washed out mess.
Any advice?
My family are miles away.

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs Wed 11-May-16 20:09:06

flowersfor you, Princess. My dp is a very hands on dad and even then I still get exhausted and need time off, so I can totally see where you're coming from. YANBU.

Snazmeistage Wed 11-May-16 20:29:36

Don't waste the headspace chasing him. It is easier to disengage. Am also a LP up early and cope with lots of caffeine and early nights.

He's a twat and you can't change him.

princessbeer Wed 11-May-16 20:44:17

Thanks both
Snaz, yep he's a twat.
Kind of hanging on in there for dd really but more recently for myself too as I am wiped out. He's so selfish & is a look-what-a-great-dad-I-am-cos-I-post-photos-of-me-&-dd-on-Facebook kinda guy. He is 44 going on 14. (I don't see him on Facebook-friends do) Grrrrrrrrr
Ok, off to bed.

Snazmeistage Wed 11-May-16 20:56:36

What a dick. Pathetic.

Me too!

PotterBot Wed 11-May-16 21:00:50

It's shit. I know exactly how you feel. Do you know what I did to get through it? I went to bed the same time as the dc. When their father did take them I relished the bloody time to myself and I gave myself a huge bloody break. You are doing an amazing job.

ollieplimsoles Wed 11-May-16 21:02:22

Mum to a six month old dd here and lately I've been asking myself how the hell single mums do it!

Your ex sounds like a prize prick at a party op, so sorry for your dd too, soon she will clock her father's inconsistency.

Any way you could book her in at a childminders and take a day off work?

megletthesecond Wed 11-May-16 21:04:22

Unfortunately you can't force him, but you could give meditation a go. It's hard flowers ..

I've been a lp for 7 years. No nights off, immense toll on my mental health tbh.

starry0ne Wed 11-May-16 21:16:47

I have been a LP since my DS was a baby..

I will say firstly it really does get easier.. My DS (9) still isn't a great sleeper but will read in bed..

Do what you can to take the pressure off yourself..If you can afford a few extra hours with childminder to catch up on some sleep.. I second the go to bed when LO does..

Use kids tv to get a bit of space..

I also would say with ex..I discovered how much easier it was to stop chasing.. I wanted my Ex to care about DS..All the effort I put in meant nothing... I emotionally felt more able to support my DS through the absence..He has had times where it has been difficult but I think the fact contact stopped when he was young helps him understand that it was nothing he did that stopped contact..

I can tell you every time my DS was rejected / not bothered with/ not prioritised hurt sooo much..

princessbeer Wed 11-May-16 21:19:12

Potterbot thanks
You just made me burst into tears
no one ever tells me I'm doing a good job but I see in my daughter that I am. But I'm terrified I'm gonna fall apart & then what?
Thanks everyone
I'm still not in bed
Someone said could she go to nursery while I have a day off
That happens sometimes but I fiend the time cleaning & playing catch up on errands & stuff
I feel like a shell of who i used to be

ProphetOfDoom Wed 11-May-16 21:33:38

I don't think you can have your dd's dad as your sole Plan A, you both need consistency & reliability and he fails on both those levels.

Sometimes having a piece of paper in black & white saying you will see DD on x days between x times works in a way that a verbal agreement doesn't - so I'd never say don't try mediation - but don't pin all your hopes on it.

You need Plan B, C, D. Does she have any other family nearby, maternal or paternal?

What about a childminder, maybe one that already serves the primary school she will be attending for continuity of care? My cm is worth her weight in gold.

Would relocation to be nearer your family be an option?

And needs must. DVD afternoon with drink on hand at the weekend can give you a couple of kip on the sofa.

I had 3 young dcs when exH left, my youngest just 1, no nearby family and a job that eats hours - so I feel your pain.

princessbeer Wed 11-May-16 21:43:44

Thanks starry and prophet
She goes to nursery & I get the odd day to myself but I never get it 'to myself' as always stuff to do
I'm so easy going & we cd share the care effortlessly but he only wants her when it suits him plus his much younger & child-free girlfriend doesn't think dd is much of an accessory

elephantoverthehill Wed 11-May-16 21:53:37

It does get better. smile Believe me.

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 11-May-16 22:02:11

My dds dad is like this.

I used to care and ring him up to get him to do school pick ups, sports day when I couldn't make it, have her.

Now I'm happy he doesn't want her eow and I get to have lovely weekends with my dc. I'm happy I'm in charge of what school she goes to ect ect. I love how close we are and that he's on the outside.

My dc are older though which makes all the difference. My dds ten and brings me a coffee every weekend morning and we have a couple of pyjama days a month to recharge.

BillBrysonsBeard Wed 11-May-16 22:31:42

I have huge respect for you OP, you are doing great even if you don't feel you are. But you need to take time for yourself when you have the opportunity to! When your DD is at nursery, leave the errands and cleaning or just do the minimum- your sanity is more important and you need to just be you for a bit. Hate reading about useless dads, leaving women in the shit and just getting the good bits when they feel like it! Bastards. Your daughter will realise one day.

whirlygirly Wed 11-May-16 22:35:02

It's so hard but I promise it gets easier as they get older. I first became a lp when mine were 4 and 2 and it nearly broke me. A few years in and I happily take them away on my own as well as with dp. They are lovely company and thriving.
The physical exhaustion is the hardest thing now. I get home from a day at work and sometimes feel physically sick at the idea of making dinner, doing book bags, packed lunches, uniforms etc plus all the house work. I literally don't sit down until 8 and then head to bed at 9. Rock and roll.
wineflowerschocolate

MeMySonAndl Wed 11-May-16 22:54:47

Princess, I understand your pain and exhaustion, but it is more painful and demoralising trying to get an uninterested parent to pay attention to the wonderful kid that is growing in your home. It took me a few years to accept it, but both DS and I are much better since we have given up on dad being a "proper" dad. Some people call it stability. I call it peace of mind.

Be proud of yourself, you really need to be someone special to work and raise a kid on your own. Things are difficult now because your child is very young, but in a couple of years she will get interested in other things and will not need so much attention.

Sometimes you really feel the weight of so much responsibility and need a time off but if that doesn't materialise, you may just need to be creative to find it:

The most jmportant thing is to have a good sleep. If you are well rested your threshold of tolerance increases in a massive measure.

When DS was that age, I was working 30-35 hrs a week and the daily commute was taking almost 3 hrs. The way I survived was very simple:
Serve dinner around 6, do a quick tidy up of the kitchen, full attention to DD for one hour, bath and aim for both of you to be in bed by 8.

If you go to sleep so early, you will wake up very rested about 4 am. Blissfully quiet time of the day. I used to do half an hour of yoga, an hour of reading, tidy the house and get myself ready before DS woke up. It certainly made things not only bearable but very enjoyable.

Cut yourself some slack, you are doing great, you are just tired and need some rest.

missymayhemsmum Wed 11-May-16 23:16:20

You are doing a great job!
I'm afraid that skint knackered and guilty is the default state for working lone parents, any day you aren't all three, give yourself a big cheer!
Her father sounds like a right useless arse. You could try mediation, where are his family? Are there grandparents aunts and uncles you can involve in dd's life?
See if you can find some other lone parents with similarly aged kids for yours to play with so you can babysit for each other sometimes and just have a cuppa and a moan.

missymayhemsmum Wed 11-May-16 23:19:51

If your relationship with your mum is good then pack a bag for the weekend and go home for some cossetting.

maxmaxdress Thu 12-May-16 00:40:01

Massive respect for you OP.

Are you close to your family? Any chance your Mum could come and stay for a few days and help out? I get it isnt a long term fix- but having someone around for a few days so you can have a lie in, maybe go out and treat yourself or just lie in the bath with a glass of wine may do you the world of good. Or would you be willing for DD to go and spend a few days there? If your family are OK with it of course.

Could you move back to be closer with family? What is tying you to staying where you are now?

Could you get yourself a cleaner so your not finding yourself cleaning on your day off? Definitely consider putting your DD in nursery while your off- it doesnt mean your a bad parent, it means your human and you need some time to yourself.

As for your ex....well, all I can do is apologise. But I wouldnt want someone like that in my DDs life so I certainly wouldnt be arranging any meetings to try and force that. I 10000% understand you want a break- but your DD doesnt need someone who is going to constantly let her down in her life.

Do you have contacts for his family/do they see her?

Iflyaway Thu 12-May-16 00:43:48

Done LP 25 years now..

Fuck, it's hard. Really don,t know how I survived...

But you do somehow.

princessbeer Thu 12-May-16 07:05:28

Morning everyone
So lovely to wake up to all these replies & so refreshing to know it isnt just me going through all of this!!!!
I hear you all with the 'don't waste another drop of energy trying to get him involved in DD's life' comments. It's tiring & frustrating when he ignores texts & can't be arsed with dd.
I'm normally such a strong person but feel so defeated at the mo.
His family think the sun shines out of his arse & he takes them up to see them rarely (I instigate but they don't know that)
My mum died 12 yrs ago but my dad has looked after her (although only after I rang him in tears cos I was so stressed & exhausted)...
I do have babysitters & nights out but always aware of the time & anxious about having to get up at 6 so nights out limited & different to how they once were!
Think I need to slow down & recharge & do some 'me & dd' activities at the weekend instead of breaking my neck running around like a headless chuck.
Thanks again to everyone whose takes the time to read/comment.
I had a cleaner twice last month & took 27 pounds worth of washing to the launderette! The best 27 pounds I ever spent!
I sometimes have Fridays to myself & started a thing called 'fuck it Friday' .... So one friday i bought a take away coffee & went to the cinema alone in the day (bliss!) & then another day I did the launderette thing & another day went to a (cheap) spa for the day. I think I need to bring back fuck it Fridays.
Have a lovely Thursday everyone wink

princessbeer Thu 12-May-16 07:07:27

PS DD is still asleep! Hope this is a new thing. (Pray pray)

JonSnowsBeardClippings Thu 12-May-16 07:15:40

Do you have any family or friends who could have her sometimes? I'm a lp to a 7 year old (good sleeper though) I work 33 hours as a social worker, plus having students and Airbnb in my house. Xh spends 4 months a year in another country, and when he's here he 'visits' ds or takes him out for a few hours but never had him overnight. The good thing he does do is take him away every Easter holiday and October half term/ then my mum has him summer half term and Christmas/new year. I also have a brother and sil close by who have him the odd night.
I know your dd is young but she would be OK to stay with family for a few nights if you have anyone nearby?

elephantoverthehill Thu 12-May-16 07:15:55

Good morning Princess. Wow you sound positive. Enjoy your day.

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