Falling down - need to woman up - please talk some sense into me(39 Posts)
First up, I know I’m being unreasonable. Massively so. I am so lucky, ridiculously lucky. I have 3 gorgeous happy, healthy kids, I’m in a new relationship with the loveliest, kindest man in the world, I have brilliant friends and I get to sometime rock at my job. But here’s the thing. I’m a total fucking train wreck - I feel like I’m failing at everything and I’m the worst mum / girlfriend / friend / employee in the world.
Being a single parent is so fucking hard. I’ve been on my own since my youngest was 5 weeks old and my gobshite of an ex husband decided to slap me whilst I was feeding her in bed because I’d committed the ultimate crime of turning the fucking heating down. The next year was a nightmare, he refused to pay his half of the mortgage so I had to go back to work when she was 12 weeks and a bottle refuser, tried to fight for custody, delayed the divorce, made false reports to social services etc etc. It was hideous and I thought I’d never get through it. I don’t want to talk about gobshite ex husband (GEXH) because (1) I’m just too tired, (2) it gives him power and (3) it makes me sad, but for background - he has the kids once or twice a month when he can be bothered and pays the minimum he can get away with in child maintenance despite earning 3 times what I do. I feel like I never get a break because when I don’t have the kids, I’m playing catch up with cleaning / washing / ironing / batch cooking. I asked him to have the kids for a couple of extra nights in May and October and he refused because his job is too important and having the kids overnight would make him too tired.
I’m 4 years into being a single mum and I feel like I’m at breaking point. I think the one thing that kept me going was that it would get easier at some point but my kids are 11, 6 and 4 and it’s still a complete shit storm. My 11 year old is doing the whole pre teenage angst thing. Nothing is good enough and she spends most of her time shouting at me or trashing her room. My middle child has what CAHMS call complex needs. We don’t have a diagnosis yet but everything from autism, behavioural issues and something called oppositional defiant disorder are being looked into. I’m talking to the school, CAHMS, SENCOs, ELSAs, doctors, local authority co-ordinators, social services to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure that he is supported and safe but holy christ it's hard. Every day he hits me, poos himself and says things like he wishes I was dead - that’s when he’s not trying to destroy the house / things I’ve done for work / the inside of my car. I can’t turn around for a second because if i step away even to stick some washing on or put things in the tumble dryer then world war three kicks off. My youngest is really clingy - sometimes she tries to copy her big brother’s behaviour but most of them time just wants to be carried everywhere and screams the place down if I don’t have her in my arms all the time. She wakes up 2 / 3 times a night and I feel like I never get more than a couple of hours of unbroken sleep at a time.
I just feel like I can’t cope any more. The final straw was yesterday when I asked GEXH to have the kids for some extra days in May and October for work thing and he said no. I actually wish I was dead. This isn’t a cry for help, I’m not going to do anything stupid because (1) there’d be no one to look after the kids (2) there’s be no one to pay the mortgage and I’m not leaving that for anyone else to sort out (3) it would absolutely destroy my parents, they’re both in a different country (thanks a lot BREXIT) and (4) I’m not leaving a mess for some poor guard / emergency services worker / random punter just passing buy to clean up but I honestly wish I was dead. I feel like that most days to be honest - I keep going because I have to. For my kids, for my parents for everyone that relies on me. I know this is probably just the depression talking - I do all the things I’m meant to, I take the happy pills, try mindfulness, talking therapy but I just feel so sad, all the time and this time I just can’t seem to woman up, put my big girl pants on and sort things out. I just feel so tired, all the time. Went to see my GP last week and begged her for something, anything that could help me deal with everything better but all she could do was give me blood tests (that all came back normal) and usher me out the door whilst I was still crying my eyes out. She literally couldn’t get me out of the room fast enough so there’s probably a whole waiting room full of people that think I’m nuts.
It’s half ten at night and I need to tidy up, clean the kitchen & bathroom, do packed lunches, iron some uniforms and un fuck my house. I can’t go to bed because that’s covered in an ironing pile and I need to take the rubbish out, The thing is, I’m sat downstairs on the sofa and I can’t seem to stop crying. My house is a shit tip, I can’t afford to take any time off work (got made redundant last year, new job, still on probation, can’t afford to not work otherwise I’d lose the house) I need to lose 3 stone and there’s just crap everywhere. I actually can’t face going upstairs because my 6 year old sometimes smears poo on the walls and I just can’t face it tonight.
Can someone please talk some sense into me? Please?
oh I don't really have anything constructive to add except that I know how hard it is - single mum of 3 also - since the little one was 6mths old - and working FT - it kills me some weeks
You are allowed to go under now and then and have a wallow - but if you feel it's more do see your GP
2 of my 3 have worked with CAMHs and we even had social services involved when the eldest really went off the rails - it's so hard xxx
I know it probably doesn't help but sending lots of love, strength and support. You sound like a strong lady to me. X
also could you see if Homestart might be able to offer some support?
I think you are a star. Most people would be crumbling under the pressure on you.
Is there any real life support you can access?
Are there any ways you can outsource some of the work? Cleaner (even just a one off deep clean). Service wash at laundrette? School lunches rather than packed?
Oh wow OP that's a tremendous amount to deal with.
Right now - do the bare minimum. Packed lunches? No cleaning that's for sure and get to bed.
Go see your GP as soon as you can. Tell new man how you are feeling. Try and find a little light to keep you going in this darkness.
You sound incredible You've got this far - which is amazing. You couldn't have done that without being incredible!
Agree with pp. Do the bare minimum that will get you through and concentrate on yourself.
Do DC's go to school? Do you get a break then?
I think you sound pretty heroic just getting through the days. Things sound really, really tough. I'm sorry. I think you need to give yourself a break. You're absolutely not a failure. You've been dealing with really difficult stuff. Feeling overwhelmed seems like a perfectly rational response to such challenging circumstances.
Hope someone can suggest some practical help.
I hadn't thought of Homestart - will look them up in the morning. Eldest 2 are in school, youngest is in pre school. Will make the eldest 2 have school dinners - they'll complain but it's 2 less things to worry about. A lovely thought but no money for a cleaner, after mortgage, bills etc etc paid off there's nothing left - what I could do is see if I can do some freelance work to top up my income. Service wash also a great idea because I literally never see the bottom of the washing basket even though I do 2 / 3 loads a day.
Thanks all - I'm sorry for moaning - it's helped me massively to have a rant in a safe space xx
I wouldn't be asking exh to have them for a few days I'd be fucking telling him he has to have them. He is their parent too so make the bollox step up and give you a break before you have a break down. Seriously make him step up and let him have some of the burden because you are going to make yourself really ill if you don't.
Tell him he will be having them, give him plenty of notice and take them over. Don't take no for an answer. Get yourself some rest and time to yourself.
And sorry - I do get a break when they're at school in that I work full time in a job I love. I also get to work in a nice office, get to have a cup of coffee in peace and get to have a wee without my youngest trying to break the door down so there's that. It's tricky trying to juggle everything - work are great with being flexible for my middle child's CAHMS, hospital appouintments etc so I make up the time when they're in bed but I always feel like I'm playing catch up IYCWIM.
It's not moaning craicdealer - it's explaining problems for people to offer solutions
School lunches is a great idea - any sort of outsourcing within our budget is done chez cuddlesandchips as much as I'd love to do everything myself there isn't enough time to do so and stay sane. The staying sane has to be priority 1 when you're a single parent.
Wow. You're amazing to have come this far, well done you.
You're being completely reasonable in feeling like that given the pressure you're under, I can't imagine coping with that.
I'm afraid I've little practical advice, but Homestart sounds sensible - also are there any local single parent support networks you could link into, I know a friend of mine has found hers incredibly supportive.
You poor sausage. I think you sound pretty badass for what you're dealing with. You're sound so overwhelmed, but I honestly believe you can baby step your way out like I did when I had PND. The antiDs were ok, but caused massive weight gain, which triggered its own special spiral.
Start small. Make a list of stuff you want to prioritize to handle and try to set a bit of each weekend to do it, so start with school lunches. BTW an 11 year old is v capable of making her own and her brothers if there's fuss about not getting a packed one.
GEXH, can you threaten to return to court for more money unless he starts having the kids in a regular visitation schedule including overnight? It may motivate him to pull his lazy fucking finger out?
You're insane to iron uniforms. Never. If DD kicks off, show her how to do it. I think it sounds like she's pulling the piss a bit - which is totally par for the course btw - and could be a lot more help.
Could your mom or dad come for a week or so to help you get a handle on the house? Ideally a time when the kids are in school but you could take a few days off? I think you will feel 1000s better if you could get a grip on it.
I really struggled with laundry when I had PND, it seemed like the one thing I just couldn't manage and it wore me down dreadfully. I can actually tell when I'm started to flounder emotionally by the amount of clothes in piles that need to be put away!
Quick update - I've unfucked the kitchen and sorted uniforms and packed lunches for tomorrow.
I get what you're saying about making ex gobshite step up, I really do but it's a no go. This is someone who hides assets, does things like up his pension contributions to avoid paying what he should and at one stage took redundancy just to avoid paying for his kids whilst making gloating phone calls to me in the middle of the night telling me that he wouldn't stop until my life was in ruins. Sorry - it's like he knows every loophole to exploit and I've stopped trying to engage. When I went through the CMS I got threatening calls in the middle of the night from him and his new partner and when I reported him to the police I then had my kids begging me not to progress things because they "didn't want daddy going to prison" because that's what he told them would happen. He's not a nice person and to be honest he's never going to change or offer to help so I am where I am. I love my parents to bits but they're not great with practicalities bless them.
Loving the baby steps idea - that sounds much more achievable than trying to fix everything at once.
Ladies you rock. Thank you so much for the hand holding and the kind words - you've no idea how much it helps.
Going to grab some sleep now - thanks all.
Your post resonated with me on a few levels - I am single parent to 2 dc, eldest with asd/anxiety/depression, youngest who is NC with her father by court order and is really full on. I so rarely get a break because even when the eldest is with her dad I've always got the youngest. Massive backstory of abuse with her father (towards me) which has been a struggle to cope with for the last 5 years since it ended.
On the outside, I seem to have picked myself up. Doing really well in my degree (final year), made some new friends, have a lovely new bf, stopped being a hermit and have a good social life, secure house in a nice area...but inside I'm crumbling and constantly exhausted. It's just too much for one person. I just want to crawl under a rock and sleep for a year.
Don't really have anything constructive to say but just wanted you to know you're not alone.
Can you ask your parents to visit? Tell them you need a hug
I'm confused about what BREXIT has to do with your parents in another country? Do they know you are struggling? Could they come and help you for a little while?
You absolutely rock. Deal with the same 24/7 stuff as you, without the bloody awful ex-h. Its now 2.30am - have just crawled into bed, and still haven't made packed lunches !!! Up to do it all over again in 4 hours. Absolutely no words of advice, other than you are not alone, and it does get better. Remember, you're stronger than you think op, and you bloody rock for keeping it altogether xxx
OP please change Gp. You deserve better support. 🌻🌹
Your post resonated with me too. I'm a single parent to for 8 years since just before my youngest was born. My relationship ended when my ex slapped me while I was holding my toddler.
I'm doing okay. People tell me how great I'm doing. But I feel a fraud, like I'm just pretending everything is okay and I worry that they will see what a horrible person I am and the rubbish job I'm doing with the kids.
I've slipped this year and I'm back to chaos and mess, but what helped me last year was a massive clear out. I got rid of lots of clothes toys junk etc. It was far easier to keep the house tidy. It was easier to keep up with the washing. Sadly during the year I've slipped and now to get sorted it's a massive undertaking and I can't set in the zone.
You just have to take a day at a time. You'll have good days and bad ones. I keep reminding myself how much better off I am away from the ex. The grass is greener this side. Be kind to yourself
Bloody hell. You are so not being a moaner. I can't believe hie much you're dealing with.
Have you told your new man that you're really struggling? He will want to step up, if he's a good'un.
Your GP sounds rubbish. Is it possible to get a new one? You deserve more than that.
I think you sound fucking amazing, to be honest.
You're amazing. My thoughts on your post are this. There's no shame in asking for help. Ask for help! Reach out to your community. Talk to your daughter's kindergarten teacher, talk to your local pastor, put a message on FB, send a text to a friend.
This is a bit of a left field suggestion, and I'm not even a Christian, but, your local church may be able to help provide support with some of the practicalities. Ask them. Churches often have very kind people in their congregations who actually don't have a massive agenda, who just want to be kind. My friend had PND, talked to the local pastor, and lo and behold was given help with cleaning and some pre-made meals.
If you don't ask, you don't get.
You're doing an amazing job OP in very difficult circumstances doo give yourself credit for everything you have achieved. Not a lot more to add apart from this: if you get a diagnosis for dc2 then you have grounds to ask for support via social services. I'm thinking along the lines of overnight respite for dc2 or direct payments to allow you to employ someone to help care for them. Just hang on in there and carry on doing what you're doing, you're amazing. X
This is very tough, OP but you will get through it. You're not superwoman but you're not far off, either.
Now for a comment you're not going to like: put this new relationship on hold for now. Your attention is divided enough without this complicatation.
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