AIBU to feel so bitter about my lack of social life?(36 Posts)
Spent 20 minutes typing this post only to delete it as it was so long and 'woe is me' that I was ashamed even reading it back.
So, the summarised version:
I already know I'm BU. My child is my child an no one else's (her father left us when she was a few days old and has made no contact since, 10 years later).
I've had two nights out in the past 10 years. I haven't had sex in 6 years (last time was a drunken one night stand on one of my rare nights out). I have never had a relationship except that horrible excuse for one with my child's father. I haven't dated anyone. All because of lack of willing babysitters. My daughter is with me all the time. I have no evening/weekend childcare at all.
My child has ASD and, while bloody amazing, can be a bit of a handful. My parents told me when i was pregnant not to expect them to be babysitters. They said I should bear that in mind while debating whether or not to go ahead with the pregnancy. They made clear they'd done their time staying home to look after their kids, and now they wanted to enjoy themselves/travel/ be spontaneous before they got too old. They haven't budged on this in the past 10 years.
I had my daughter very young (late teens). I've lost all of my friends due to not being able to socialise with them without my daughter in tow. None of my old close friends have kids of their own. So we became completely different people with different priorities.
I see on Facebook old school acquaintances who were also young mothers. I've seen their statuses about how their kids have gone off to stay with Grandma for the night/weekend and the follow up photos of them out enjoying themselves with friends. I've seen most of them posting about the early stages of the new relationships they've been able to embark on because their parents are minding their children. Three of these people are now happily married to their new partners. I am really happy for them, but also so bitter.
My 20s are nearly over. And they've been pretty shit and lonely. If i had better childcare or more supportive parents, maybe i could have gone on dates and would be happily married right now?
It's all come to a head this week. Easter holidays. I'm in my last year of uni/ Tons of assignments due over the next few weeks that I'm really behind on. I've been able to put my daughter into a special holiday club that caters to her ASD for a maximum of one full day last week and again this week. This is as far as my uni childcare grant will stretch.
I'm really upset and angry that i am struggling to do this work around my daughter while i have able-bodied friends, parents, siblings who are posting on FB about what lovely leisurely days they're having just doing nothing. I want them to ask if i need any help. If they can mind DD so i can concentrate and not type nonsense and then have to go back and rewrite it all later when she eventually goes to sleep.
And i know how unreasonable this is. I really do. And this is why i've name changed so i can rant anonymously.
I have almost finished a professional degree. I am so close to finally achieving something that will give us a better future and i'm worried sick it's all going to go to pot because I'm struggling to meet these assignment deadlines.
I'm also so angry that, even after i get a better job with this degree and can move us to a better area, my social life predicament won't change at all. This is going to be my life for how long? When will i ever be able to make friends and maybe start dating? DD has no friends. She's never been on a playdate. And no one has ever accepted invitations to come round ours (probably a lot to do with the crappy area we live in, to be fair). No one will watch her. She goes to wrap around care with a breakfast and after school club who are trained in ASD. My uni helps pay for this.
But to pay for such care over an evening or weekend would be way out of my budget. Which is why i never get out.
Some blessings are my daughter and I are best friends. She always calls me her bestie. But i suppose that's not exactly healthy, is it? Only having each other for friends?
God, this summary has turned out even longer than my last post. I'm feeling better already just getting it out in writing though.
I just keep hearing my parents' echo in my head whenever i moan about my non-existent social life: "You should have thought about this before you got pregnant".
It just saddens me that i'll be mid-30's by the time my daughter is legally an adult. And this may be when i can get my social life back on track. Or maybe not. I have no idea how independent she'll be by then. So maybe this is me for the rest of my days.
I just feel that I've never had the chance to be young. And i am beginning to feel so bloody resentful about it. I need to find a way to accept that this is my life. I won't always be studying/working Mon-Fri 9-5 (or will i?) so maybe in the future i could arrange 'social stuff' on the odd hour while dd is at school or something. But i'd really just love a good night out. I want to get dressed up and get drunk. And laugh and dance. But there is just no way for me to do that unless i take DD with me!
Small steps. I'm going to focus on passing this year. Getting a great job. Moving house and school. Starting fresh. And then work harder to improve our sorry excuse of a social life.
Thanks for reading. I'm honestly not looking for any advice or sympathy. Maybe just if other people are in the same boat? I already know I'm being unreasonable, so this is very much a rhetoric post (and a bit of procrastination from having to go back and rewrite the 2000 words of my assignment I messed up on earlier).
Your relationship with your DD sounds a LOT more supportive than the one with your own parents!
I know this is trite, but not everyone has to do the same things at the same time. I wasn't as young as you when I had DS but I was young (just turned 25 which now seems REALLY young to me!) I hated it, I had him about the same time everyone started using Facebook and seeing people's nights outs and fun days shopping really got to me. I just didn't feel ready to be a mum.
But you're still in your 20s and honestly you sound great. ASD kids are famed for honesty, I bet your DD isn't wrong? Xx
You are amazing. What you've achieved so far and what you will achieve. If you live anywhere near me (west/South Yorkshire) would be happy to help.
I would be very disappointed in my family if I were you. Yanbu at all
Hi. My ds is also 10 and has ASD. He also doesn't have any friends. It makes me very sad as he is such a lovely little boy.
I just wanted to say that I think it's pretty amazing that you are coping with all this on your own and studying for a degree. That takes real determination and on that basis I feel confident you will find a way to a better life for you and your dd. I'm sorry your family are shit; mine are too. But perhaps you don't need them; you are strong enough to stand alone from what I can see.
Just wanted to say well done on all you have achieved raising your child alone and going back to studying in the meantime. Even one is no small accomplishment.
I have friends who had their children young and only got to go out and have fun when they were older. They are having a ball. Hang in there, you are doing great 😀
Your life sounds incredibly tough and challenging BUT it's a choice you made when you decided to continue a pregnancy with no support.
Choices are there for a reason.
I hope things get better for you
Sorry you are feeling so crap but this time will pass and you are still young, you have plenty of life ahead of you when your child is grown - one of the benefits of having children at a young age
Didn't want to post & run, so just to say hang in there, sounds like you are working so hard, your turn will come around. Ds 1 has ASD and even with a supportive partner it has had a huge impact on our social life, but has been easier over the last few years once he was old enough to stay home on his own for a while. (is now 16). Not sure how I'd have coped at your age, well done you. We also don't have family who help.
Bloody hell, its tough raising a child at the best of times but t with no support and doing a degree too, you're bloody amazing! 🍸
What you've done sounds amazing and something to be really proud of. I don't blame you for feeling disappointed and let down by your family - it's sad that they haven't been able to support you.
I know it's easier said than done but try not to waste time looking at what your face book friends are up to as most people just write posts and put photos up that show them in their best light.
Don't give up hope. You're doing everything you can and opportunities will open up for you to meet new people in time, either through work or joining groups, or if you can find a babysitter try online dating.
You are an amazing mother and it will come good I think - once you get your course completed and your new home. You will have more money and be able to do more. I think good things come to good people and you are on the home straight now. I don't really feel Lucie that it is that easy to just not have a baby because you haven't support - ops partner left ten days after her baby was born. How could she predict that? Also for different reasons, nor everyone is on for terminating pregnancies.
Remember that if you'd been out at work you'd be meeting people there and you'd be able to socialise at work etc.
Unfortunately, as great as Uni is, it does put a financial constraint on what you're able to do and is extremely time consuming. Hopefully things will change for the better once you graduate.
Where do you live? Bet there are folks on here who would help, me included
The tears have descended! Thank you for listening and for the lovely responses. I have no one else in my position to talk to/rant to in real life about this stuff. I have a uni friend who is also a single mum but her ex is very heavily involved in their child's upbringing and she has a supportive family, so it's difficult to relate to her. Though she does try and has been messaging me quite a bit over the holidays asking how I'm getting on and stuff.
She's really lovely but i also find myself feeling bitter on ocassion towards her. When my friends casually say after a lecture "Who's up for going for a coffee?" and this friend is able to go/can be spontaneous because her ex is so hands on or her mum can pick up her child from nursery. While i've always got to say no to dash off and collect my dd. I feel bloody awful writing that actually. She is lovely. And so well-meaning. But our situations are totally different and i often feel as though she thinks our single parent situation makes us have something in common. But the way it affects our lives is totally different.
My brother has a young baby. My parents are really not interested in watching the baby at all (so there aren't any double standards, at least) but his wife has a huge, supportive family who are always dying to have the baby overnight. They're managing to get out on 'date nights' at least 6 times a month. Again, I'm really happy for them. And their relationship seems pretty strong as a result to having time to themselves. But i'm once again bitter at how different our my experience of parenthood is compared to my brother's.
And i accept responsibility here. Yes, i went ahead with the pregnancy knowing full well my parents wouldn't help out and my 'relationship' with the ex was not going to last the distance.
What i didn't think about was ex not being involved at all, none of my family helping out at all, losing all of my friends, and not being able to afford standard childcare services due to my child having a disability and requiring specially trained (and bloody expensive) childcare practitioners.
If i had the choice again, absolutely no way would i have chosen this life. And i feel so bad saying that because DD is here and amazing. But my whole life is basically her. We are with each other constantly except when she's at school and I'm at uni. I often wonder if she's as desperate for a break from me as I am from her - but she bloody dotes on me (for some strange reason!). She seems to really love spending every second of her time with me. And when she's not with me she's still thinking of me. She comes home from after school club with a bag full of drawings and poems that she's made for me. And this makes me feel all the worse because I try to not think about her when I'm at uni. I feel like a totally different person. For those hours, I'm me and not DD's mum. I get to engage in adult conversation and learn new stuff. And then on the journey home, i just feel deflated knowing that my evening r my weekend is going to be exactly the same as the last one.
Okay. This is turning into even more of a bigger whinge than my first post!
Thanks again for listening and for the lovely posts. But i'm going to just suck it up now and stop thinking of 'what could have been' and comparing myself to other people with more supportive families. This is what it is. Things are more likely to improve in the future when we move and as DD gets older.
Had to post to say that you sound like an amazing and strong individual. To bring up your DD, with no support and to do a degree at the same time sounds so so tough. You should be proud of what you've achieved so far. Best of luck for your assignments. I hope that things improve for you and you find some childcare so you can have a much earned break.
lucie What are you ? A fortune teller ? In life you go through unexpected events... even if you make the "right" choice.
OP our stories are very similar. My DS has ASD ( well social communication disorder but I know
Its ASD) and I had him very young, think the "typical age" of a young teen mum. I went though my education and I've graduated last year. It was very tough. I am lucky as I have a very supportive family but DS dad is useless.
There is help out there, you can get respite and use to get someone to mind your DD. A mother I know of has respite and has hired a trusted baby sister to look after her DD whilst she unwinds.
You are amazing OP but you need to stop comparing your life to others. Look at your own life and how you want to enhance that. I'm planning to take DS to our very first holiday ! ( I'm scared of planes) and I know he will love it as he loves transport. When DS was young and got his diagnosis's I was sad, I was comparing my life to others, it wasn't fair, etc etc. But it was a waste, I wasted all those years being sad when I should of enjoyed DS. Who cares what others are doing in their lives, I need to focus on my own.
Sorry, just wanted to respond to troll. I was working full time during my pregnancy and then up until i began this uni course. I've never not worked.
My social life was just as non-existent when i was working as it is now I'm a full-time student. I would get to sit with people during the day. Have lunch/break times with them. Then on a friday, when they'd all be making arrangements to go for a drink or organising the next big 'team night out' I'd have to say no as I had to get back to DD.
Fortunately, savings and grants have allowed me to pursue this course without too much of a long term financial burden. And it'll lead to a much better career than the one i was in previously.
Uni is the only thing i get 'for me' and i refuse to feel guilty for starting this degree. And i'm bloody determined to finish it.
Agree with above poster about working. There's so much socialisation there ! I can also relate to the expensive specialist childcare fees but they are inclusive childcare schemes, expensive but cheap in comparison to specialist private childcare.
Sorry to hear that Bitter, it sounds like you've been a wee bit unlucky as well. A friend in similar circumstances as yourself made friends at work and they'd go over to hers on a friday after work.
Absolutely never feel guilty about your degree. I hope you're enjoying it. I returned to education in my 20's and it was the best thing I ever did.
Sorry you are going through this, I'm a lone parent too.
Is there any way of socialising with her? My dd8 does Zumba & pilates with me & I've made a few friends through that although not been out
Do you know anyone local you could pay to look after her for one evening a month? Its not a lot but at least its/something to look forward to.
I'm in my late thirties & havent given up hope of marrying again/having more kids
Thanks for the replies I've just caught up on. not giving our situations do sound similar. Well done on graduating. I honestly cannot wait to get there and never have to do another dissertation again. I took Dd on our first holiday last year (first time for both us being on a plane) and it was amazing. Scary, but I'm so glad we did it.
I'm really not in the right frame of mind to do anymore academic writing tonight. I'm setting the alarm to try and get a few hours in before DD wakes up in the morning.
Thank you all once again for listening to this whinge-fest. Good night.
Once you're working you can afford to use babysitting agencies or find someone you trust. I know it's difficult if your DD has ASD but you might be able to afford to pay someone to come while you're there to get used to each other, then work up to them coming for an hour or so when she's asleep...there are ways to make it work, unfortunately they cost money! But there will be ways once you have more resources. I get pretty much no family childcare and am a lone parent - I don't resent it at all because I understand why it is this was but it is hard. And I get what you're saying about being jealous of others who do have it.
You are doing an amazing job that your child thinks about you all the time. Mine do too despite all the mistakes I know I make. Be proud of yourself. To achieve that without support is amazing. And you will get to have your fun times when you are older, wiser and more appreciative.
Don't think FB is a representation of true life. Fuck FB. It's shit. It makes all of us feel shit. You are amazing. You have had a tough time. You are close to finishing your degree and your daughter will get older you will get put into the workplace and may give you the opportunity to have a social life. You deserve to be pissed off. Yadnbu.
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