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to want to refuse to go to London

(10 Posts)
debs40 Sun 25-Jan-09 19:46:39

Please help. I’m truly pissed off at the moment. I’m sorry this is so long

I have two sons – 5 and 3 who are a handful but lovely. I’m worried about ds1 as he may have sensory issues (sensitivity to clothes and smells which can make eating and changing absolute hell!). It took me three weeks to get him shoes for school which were ‘comfortable’ and I’ve only just got him back into wearing polo shirts because they ‘hurt’.

DH is self-employed. His current contract is at a place which is over an hour and a half commute – he’s away 7-7 every day.

My disabled brother moved down here from his home (300 miles away) before Christmas when my stepdad couldn’t look after him any more. I’ve had a hellish time organising his first independent flat (supported accommodation) which is about 20 minutes away. I had to battle two sets of social services to organise his move and do everything to his flat – paint it, carpet it, furnish it. All on top of Christmas.

Social services are helping now but from accessing his money, to doing his washing, to shopping, I still have to do everything - as well of course as provide emotional support.

We have no family to help at all. No babysitter. My sister lives an hour and a half away but flatly refuses to help.

I’m doing a PhD and freelance work and I’m going mental with stress. I’m on top of my PhD and making progress and the end is in sight. Every year, I’m supposed to have a board meeting to check progress but they’ve never bothered because I live three hours away. This year they’ve decided it needs to take place even though they know my situation. So I’ve got to drag myself to London on Wed for a meeting which will take 30 minutes. I’ll have to spend ££40 and waste three hours travelling

It makes me feel so stressed because it feels so pointless to have to factor this in too. It makes me feel like telling them to f*k it and jack in my PhD but I know that would be irrational. I’m just so bad tempered with everyone about my life generally too. Always taking it out on DH.

I just feel my life is crap. I can’t work because all the stuff I would do is in London and I can’t commute there with DH away and no one to help with the kids.

My brother’s carer turned up at the wrong time today and I’ve just had to go and prepare his meal despite him being with us all day. On the way back home, I was thinking that it would be good to come down with something contagious so I could just stop the madness!! I know that is stupid but how do I manage this without things getting worse. I can’t see the wood for the trees!

themoon66 Sun 25-Jan-09 19:55:10

I don't know what to say, but I couldn't see you go unanswered sad

I'd be VERY tempted to go on strike and pull the duvet over my head every morning!

Is there anyway you could ask someone to have DS1 after school on Wed (perhaps your sister) and take DS2 to London with you?

Alambil Sun 25-Jan-09 19:55:23

can't they do a phone conference? You could email any paperwork they want to see and just natter on the phone?

violethill Sun 25-Jan-09 20:00:54

How do you manage your freelance work?

I'm assuming you must use nursery/CM? One child is at school, one pre-school, yes? Any chance of increasing your hours of childcare?

TBH I think I would move heaven and earth to get to London as it's just an annual meeting.The rest of the stuff, with your brother etc sounds hellish- you're clearly having to take on a lot of extra with that.

Northernlurker Sun 25-Jan-09 20:02:31

Look at this short term and long term.

Short term - ring you sister and tell her she HAS to take reponsibility for sorting out anything yor brother needs on Wednesday. Ring round your friends until you've got your childcare sorted - you don't need to get both kids in with the same person. If dh is self-employed then he will need to stand firm and take some time off too to help out. This way you can have your meeting and get that sorted - when it's done, it's done.

Long term - you and dh need to talk about what career paths you are both going to follow. The only way you can both do long commutes is if you hire in help. You can have great careers but there will be stress with that. Or you can have less stress but also limit your careers. Or one of you can do the highflying stuff for a bit and the othet limit their ambitions and then swap. There are lots of options and you don't have to fix it all this week.

debs40 Sun 25-Jan-09 20:08:25

Thanks for posting back.

I have childcare organised for Wednesday. I have arranged to meet at 11 so I will drop DS1 at school, travel and put DS2 in nursery, get to the station, ctach the train, travel 1 hour 30 minutes, have meeting, turn round and do it all backwards!

Part of me agrees violethill. I feel it's a 'ticking boxes' meeting so just do it.

The other part of me feels really angry that I should be made to do this when no one has bothered with me before and they know my situation.

I suppose I'm focusing all my anger on this meeting!!

I've just had no time to get up to speed lately and I know I'll just be turning up and feeling crap about myself.

I'm really hard working and well-organised but this all makes me feel like I'm trying to be some sort of slacker. I just thought the uni might say - we won't add to your woes and I suppose that grates.

Just feeling sorry for myself but I can sort of see things slipping away from me a bit and I don't know how to gte it all back on track!

violethill Sun 25-Jan-09 20:13:16

I'm not surprised you're feeling sorry for yourself - you've had a bloody awful time of it!

I think you're right - you're focusing all this on the meeting, when actually you should see this as a chance to step outside the normal drudgery, have a nice day out (if I were you I would move heaven and earth to sort out longer childcare and make a day of it. Do an exhibition or gallery, have a nice lunch). The meeting is about YOU, and god knows, you've had very little time to focus on yourself lately.

As NorthernLurker says, that's Weds sorted, but longer term you need to talk to your partner about work/life balance. Just seems you're really not able to focus on your work life properly because of everything else.

stephla Sun 25-Jan-09 20:15:25

I really feel for you. But go to the meeting. Do your PHD. But the PHD is about you and is your personal achievement. It sounds like everything else is about other people and their needs.

You could try Sitters for childcare. I have used them for babysitters (their website says they do daytime too). I have used them a few times and the sitters have always been fine. Http://www.sitters.co.uk/

Find some nice music to listen to on the train, read a trashy novel, pop into a couple of shops when you get there. It might be just what you need.

hatwoman Sun 25-Jan-09 20:28:23

I agree with teh others - and have one more thought - things will get easier. When you're a giving person who wants to do the right thing by other people, and a motivated person who wants to do something brilliant like a PhD it can be a bit difficult sometimes to see the long or even medium-term picture - you want to get on with this stuff now...life feels like a bit of a hurry. But think...in less than 2 years'time your dcs will be in f-t school and things will be very different - it will all still be hard work (and you sound like the kind of person who'll still be pushing herself) but you will have more time. f-t school isn't a silver bullet but it does make a big difference. in the meantime try to enjoy the meeting, have these chats people have suggested about your family plans, and give yourself a pat on the back.

debs40 Sun 25-Jan-09 20:55:49

Thank you so much you lovely, lovely peeps!

What you say makes sense. I have been seeing this as yet another demand being made of me, rather than as something about me.

I suppose I'm so not used to having the spotlight shone on me, I'm just terrified I'm not up to it.

I was really stressing about preparing tomorrow (my only child free day before I go) but I might just go to the gym and chill for a bit!

Thanks for listening

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