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No-one really understands & no one cares(40 Posts)
No one understands what I'm going through. There are no other single mothers at any of the classes or baby groups I've taken DS to. I tried seeing if we could to the local Gingerbread, but the nearest one to me is based in quite an affluent area of the city and they don't even meet regularly or at a location that is easily accessible which leads me to think they're mostly rich divorcées. My experience is completely different to theirs. I ended up being made homeless during my pregnancy because severe morning sickness made me unable to work. I ended moving 7 times before I moved into where I am now, a property which was left in a really bad condition and it took what little money and savings I had to make it liveable. I have very little support and my anxiety & depression led to me being estranged from family who have never understood it or taken it seriously. My family are also emotionally and verbally abusive so they exacerbate my anxiety. Even other single parents online don't understand because everyone seems to have support from family. I recently returned to studying but have struggled to find childcare for during the day; I got messed around by the childminders I met with, which really annoyed me coz if they'd been honest and professional by telling the truth, I probably would've asked to defer my course. But it was too late and I've got the first assignment due next week: I've not been able to do any reading for the essay. I can't cope and I'm so tired. People talk about separation anxiety being a phase but DS' permanent state is this: his sleep routine has always been erratic and everytime I've tried to implement a routine, it makes things worse. I'll be lucky if he goes to sleep around 11pm-1am: all the suggestions of the health visitors haven't helped and made it worse. I'm breastfeeding and he's really reluctant on solids and cries 95% of the time he's put in a high chair. There's no real advice or guidance for people in my situation, none at all.
Didn't want to read and run. Sounds tough. It is a phase, it will pass. The problem is hanging in there doing what you need to do until it does.
There will be someone out there you can talk to. Keep trying!
Can you speak to your health visits and see what support your area offers.
I massively struggled and still do sometimes. I got put in touch with Homestart and had a volunteer from there for a while and also she will still be on the end of the phone now if I am really struggling.
I don't have support from my family either as I live over a 100 miles from them.
I will say the harder days get less and it does get easier. I still have bad days but nearly 4 years on things are easier most of the time.
Do try and speak to someone and see if there is support in your area
I have a Homestart volunteer for 2 hrs every week, but by the time I get chores done the time is up. Then about 30 mins later, everything is back to chaos and DS is as clingy as ever. There is no other support in the area.
Sounds as though you are having a tough time at the moment, but it will get easier. Practically you just need to get through one day at a time. Have you thought about co sleeping? You could lie in bed with him and do your assignment while he sleeps? If he's not keen on solids don't rush it - if your breastfeeding he will get his nutrition from that so don't worry to much - he will start eating in his own time.
I doubt very much every other person at all the baby groups has a partner - how would you know? Most groups are just mums. Keep going, if only to get you out the house.
Things will get easier.
What about a local child friendly church? You don't have to be religious. A lot of people go for the company, the support and sometimes just the singing.
At the right one you are likely to find lovely people happy to cuddle a baby and support someone who is struggling.
Hang in there.
maybe I don't understand, but I do care.
single parenting is tough. everyones experience of it is different. and yes some people do not get the there is no suppport statement. some people think you have a granny hidden under the stairs and if only you looked hard enough you could find her packed away somewhere!
ps, if you do try churches, try a few as they are not all the same, some are more accomodating than others, and they all have different styles...
I agree with the church comments. If you don't have faith, it won't matter as long as you are not disrespectful. Try several, playgroup mornings and church services. There will be people there who can help you make commections.
I left my ex when DS was 10 months old. I had no family support, I didn't work at that point but it is really tough at that age...My DS is now 9 and although it is tough for different reasons it really is so much easier.
I do get some sort of conversations from him . He goes to cubs so on camps so do get the odd break.
Have you looked on FB groups? There sometimes are some locally. Is there a children's centre nearby they can be useful...
Hi, sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. If your son isn't sleeping then tiredness/sleep deprivation make everything seem so much worse. My dd is 5 now and whilst things are so much better sleepwise now she is older (it DOES improve) she has been ill this week so I have had little sleep and it has killed me completely. Have spent most of today crying as I cant cope with this life on no sleep.
With regards to your medical needs have you had an up to date review with your gp? If you are on meds do you feel like they are working ok? Are you accessing any talking therapy through them at all? Waiting lists can be really long I know.
Can you say a bit more about your level of study? If you are at a uni or college they will have student support including things like counselling, or a hardship fund should things be too tight in your situation.
I have done all my studying as a single parent so although I don't have a baby anymore I really can relate with you on that. I remember doing all assignments with baby crying/hanging off boob/wriggling around in bed/watching peppa pig as I highlighted. Sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do to survive, my dd has grown up on a lot of screen time! A lot. But her teachers at school say she is doing well so it can't have been too harmful!
Where are you with regards to your childcare now and are you having to pay for all this yourself or do you get a contribution paid? This depends on your level of course I guess, if uni they should help with the cost.
Remember you are doing such a hard job and I think you are doing really well especially under your circumstances, returning to study is an admirable thing to do and despite feeling alone you are not, there are other parents out there juggling the same. On here, have you seen the student parents board? It is really quiet but it helped me to read others posts on there to feel less alone.
Keep chatting won't you, and if we can help at all with the assignment then give a bit more info and we will. You WILL be able to do it and get it in, the feeling post deadline is one not to be missed.
You can do this
I understand and I care. I had very much the same experience as you. I found children's centres groups more likely to have diverse families, I had to travel to get to one though. My DC was an awful sleeper, I remember trying for months to do sleep suggestions and he just screamed all night. He's 5 now and still comes in most nights! I did co sleep a lot and it helped.
I second the single parent Facebook groups, that was a good support and I went to a meet up or two.
I also did a degree while lone parenting; nursery is more reliable than minders, ask at your college or uni if they have subsidised places, or maybe extra funding. You have my sympathies - it was a hard lonely time but it gets much much easier and you can be proud of all your achievements so far - even getting out of bed every day. Don't give up
I have a copy of this book that I have finished with. If you'd let me I'd love to send it onto you so drop me a pm if so.
it is really hard sometimes. I have no family support either and found friends would make all sorts of grand offers of help but it wouldn't usually happen. And the times when you need it most, like when you're sick, are the hardest to ask because you are too in the depths of despair. My boy is 6 now and it is still hard - I logged on today looking for someone in same boat as had a really hard day at work and come home shattered and been so grumpy and shouty at him and made him cry. Then had a little cry myself at the relentless of it. BUT. Nothing compared to the sheer exhaustion of looking after a toddler 24 7. Hang on in there. It won't be like this forever. Your little one will sleep through the night and go off to school and you will slowly slowly find yourself with more time. \you will also have a really close relationship as a result. I remember looking at two good friends with single parents when I was at school and noticing they were much closer with their Mum's and appreciated them so much. Sending you a big unmumsnetty hug of sympathy.
Can I ask where in the country you are?
Thanks Leatherbound. I already read that book and didn't find it useful at all. It was very basic and a lot of the info is out of date anyway. No real helpful information about how to balance studying and parenting.
I'm a lone parent of a 3yo. We ended up in homeless accommodation after suffering domestic abuse, but now have a social housing flat, and I'm studying ft now that things are a little more settled. I've no family within 600 miles.
Happy to chat if you ever want to
There are no nursery places. All the local ones are full and the waiting list is 12-18 months at least. Plus they're all connected to the local universities or hospitals so all their staff and students get priority on the waiting lists which puts you further at the back of the queue.
I also already take DS to baby groups and classes. It doesn't make a difference to his sleep or clinginess.
op I think you need to go back to your GP and your depression is evident in every post. When depression takes over - every turn and suggestion is blocked or no hope. Everything looks bleak and Hidious and no one can help or understand.
Go back to the GP.
GPs don't know what they're doing regarding mental health. In my experience anyway. All they do is prescribe you antidepressants which have quite severe side-effects which only make things worse. I've been prescribed 3 different ones before and they only made things worse: I still suffer from things brought on by their side-effects. This is what I mean. No one can't help, you just end up in an endless cycle of being told to go to this person or that organisation with nothing making a difference. I give up.
In a perfect world, what help would you be getting that you are not getting now? (I know many of this is obvious but it might help others to see it written down).
The challenge then is to accept that your life is not that perfect dream, heart breakingly hard as that might be, and try to think if there are any ways you can get the support you need through other ways.
When I look back on my struggling years as a single parent, I wish I had put my son in childcare for a few hours a week (I couldn't afford it but was always ill and exhausted but could maybe have found a way if I cut back on some spending in other areas). Mental health comes first. As if you are broken, then you can't look after your child.
I agree with Jinglebells that you sound very depressed. I've been there. Everyone's advice felt obvious and patronising and I knew nothing but nothing could make it better.
Looking back, I can see the awful times would pass and wish I could tell old me to just keep going and trust that slowly things will get better. SPeak to your GP again, they are there to help.
the other thing that helped me was realising that people all have their own battles and unless someone has been in your situation, they will find it hard to imagine. You can't let that take you over or you will end up very bitter and just hurt yourself in the process.
op people can help but you need to look for solutions too rather Than shooting down every attempt.
How long did you take the AD for? There is always a few weeks where things seem to get worse before they kick in.
What do you want to happen? What would help you? what makes you feel happy? What do you get pleasure out of?
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