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Can't get enthused about my life as a Single Mum :(

(63 Posts)
BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:45:53

I've been a single mum for a year now. I have 2 DC and still live in the ex-marital home. I am self-employed, work from home, aged nearly 40. DC1 is at school, DC2 goes to nursery 3 days a week.

I just can't seem to accept that this is my life now! i have no plans for the future, am not building up any savings or anything, life is just pasing by.

Have managed to create a good co-parenting relationship with ex-H, which is something. We alternate weekends. but when the DC are away I just go out and socialise and don't get anything "proper" done.

The house needs a good clean, the DC's bedroom needs a proper reshuffle, I need to be sensible about work and finances... Instead I've poured all my energies into bloody DATING and trying to find a new bloke because I'm scared I'll end up on my own... but really, I don't even know if I want one.

How can I focus on creating a "proper" life for me and the D, now it's just me and them? I want us to be a happy team, but DC1 is naughty and tiring (possibly Dyspraxic) and I shout at them too much.

A year has passed and I've done nothing to move my life forward. Help.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:47:53

I realise this is all muddled and doesn't make sense. I think I'm just tired and fed up.

I like so many bits of single-parenting, really do -- but I can't escape the feeling that I'm somehow worth a bit less without a partner. I am literally so scared of ending up by myself which makes no sense as i'm feisty and independent.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:50:34

It's like I haven't accepted my new life somehow. Am so disorganised - every morning is a rush to do school run. When kids aren't here I'm so selfish and do things just for myself, like go to gym or on dates, as if I were a single 20something again.

I look better than I did when married because I've lost loads of weight and now have lovely clothes and look after myself... But the rest of my life isn't progressing.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:51:11

Ramble, ramble!

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 29-Nov-10 23:53:42

Dating is not the way to move on. Sorting out your home and strengthening your friendships is. Next time your DCs are away, can you get a friend or family member to come round and give you a hand with the house (promise wine and a takeaway)?

You are going through a major transition at the moment. Try to work out who you are and where you are. Stay there for a while and then work out where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

Would therapy be an option?

BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:53:44

I suppose my problem is that nothing seems worth doing unless there is someone to witness it. IYKWIM.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 29-Nov-10 23:56:54

You are there to witness it. Your children are there to witness it. Surely you and they are the most important people, no one else really matters.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 29-Nov-10 23:57:09

Thanks Diane!

I know dating isn't the answer but it gets me out of the house (am so sick of the house! I work from here and have to stay in 10 nights out of every 14... ugh) and it's fun. But I know.

Friends round here are all couples with kids.
They're lovely but busy at weekends. Old friends have sort of drifted away.

Am I still going through a transistion even 1 year later? I was with ex for 10 years, married for almost 8, but even that neve felt like a "real" marriage as he was SO distant.

I'm much happier now, but I guess I'm lonely?

pickgo Mon 29-Nov-10 23:57:16

Sounds like your still adjusting but also enjoying life a bit and looking after yourself which all helps in being a decent mum. Relax - all the house stuff will wait and it's probably only bothering you no one else!
Why do you need to move things on... you'll do it when you're ready in the meantime maybe you need to be doing... just what you are doing!

escape Mon 29-Nov-10 23:58:02

Op - I could have written everything you have, I really could (only wish I'd lost weight though. 2 very tiring boys and a 9 yr old DD who is suffering in the aftermath of the seperation.
Know what you mean about the 'witness' part - hev decided to stop procrastinating and DO things.
When I get the domestics done, I feel so much better.. really..

solo Tue 30-Nov-10 00:01:07

I hear you, I really do.
No advice from me as I think I'm similar to you and your situation except I don't go out/date etc.
Maybe you need to find yourself before you do the serious dating thing? enjoy your own company and yes, do things for yourself, but not necessarily with a man in tow? I don't know; I'm a total failure in the love game, no expert at all.

Good luck though BEAUTIFUL.

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:03:26

It's so lovely to realise I'm not alone in feeling like this, as I honestly thought I was. But how sad we're all so fed up!

What are we going to do?

pickgo Tue 30-Nov-10 00:04:21

I think part of the pull of the witnessing thing is that you formulate a narrative about your life with someone else - even if you don't actually speak to OH's you still imagine your life thro their eyes.
You could try keeping a diary for a bit and see if that lends extra 'currency' to what you are doing.

solo Tue 30-Nov-10 00:07:12

I don't have much inclination to look for men tbh; they've all shit on me from a great height, and I'm still in love with Dd's dad so I'm not really interested. No money to have a socil life even if I had the babysitter...

I just need to get my place sorted out once and for all, then I may be able to dust away the remnants of the ex and go forward <sigh>

Monty27 Tue 30-Nov-10 00:08:14

I think a year is early days. Don't beat yourself up, and don't be in a rush. Also, you are allowed time for yourself but your dc's will grow up soooo fast, they will. As time goes on you might learn to enjoy your own company and pottering around sorting the house out, but just try and relax and enjoy the dc's too. One of the things that 'drove' me was that I wanted dc's to know and look like they were really cared for (I know I know..) and I always felt proud of them walking into school <worked full time>.

I'm years down the line, mine are now teens, and I wish they were young again lol.

Hope that sounds ok, it's late and tired, chin up, and try and relax. You'll have plenty of time before you know it. Take care.

solo Tue 30-Nov-10 00:08:26

We should have a cleaning day BEAUTIFUL <gulp>

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:09:30

That's a lovely idea, pickgo, but I know it wouldn't work for me as it'd only be me reading it. Maybe a blog? I'm unhealthily driven by what other people think of me. blush

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:12:42

Solo - a cleaning day is a great idea. We can post updates here and bore the entire board to death cheer each other on. smile

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:14:16

Monty27, thanks so much for your post. I know that feeling of wanting the DC to look cared-for. Maybe that's getting to me more than I realise. The mornings are such a rush and neither of them will stand still for a face-wash, hair-brush, etc, so often I loo at the eldest one especially and feel ashaed of myself. sad

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:14:49

Sorry for crappy typing.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 30-Nov-10 00:15:06

Beautiful, one year is no time. The transition will last a couple more. I, like you was with my ExH for 10 years. I left him nearly three years ago and am still in transition.

Like you, I was fed up, felt hopeless and paralysed when it came to doing things around the house. I ended up doing a timetable for myself. I scheduled play, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, going for a walk, cleaning the bathroom and time for tackling bigger jobs (one hour at a time). It sounds so basic and probably a bit stupid, but it got me out of my rut and everytime I did something on the timetable I felt proud of myself. The reading and playing improved my relationship with my DS no end and his happiness was another thing to feel proud of.

Now, I'm at college one day a week, making new friends (at college and with DS's friend's parents) and re-connecting with some old ones. I am taking it slowly and although it can be fraustrating sometimes, it really is paying off.

Investing your time in your family, home and yourself is definitely going to pay off both in the short and long term.

Monty27 Tue 30-Nov-10 00:25:06

Don't ever feel ashamed of yourself, you are a single parent with two dc's that you are caring for more or less single handed, and you are adjusting to one hell of a change that no doubt you never signed up for. It's doubtless that you're doing a good job.

I'm sure that in almost every single household, the getting them out in the mornings is traumatic in some way or another and you are doing it alone.

Working at home is probably stifling in some ways, and I can understand that. Do you get the chance to have a swift lunch/coffee with friends/work colleagues?

Like Dione I did a timetable too for night times lol, half hour bath, half hour supper, half hour homework, half hour our time, that sort of thing (but not necessarily in that order grin).

It's not easy, no-one will think it's easy, be a bit easier on yourself smile.

And yes, when dc's were at exh's at weekends i used to go to the pub etc, there is nothing wrong with that. I was more or less your age too. You aren't doing anything wrong. Enjoy it as much as you can. smile

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:26:11

I love the timetable idea! I love that. That's what I need - a proper structure to our days, weeks, months.

That doesn't sound stupid at all, it sounds doable and productive.

"Investing your time in your family, home and yourself is definitely going to pay off both in the short and long term."

This really is wonderful advice - thank you so much. smile

pickgo Tue 30-Nov-10 00:27:54

I think I had the opposite problem... never could get enthused about married life.
Even tho I did the leaving (a year ago) I know I'm still adjusting back to singledom. I've gone into career limbo and find it really hard to make big decisions for myself.
On the plus side I enjoy life a million times more now...and it's the little things that count that don't get fucked up by someone else's bad mood, acid comment, lack of understanding.
Some days I can't be bothered at all in the house (just remembered now no bread for a.m. - uhhhh!). But I revel in being able to live in my own sty if I want. DCs don't care - they're only bothered if you're not happy.

BEAUTlFUL Tue 30-Nov-10 00:29:43

Monty - your post made me cry! (In a nice way, like a lovely hug would.) Thank you. God, this thread has been a real cheerer-upper! I feel a lot better.

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