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Sometimes its the little things that get to you

(10 Posts)
strictlyme Sun 18-Nov-12 01:28:56

Hi all, a bit of my back ground. Lone parent to two pre-schoolers. Their father left their lives abruptly when our eldest was toddling, I was on the verge of giving birth to our youngest. He has no contact. I am a SAHM. I have some support but my family are limited to what they can do for various reasons. I am permanently sleep deprived.

In the early days, our eldest learnt to zone me out but because her dad was a novelty would only have to tell her to do something once and she'd obey, so I never saw this as a major issue. Since being a lone parent, discipline has become a difficult aspect. I am routinely ignored via all usual methods (asking, reasoning, reward charts etc) and unfortunately the last resort is raising my voice at my elder child which happens more than I ever wanted in my wildest dreams but then again, I never saw myself in this situation. It's been almost 2 years and the reality / challenges of being a lone parent keep surfacing as our lives evolve.

Anyway.... today my children were at a party. Eldest needed the loo. I have to take youngest too as no one else there I trust to watch her. Eldest makes a huge fuss about youngest coming into the toilet cubicle as she wants 'privacy', which infuriated me as she is not so private at home! It's so wearing. Needless to say I brought youngest into cubicle too (no choice).

A short while later eldest needs loo again and dashes in to LOCK the cubicle door (too young for this). When I catch the door closing, eldest shouts at me rudely and continues to try to lock door. I'm also trying to watch my youngest who is now playing in the toilet room which knocks me sick (germs!) but also is watching this situation. I can't be seen to tolerate this. This is my life with elder child from the moment we wake battling through breakfast until we battle through bedtime and I'm exhausted from it. So I raise my voice.... just as 3 other mothers walk in with their children. Mortified. If judgemental looks could kill.

And all evening I've been swaying from ashamed of myself for not being in better control etc., to angry these other mothers living in their ivory towers could make me feel like this.

Life is sooooooooo bleeding hard for a lone parent in a world of smug marrieds.

I'm not even sure I really have a point, I think I just need to vent. I have no lone parent friends, just couples with and without kids, although some 'think' they know my plight because their husbands work long hours (I bite my tongue). I would love to be the laid back, chilled out mummy again that I used to be before I carried this massive responsibility alone. I don't know anyone who understands the strain of the relentless battle. Not the local stepford wives for sure. Hoping someone on here does...? My confidence took a bog old knock today sad but self pity isn't any use so I need to snap out of it.

Happylander Sun 18-Nov-12 09:31:57

My child is the same constant battles over everything and not listening and not responding to various methods of discipline. I regularly shout which I don't like but I am naturally quite loud and even when I am not shouting it sounds like I am.

I have got a book called 'strong willed child' or something like that but am too shattered to read it most days. I'll let you know what it says and if it helps.

It is bloody exhausting, demoralising and also makes you want to get away from your child for a break from it. My mum says I was the same though so maybe it's genetics LOL. I am in for a hell of a ride if it is!!

Try not to be so hard on yourself no one is perfect.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 18-Nov-12 21:12:12

I'm sure married mums shout; I am definately a shouty singlke mum but then I don't think that a bit of shouting does kids any harm and if others are judging you then they are silly.

colditz Sun 18-Nov-12 21:14:07

I understand. I really really do.xxx

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 21:28:15

You're doing just fine. Those circumstances would make anyone shout - you were worried about dc1's safety and dc2's health. Instead of any judgy looks they should have offered help. Here, you deserve it wine

LucieMay Sun 18-Nov-12 21:37:41

I know what you mean about the smug marrieds and there are a lot of us who do understand x

RandallPinkFloyd Sun 18-Nov-12 21:53:43

I know exactly what you mean OP, I think most of us do. Vent as much as you like.

I started a thread the other day because a friend of mine did a head tilt at me when I said it was hard work! I shit you not.

I've been an LP to 15mo ds since he was 4mo. Have no babysitters other than stbXh who looks after him for the 2 days I'm at work.

Friend: "so it's just you and ds 24 hours a day except for when you're at work? Aww that must be lovely."
Me: "Yes it's great, hard work though"
Friend: "Hard work? Really? <head tilt> I thought it would be fun."

She genuinely didn't mean any offence but it did sort of smack me in the face with just how little other people get it.

Goandplay Sun 18-Nov-12 21:59:23

They were probably pretending to each other (and themselves) that they don't /wouldn't shout at their DC's wink

ankh Mon 19-Nov-12 11:54:12

@strictlyme: there's no ivory tower for mothers who are in a couple. They shout at and kids and partners too! smile

And just because they are in a couple, it doesn't necessarily mean they are happy, given the high rate of separation divorce not all relationships are rosy. And not all fathers are supoportive and involved even in a couple. Showing up at social functions together is not indicative of a happy couple.. I know, I was there for a long time.

On your situation: you sound like you need a break from the kids - easier said than done I know, I'm a single mum too. You're a SAHM - that is a lot of time to spend with your children just the three of you, in your closed world. You and them would probably benefit from being separated a couple of hours a day, on a regular basis perhaps? How old are they, is nursery an option? Drop off centre? You'd get some time to yourself and they would get some time to themselves too - perhaps they need their 24-mum routine broken as well? I might sound insensitive but I really do believe you'd both benefit.

strictlyme Tue 20-Nov-12 21:42:05

Aww thanks all, appreciate everyone taking time to comment. I only get the time once my two are in bed to do 'my jobs' inc getting the laptop out (or else its taken over for cbeebies website) to get on here or do anything me-related, so taken a few days to get back. Thanks for being voices of reason :-) This was my first post and its taken a huge weight off, I can sometimes [often] ponder & worry too much with no one else here now to be a voice of reason, I understand why people find posting on here helpful... even theraputic.

To Happylander: thanks, not heard of that book. Good luck finding time to read it!!

To Randall: they'll never have any idea unless they are in our shoes :-s Lucky them. I am trying to accept that there is some of my life & feelings its not worth talking about with even my best friend as you are totally right, they don't get it. My mum was a LP to 3 children but our dad was always on the scene in some form and it was a different era, so while I can talk to her about some things she gets, other things are alien to her.

To Ankh: I suspect its best to have a bit of a thick skin to post personal stuff on here so didnt find your advice insensitive. I appreciate people in this section of Talk will have had many different experiences and it gives different perspectives on life. My eldest does go to nursery 5 mornings / wk, loves it and its done wonders for self-confidence. Its good as it removes some of my guilt at not spending much quality 1-on-1 with youngest, as we now get to do things alone too. Putting youngest into nursery not an option because of the cost, as I don't work and my csa towards the kids from their father is pitiful / unreliable so I couldn't afford it. The thing is I do love being with them, in no time I know they'll be in school and I feel really priviliged to be at home with them now so want to be with them as much as possible while I can but I do understand the point you're making. If life was perfect and I was leaving them with their father to go off to have 'me' time I wouldn't mind as it would be important they would have time with him alone too but our life aint perfect. I do leave them with my mum up to a few times a week for a few hours-ish to just catch up on errands, and I'm soooooo grateful to her for it as there's not anyone else I could or would leave them with, but she doesn't exactly live close by so it does limit her involvement. I'd move closer to her in the blink of an eye (it is our longer term plan) but at the moment it's not possible until I'm back at work.

Thanks again all for your words.

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