How do you keep going? How do you fill your days?(7 Posts)
I think i'm looking more to have a moan than for tips, though I would appreciate advice on how to fill our days.
I've been depressed for many years, since before my son was born. The house feels like a prison and the silence is deafening. If i don't make noise or turn on the tv, there is just silence. It is so void of life. I desperately wish that we had the kind of hustle and bustle of other family homes, but we don't. My son is an only child and is very lonely. He's never been keen to play alone. If I don't play with him, he just does nothing. Begs for tv/games etc. I do allow that, but not for long periods of time. I've tried to encourage all sorts of different things he can do alone and his bedroom is fantastic, with lots of engaging toys and activities for him to get on with, but he will never spend time in there. And then I feel guilty for trying to get him to play up there when i have nothing to do anyway. I end up wandering around the house trying to find something to fill the nothingness.
I have no real friends and am very bored and lonely. I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend, but he works and doesn't live with us so obviously can't be here all the time. The house is transformed whenever he's around, and my son really looks up to him. But it just kind of makes it worse when he's not around. I'm happy to do things with my son, but then that activity is over and I'm left wondering how I'm supposed to fill the next 10 or so hours. Week days are much easier because of school, but weekends are terrible. Just hours of nothing stretching out in front of me. And he's been having tantrums whenever I pick him up from school. He always wants his dad to pick him up. It's only ever happened twice. His dad very rarely sees him. His grandparents on his dads side each see him once a week, but his dad is often not around. I am really glad that they put the effort into seeing him, but they spoil him too much. Everybody thinks it's only a little treat, but they don't realise that it happens all the time because they're all seperately doing it. I find it so stressful because I can't control what's going on when he's with them, but I have to deal with the consequences of it. I struggle to just let go of the little things which happen when I'm not around and get very anxious about the things they say or expose him to, which i would never do. It feels as though i have no control over my own son or my own life.
I am unemployed and had a dreadful advisor at the jobcentre who put a lot of pressure on me. I apply for tons of jobs but never hear anything. I have great qualifications and am a bright person, but have no experience so have no chance at the moment. They've transferred me to a disability advisor but I even feel guilty about that. I know I have mental health problems, but I wouldn't ever consider myself to have a disability. I really want a job and thought it'd do wonders for my self esteem, but going to the job centre and being spoken to like a piece of crap has set off my anxiety problems again.
I feel like everything is getting on top of me and I can't think logically or even see a way for things to get better anymore. I know this is partly my own fault anyway cos i've been terrible at remembering to take my medication lately, but I'm just so sick of my days having no purpose or direction or meaning. I wake up and face another day of filling time.
We're really lonely as a single parent and only child. How do you combat that? What sort of things do other people do with their days?
First of all, if you rely on your medication to keep you feeling okay, then you need to remember to take it. I have a post it on the bathroom wall beside the mirror to remind me, my dad has a note on the back of the front door to remind him to take his.
Does your son ever have any friends over to play ? I really think that having friends over would buffer the temper tantrums and his reliance on his grand parents.
With regards work, it's bloody tough out there at the minute but what about volunteering ? I have friends who do everything from dog walk dogs at the local animal rescue once a week - great for exercise AND meeting people to working in charity shops - that means they are accumulating some really good skills for their CVs.
And a bit extreme but do you have a dog ? Another great way to get yourself out of the house and a really good way to get talking to people - dog owners are a very sociable group of people in general and I always have a chat with someone when I'm out walking the dog.
Well, I do work part time which takes up 3 days. Although the office isn't a very chatty one so I do struggle not having enough adult contact.
But it's the same here at weekends. I have 2 DC's but the weekends can really stretch out and overwhelm me at times. Their dad is long gone so I don't get a break at weekends and I tend to climb the walls if the weather is bad. To tell the truth I often think "sod it" and throw money at the problem whenever I can. A day out here, the odd meal out, childrens activities etc. I'm just trying to muddle through really.
Do you have anything to look forward to? My target is a day out in London next month, we're only an hour away on the train so it's nice getting away for the day. Breaks the routine up a bit.
Splodgybloom I think volunteering would get you out of the house, but the fact you suffer with anxiety would make me think a trip to the doctor to ask for counselling might help. If not, there are great charities out there which offer counselling. I find talking helps me a lot, and when things get too much, I rerefer myself to counsellor I saw via a charity a year back.
Our weekends are lonely, but I pack them up to the brim, or we get a movie and veg infront of the TV with popcorn, or we bake. I actually used to overpack them and felt overtired, so now I have to include 2 weekends a month of nothing. I do feel bad for DS being alone, esp as I come from a big family myself. But I just focus on fact he's healthy, happy, and cared for. So I tell myself I'm doing a great job. Try to find a hobby to make new friends. I find that I have very very few genuine tight friends, but now I don't worry about that. I will chat to anything and anyone. (within reason ofcourse).
Reach out, there may be other single mums. sorry to ramble. I know you said you don't want advice. I do empathise, the weekends are tough but it definitely can get better. I still have moments when I wake up in the morning and think..................but then overall it has gotten easier as I've learnt to deal with anxiety, panic attacks, depression. So there is hope, you can feel better.
Lots of love
How to fill days, hhhhm. I find going out helps, in whatever weather. Going to bowling alleys, where they have the table tennis (so you don't have to pay for bowling). Swimming, walks (even if it's cold, but not raining), football or rugby at the park. Saturdays the library is open. Crafts projects at home.
How old is your son. Kids LOVE projects! And making it more their idea, really increases their self confidence and makes them enthusiastic. Giving more study work to be done to help for school, just some of the things we do. oh, and learning a new language together can be quite fun.
splodgybloom I'm wondering if this is more a case of your mental health rather than your situation? I have suffered from depression and I am a lone parent.
When I had depression, I felt isolated, lonely, had no motivation, and my life seemed empty.
Anti depressants have really helped with my depression, and now I am studying full time, have a very busy life and there are never enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. Like you, I limit TV time but DS can be so noisy, or sometimes the radio is on - and in fact, I now relish moments of silence! The house seems different, but it's really my perspective that has changed.
Aside from mental health issues, are you inclined towards getting a cat, at all? I did find it made a lot of difference. Whereas before it was just me and ds all the time, just having that extra other being did change the dynamics; we both often make a fuss of our cat/play with him/observe and laugh at him, and it just makes the house seem 'fuller'. Sometimes either me or ds will speak out loud to the cat, so that is also extra noise that isn't always between me and ds. It makes our relationship a little less intense iyswim.
Oh yes and I agree with lukymum, I always make plans for weekends, consisting of stuff to do with ds, places to go, I try and see at least one other adult(!) or if not, then make a phonecall. It does make a difference if you plan ahead, then you know you've got stuff to do.
I love making lists, maybe that's not your thing. I like looking at my list for the day, knowing I've got stuff to do. I'll include things like specific chores, a specific activity with DS, outdoor activity (even if it's just a walk), 'me' time - reading a book in the bath for example, homework with DS etc. If I don't have my list and I haven't made plans, then I might end up feeling a bit fed up and indecisive about what I should do.
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