Strategies needed to cope on my own...(13 Posts)
Hi, i'm a lone parent of 3 young boys, 7 and 5 (twins) going through a really horrible separation. No support financially or with the boys and is basically subjecting me to a hate campaign as i'm still in the house and he wants us to sell. Anyway..i guess the stress is beginning to feel overwhelming and i'm struggling as a parent. Very grumpy, tired, moany and cross. They do get on well but are young so i feel guilty if i leave to play on their own for too long as it always end up with tears or arguments but i have to be/do everything so simply can't be there all the time.
My question is how other lone parents divide up their time when with the children, there is homework / reading etc to manage, plus hopefully some fun times plus so many other essential. I try to let the mess go but there is a limit surely which is what today's grievances were about. so much bloody mess and it drove me insane.
I guess any survival tips as a single mum would be gratefully received.
ps = i have some lovely friends but they are all busy with their own families so i can't expect to much and my family are not local and pretty useless!
pps - i would really like to have more one on one time with them as well but don't know how i will ever manage that.
ppps - i think the hardest part of being a lone parent is the emotional responsibility that falls on your shoulders for 3 young people.I so want them to have happy and positive experiences but it's so exhausting.
sorry for long post! x
If anyone else is interested this is the sort of thing i was looking for and need right now.
Still keen to hear from anyone that has tips they thing work x
I only have the one. The guilt is a killer so you slowly need to eliminate that. Your standards need to drop slightly at the beginning. As time goes by you'll get better at juggling and smiling.
Give them little jobs. Get them better at cleaning up after themselves.
I wish you all the best. It does get easier.
Make a schedule of what happens after school. Allow the eldest a mate round once a week/ they go to theirs, the little ones too - if you can.
same with weekends. Plan and schedule. Include the dc in planning. for example " sat am we have football. So Friday night we have to get our stuff ready" then we do reading after breakfast for twins, football, sat lunch at home, twins watch TV, you do homework with older one, then it's free time as you do stuff or take everyone for walk, play in garden whatever, Cook dinner ( they have free time ie tv) and then dinner, bath, bed but all with chatting so it takes ages but is still organised ( flexible)
Do you have a solicitor? Tell them your dh is being a nightmare and log it. I suggest you keep a log anyway. He can't make you leave.
Post on relationships too, there is more traffic and your ex dh sounds a tool to deal with, loads of help and advice on that. Or legal on here.
Dog eared, head down, blinkers on determination. There are days where you are going to have to go into this mode just to get through the day. There are loads at first but it does get better. Everything does.
Routine, routine, routine. It'll help with the kids and you. It'll give you all an idea of whats happening and when (a life saver at a time where you don't know your ear from your arsehole) and help you keep on top of everything. Once you are all used to that, you'd have sorted out most of the mess you're in now so will have the time left to split. Spend time doing 1 thing with each child per week. Even it's just taking all of them out somewhere where only 1 of them wants to go (but make sure you do this for all of them, there's a few valuable lessons in that method for them too)
Look after YOURSELF. Eat properly, exercise and do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better and happier (haircut or something). If you're miserable or ill the kids will pick up on it and play up, making everything ten times worse.
ONE day at a time.
. All good advice above &Good link from Loumaria (I read it and found it useful,thank you). Best tip I can offer from my experience is make sure you get enough sleep. Temptation is to do "one more thing" before bed and that slowly and surely leads to grumpiness. Also remember that siblings argue in two parent families - they are learning how to stand up for themselves in a safe environment. When they play alone while you get stuff done they are developing important skills you cant 'give' them iykwim. You sound lovely and your boys are lucky to have such a caring mum
get them to "help" .. I just said on another thread..Taught my DS to clean the kitchen floor tonight.. Obviously I did most of it. Used far more spray than I usually do but he felt grown up and enjoyed it. He does have jobs(he is 7 by the way) take recycling out..Put washed pants and socks away, tidy his own bedroom.( obviously needs a mummy clean every once in a while)
Sometimes just get out the house and you can't do jobs then. I now also give the kitchen a good clean when DS is doing homework. I also try and set aside time for games whether it is the wii or a board game.
A top favourite though is our Pj days..Don't do them often but sometimes it is good to just chill out.
Also batch cooking helps some, but I love my slow cooker throw it all in and no standing over the stove.
I have just read the supernanny link. It reminded me...Don't be afraid to accpet offers of help. I remember thinking when my DS was tiny if his own dad wouldn't look after him then how can I ask someone else to. THe answer is most people care and are more responsible than my DS's Dad and he benefots from been with other people not just me
I've only just checked back on this post so just to say thanks for all your replies. I think routine is key and it's good to be reminded of this. While I learnt the importance of it when the twins were young I think i've been to soft recently and need to be more regimental again. Sure they will adjust and be happier knowing what is expected of them. Also, going to get them to help out more with the emphasis on us pulling together as a team - they are at the age where they should learn some responsibility. And then the guilt...bin it as much as possible as yes it is a killer.
I do have a solicitor (though i'm skint) as it's a very drawn out, difficult separation - hoping to speed things up and really need to toughen up and I try to look after myself, am a keen runner etc but it's still exhausting as I'm sure many of you understand.
Hopefully a couple of years from now life will feel a little easier. Sincerely hope so.
ps - when i next have some cash (def not before Xmas that's for sure!) i'm going to invest in a slow cooker as i'm looking to return to work and think this will be a life saver.
Thanks again for all your replies!
Running is great - im a committed all weather x country runner ( dc permitting)
Routine is great and take an evening to plan all weekends with what's on in your area or puddle walks, early bath and a film with pizza and popcorn. Don't be entertainments director, ask them what they want to do and have a look at the local tourist office for free events. My local museum for £14 a year all in does free activities, films for kids etc.
And try and keep a journal of everything - milestones, daily chat, silly things they do and say. They will love it as they get older and also, being alone means there's no one to share it with at that moment and it's forgotten. A journal makes it awesome when they are older. If my dc want to read and hear one more time about how dd pooped in the bath at 1 yr I shall scream ( not really)
Thanks lavenderhoney. I always feel like other runners are kindered spirits as i'm slightly obsessed by it - feel like i can get through anything when i run!!
Love the journal idea too and yes planning weekends. Probably what started this thread. Taking it as it comes can be a big mistake.
Parenting is a constant learning curve at the best of times isn't it!
All the best x
I hope things are looking brighter by now. Just wanted to add that one the initial shock wears lut you will feel mlre in control of the situation. You will be fine and will have more time. Dealing with a difficult spouse is time consumimg and stressful, but once they are not taking that time or giving you that stress, you will find it easier to cope on your own.
The advise above is great and very complete, routines are the base, bjt will add that is very important that you get some rest (anytime you can) because if you are less tired you are better able to coñe with stress.
I usdd to go to bed at the same time as my young boy, that meant that I was up two hours before him, and in those 2 hours I did yoga, have some time to myself (do some reading without interruptions) and cleaned up the house. By the time he woke up I was ready to start the day.
thanks memyselfandI - weekend was hard again as have so many stressful things to deal with at the moment and still have to be mum to 3 energetic boys Early nights and yoga are a good idea and yes i hope/am sure things will get easier once the situation with my ex is more resolved. He will never be the father I once thought he would be unfortunately. Life has to start getting better at some point - feel like it's in the gutter at the moment! Have to say every spare minute (including evenings) are used dealing with finances/job searches/solicitors/etc/etc. It's very exhausting. Tomorrow's another day x
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