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finding lone parenting so stressful

(16 Posts)
griselda101 Wed 22-Apr-15 18:23:32

everyone says it gets easier but i still can never chill - seem to be permanently on stress mode.

Have DS, 2.4y, no local family, few friends, a fairly stressful p/t self employed career, own MH issues and a useless ex! A few nursery hours but never enough.

there's always something that breaks / doesn't work/ needs fixing / sorting, admin, practical stuff I could do with a hand doing and get fed up with.

I'm trying so hard to stay on top of everything; finding shortcuts for doing stuff but there's always something to derail me!! DS destroys the house on an hourly basis and I get stressed at him.

ARRRRGGG! I hope it gets easier.

Starlightbright1 Wed 22-Apr-15 19:22:34

2 is a tough age... A 2 year old sees the world through their own eyes has their own ideas and has no idea why the world doesn't not bend to their tune.

Can you declutter some stuff, buy plastic boxes to store stuff.

Find ways that work for you... now the weather is getting nice the more time in the garden the less cleaning and tidying.

Lonz Wed 22-Apr-15 22:39:42

Not just me then! It is stressful, but it WILL get easier as nursery hours go up. It's not going to be like this forever. When you're son is 3 you will notice a slight, yet gradually, change (more independent etc).

Try not to worry about everything all of the time. One step at a time.
Work and son during the day, housework in the evening. Try activities he could do "with" you as you work that will keep him occupied. I try and do that a bit. You will be surprised how long they will sit and play with a big pile of toys and books sprawled across the floor (sometimes I just tip his toybox out if I need to do something)

You are doing a lot. Give yourself credit and be proud. smile

griselda101 Wed 22-Apr-15 22:55:02

thanks peeps! sound advice

Starlight - have spent the last 18 months decluttering and it's helped sooo much. Will continue on that mission! I think the next stage is consolidating parenting more now I'm more used to it. Had bad PND but seem a bit better now. Just have severe anxiety around DS injuring himself / stressing me while I try to do urgent work etc etc. And when something breaks down it's like the last straw.

Wish I had a sensible family member / practical friend / man around to ask for help. You become multiple personalities as a single parent. Today been trying to fit a child bike seat (it doesn't fit and drove me nuts), get to grips with hanging curtains, cooking healthy food, cleaning, juggling my workload, nursery run, etc etc; just neverending stress.

it's the overbearing and unending responsibility of being a LP that gets me the most. Unfortunately I have little support and no reliable person nearby to take the reigns in an emergency.

Lonz - thank you. :-) it's definitely getting easier with time. I am sooo grateful for this. I struggled terribly with a baby; toddler stage difficult but getting slightly easier. DS is very wise for his young years and communicates brilliantly. Also getting easier to do activities together and am doing more of that as it's less stressful now he has more co-ordination / attention etc. Love the toybox tip, what a great idea. Could do with a few more of those ideas for times of need! At the moment it's Peppa Pig on the ipad while I try desperately to do my work amid the constant requests for snacks / drinks / changes of clothes / minor home disasters!!

BlackeyedSusan Wed 22-Apr-15 23:01:37

cheat on the food and buy frozen veggies. batch cook and freeze.

roatate toys so that a third or half are put away. get a few out at a time so they are fresh, put others away.

dd had special high chair toys to amuse her. that allowed me to work. ds was not so taken with this approach though.

Akire Wed 22-Apr-15 23:16:27

Can you get a box of his work stuff too? Paper pens, old hole punch, string, pritt stick. Cheap kiddy stamps, recycled envelopes so he can "help" keep junk mail and leaflets let him write on them.

How much work are you doing when's he awake/not in childcare? Are you having regular breaks and getting outside to get rid of some engery for him and exercise and stress relief for you.

Agree with less is more with toys one or two boxes out at time then tidyed up if wants another. That way can't totally trash the place with toys as quickly.

Why are you worried about him injuring self is he a climber and diver? Or do you have lots of things in a small place? You could try moving furniture around and clear some more safe play space?
Kids love dens/tents/boxes throw a blanket between chairs or build one and let him enjoy!

griselda101 Wed 22-Apr-15 23:39:05

hi akire and all - many thanks for the thoughts - good ideas and will give them a go! :-)

I think the anxiety about him injuring himself is a PND symptom - I got it bad when he was born and it's only just lifting now as he becomes more independent. Also my hormones only seem to be settling down now, two years later (!!). I was a late BFer, recently fully weaned. This had a real toll on my MH I think.

Also he does stuff that stresses me out so I am constantly in stress mode - e.g. open the safety gate and stand at the top of the stairs, turn on the taps, try to open the hot oven etc...usual toddler stuff no doubt but 2.5 years of it solo has taken its toll, particularly with the PND on top. Pulls my arm while I am trying to write an important email (sometimes I have to - my clients can't alwasy wait!).

I do get out and about but could do with a bit more to be honest. It's getting easier now he is older and my MH is on the mend a bit more and the weather is improving (hate hate hate the winter and being cold so tend to be a hermit through it!!). But am realising the importance of me-time and exercise and all that and sometimes just saying no to clients!!

Akire Thu 23-Apr-15 00:15:37

That makes sense, working with any 2y old at home is hard work. Especially energetic boys! It sounds like you are doing a really good job you should be proud.
Do you have time when your working where you can stop and give him 10m of play time undivided attention? Might help break up the work time at home. Break for you from sitting and reward for him for playing. Remeber at school 15m playtime seemed really loooong. Might help keep him happier knowing you will get to play games/read story at next break rather than just getting him juice when he moans long enough.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 23-Apr-15 11:52:21

one of the symptoms of stress is assuming the worst case scenario... thing is it just makes everything flippin worse.

children need little doses of undivided attention, apparently, accordingto parenting course. therefore no need to feel bad about not giving them loads of attention in long blocks.

griselda101 Thu 23-Apr-15 17:21:05

thanks Blackeyed. That's the story of my life! I'm a massive stresshead and quick to jump to angsty conclusions the moment something happens.

I have little choice other than to be relatively hands off at parenting much of the time as I am just too busy trying to do everything. But we do fun stuff like go to the park, have nice long baths, bedtime stories every night, walks around the neighbourhood and cooking and stuff as often as possible.

I think he's ok; doing brilliantly for his age which is good. :-) so must be getting something right.

I just need to chill more!!

Flowerpower41 Tue 28-Apr-15 12:01:09

The age of your child is a really hard age - believe me it DOES get easier each successive year they grow up.

It would help if you were to find fellow single parents with children of the same age but sometimes that is nigh on impossible.

Hang on in there!

griselda101 Tue 28-Apr-15 21:28:03

thanks flower! I have found it getting so much easier despite some others saying it never does!

So am glad to find out for me at least it has gotten easier as he gets older. Each week seems like a big leap forwards and DS is properly talking now and pretty reasonable for his age (most of the time anyway!).

that said I still have a lot of stressy days; just done 9 solid days of single parenting and am at my frazzle limit. But should have help tomorrow. Phew. :-)

whitetigerlily Thu 30-Apr-15 14:40:04

Hi there, I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old and I understand how you feel and I'm not even working right now. I find the getting things fixed/ done about the house particularly stressful no hate that it makes me feel helpless.

I wish there were more handyman/ woman services for all the little things that add up, or that I had more practical skills!

And yeas, 2 is an incredibly demanding age- I cannot take my eyes off my 2 year old for a minute. Hang on in there x

griselda101 Sun 03-May-15 13:26:22

thanks whitetiger! more handyman / women services would be great.

although I am quite practical sometimes I am dumbfounded by DIY stuff and get frustrated as I don't have the tools / knowhow to do it on my own. that in itself is highly stressful!!

hope things get easier for you in due course (can't imagine having two but I am sure you are doing a great job.

Flowerpower41 Mon 04-May-15 04:47:30

For handyman services you simply google search in your neighbourhood. A number of sites will come up and then you pick the one that to your mind looks the most professional and has testimonials and has been running a while.

griselda101 Mon 04-May-15 09:09:12

I use Google already but to be honest don't really have the budget to outsource most things (as LP). I should have written low cost; I can't find any affordable ones locally but I will do a hunt about.

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