Those of you that have no support, how do you manage it? Can you manage it?(19 Posts)
I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old and my partner has just been placed in a secure mental health unit.
We literally have no support from anybody around us, we have friends but they all have kids of the same age and younger and very busy lives, but no family.
Im feeling a bit overwhelmed by how i might cope. How am i going to navigate going to drs appointments and things like that do i just take the kids with me? There is literally nobody to watch them.
Yes you take the kids with you to the doctor and where ever you go - by bus,train, bike or on foot. I had 3 to bring up with no family and no maintenance in a foreign country that would not give me welfare. I did it 1 day at a time . Strangers and neighbours came randomly and helped when the spirit moved them e.g. left a bag of clothes that my kids could use on the doorstep. I did babysitting in my house , and house cleaning-took my kids with me, sold aluminum windows and doors by phone from my house, taught adult E.S.L. night school classes -paying a teenager to babysit . I learned to cook really cheap food and sew clothes . You can do it ,op, because you have to for the sake of your two children. It will get better slowly and when they go to school you can get a job. Take very good care of yourself because you have to be there for them. Keep in touch with those friends. Busy as they are , you are more so and they will help you. And apply for all the benefits you can get. I had a 6mth old and a 3year old and a 5 year old.If you belong to or can join a church , you may find the pastor can direct assistance your way. Be brave, stay strong and beleive in yourself. Your children beleive in you and you cannot let them down.
Take children with you. keep them in the pushchair while you are in the appointment.
I know someone on here had a child sit on their tummy while they had a smeer.
How are you doing, Mysticlogistic?
Hope you're doing ok.
It sounds like you've got a lot going on and sorry to hear you're feeling like you don't have a lot of support.
I'm sure your friends will want to try and support you as much as they can as your partner's not around-meeting up for coffee, play dates etc can make the days fly by-ask if anyone is able to babysit so you can get out on the eve, even if just to visit a friend. Look after yourself and be really kind to yourself.
You can do this. Deep breaths, organisation & self belief....
Thank you everybody, Amarmai you are truly inspirational that post made me cry. I do have a partner but he was put in a secure psychiatric hospital this week after trying to hang himself twice. They called today to say he had tried it again. Each night so far he has called around this time or earlier and tonight he hasn't so I'm not in such a great place at the moment but I know i need to be strong. Thank you so much for all of your kind words. Im trying to keep in touch with friends but i just don't have the words at the moment. They are great friends but they wouldn't be able to babysit for me or anything. Self belief is what i need right now.
How are you fixed financially mystic? There are babysitting agencies, but obviously they will cost.
Whereabouts are you based? You don't have to answer if you don't want to
Hang in there. I am so sorry for your trouble.
If you're UK see if you have homestart in your area.
The best other advice I can give you is being super organised, it wasn't so much things like doctors appointments I found hard, it was little things like realising you need tampax in the evening, and having to wrap dd up and go back out, or discovering the milk you thought you had is off. It really is just one day at a time. I only had one anyway, and daft as it sounds because I never really knew any other way, it was easier as there was never any sudden change. Don't keep your friends at arms length, and try if you can to make new friends. With hindsight both for me and other friends in that boat, lots of other friends would have helped out even though at the time they were mentally wrote off as too busy.
You have more than enuf to do to look after yourself and your children. The medical system is responsible for your partner. The next time they communicate with you,let them know you are finding everything overwhelming and ask them to get you into a support group. Keeping busy with what you can change helps to keep your mind off whatever you have no power to change. You can do it , but there is no shame in getting help. I did not want to make you cry- i was hoping to empower you. If i and millions of other women all over the world can feed and clothe our children, so can you.
No afarmai you did empower me! I had tears in my eyes because it moved me emotionally and made me feel strong. Im in the NW SlipperyJack in the merseyside area. Are homestart the same people that do the breastfeeding support? Because they almost drove me insane with the txt messaging haha. I was planning on starting up a business but finances aren't great and we rent. Just trying to figure out now if thats still viable. I had been thinking of babysitters. Lurked you have it spot on, those are the hardest times. He's been in and out of hospital for the last few months and Ive spent many a night with no milk and one time had to wrap up loads of tissue and put it in my pants instead of a tampon until i could get to the shops in the morning. Its awful but I couldn't get out at night with two of them. Things like that can be really frustrating. Running out of bread and toothpaste has been this weeks!
Thank you so much for the empathy.
one amazing life lesson that poverty taught me ,is how many things we can do without or make do and mend. I am glad you are feeling your power ,op.No one is more pwerful than a mother protecting her children -in any life form. BTW i use baking soda instead of toothpaste- the dentist syas it does a good job. No substitute for the other tho! Is there a food bank you can reach? Many also stock basic san needs. Also I know that some hospitals run different kinds of support groups for patients and their partners.
Afaik it's usually sure start that do the breast feeding stuff. Homestart varies from area to area, but basically its volunteers that spend a few hours a week helping someone, with whatever it is they need help with. Usually just normal local parents who have a few hours to spare for someone who needs it. Haven't got a clue about merseyside and I'm not involved with homestart, but from what I've heard in general you sound like the type of mum they could help.
Yy, I remember the joy of kitchen roll sanitary wear. And the joy of realising at 2am I had nothing to kill my toothache with except a very old single dose sachet of calpol.
It is very stressful in an emergency to be raising children without support but as the children get older they tend to get less sick and we also fall sick less often so this seems to lessen the burden of it all somewhat .....
As they grow older they get less needy or at least needy in more manageable ways so I have found the weight of the responsibility of it all slowly reduces.
Hope this helps!
Speak to the psych unit about family support service and linked social worker (this is abput supportingg parents who are carers or are ill not for child protection ) and speak to your gp and health visitor. Tell them you need some support. They may be able to find childminder or nursery certainly for two year old. My gp was really helpful when now exxp was in psych unit.
Who is looking after you ?
If no family then tap into support services. Ypur 2 yr old can get free nursery hours as you are a family in need. Ask hv to sort it.
Ask your friends for specific help eg "could you take dc toddler for couple hours weds as I need to go doctor ?" You could sometimes take their child when it s ok for you . People will help but you need to ask and be specific.
Mind and rethink also run support for carers/partners of people with mh issues. Ask. Go talk to your gp.
i'll be honest i have two kids no partner no family no friends here, and depending on how organised and mentally well you are it is really bloody hard to manage it - not practically, just mentally. because you never get a break. so if you find it hard that is because it is, very.
the free nursery place helps tremendously though. as you can arrange appointments for then and also get some precious time for yourself. so sorry this has happened to you, wouldnt wish this life on anyone but it isnt forever and as the kids get older they will be more independent taking the burden off a bit. hope partner is better soon
Single parents are exceedingly fortunate if they get regular reliable access breaks from their ex and know their child/children are well taken care of. Or have the benefit of a supportive family network e.g. grandparents who can have the children overnight regularly and offer us hardworking and fully stretched single parents a bit of a breather.
It really is essential to be superwoman as a single parent isn't it!
Life is hard. Although I would state that the relationship we have with our children is stronger than those in couples as they only have us to count on plus in addition we grow into a much stronger person I know I certainly have. Many women in couple relationships just seem so emotionally WEAK now!
On another plus side the children do get easier each successive year so that is heartening. It is just as well as we do deserve light at the end of the tunnel.
How are you op? I have just seen this thread and noticed it was from last week. I hope your feeling stronger?
In terms of coping. For me I turned into a bit of a hoarder. I stockpiled things I wouldn't ever want to run out of (loo roll, tampax, painkillers for me, calpol, frozen bread, frozen milk etc)
I think practicalities aside, it was / is the loneliness that got me. So def reach out to your friends, and get in touch with the hospital to see if they have a support group.
I take ds with me everywhere (he wasn't sat on my tummy but he was def at my smear!) and it is now a million times easier that he is at nursery school. As pp said, look after yourself. Take vitamins, get early nights. If the stress is getting on top of you then tell someone - your babies need you, so you have to look after yourself.
I am thinking of you, and hope things are improving for you and your family
My partner has had serious MH issues as well- is exhausting as they become another person you end up feeling 'responsible' for - tis a terrible situation.
But as pp said, NHS responsible for him at the moment so concentrate on yourself and your children. Does he have any family other than you who can support him?
On a practical level, I would also put aside some money if you can and stockpile loo roll, UHT milk etc. If you buy two packs of everything you need, top up when the first runs out, not the last. Use the online shopping services - all offer £ off your first shop.
If you can sort out practical things like this when you have the energy then you will feel so much better as I find it is the 'panic' when you realise you haven't foreseen something you need that is really exhausting.
I'm sure I wasn't such a hoarder before I became a lp . Always have calpol, bread, milk, ready meals
biscuits stashed away.
Tbh even after 7 yrs it's lonely and exhausting. I've got a few years until my youngest is old enough to be left so I can pop out. We muddle through.
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