Talk

Advanced search

Can’t do this much longer

(22 Posts)
Gigheimer Sat 21-Nov-20 00:18:49

NC. Not really asking for advice as there is no way out but need to offload to an anonymous forum. I know everyone is struggling at the moment and I have a good job, happy kids and secure home with a garden so absolutely should not moan, but.

I’m not sure how much longer I can do this, I’ve stayed optimistic, tried hard to be ok but I’m not. I work full time in a stressful job which I do love but it used to be travel, meeting people, going abroad. Now it’s all zoom, they start before 9 and finish bang on 5.30 frequently with no gaps for even a wee or a drink. I get up at 6, get the kids up and off to different schools. Straight into zoom, turn it off and the kids are home. Dinner, homework, cleaning, bed eventually. Up again and do it all again. Weekends are for catching up, sorting house and life stuff, kids are bickering or playing or needing something.

Eldest I can’t get her to sleep before 11. Middle one aged 8 has now started sleep refusing, needing me with her, up every hour. I used to at least get from 11-12 alone but now it’s nothing. I have work piling up I used to do at night so I’m starting to sink and am going to have to pull an all nighter on Sunday.

I’m functioning on 5hrs sleep or less every night. For weeks and weeks. Ex thinks parenting by FaceTime is enough, he’s seen them twice since March, had never paid a penny. In fact took money when he left.

I’m a social creature and need freedom, I adore them but have complex PTSD from a rape and hate to feel trapped which is exactly how I feel now, like a rat in a trap.

My “support bubble” is technically my sister but her DH won’t have my kids round so no actual support there. I was really ill a few weeks ago but just had to cope and keep going.

I’ve lost my only childcare as she has to be near her grandparents and there is no where to go anyway if she did come. I’m not allowed near my parents to help as I’m a Covid risk as the kids are in school. Sisters rules. Don’t really have many friends. None I can talk to I don’t really trust anyone now anyway with my feelings.

I just need some space. Just a night, one night when no one needs anything from me.

But there is literally nothing I can do to change any of this and I shouldn’t complain because I’m in a better position than most and my kids are generally good. But I hate that I get angry at them when I just need them to sleep or to leave me alone for a minute.

Fuck knows why I’m venting when there is literally nothing that will change and I just need to keep going. But I hate this shit and can’t see they will ever ever end this cycle of utter destruction of life until we all just “exist” which if that’s all it is, what’s the point in trying to avoid a killer virus because existence isn’t enough and I don’t want this future for the kids.

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Sat 21-Nov-20 07:57:46

That sounds really tough OP.

I know you don’t want advice but can you take some holiday. A few days off sick, if you don’t want to give the real reason make s and d and get a few days respite. With just a couple of day times to yourself you may be able to think of plan to try and ease a few things.

Highfalutinlootin Sat 21-Nov-20 08:08:32

Hi OP, I know it's not technically allowed but could you do some sort of round robin care arrangement with some families from school so you get a night off once in a while?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 21-Nov-20 08:44:49

That does sound really tough.

How old is your eldest?

Gigheimer Sat 21-Nov-20 11:47:18

Thank you, they are 6, 8 and 11. Don’t know really who to ask at school, saving annual leave for Christmas as the kids are off. Could go sick I guess but it’s a really crucial time and would be letting people down. I’m senior level so no one to hand off too.

I’ll try and get the kids to at least go for a walk today. Maybe I should get a dog that would get them out! But more work 😬

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Sat 21-Nov-20 12:32:01

Certainly don’t take on anymore.

If you don’t look after yourself then you wouldn’t be able to function at all or at work. Businesses should be prepared for someone being ill/unable to work. If you were run over by a bus or if you have a breakdown then they would have to cope. You must look after yourself first. It taken me a long time and a burn out realise this.

Ihaveoflate Sat 21-Nov-20 14:11:34

You are entitled to 4 weeks non paid parental leave each year for children under 18. I appreciate you might not be able to afford unpaid leave, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case you weren't aware.

Could you have a childcare bubble with another family from school? Your current support doesn't sound very supportive.

I understand the trapped feeling very well, for reasons I won't go into because this isn't about me. I just totally get it and not having your evenings must be very hard. If you can't take unpaid leave, maybe consider being signed off by your GP.

pjani Sat 21-Nov-20 14:44:35

This sounds so relentless. You have my sympathies! I wonder if there are any tiny tweaks you could make:

Refuse a couple of less important meetings and take some time to yourself

Not clear exactly on your sister's role but could she take your 3 for a walk?

Or even a plan for a break in the new year? A vaccine is coming, the leaked nhs plan had all adults that want one done by April. Could you plan a proper holiday then?

The other thought was about the sleep issues. I wonder if your 8 year old gets enough focused time with you? Perhaps if you could dedicate some time to her (another thing, I'm sorry), if that would help her sleep so you could get more respite longer-term.

Otherwise, crossing days off the calendar till Christmas. Good luck and know you're doing an amazing thing.

NotAKaren Sat 21-Nov-20 14:53:27

I have missed some zoom less important meetings due to 'IT issues' and 'building work' when I needed to concentrate on catching up on actual work. I honestly felt so much better just getting on top of work things.

Montgomerystubercles Sat 21-Nov-20 15:07:57

Do you know anyone local who might like their dog walked? I didn't see how old your eldest was but if they could be trusted to go together, maybe it could even be a pocket money earner? Depends on where you live of course.
Or as others have said, arrange an informal childcare plan with another family. That's allowed and I'm sure another parent would be equally happy to have a couple of hours to themselves, even just every other week. I know you say you don't know any other parents very well but you could ask - my daughter has only just started school so I don't know any parents well yet but would be quite happy to help out if I knew someone was struggling, we've all been there and I know I'm lucky to have other help.

peasoup8 Sat 21-Nov-20 16:45:04

But I hate this shit and can’t see they will ever ever end this cycle of utter destruction of life until we all just “exist” which if that’s all it is, what’s the point in trying to avoid a killer virus because existence isn’t enough and I don’t want this future for the kids.

If by "they" you mean the government and those doom-monger scientists who advise them then I agree with you. We can't go on like this any longer - it's completely fucking shit and enough is enough! I'm sick of everything being about Covid - I'd rather take my chances than live like this.

Ohalrightthen Sat 21-Nov-20 19:44:40

You have two main issues as i see it...

Zoom - too many meetings. Decline some. Have connectivity issues for some. OR tackle the problem head on, tell your boss you can't manage meetings 9-5 and get them to help you rearrange.

Evenings - absent SEN or MH issues, I'd say it's time for some serious tough love. 11 and 8 are definitely old enough to know that come 8.30, it is bedtime. Up, in their rooms, door closed. They don't need to be asleep, but they can't come out. Lay down the law, don't take any bullshit and enforce consequences if they don't play ball.

Also, talk to your parents. Why is your sister setting rules for them!? They're adults.

Gigheimer Sat 21-Nov-20 23:30:16

Ohalrightthen parents would break the rules, dad wants to be my bubble and mum desperately misses the kids. But I have the “kill your granny” guilt and fear. Anything happens and I’d have to live with that forever. I hate that the media has done this to me!

Zoom - you’re right, I have a lovely PA but he just stuffs the diary full, I need to step up and start pulling stuff out rather than listen to the “oh but they can’t spend/do/approve x if you don’t do it”. Which is technically true but surely to god some can drop.

Evening - what is a normal time for an 11yr old to be in bed? And I don’t know how to get past just the abject fear they seem to have at being alone. They freak out and refuse to stay in their rooms unless I sit with them as they are terrified. I desperately need to fix it as I’m going nuts and just resent them. Being alone downstairs by 9 would be utopia! It honestly would change my life. How do I do it? No MH issues. Possibly some control ones and separation anxiety from useless father maybe?

OP’s posts: |
SatsumaFan Sat 21-Nov-20 23:40:09

@Gigheimer you have it hard. Go easy on yourself.

Totally agree the children should be in bed/quietly in their rooms for 8.30pm. Explain you're exhausted and Mum needs that time to herself. If they're "terrified" of being left alone to fall asleep alone at that age I'd involve the school. Do they have a Parent Support Advisor? Counsellor? Together you could come up with a new plan to tackle bedtime and sleep routine.

Agree to you having a couple of days off sick if you can. And scaling back your relentless Zoom meetings.

Look after yourself!

june2007 Sat 21-Nov-20 23:50:46

11yrs I would say bed at 9.00 my 13 year old tends to be in her room at 9.00. Also sounds like dad needs to step up, does he live local? Can he take kids even 1 day a wk.? Is there a friend you can arrange for a weakly phone chat just about "stuff"?

Gigheimer Sun 22-Nov-20 00:04:19

He lives 3hrs away, his choice, sees them maybe every 7-8 weeks, basically has them in holidays, but in reality dumps them on his mum. Eldest is starting to refuse to go as last time she was stuck in the house all day with elderly mum, nothing to do and they didn’t even get dressed. So while I desperately need a break I don’t want them to go again. Though their Auntie there is lovely and they do like to see her when they go.

I’m not sure about school but I used to have a psychologist for the PTSD and she was good, she did child psychology too. Could maybe contact her to help? One benefit of the job is I could stretch to it.

9pm a 13 yrold in their room and my 6yr old is not asleep until then. Fuck I really have let evenings go badly wrong sad I’ve done a crap job, just so bloody tired.

OP’s posts: |
Gigheimer Sun 22-Nov-20 00:05:36

Had a BFF for 20 years, she shagged DH hence the ex. Made a new mum friend, turned out she was a bunny boiler. I really am not good at people so I just dare not open up again.

OP’s posts: |
Gigheimer Sun 22-Nov-20 00:09:16

But you have a point Satsuma you’re making me think now. If I’m shit at something at work I delegate to someone who is good. Is there such a thing as someone who would just come in and sort out my sleep routine at an older age? Just figure out a really good routine for the time I have and work out why they are scared?? Is this a thing??

OP’s posts: |
Inkpaperstars Sun 22-Nov-20 00:19:49

Gig I think tackling the sleep is your best bet. Do they share a room and if not would that make things better or worse do you think?

Have they said what exactly they are scared of? What happens if you go downstairs, do they just follow?

When I was about their age I had anxieties and found it reassuring to have a pet in the room, even goldfish or whatever might help. Or audiobooks to play in the background.

nomdeplume2019 Sun 22-Nov-20 00:24:21

Ohalrightthen

You have two main issues as i see it...

Zoom - too many meetings. Decline some. Have connectivity issues for some. OR tackle the problem head on, tell your boss you can't manage meetings 9-5 and get them to help you rearrange.

Evenings - absent SEN or MH issues, I'd say it's time for some serious tough love. 11 and 8 are definitely old enough to know that come 8.30, it is bedtime. Up, in their rooms, door closed. They don't need to be asleep, but they can't come out. Lay down the law, don't take any bullshit and enforce consequences if they don't play ball.

Also, talk to your parents. Why is your sister setting rules for them!? They're adults.


Talk to your work and drop a few meetings or finish earlier? Some workplaces thrive on making everything vital and important but really you are more so.
Life and stress has been a huge concern through covid.
Being the main career during this time is beyond hard going
Ignore the guilt. You need support or can the dad step up and take them for a few weeks
You also need to stop walk outside and remove yourself from everyone's wants and needs even for a coffee.
If you really are struggling you may need a week off with stress leave.
You children should not be up at 11pm in your face nor you sitting with them.
Children can entertain themselves or read a book. Skype friends during the day
I think it's time to put in firm boundaries and we do not live to work.
I would be asking for help no matter what as your sanity and ability to cope with only so much.
Get the kids down into a room together and lay down the new rules!

SatsumaFan Sun 22-Nov-20 00:24:47

Oh bless you, you are not failing and are not doing a shit job! You are a stressed out full-time working single mum with complex PTSD surviving a global pandemic. So the bedtime routine has slipped, it can be fixed.

I'd say with the ages of the children you could include them. Call a family meeting. Tell them how important rest and sleep are for humans and that you've decided to focus on earlier bedtimes. 6yo could make a simple reward chart and earn a point / sticker. After five they get a small reward of their choice (nothing expensive or elaborate).

Older ones can join in if they want. Changes to household rules are always best made together so children feel a part of them, but still know you're in charge. They're more likely to follow them if they feel heard and validated.

You're doing well to even be thinking about making changes. Maybe write down some ideas to your household rules changes/new bedtime routine? Lots of praise when they do stay in their rooms quietly.

If you think the children are struggling with anxiety then do speak to a professional.

johnd2 Sun 22-Nov-20 14:56:30

I can only advise on the diary thing, the best solution is to work out how much work time you need to catch up on things, and book that much time in your calendar for yourself.
Then when you finish work you don't have anything to catch up. If that isn't enough to get the job done then the company needs to hire someone else or split the responsibility.
One thing i learnt is that you will have enough work to fill as much time as you dedicate, and vice versa. So if you start making the working time suit yourself then learn to be comfortable not doing everything, it will be easier and your family will benefit. Sounds easy but i admit it's not. Good luck!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in