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I really feel like I've fucked my life up

(90 Posts)
Sandyshore Sun 05-Jun-16 23:43:55

Brief history, married young, 3DC, same stupid story of SAHM so ex could build his business, intending on going back to work when DC were at school. Until the day when DH walked out after an affair and I realised how fucking stupid and naive I'd been. I was so poor, literally breadline poor, debts in my name, 3 kids to look after, no work history or further education. Just a bloody big mess really.

So I made some changes, went to college and did my access course, paid my debts off little by little and applied for uni. Still as poor as ever but felt like I was getting somewhere on my own, the first time in my life I didn't rely on a man to support me.

Just before college I met now current DP. We'd been together for a year and a half when I started uni and on the day I went to enrol ....positive pregnancy test. It was like my worst nightmare. I'd just got out of all the baby stuff, youngest was at school, I was finally starting uni and I was pregnant again. DP had no children and I loved him. I didn't want to have an abortion as I knew in future he would want a child of his own, it was do or die for Th relationship really so I went ahead with the pregnancy.

I managed 8 months of my first year before I had to drop out as DD was born.

So here I am today, 4DC, still no job or education. Relying on a man who could walk out at any moment to support me.

When DP moved in I obviously came off all benefits so he supports the household. I get basic maintenance from ex and a small amount of CB as DP is a high earner. Which is fine as long as we are together.

And I feel like shit. Like I've done nothing with my life but look after kids so men can go out and get themselves a career.

DP is generous but I still feel like I'm going cap in hand to him everytime I need some money. He pays the bills at the beginning of the month and then any money I need I have to ask for. He won't add me on his account as I have bad credit from before and he doesn't want to be financially tied to me on paper. He wouldn't and hadn't ever said no to giving me money. Card details are stored on the laptop so I can food shop. He'll ask me each day if I need his bank card that day and leave it with me.

But it's shit you know? At 35 to have to say oh can you leave the car because I'd like a new top or some diesel etc.

And I have this nagging feeling like I've royally fucked up my life, saddled myself with another baby (who is lovely etc etc), still not achieved anything and am dependent on a man for everything.

And he still has his life, he goes out regularly to the gym and sports and night out and I feel like crap asking him to watch all 4 DC so I can go out because he gets stressed with them messing around and I feel guilty about it and 4DC is hard work I made my bed etc etc.

I've been applying for jobs recently and haven't got one interview yet. Real entry level stuff but nothing. And I've wasted my potential, I got all distinctions at college and all my essays at Uni were over 70%. But I'm still sat here wiping bums and picking up toys which I've been doing for 12 years and bollocks to anyone who says there is real long term value in that because there isn't. If there was then men would bloody do it.

I've been an utter fool letting myself get back in this situation and I can't see a way out. I can't go back to uni as I won't get funding. I can't get a job because I have fuck all experience.

Feel like my life is one big mess.

MildlyattractiveBetty Sun 05-Jun-16 23:49:05

Why won't you get funding for uni? If you only did one year you should have three left as an allowance. Can you go to uni in the evenings? A friend of mine is just finishing her eve course which she took over 3 years.

You're still young and you still have time so try not to panic. I think once you start doing something you'll see the path forward and feel much better, can you look for something starting in September?

twolinesplease Sun 05-Jun-16 23:50:52

Hi sandy your post bought tears to my eyes, I really feel you pain. I have no real advice but want to say you must stay strong and hopeful for the future. Stay driven and determined for change and it WILL happen flowers

MildlyattractiveBetty Sun 05-Jun-16 23:52:55

Hope my post didn't come across as harsh btw, I feel your pain too. If there is nothing you can do now there will be in the future, babies don't stay babies forever.

MeMySonAndl Mon 06-Jun-16 00:01:44

Life is all about decisions. It may look rubbish and difficult but it is not impossible to go back to uni.

I completed a master with a newborn. I am not going to say it was easy, I was studying from 8pm to 4 am every night as that was the only time when DS would let me concentrate on my work. Obviously, it was important that DS was in a routine otherwise I couldn't study, so bed times were precisely enforced.

Have you thought about the Open University? You can study part time as well. It won't be as quick, but a year that you don't work towards this goal is a year wasted. You can get there at your own pace, the important thing is not to stop trying.

SparkleSoiree Mon 06-Jun-16 00:02:33

Ok, this sounds extremely similar to my life history!

You need to start empowering yourself mentally and start telling yourself you can do something if you want to.

Have you contacted Student Finance to tell them that your course is on hold? If you have not yet completed the course or achieved your degree then you should still be able to get funding to carry on when the time is right.

I've just spent two years sorting out my access course, got my uni place and I'm starting in September, AGAIN. Like you poor timing of pregnancies have stymied my career progression and I've been aghast at how much power I have allowed men to have over me in the past which has kept me exposed and vulnerable.

Start making your plans to get back to uni. Does the uni have creche facilities? Student finance will help with childcare costs whilst you study. Make phone calls, speak with student services at your uni, source out all the support you need to get back there.

Have you your own bank account that your maintenance and CB go into? Gaining your own pathway for money is essential to independence alongside making enquiries about childcare that does not involve your partner.

Did you mean for the relationship with him to go this far? If you hadn't have gotten pregnant would you have still been together or would it have fizzled out? Figure out what you want, put your plans in place then start making the calls to get all that support in place which will help make it happen for you. Please do not feel in your partner's debt at all, it's not just his life, it's your life too. Find that drive within you again that you were working from before. It's still there and whilst your circumstances may seem overwhelming, sorting out the wheat from the chaff will help you see more clearly.

Good luck.

Sandyshore Mon 06-Jun-16 00:03:41

Thanks for the replies. To be honest that was one massive rant blush

I think DP earns too much for me to be entitled to any loans or grants. I'll look into it again but I'd be surprised.

I know it will get better, lots of people turn their lives around and everything. And I do love the bare bones of the DC, I really do. But there is this deep unhappiness that I've wasted my life inside me. And a huge worry that I am vulnerable financially I'd DP leaves.

MildlyattractiveBetty Mon 06-Jun-16 00:06:12

Everyone is entitled to 4 years of student loans for tuition, it's not means tested!

SparkleSoiree Mon 06-Jun-16 00:06:20

If DP is a high earner could he cover childcare for you during the day? Were you in uni all day, every day? The feeling you have of financial vulnerability will begin to diminish when you feel that you are working towards something that will make you financially stronger.

Honestly it won't be like this forever.

MildlyattractiveBetty Mon 06-Jun-16 00:06:52

Masters loans are also being introduced this year FYI smile

Sandyshore Mon 06-Jun-16 00:08:12

Sparkle, I don't even want to look at that question about did I mean it to go this far, I can't face the answer to be honest. No truth no. It was too soon for a baby, caught up in honeymoon shit which all goes away when a baby is screaming it's head off at 5am and the house is a tip.

Feel like I've just woken up again and I'm back in my life 10 years ago.

Mildred007 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:08:45

Really feel for you... Try to keep positive and don't give up trying! What kind of job would you like to do? What uni course were you going to do?

Sandyshore Mon 06-Jun-16 00:09:35

In truth no!

Ok, I didn't know that about uni and financing. That's positive. Will go google now

Vintage1996 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:09:50

You have still got plenty of time, you can do it, never give up!

Could you get any job just for a couple of evenings a week or at the weekend? Will be tiring but would show willing on your CV for future better jobs?

TaytoCrisp Mon 06-Jun-16 00:11:21

At 35 I would think you certainly have time in your side.

How about looking at a degree with the open university? Offers flexibility, a good qualification, interesting new people and is relatively inexpensive. I did a degree in psychology with the ou which I thoroughly enjoyed, and subsequently got funded to do a PhD at a traditional uni (thanks to ou foundations!).

You sound smart, passionate and determined, I imagine you would thrive in most work/educational settings, so hope you can find something flexible that suits while the little one is still small.

Absinthe9 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:12:42

I understand your frustration. It looks as if there are a couple of things going on here:

(i) the way you and your DP handle finances. Totally understand that you feel as if you are under the financial thumb because you are. The current arrangement is infantilising. He will not be linked to you financially if you open your own bank account which you can do with £1. After that you need to agree with him a reasonable amount for him to pay in each month for the same expenses that you would normally put on the card. You can tell him it is part of rehabilitating your credit history and behaving like a grown up with cash. If he won't go for it I'd suggest you have a bigger problem with him being controlling.

(ii) The wasted potential. FWIW I think lots of us who have had children feel like this. In my case three children, one with SN and a cheating, unsupportive wanker of an ExH definitely wrecked my career. I love my kids and I like my current job, but I can't help think about the lost opportunities sometimes.

More to the point, it sounds as if you could afford to get some childcare support which would enable you to train for a professional qualification of some sort and I think you should. Partly because you are obviously frustrated as a SAHM and partly because you are in quite a vulnerable position at present. You are not married so if your DP did ever walk you would not get maintenance, though you would get financial support for the children.

Who owns the house? I think I know the answer. He's got you where he wants you hasn't he? However nice he is, there is a real element of control there.

The best favour you can do yourself is to have a good hard think about training for a job which will enable you work towards being self sufficient. You are only 35 (I am way older than you and I started again in a brand new field as a lone parent).

Not all jobs require a degree. Even law, accountancy and banking can be learned over time on the job. What are your exam results? What areas are you interested in? You may actually be aiming too low, which is why you are drawing a blank on job applications. I think you would benefit from some proper careers advice and I'd suggest you explore all options open to you to get this.

Sandyshore Mon 06-Jun-16 00:14:35

Mildred, is it embarrassing to say I don't know what I want to do/be?

I enjoyed sociology during my access course so started a degree in that. Then realised that it was seen as a soft degree and not really worth anything job wise (according to a poster on MN). I think I'd like to be a social worker? It's something that interests me but the nearest uni that does that course is hours away. Impossible with DC. I asked the kids earlier what they thought I would be good at. The two oldest both said 'cleaner'. I locked myself in the toilet and bloody cried.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 06-Jun-16 00:17:20

It might be bloody tough now but that's just for now, not forever. YOU'RE ONLY 35! You've got decades ahead of you. Use this time to make some plans. Anything is possible, it really is.

antimatter Mon 06-Jun-16 00:17:21

I think you areexcusing your DP too much.
You decided to have baby because he wanted one. He has to contributie his time towards family he decided to be par of . Obviously he is showing his inability to look after them (how stressed he is etc) to make you feel guilty.

Please make sure you have at least 2 night to yourself and few hours every weekend. You are mentally exhausted because you have no time off.

Cheapthrills Mon 06-Jun-16 00:17:55

I don't think you can 'turn your life around' when you have four children dependent on you. However you can make small gradual steps towards where you eventually want to be eg studying, part-time work and you are probably young and determined enough to do it. Set yourself some goals and a clear direction towards achieving them.

Sandyshore Mon 06-Jun-16 00:19:28

So much good advice here! Thank you all for replying.

DP sold his flat and moved into my rented house. He hates it and is constantly viewing houses to buy. I'm dragging my feet as this house feels like my little safe zone. It's where I came and fixed myself and I don't want to leave although he is correct that we need more space. He resents renting which he has never done before.

MrTiddlestheFatCat Mon 06-Jun-16 00:26:39

Yes, student loans aren't means tested. The only bit that is means tested is the grant part, which I'm pretty sure they are getting rid of anyway. Tuition is paid for, and you get a loan for maintenance, but I'm assuming your DP could help support you too if needs be (I know that its not ideal right now).

You mention that you want to be a social worker...there are lots of graduate training schemes for roles like this, which are paid and offer lots of support and training. Frontline is the only one that pops into my head but I'm sure there's more. If you want to do a sociology degree, do one.

Do you have childcare arrangements at the minute, or could some be put in place easily? Perhaps if you got your maintenance loan, some money Dp usually provides could go towards that? Student finance is hardly ideal, but its doable.

Mildred007 Mon 06-Jun-16 00:27:02

Not embarrassing at all OP!! I'm a similar age to you with 3 DC. I work part time in a job I no longer enjoy - have been for the past 7 years. Have been job hunting for the past 2 years, had a few interviews but I feel like because of my current job I don't really have the 'recent relevant experience' needed. I also have no idea what I want to do and am constantly looking up stuff and thinking of what I can do.
I looked into doing a degree in social work a couple of years ago - you could get bursaries then so worth seeing if still available now? I don't think I want to do that anymore so glad I didn't pursue it lol (indecisive!!)

Iknownuffink Mon 06-Jun-16 00:27:06

Take a deep breath and exhale.

You are doing well.

Do not go through with the pregnancy if you don't want to

You are doing well.

MrTiddlestheFatCat Mon 06-Jun-16 00:28:02

iknow OP has already had her DD I believe.

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