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lone parent in need of advice on how to stay sane

(11 Posts)
toots321 Wed 07-Sep-16 17:34:49

When doing a nursing degree...

I know it's not relationship material but I posted last week and boy you guys gave me the kick up the bum I needed. I also felt less alone as life can get a little lonely sometimes right?!

1st year student nurse with 3 children....

I work the odd shift as my bank balance is alway below 0 😕
Cleaning - washing - ironing - cooking - more cleaning - dishes - food shop - ballet class - uni - work - kids homework - cuddles - cutting the grass - fixing this and sowing that- cuddles - car mot - car tyres - dentist apps - essay deadlines- emails - bills - cuddles and more cuddles and so on........
My head is spinning...... I think to myself what have I taken on? Then I think once qualified I will be financially stable.
My children see their dad every other Sunday for four hours (I know what a guy)
My armpits are hairy and I can't remember the last time I visited the hairdressers. It's actually quite scary looking in the mirror these days 🙈
Anyone share my experiences? Have any tips on being super organised? I would appreciate it so so much today.

Resilience16 Wed 07-Sep-16 18:46:15

I'm a single parent of one and Jesus that's hard enough some times so I take my hat off to you with three.
It does feel nonstop , and I don't really know the answer except to remember to write the important stuff on the calendar, or pin notes to yourself on the inside of the front door if needs be.
Don't beat yourself up over the cleaning,as long as your kids look relatively clean that's good enough.
Get school uniforms, book bags, pe kits etc ready the night before. 20 mins prep will save 40 mins of panic and stress in the morning.
Teach your kids to tidy up after themselves (I'm working on this one!)
Get your shopping delivered, saves hours of arsing around in Tesco etc.
I sort post and bills while watching tv or listening to the radio.
Cooking-again planning is your friend. Have some kind of idea what you are all going to be eating daily. Get a slow cooker, fling stuff in and it cooks away while you do sommat else (like shaving those pits, haha)
Use those 4 hours on a Sunday as me time, and don't feel guilty about it.
As you so rightly say, once you are qualified it will be worth it.
And remember you are doing a great job so give yourself a pat on the back!

Namechanger2015 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:01:45

Hi I am also a single mum of three, dad sees the children sporadically, approx one weekend per month. I am the same as you, permanently frazzled.

I went to see a counsellor for anxiety as it was all becoming very overwhelming and weirdly the thing that worked for me was stopping for one hour after kids are in bed, leaving work/chores and doing something for me - in my case tv or reading. It really helped me to calm down and force a rest which left me better able to cope for the rest of the day. It's still early days but it's definitely helped.

Other than that I'll be watching this thread with interest. I'm encouraging my DDs to become more independent so I am doing less running around - eg 4yo dresses herself and puts her dishes in the sink, 7yo chops veg and grates cheese, 9yo makes me a cup of tea and brings me a biscuit if I am working.

It's hard and never-ending, I am totally with you on this one.

Namechanger2015 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:03:02

Oh and I usually stop doing chores at 9 and try to get to bed for 10.30pm and finish chores in the morning instead when I have more energy. Putting away clothes takes me 30 mins in the evening and probably 5-10 in the morning after a good sleep.

Ilovetomodell Wed 07-Sep-16 19:46:23

Hi, I'm also a single parent to two children, I was widowed 2 years ago. I work - luckily in a job I love.
Still working out how not to be permanently tired and make the most of my time with kids - things that have helped:
- time to myself - I reduced my working hours, and go running - so please use the 4 hours on a Sunday for something you really enjoy/helps you relax.
- how old are your children? Mine are nearly teenagers and now my dd does most of the washing - which is a massive help
- go to bed early and get up early, I find I have more energy, and I also am more optimistic/happy first thing
- even though I use to shy away from arranging meeting up with friends ( too tiring), it's a real mood boost, and if the kids get on well and play together it means I can relax
- I read a lot of threads in housekeeping for organisational tips
I use my calendar on my phone which syncs with my work diary, it's much easier with everything in one place.

georgethecat Wed 07-Sep-16 19:53:15

Wow superwoman - no wonder you are tired.

Single mum in health service too X

You have to make time for yourself. Rigid bed times so you get an evening.

Also think date night to once a week (or every night) you have something to look forward to. I have a friend round for a meal I cook, she brings a pud. Sometimes I do cheap spa night - look up some beauty treatment recipes that you can make from the kitchen - salt scrub/face masks. Soak feet.
Definitely definitely do relaxation cd (loads free on you tube)

GreenAndYellow Wed 07-Sep-16 19:56:58

Be kind to yourself and realise that you are doing an amazing job.

Don't feel guilty about reading or watching TV when you should be doing the housework. So long as the kitchen is clean and the kids are in okay clothes, the rest can wait.

Enjoy every cuddle. Let cuddles last as long as they need to.

This is all about the children, and about you being sorted and sane and chilled out enough to keep on doing the amazing job you are doing.

Be kind to yourself. X

Cary2012 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:10:11

Good suggestions so far OP.

I just wanted to say that I know how hard nursing is, my DD is now starting her second year, and she works so hard.

Think you're amazing.

toots321 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:48:11

Resilience16 - Thankyou! Well today I bought sticky notes! My slow cooker is a god send! I am trying to get the children to pick up after themselves and organise their school bags. Shower themselves etc. Well done to you too smile
Namechanger2015 - thankyou! Glad you have found something that works for you. I have tried this but absolutely shattered at 9pm and want to go to bed or eat naughty food. I envy people that can stay awake and enjoy their peace and quiet after 9pm. Well done to you smile
I love to modelling - I'm really sorry. I'm glad you enjoy you job and your children are helping you. You sound very organised. I started running last June but have not been able to run in 2 months as it's been non stop. I miss it! Hopefully I will get back into it soon. My children are 13, 11 and 8. Definitely going to look at housekeeping tips. I wish I could ignore it but I like to be organised and I think this is putting too much pressure on myself. Well done to you too smile
georgethehat - thankyou! That's a lovely idea. I don't really see friends. I have friends at uni but nothing out of uni. Hmm depressing I know. Just feel like it's non stop! Definitely going to squeeze in a date night to date myself though! Well done to you smile
GreenAndYellow - thankyou! Going to really try and leave the unimportant housework. I put my books away and phone down to make time in the evening. I just have 101 things going around in my head. Always feeling very anxious. I'm trying to be kind I really am. This sight and you lovely people help smile
Cary2012 -thankyou! Yes all very good advice and I really appreciate it. Good luck to your daughter she is doing an amazing job!
Aw thankyou smile

Feeling slightly emotional now 😘

Onmyownwith4kids Thu 08-Sep-16 03:41:09

My life sounds just like yours. Four kids, big and stressful building project, full time job and a Disney dad who has managed to see his kids a grand total of 4 times this year. I felt like I was heading towards some sort of breakdown but delegating a lot to the kids has made such a difference. Things like my 10 year old being. In charge of hearing her 6 year old brother read has been great. Teaching them all basic recipes as well and moving towards sharing cooking as they get older. Trying to be more of a "team" has really changed things. My teenager picks up the younger ones from Cubs and beavers and things like that make such a difference. Really relate to your post though. It's hard never having a moment to yourself!

toots321 Thu 08-Sep-16 10:25:40

Thankyou for your tips. I'm trying to get the kids to do more that's a chore in itself though. I'm so anxious at the moment as I have so much to get done and much on my mind. I was driving yesterday and felt so light headed I had to pull over. Glad things are working out better for you now.
Thankyou everyone. You have all been so helpful.

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