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Some honking and understanding would be much appreciated.

(15 Posts)
YourHandInMyHand Sat 20-Oct-12 19:14:15

Quit work 4 years ago to be DS's full time carer. He's 8 now and I'm bored at home so decided to go back to college and retrain. Am doing a 1 year access course and my plan was to do nursing at uni next year. However since startig college I've been so anxious I can't focus and get assignments done, DS has been even more clingy than usual (quite an achievement), I'm overeating, not sleeping well. I avoid going to bed because A) I can't shut down properly, and B) I dread my groundhog day life of having the same conversations and everything.

I wanted to retrain as my original career is fairly low paid. I feel worried all the time about the future and as a single parent it's all down to me. It's also not very challenging, I have a brain that is not getting put to good use! The assignments I've had back at college have been marked as merit and distinction but I've struggled to do them and not enjoyed a minute of it.

I just don't know what to do. I was meant to be cracking on with an assignment this evening - DS is in full on mode. Talking at me, surrounding me with toys, and generally being very full on.

I wanted to retrain and get a good job so I could provide for DS better and get myself out of the house once more.

Oh and the ex has been messing about with dropping DS off on the one morning that he drops him off and then I take him to the CMs. I'd forgotten how slyly obstructive he could be. I'm beginning to realise I can't fully rely on him to continue to reliable have DS like he does currently - the second he gets a sniff of the fact I am benefiting from DS being at his he will start messing me and DS around.

I feel so sad and frustrated and don't know what to do. sad

Ineedalife Sat 20-Oct-12 20:08:55

Honking for you YHIMH

It is really tough isnt it, I am in a poorly paid job because it fits around Dd3.
Despite it being poorly paid it is very demanding but to move would be too much for any of us ATM.

You sound like a great mum but maybe it is just too much for you ATM.

Good luck and try to be kind to yourselfsmile

TirednessKills Sat 20-Oct-12 20:12:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YourHandInMyHand Sat 20-Oct-12 20:14:25

Thanks for replying.

I've already took a hit being out of work so long, it looks like I am also going to be stuck doing low paid work purely because I'm already trained and it's days rather than shifts.

I've committed to the course, bought text books, made friends, etc but I just don't see how I'm realistically going to be able to carry on with it.

I just don't know what to do for best. Feel like I'm wading through treacle. sad

YourHandInMyHand Sat 20-Oct-12 20:16:20

Oops cross posted!

Yes DS is at school and i've even been going into the college library to get on but my head is just full of anxiety fog. sad

Did only start in September yes. This course is a very intense one yea access course, and the plan was to then do a 3yr nursing degree at uni. I just don't think I'm going to be able to manage it.

MsNg Sat 20-Oct-12 22:06:08

Have an unmumsnet-y ((hug)) I'm a single parent and made it through an easy three year degree course at a lower level than my previous studies but it was a really tough slog with having to put backup plans in place for when things went wrong with childcare which they did a lot. At the end of it all and only a year into trying to work again I'm about to give up for a while longer as DS's needs are just too unpredictable and I'm still having to go to a couple of meetings a week as well as do huge amounts of research and after being talked at and spending my time arguing with DS I just need more adult company than I can get from the work I'm able to fit round school hours. Given another few years I think things will have settled a lot and I'll still have my nice shiny new qualification.

Be kind to yourself, there is a reason we get carer's allowance etc. as it's not obligatory to be superhuman as a mother, being human is just fine. Is there any chance you could be depressed though? If you're having trouble sleeping, you're overeating and you're describing your life as groundhog day and you're putting off your work you're also describing the symptoms of depression. Could you go and get that assessed and treated if necessary before making a decision?

Handywoman Sat 20-Oct-12 22:17:11

First of all have a honk from me. You sounds exhausted and I agree with MsNg you might be depressed (the anxiety fog, the trouble switching off, over eating)? Is there any way you could do a less demanding but equally stimulating course towards your degree, maybe at a slower pace, something like an OU course with less time constraints while you regroup, for now? Maybe this will give you some strength back to be assertive over your ex and his responsibilities. I don't know. But I think you need to cut yourself some slack. In fact a lot of slack. I identifying with your need to use your brain and do something for you. Am honking for you.
HW x

coff33pot Sat 20-Oct-12 23:46:53

Big HONK from me too x

Dont think too far ahead ie about 3 years at Uni because that is going to make some added anxious "what if" thinking that is not necessary right now.

DO think about maybe seeing if their is a breakfast club at the school or local Sure Start sometimes run one and walk the children to school. If so you could go for a good early swim to set your mind for the day by relaxing first smile

If you are overeating then make the snacks healty ones and carry on! grin carrot sticks, cottage cheese as a dip, almonds and blueberries are good energy/antioxidant source not to mention the vitamin goodness.

Throw away or lock away any cakes/biscuits or PRINGLES (yummmm) and replace with bread sticks.

Dont eat late at night and dont do what I do and sit up till late researching and then expect to just fall into bed and order the brain to switch off because it just wont work lol.

Try building a timetable for you and DS as in study time and our time and use a timer. DS gets the best of both worlds when he is home as he can perhaps use a game maybe a learning one on a computer whilst you study, playing in a bath of bubbles and drowning the bathroom, followed by quality time together even if its just preparing the meal and let him help hands on as its still fun and talk time smile May his bed time special and then wind yourself down with a soppy dvd and more carrot sticks grin and then just go bed. Keep at it and I am not saying it will work but he may get into a routine of it and letting you study and you may get to catch up on your sleep and feel more positive. x

I did read that eating two or three kiwi fruit before bed helps aid sleep. I think it was the recent healthy food programme cant remember the name but it seemed to work for the person on there.

Above anything else give yourself a deserved pat on the back because you are doing great.

bigbluebus Sun 21-Oct-12 10:01:39

Just wanted to say yourhand, well done for getting as far as starting on your access course. That is a big step in itself, and one step further than I ever got - and I'm not a single parent!! Having got this far I'm sure the determination that got you there will carry you through the next 8 months.
Don't beat yourself up - you can only do what you can do.

TirednessKills Sun 21-Oct-12 10:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

creamteas Sun 21-Oct-12 11:07:16

It is early days and it is hard to get back into study (I went to uni as a single parent mature student as well). You are getting good grades, so you are being successful even if it doesn't feel like it.

Focus on this year and don't worry about the nursing course. I know the applications are due soon, but you can always a) apply after you finish the access course and have a 'gap year' or b) apply now and if you change your mind defer or withdraw your application.

Check out all the options for support at your college. This can range from specific study skills through to general support. And share your anxieties with your course mates, they are probably feeling just the same.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 22-Oct-12 20:11:13

Just when I needed a bit of MN support and my internet was down!!

Thanks for all the supportive messages. This morning started off bad, I couldn't face the day, got out of bed late, DS missed school and I missed college. Let's just say it was an acheivement we both eventually got ourselves washed, brushed and dressed. blush

I did go to the GP though and I'm glad I forced myself there. Had a cathartic embarassing cry, she has prescribed ADs, told me to think if I want more counselling, and to take the pressure off with the college course, that I can always go back to it in a year or two.

College support wise have not been great which is a real shame. They are ofsted outstanding but pastorally they are lacking IME. My tutor not been great, and the college counselling service seem nice but I've had to wait 2 weeks (meant to be going wednesday).

I feel a bit spent now but wanted to come on and reply and thank you all.

I don't know what I'm going to do long term, I think for now I'll just focus on one day at a time.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 22-Oct-12 20:16:28

tirednesskils - just read your comment on radio4, I have to say I cannot bear background talking it makes me want to scream or clamp my ears shut! shock (Yes I'm aware this screams autism). I'm okay with background music but talking really gets to me, not just the radio either, people talking on the bus, in the library, anywhere really, I feel like shouting SHUSH!!! at them. I like reading the paper though. grin

DS loves to watch a DVD or youtube, but whilst doing so wants me to watch with an excited expression, or listen enthusiastically while does a lengthy narration. [sigh] He's pretty much in your face every waking moment. Unless you want to talk to him or sit and eat a sociable meal, then you've no chance!

YourHandInMyHand Mon 22-Oct-12 20:18:28

Hi all, thanks for the replies.

Yes I do think I am depressed, have been on ADs in the past - didn't want to have to admit I am back "there" but I am. sadBeen out on a day trip today with DS, which was good but has meant I got home late, have only just got him into bed, and still have a mountain of stuff to do!

Thanks for the food advice - I am definitely going to get some healthy treats in. I do like blueberries, almonds AND kiwis so all worth a try.

The point about us getting carer's for a reason struck a chord. I feel so bloody guilty and beaten down about being "a single mother on benefits" but life got in the way and that's what I am. The benefit bashing seems to be everywhere I go and it's demoralising. That's part of the reason I struck and got on this course.

I came on here right now to see what the replies were - I need to make a decision about the course and I'm swaying towards giving it up, but why do I feel so bloody guilty about it!? sad

I did an OU course last year so could start something OU-ey in a little while when I hopefully have a handle on my depression and anxiety.

coff33pot Mon 22-Oct-12 20:55:12

You get carers allowance for a reason yes and that reason is you care for your son and he needs a little bit extra than most. That is nothing to feeling guilty about at all!

As for the benefit bashing well those that are bashing have never been in your shoes have they? There is always somebody whose cup is always half full who will spout off due to jealousy or ignorance so dont that that get you down either.

You are going to take a what? Your son needs you and you are not ready yet and thats all there is to it.

Give yourself some space and give yourself some credit will you? You have brought up a lovely boy and you have made sacrifices for rather than palm him off willy nilly. Working or not he has got you and he is one lucky lad.

If you decide to give the course up all it means is now is just not the time that is all smile

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