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single parents: how do you look after yourselves?

(19 Posts)
MaudlinNamechange Mon 29-Aug-16 09:48:03

I am in the process of going through a separation and ex will be moving out shortly (I hope, I desperately hope).

I have often seen threads on here saying that things are easier when you lose a draining, bad relationship. I am struggling hard right now and I desperately hope that is the case. But. I am taking on a huge amount of debt to buy him out of the house, I am trying to sort out some financial products that I have to have and I'll be pretty much cleaned out by then (if they accept me).

Right now I am struggling with something that has started interacting nastily with my asthma, my breathing is poor, my medications aren't up to date (because I was too busy and forgot, now it is the weekend, I can't get to my chemist which fills the prescription till next Friday), I have a fever that is coming and going and feel very wobbly when I try to stand up.

What things do you have in place to stop things like this happening? Are there things that you can do to improve your health? I just can't afford to be ill.

What makes this a feminist question: living without a man rather than miserably with a man feels like a feminist choice. But right now I feel pretty down about a lot of work, no fun, no spare money, and being ill all the time. What would you do if you were me?

Lessthanaballpark Mon 29-Aug-16 10:13:59

I think you need to go to a doctor for the fever. You sound run down and stressed which is not surprising considering that your ex is still living with you and you're in a limbo right now.

But believe there is nothing like the relief and sense of freedom that you feel when you know you are truly out of a miserable relationship. It isn't necessarily a feminist issue but just something that has been made possible by feminism.

Also, there are a lot of negative threads on the lone parents board but they show one side of it. Being a lone parent has been mostly a positive experience for me. Best of luck flowers

Lessthanaballpark Mon 29-Aug-16 10:20:15

Sorry I realise I didn't answer your question as I was so busy trying to inspire you with the positives of single parenthood!

To answer your question I do my best to stay organized (although that is hard for me) and, I know this sounds silly but, make sure there is food in the house, plan meals etc, get enough sleep. I know it sounds daft but when one of those things falls over everything else does!

justjuanmorebeer Mon 29-Aug-16 10:36:37

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I am two years down the line.

For the first two weeks I had nothing but twister lollies and wine. Needless to say I ended up run down as I had no proper diet. After a while I got back on track, got my finances in order and into a new weekly routine. Most of our old mutual friends ditched me instantly as they believed my ex's lies, the remaining few I ditched myself as I couldn't stand hearing the bullshit that he said to them and I was constantly having to fight for my reputation and it was exhausting. If you have a mutual friendship group look carefully at this and how you see it working in the future.

It is very easy to become exhausted as a single parent. I have been on the edge twice these last two years both becuase I took far too much on. Be realistic. You can't do everything.

Have you sorted any residency arrangements with your ex? Do not let him mess you about. Your time is your time and you need this to recharge.
During that time, do whatever you like. I spent over a year feeling guilty if I did stuff without my child or spent any money on myself. Firstly, you can do what you want and this is your business only. Secondly, you deserve it.

Practically, the two things that have made the biggest difference to my day to day wellbeing are doing my shopping online and being organised with it. If you are stuck in a lot in the evenings it helps to know you have some nice food being delivered to keep you going. It is not cheap but it keeps me organised. Secondly, get things into your diary to look forward to. Whether that is just going to watch a film/lunch/a day trip or whatever you are into. Have an enjoyable goal.

Take each day at a time. flowers

MaudlinNamechange Mon 29-Aug-16 11:34:20

Thanks, everyone.

I'm not coping well today. The dds want to make a cake. I got everything out for them except now it turns out there are no eggs. wtf? There were about 10 eggs 3 days ago (exP still lives here, that's why I'm not in control). I said "come on we're going to the shop to buy eggs" (feeling awful and not really wanting to). dd1 says "eh... don't really feel like it" meaning: YOU go and get what I want while I stay here and please myself. I told her I wasn't up for that and went back to bed. She's howling and crying because we're not making a cake. I just can't face it.

I really feel awful. I have to go to work tomorrow. I don't know how. I don't even know how to get through today. I have to find some way to just stop getting ill. Are there magic vitamins or anything?

Feeling iill makes everything look so bleak. I just can't find any hope in anything today. My whole life feels like a huge mistake.

myownperson Mon 29-Aug-16 13:26:02

Oh OP, that sounds miserable flowers.

Its not any help to you right now but I separated at the beginning of the summer. The relief of it happening was huge. living as you are right now is such a strain. It sounds like the end is in sight. You just have to keep going.

Is there nothing you can do today to sort your health? That seems like a priority. A friend to collect proscription. your STBX? Have you done the obvious paracetamol to get your temperature down?

Is there something easy you can do with DDs? I know it seems obvious but snuggle up for a film together. My DC are young but love getting in pjs, getting pillows and watching a film. Round up a tray of whatever snacks you can find.

If you want to bake can you do biscuits? 1,2,3 MN recipe is great. No eggs needed.

Sorry, hope it's not too annoying trying to offer solutions. Sometimes you just want a bit of sympathy. flowers

I second the online shopping. I'm about to set up a weekly basics delivery that I can just repeat every week. I keep running out of things and can't nip out of an evening.

Things aren't magically perfect after you separate but they are sooo much better.

SoHereItIs2016 Mon 29-Aug-16 13:29:16

OP you sound I'll! Can you self certify and have a few days off, maybe this would allow you to get to the GP/ get your asthm meds sorted? X

myownperson Mon 29-Aug-16 13:32:23

I agree, a visit to the GP is probably a very good idea.

JacquettaWoodville Mon 29-Aug-16 17:30:00

You are ill. Everything else happening on top of that doesn't help, but you are ill enough not to go to work tomorrow without any of that. Can you get emergency GP appointment tomorrow?

8FencingWire Mon 29-Aug-16 17:53:11

You're poorly, take one day at a time!
See the GP/paracetamol, get some food and sleep a bit. They'll be fine!

I've become a single parent a few weeks back.
I bought a life book and organised everything I could think of up until Christmas.

Set routines for everything, I might tweak here and there, but basically, made a list of chores and batch cook.
One thing I am rubbish at is looking after myself, so I actually wrote in the diary what I need to do: run, vitamins etc.
HTH and get well soon.

myownperson Mon 29-Aug-16 18:03:52

Wow 8FencingWire that's so organised! You put me and my wallowing to shame. smile

PinkIndustry Tue 30-Aug-16 00:42:27

Look after yourself by maximising your own strengths but also by accepting your own limitations. For example if you are not a naturally organised person, then now is not the time to introduce a rigid system of to-do lists into your life. In the early days reduce things down to the bare minimum that you can cope with - which, if you are ill, may mean beans on toast for kids' tea and certainly not going in to work.

There is really only 1 essential rule of single parenting and that is to never ever run out of tea bags. flowers

MaudlinNamechange Tue 30-Aug-16 06:52:12

Good morning.
I'm having a big argument with myself about whether to go to work or not.

Why I should:

boss back for first day after our consecutive holidays, meaning I haven't seen her for a month
External meeting focused on my dept which has been in the diary for 5 weeks
Feeling like colleagues are taking the piss a bit in some ways and need to talk to my boss about plans for tightening this up and some new procedures. We have time in the diary today and she is really hard to get hold of.

Generally feeling insecure and threatened at work. haven't been working up to speed, bit of a back log, probably best to show my face rather than "slack off". I look and sound terrible but at least I will seem committed

No point in trying to get a dr appointment. I will redial for half an hour and then maybe get an appointment with a nurse, who will say it is viral

Reasons not to go to work today

I could pick up my prescription, rest, and feel better

I feel genuinely in danger of this turning into one of those things where I feel awful for a period and then have a mini nervous break down (this has happened before). Maybe it is time to stop before that happens.

I could do a bit of work from home on the things I want to talk to my boss about, and then present them in a slicker form. I could insist on finding time to do this with her soon and make this a test case for practising my new assertiveness skills resolution (part of the whole "people disrespecting me at work" thing)

I think I have talked myself into staying at home. I am genuinely anxious about work and would prefer to go there and be kick-ass but I am just not kick-ass right now.

MaudlinNamechange Tue 30-Aug-16 06:53:03

Thank you for listening, everyone. I really appreciate it.

myownperson Tue 30-Aug-16 07:04:32

Maybe it is time to stop before that happens.

Sounds like you need to put your health first rather than things escalate. Maybe you can take today to get prescription and rest before you think about everything else? Hope you feel better soon.

MaudlinNamechange Tue 30-Aug-16 08:03:05

I've taken too much ventolin and it's made me all shaky. I feel so tearful now. I just hate this situation, living with someone who actively dislikes me, and I can be so obviously ill and just be ignored. But ex is taking dcs away today for the last week of holiday and once they have gone I will be all alone. I hate this situation and I hate myself for being so shit that I am in it. How many mistakes must I have made, how unpleasant must I be, that this is how I am left? I realise now I am a complete mess and just can't go to work, but that means I won't speak to anyone all day.

PinkIndustry Tue 30-Aug-16 08:12:42

It doesn't sound like you should go to work. I hope you feel better soon.

When I first became a single parent, and I know others who have said this too, I had this mental attitude that I could still carry on the way I had before - do you remember that Olympic runner from years back whose ham-string popped when he was racing but he still managed to keep running, miraculously, for a few strides before collapsing in pain and distress? A little like that - I can remember when my hamstring popping moment came, I was racing around one evening trying to achieve something with a voluntary organisation that I was part of, and my kids were back home on their own hungry, parked in front of the TV and I felt exhausted. I had to accept that I could not possibly do all the things that I had done before. There has to be a time of accepting that your life has changed utterly - and then recouping and prioritising before you can get back up to speed.

Look after yourself!!

PinkIndustry Tue 30-Aug-16 08:19:45

Oh you sound so sad - please don't think it is all your fault or that you are unpleasant! This horrible time of emotional distress will pass eventually and life will be lovely again but it takes time. Is there anyone you can ring and talk to? Don't blame yourself - you are making decisions now which you know will make your life better in the long run.

MaudlinNamechange Tue 30-Aug-16 08:44:47

Thank you, Pink.
I'm going to see if my mum is in later and maybe call her.
I have a work call that I have to do which is half good half bad.
boss has cancelled meeting this morning for me.

Thanks for the pep talk. Need to think about how all this is going to work really, but I feel like I need ex to go first, as I can't even think straight while he is still here.

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