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To have nothing left to give after working full time and homeschooling during lockdown

144 replies

Littleblackdress04 · 07/06/2020 12:43

I’m fucking exhausted and feel emotionally empty now after nearly 3 months of it all.

I have a demanding job & 2 kids - DP goes out to work as he’s a keyworker so it’s me holding everything up. I know I am lucky to still have a job etc but I do feel so totally exhausted.

My youngest DD who is 8 just wants to be with me all day every day & thus it’s hard getting to separate out my time for work. Older child is hitting puberty.

I feel like I am holding everything together but constantly feel like crying/ screaming. DP isn’t much use it turns out & hasn’t been emotionally supportive at all.

Aibu? I feel bad for saying I have had enough but I have really had enough!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

282 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Spacepocket · 07/06/2020 14:04

If you google Mental Health Phonelines, there are many national and local organisations which are offering support.

Samaritans 116 123.

rarotonga2 · 07/06/2020 14:06

@TadlowDogIncident I'm so sorry you are feeling so low. Please do reach out for some help. I lost a parent to suicide and it is much more agonising than dealing with lockdown no matter how hard it feels right now. Flowers

WonderWebbs · 07/06/2020 14:07

@TadlowDogIncident I've just read your post and wanted to send you a hug.

Please reach out to someone friend, family or the Samaritans. Anyone to help you through this difficult time.

There is a family locally who have been affected by suicide during lockdown, a teenager, and the amazing words from the family at this time is very humbling. Their message is please speak to someone and try to make sure there is a tomorrow.

Breadandroses1 · 07/06/2020 14:09

It's awful and I hugely empathise- i was waking up panicking every day until this week when DCs went back to nursery and school (year 1, and thankfully school is open 4.5 days a week). I probably don't have any more hours to work technically but the bliss of being uninterrupted for 5.5 hours. We're both public sector working FT from home and while loads of the right noises had been made about workload none actually disappeared and in fact at least doubled for me as we were on c19 response. DC1 has ASD (we think, assessment is the other thing delayed) and was completely impossible to home ed, despite no LDs.

Although we couldn't afford it really 2 strategies I considered were- getting some tutoring for DC 1- a couple of hours of maths and english each week and getting 3 afternoons a week of babysitting from a neighbour who hasn't been able to finish her A levels. Is there something like that you can can do?

Most of my friends are in the same boat. I'm thrilled people are supposedly able to meet up now but everyone is too exhausted and working at the weekend to catch up. None of us have grandparent help either. It's still stressful because I can't work enough hours with no wraparound but a bit better.

Spacepocket · 07/06/2020 14:09

OP I hear you.
I have an overwhelming physical exhaustion at the minute. Probably some trauma from work ( Covid healthcare) BUT I am trying to focus so hard on the fact that we are over the worst. I truly believe that we are. I totally dropped the ball with assuming that teenagers were keeping up to date with schoolwork when they weren’t! So full of guilt about that.
I now have some time off work and we are watching movies, eating rubbish for 2 days then I’m determined to get some structure and routine back into our lives.

Bluewavescrashing · 07/06/2020 14:13

I'm extremely lucky that DH works from home and is very hands on with the DCs. I've come down with tonsillitis today and he's taken them out for most of the day. I need to get better for work tomorrow. I couldn't cope without him. We're a good team-I do the home schooling and all cleaning, laundry and most cooking but he is endlessly patient with the children and very kind to me.

bombaychef · 07/06/2020 14:14

All of us working FT and trying to look after kids are hitting the same walls. More and more screen time. House a are a mess. We are all exhausted. You are not alone. Speak to school and ask if younger DC can get into school even part time maybe and that you aren't coping.
I'm a KW but school refuse to take mine as DH working at home. But kids mental health is in shreds

Bluewavescrashing · 07/06/2020 14:14

Should have added the other obvious advantage we have--I only work 2 days a week so I can supervise DCs most of the time. DH then steps in to give me a break.

itchyfinger · 07/06/2020 14:17

I'm with you. I'm finding the weekends are hardest, no structure, nothing to do, guilt over screen time but then cant be bothered to do anything else. Beginning of this it was all Joe Wicks & arts and crafts. I'm lethargic, theres nothing to look forward to and I'm bored of my family!

lockdownalli · 07/06/2020 14:19

What kind of key worker is DH?

Can he take a week off?

Can you take a week off?

Awrite · 07/06/2020 14:19

I have children of similar ages. I don't really homeschool. I make my expectations clear and leave them to it. They produce the bare minimum.

I then wfh in my room. Lots of breaks. Daily walk, usually on my own.

Kids seem happy. Remove as much stress as possible. In whatever ways you are in charge of your workload - reduce it. Men do. Copy them.

Pickles89 · 07/06/2020 14:20

OP you're allowed to use childcare. If you can afford it you could advertise for a 'mother's help' - just an older teenager to pitch in for a couple of hours a day, They could entertain your youngest and help take some of the pressure off household chores.

Di11y · 07/06/2020 14:31

schools should be now encouraging all key worker kids in. not just if it's unsafe to be home. can you find out?

historyrocks · 07/06/2020 14:32

I'm also struggling with all this. I'm in Scotland, which means they won't be back until August 11 and then it will only be 1.5 days per week. I expect homeschooling to be still happening until 2021. I honestly don't know how we're going to manage it. I'm sure that each DD will end up being given different days for school so there won't be any escape.

redroses86 · 07/06/2020 14:35

I feel the same. I’m done. I’m exhausted. I can’t even hear myself think any more. There’s no time to myself. No joy in the days.
Two very young children and two full time jobs here too.
If I get asked one more time ‘what’s for dinner’ I’m going to scream.
I’ve never cried so much so often, ever.
The house is a mess. There’s nowhere to escape to. Nowhere different for the 15 month old who must think that this is all there is to life. Just a daily walk around the local area. I’d love to be able to put her on the swings in the park.
I don’t know how much longer I can do this for without my mental health going absolutely down the drain.

QueSera · 07/06/2020 14:36

Same here OP. DC dad works long hours, I'm working full-time too but I have to pack my work into evenings/weekends, the rest of the time is childcare/homeschooling (school sends us work but it all has to be overseen by parents, there are no online classes) plus housework/meals etc. I have zero time for anything else, god forbid any time for something I want to do such as read or exercise. Plus my elderly parents (divorced) both understandably want virtually daily phone calls/video calls during this uncertain time, but they're in a different time-zone which really makes it all very difficult. I'm flipping exhausted.
I'm trying to look on the bright side - nice bonding time with DC (when we're not bickering, having meltdowns etc lol).

user1471462428 · 07/06/2020 14:39

@TadlowDogIncident I don’t know whether it’ll help but I went on antidepressants when I felt suicidal and four weeks later I’m starting to pick up, still struggling with some aspects of lockdown but no longer want to jump out of a window. Things can be brighter but depression is a complete bastard. Take care.

pfrench · 07/06/2020 14:47

If one of you is a key worker, get the children into school.

LannieDuck · 07/06/2020 14:48

Do you work FT?

I think you need to have an open and honest chat with your DH about this. His life doesn't sound to have changed much since lockdown - he still goes out to work, comes home to the kids, and then has a normal evening? Whereas your workload has doubled.

He needs to step out of his comfy set-up and take some of the pressure off you. That might be taking over all the evening chores, or giving you a whole day off at the weekend - whatever would help you and is possible for him. Ultimately it means taking on more of the chores than he's used to... which will feel unfair to him, but he hasn't been working while homeschooling for weeks on end...

Typohere · 07/06/2020 14:50

I think a lot of us are feeling very stressed and worn out at the moment. Life is more difficult for lots of reasons.

Sit down with partner and tell him how you feel. Yes he is a keyworker but could he help more at home? I am assuming you are WFH and so 8 year old is near t you all day long?

Can you set up a schedule for both children. Lesson time at dining table from x to x when you WFH. An afternoon walk. A film. Chores for both children to earn their pocket money/mobile costs/online time etc.

Decide which chores must be done, which ones can wait. Get organised with all pulling their weight including children. Don't try to do it all yourself.

Take time to sit down in the garden if you have one or for a walk and switch off.

Good luck

HolidayHelper · 07/06/2020 14:51

If anyone in the westcountry is looking for live-in childcare so they can have a chance to catch their breath, please give me a shout! My usual family won't be needing me for a while it looks like, and there are no holiday makers to babysit for either - I'm bored!!

I've been a nanny/maternity nurse for over a decade and am happy to have children of all ages. I have endless ideas for fun activities and can lend a hand around the house too. Please PM me if interested.

PurpleMystery · 07/06/2020 14:51

OP our circumstances are very similar but my children younger. We reached this point many weeks ago. The options were:

  1. quit my job right before a recession so not much prospect of picking up a new job in sept or Oct
  2. get childcare and accept the increased risk from covid and also reduce my hours as full childcare just wasn’t available
  3. continue to try to wfh with kids and suffer some serious mental health issues that would obviously impact the whole family and need treatment, and also the relationship between me and partner risked breaking down from the stress

    None of the options were particularly attractive. We picked #2 but it very much depends on the individual circumstances. I am angry that I was put in that situation and also angry that as a woman I was expected to be the one to quit my job and reduce my hours and deal with most of the childcare. But that’s where we were. We are in a more sustainable less stressed situation now at least.
0v9c99f9g9d939d9f9g9h8h · 07/06/2020 14:57

Yes it's very hard but I'm so jealous your youngest is 8... Not being competitive but my childcare is 8...

corpsebrid3 · 07/06/2020 14:58

I'm done too. Feel empty and broken. Utter misery everyday, we are a family not coping.

I get very dark thoughts when I ever think about the future or how we will cope in the summer.

vdbfamily · 07/06/2020 15:02

I have noticed at work that the adrenalin rush is well and truly over and everyone is just exhausted. I actually feel lucky I have been able to work through this but our teenagers at home have just been left to own devices. I have asked for 13 year old DD to have a school place as she had started self harming and gone from being a serious swot to doing no work at all as no structure in her life. Her best friend was in hospital last month following a serious overdose. The mental health toll of Covid will be immense. Can you get your children a school place at least 3 days a week to allow you to work undisturbed? I also believe the worst is over Covid wise but it will take some more weeks of stats to convince everyone so most of us are looking at September before any semblance of normality returns.

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