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Starting to feel really desperate...

20 replies

mylittlescarypumpkin · 14/10/2008 17:17

-because exP only has DD those weekends when I work (3 in 8). So I never get a break. For example, my last lie in was in August when my mum was here. By lie in I mean past 6:30am.

-because DD is coming up to 2 and REALLY knows how to push my buttons. I love her more than anything but - well, I am sure most of you get it.

-because DD's sleep, having been much better (she doesn't sleep thru much, and rarely beyond 6, but it was manageable) has got loads worse again and she is ready to go from 4am again, which means she is grumpy and tired all day and so am I.

-I work full time in a stressful job. It's the only thing I know how to do. I was fairly miserable as a SAHM, and parttime is not an option, sadly

I know this could have gone elsewhere but, the big frustration in all of this is that, after nearly 6 months of feeling really great about being on my own, I now feel terrible, I am such a terrible mother. I have had a short fuse and shouted today. I love her so much but I think about bedtime and dreaming of the end of November when exP is having her for an extra night after I've been at work and I can just sleeeeep. I just don't know where to go or ask for support. I had mental health input but it was discontinued as I was "coping too well". I am going to explode if this goes on much longer.

OP posts:
Saturn74 · 14/10/2008 17:19

You must be exhausted - no wonder it's all getting on top of you.
Could exP have your DD more often?

cantpickyourfamily · 14/10/2008 17:44

I'm sure you are not a bad mother but when you live without a proper nights rest it makes it very hard to function properly.

Sorry I do not have any suggestions really as often struggle myself. But as I work part time and find it difficult coping with being alone with dd feel that you must be very strong to work full time and be a single parent, so give yourself some credit.

How often does exp have dd? And have you got anyone else to help out with dd?

I often feel I cannot rely on family and that makes me feel very alone.

mylittlescarypumpkin · 14/10/2008 18:33

HC - I probably ought to do that. I feel guilty though, and I miss her so much, that the negativity of all that seems to stop me getting rested. Crazy, I know.

cpyf - there's no-one else local. My mum is not well, but is a star for me when she can be here. I wonder about maybe having dd with her childminder late one evening a week after work so I can go swimming or something but then exhaustion (and more inappropriate guilt) wins out.

She had a bit of time out in her cot, whilst I had some time out. And we had a kiss and a cuddle and made up. I can't help feeling frightened just lately.

OP posts:
OptimistS · 14/10/2008 21:25

This is my first post on mumsnet, but having read your post and being a single mum myself, I couldn't just read and run. Make an appointment to see your health visitor. They'll be able to point you in the right direction to get some help, whether that's finding a way to give you a break or working with you to help your daughter sleep better. In the meantime, please don't feel guilty. Remember that sleep deprivation and exhaustion can turn even the most placid and patient people into raving psychos. See your HV, hang on in there a bit longer and things will get better.

OptimistS · 14/10/2008 21:25

This is my first post on mumsnet, but having read your post and being a single mum myself, I couldn't just read and run. Make an appointment to see your health visitor. They'll be able to point you in the right direction to get some help, whether that's finding a way to give you a break or working with you to help your daughter sleep better. In the meantime, please don't feel guilty. Remember that sleep deprivation and exhaustion can turn even the most placid and patient people into raving psychos. See your HV, hang on in there a bit longer and things will get better.

OptimistS · 14/10/2008 21:27

Obviously need to learn not to click 'post message' more than once!

Saturn74 · 14/10/2008 22:09

Great first (and second ) post, OptimistS - excellent advice.

fumf · 14/10/2008 22:25

MLSP, whereabouts in the country are you?
You mention the MH support which was withdrawn? Are you able to tell us a little bit more about in what form that took?
It does sound impossibly hard for you, especially working full time.(that doesn't allow you many chances to seek help either, does it?)
Do you have HomeStart in your area? Is an excelent organisation which offers practical and emotional help and support for parents of children under five.
If it possible to speak to your HV, that is, asOptimist says, a good place to start. She may be able to help with the sleep issues and sign-post you to some other forms of support.
Also the government has put £££thousands into SureStart Children's Centres which offer a one-stop info/advice/activities 'shop' for parents with young children. They will be listed on-line if you google Surestart and your local area. You could ring and ask. They will also have info on lone-parent groups, which might be additional place for at least some emotional support.
Sorry for the breaks my heart that there are people like you out there, struggling alone and unable to find help.
You are not a crap parent by the way, you are doing a fantastic job under extremely difficult circimstances. x

cantpickyourfamily · 14/10/2008 23:35

mylittle - just thought I live in east dulwich and there is an online forum where a local mother offerd to baby sit two evening per week in exchange for another mother doing the same for her child.

not sure if you have anything like that forum in your area but if you did you could possible advertise on there, as I know it is not always easy to pay out money for things like exercise which is essential.

But sounds like you do need some time for your self...

glitterfairy · 15/10/2008 07:46

mylittle my heart goes out to you. Cant your XP have her a little more often?

I understand to some extent as two of mine dont see their dad at all and my youngest only sees him for 7 hours once every other week. I have no problem with their decisions over this but really do suffer from lack of a break at times. It is not just sleep it is time on my own and sometimes at 10pm when they are still up and arguing (they are older) I just blow and send them all to bed. It doesnt make me a bad mum just human.

gillybean2 · 15/10/2008 11:13

Have been here myself (still am a lot).

You say you would feel guilty for leaving dd with the child minder or more time with her dad so you can get a break. Don't feel guilty. Take a break, get yourself rested and then you'll enjoy the time together more. Your dd deserves a mum who is able to enjoy the time together, so call the child minder and see if they can have hr for a couple of hours on one of your days at home.

It doesn't have to be a regular extra time, just a couple of hours here or there can make a big difference.

I never get a break either, and i've had to resort to sending my ds to holiday club a couple of extra days in the holiday so I can do things without him being around. He hates being dragged around the shops, I can't do it easily when he's there. This way it's much easier for both of us and I appreciate the time with him more when I do get home.

Also just wondering why is there no option for fewer hours in your job? Can you take some time off, even if it's unpaid just to give yourself a break? Is there any scope for job share if part time isn't feasible?

You're doing a great job. Remember tomorrow is another day but today just be the best mum you can be and leave the rest for another day.

Stay strong.

mylittlescarypumpkin · 15/10/2008 11:15

Thank you all. Pleeeease don't make me go and see my health visitor though, they are really critical of me working full time and also that DD is "only" 5th centile. (She was born on the 5th centile, her father and I are small... surely someone's got to be on the 5th centile, no?) and want me to supplement her with Calogen.

I can't imagine how you do it without a break from 3, glitterfairy.

I don't live in a SureStart area, any more, unfortunately.

OS I am touched that your first post was to me! Thank you!

Babysitting swaps sound a great idea. I will look into that. I think I may have to add a weekend so that I get a weekend to myself every so often. My ex might be reasonably supportive of that. I just need to not sabotage it with guilt.

OP posts:
fumf · 15/10/2008 11:33

ok, are all the HVs horrid? It's just that they are a good source of local knowledge for some form of support for you.

Have a look at children's centres - often they do drop-ins for HVs and again, will have loads of info which might be useful.

Might your place of work consider flexible working? If you have a young child, I think they have to have a bloody good reason to say no, these days...

mocca · 15/10/2008 11:34

Please don't feel guilty about wanting more time to yourself. It'll actually make you a better mum to your little girl because you'll have more patience with her and feel more refreshed.

I've been on my own for nearly two years now and my DD is 8. I too work full-time and am also going through the menopause so am knackered a lot of the time and although when I split with exP I didn't want him to have her that much, we now have an arrangement where she's with him about 40% of the time. I felt a little guilty about this at first and still have to reassure myself from time to time but it would appear that EVERYONE is happy, most importantly my DD. So I suggest you approach your exP about having her more often as it seems he's amenable to this.

glitterfairy · 16/10/2008 07:38

Hi mylittle. That all sounds very positive.

We all as mums (and some dads) just do what we have to because otherwise kids would be in care around the country. Yet we are people too and had/have parents who probably would not want us to sacrifice ourselves totally on behalf of our children either!

We all need a break at times and building them in is a really good idea. I do know that it is a hard thing to get your head round though when you are the main carer, work full time and get the guilt syndrome.

Janos · 16/10/2008 18:24

Hi mylittle, I'm in a similat situation to youand I do feel for you.

I very much identify with the feeling or exhusation, never having time to yourself etc.

What is your relationship like with XP/DH? Could he possible have your DD a bit more often?

They are so knackering, aren't they, even though you love them to bits.

Also, do take up all the suport you are offered and don't feel bad about it.

Janos · 16/10/2008 18:25

Sorry, that's not much practical help is it? Lots of sympathy though.

travellingcircus · 16/10/2008 22:50

Although I have three littlies (yes they can be really horrid!) I have a very amicable agreement with their father which gives me loads of free time, I only work part time, and still I find it difficult coping. You're doing an amazing job to have not gone completely mad. You get up every day because you have hope and a coprehension of what you might be trying to achieve. Yes something better is just around the corner and all the suffering and hard work will have been worth it. Simply by posting here you've proved that you're a good mum because you're trying to make things better. I'm in Aylesbury- in need of friends and more than happy to have more littlies at my house to entertain the resident lower level dwellers!!! Mental I know but strangely the more the merrier. Offer open to all and sundry XX

shelleylou · 16/10/2008 23:16

It is stressful having a nearly 2 year old to look after yourself with no help from their dad to give ou a bit of time to do nothing or something for yourself.

Although im a SAHM i have struggled keeping calm with ds at times (hes also nearly 2). I had no help from his dad for 6 months also with 6.30 wake up calls sometimes thats if im lucky.

It is hard but dont feel guilty about getting the childminder to have your dd for a little longer here and there so you can go swimming or something. It will make you happier which will have a positive effect on you and your DD.

Kewcumber · 16/10/2008 23:34

Oh much sympathy. I'mthe calmest person in the universe but DS can sent me into afury that I didn't know I was capable of when I'm tired.

I founf 18m - 28 months (roughly the hardest and most tiring.

I also work (almost full time) four days out of the nouse 7.45am to 6.30pm.

What saved my sanity was my mum offered to babysit for a couple of hours on Friday night and I do an acqua aerobics class every week. I have DS all day so he doesn'tmind going off the my mums at the end of the day and in reality its only 2 hours and he gets to go to bed a bit later that night.

It really did make all teh differnce to me. Perhaps Ex or you rmum or a friend could babysot one evening a week for something similar. I know you feel tired but I always go no matter howtired because I know I amin such abetter mod at the end. I really look forard to it now.

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