Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: How do you do it???

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    On the other side of this screen!!!
    Posts
    11,157

    Unhappy How do you do it???

    In short, after long discussions where we'd agreed he'd do anything to prevent it, DH has just agreed to work o/seas for several months later this year . As much as I like to think of myself as an independent, free spirited, capable woman, the truth is I really rely on him at home, and especially appreciate being able to hand the baby over in the evenings/weekend for some 'me' time. When he's away I always feel stretched too thin, like I'm a really crummy single parent. We are far from family too and sadly discovered last year that I have a collection of fair-weather friends, so no support there.



    I'd just really like to know from all of you brilliant single mums how you hold it all together...how do you balance your needs against your kids so that you're really living, not just 'surviving' all the time? And how do you keep the loneliness at bay?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Brisbane Area, QLD
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Marydean.
    I was a single mum with my ds since 7 weeks into my pregnancy. It is really hard, that i wont deny, and at times you feel soo lonely, but for me all i had to do is look at my ds and somehow it seemed to make everything so much better.

    The money side of things.. well thats really hard, but you get through it, just have to budget, and like many single mums I found my self going with out to get DS what I wanted to get him, instead of only what he needed.

    Sorry if this doesnt answer your question, but remember your a woman and with that alone you can do anything

  3. #3

    Default

    I know I'm not a single parent, but I have faced a little bit of my DH being away: in his case it was for (bad language) fishing trips, rather than work, which I can stick better. Both are only for about a week, but the principles will be the same.

    Get out and about. Go out to a coffee morning with a creche and have "me time" that way - it's only for an hour or two, your kids will have new toys and you will have adult time. (I have only just started to take this advice myself, we don't like leaving each other!)

    Make new Mummy friends at playgroups or mum and toddler groups.

    Have girlfriends round to yours in the evening, post children's bedtime - their OHs can be left with the babysitting duty.

    HTH!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC
    Posts
    3,480

    Default

    Hi Marydean

    Apologies first off that this is not from a single parent's perspective - I'm not, but my DP is a shiftworker and I have often pondered how I will/would cope being a single parent for the one week out of two that he's on afternoon shift (meaning he's working from about 2pm - 11pm and working weekends more often than not). At the moment, with one DD that's not too much trouble but if I have another baby AND if my SD comes to live with us, that would be two under two and a 15-year-old.

    If your DH is working overseas, I'm presuming that there's a financial incentive there so most of my suggestions are based on the assumption that you may have a little spare cash.

    So this is what I would do. It's the evenings that are the most trying. Trying to cook dinner for yourself and for DD at the most grizzly part of the day. A good tip given to me by a woman who had two very young kids and who worked was to get a local teenager in for a couple of hours each evening to entertain baby/kids so you can concentrate on dinner. So not a babysitter as such - just an extra pair of hands.

    You could also check out babysitting options during the day from qualified nannies - just so you can grab a few hours here and there. It might be better to have short bursts of breaks rather than have a whole day iykwim.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure how you'd feel about working? Maybe you are already? I'm going back to work in July mainly to have a break from the routine. I think if I was faced each day with the same household chores and baby-caring tasks, I would find it very tough if I was having no other adult company. I know the busier I am, the more I get done and the household stuff gets done much more quickly if I see it as an incidental part of my day inbetween other things rather than being the major focus niggling away in my mind.

    I know you said that you had fairweather friends and if you've already tested them out in terms of a support network and they've not been up to scratch, then probably best not to expect much from them in terms of babysitting etc. BUT would they still be good options for a catch-up for dinner, a movie etc.? That would help ease the loneliness. Otherwise, could you join a Book Club in your area ... or start one yourself?

    I think it's really good that you're thinking about this already.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chickens.
    Posts
    4,996

    Default

    I'm sorry Marydean that I probably won't be much help. I currently live with my parents and they are great (most of the time) and help out a lot.

    However, the last year of my marriage, I was essentially a single parent - XH wouldn't come home until after 8 at night, and the kids were already in bed.

    How I managed, was basically ORGANISATION. I had a newborn and a 2 year old. I'd make sure I planned their meals, shopped once a week (or online if you have to). Prepare meals when kids are asleep during the day (mine mostly slept at about the same time). Make sure kids are in bed by 8pm so you have YOU TIME before bed. Also, put out pjs etc before getting kids in bath (learned this one the hard way). Cook family meals, ie don't make yourself something other than what the kids are eating and eat with them.

    I worked three days per week, and put the kids in daycare. I don't know if daycare/occasional care/playgroups are available in your area, but might be good to investigate. Also see if you have a neighbour who has kids, or even a teenager you trust, who might be able to come in for a few hours (that was a super idea).

    I was lucky enough that I could send the kids to Mum's on every Wednesday night, and that was my night to relax.

    I also found BB to be a saving grace. The live chat wasn't around back then, but it would have been wonderful.

    Best wishes.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula, Vic
    Posts
    1,625

    Default

    HI Marydean

    My DH works overseas - 6 weeks over there and 2 weeks back at home....but I am getting there. DD goes to playgroup, gymbaroo, swimming and is in child care on a Friday (to keep me sane). Get involved in what you can in your area and you will develop a routine and the days will fly by. I too have no family here and yesterday had gastro, it wasn't a great day, trying to look after DD and myself but I got there. The idea about hiring a teenager for a few hours is great, you can be around in the house but doing other things while your daughter is being watched as it is pretty intense being the sole carer. I also make sure DD has a sleep in the day (whether she goes to sleep or not she has quiet time in her cot) and goes to bed at 7.30/8 pm so I have some time in the evenings to myself.

    Laurin

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    In the middle of nowhere
    Posts
    9,362

    Default

    Marydean, my DH has just returned from a four month stint in outback NT. Communications even were patchy so we didn't even get to talk to each other much. The day before he left we moved to a very distant country town. You will have my full support.
    The suggestions the other girls have made are great.
    Routine was my number 1 priorty and we settled really quickly. She knew she could only depend on me and she became pretty independent as well.
    Have a look in your local daycare centres. Even though you might not use the centre, sometimes some of the girls do 'babysitting' on the side. I wasn't sure at first, but I got together with another single mum and it was great. Darcy enjoyed the freedom and the 'adventure' too.
    Darcy ewnt for the first time to daycare with all our upheaval too, and it turned into one of the best things I've done.
    Plus when it's all over, you get to look back with a huge sense of achievement at how great you were when you needed to be.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    On the other side of this screen!!!
    Posts
    11,157

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Dh has already been away on several shorter trips this year (1 week) and is about to go off for a full fortnight. I still have no idea how to get through except to say that Family Day Care will be a big part of my coping strategy! I've been having a hard time as DD has been really clingy for a long time, seems like I can't take 3 steps away from her without her starting to whinge which escalates quickly to full blown crying. She's also frustrated since she can't crawl yet, she just lies there flapping her arms (like that's going to do any good). She's also waking 3-5 times a night, which just adds pressure to the whole situation. I don't do sleep deprivation very well.

  9. #9
    Little Bear Guest

    Default

    Hi Marydean - Just a quick reply as my boy has woken up from his nap

    One thing I have found is that you do adapt! (Der, I know we have no choice but let me explain...). I found the first few days the most difficult in being alone, after that, you get into a good routine and it all just flows. I actually now find it hard when my XH or mum come to bath my son and then the next night it's back to just me - this is when I feel the 'hassle' of it all. If I do everything everynight, then it's fine! Weird I know but I think it's just when you get a taste of how it could be easier, that's when it all becomes harder. No logic there but that's how it is for me (the simplified version anyway).

    Gotta run...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    On the other side of this screen!!!
    Posts
    11,157

    Default

    Little Bear, my DH comes and goes quite frequently so I think I know what you mean. It's like the transition from having them there to not there is harder than just not having them there at all.

  11. #11
    Little Bear Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marydean View Post
    Little Bear, my DH comes and goes quite frequently so I think I know what you mean. It's like the transition from having them there to not there is harder than just not having them there at all.
    Yep, exactly!

    Good luck with it all.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Inner West Sydney
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Hi Marydean,
    I too have my DH away a lot. He has been away for more than half of my little guys life (and is actually away now till August). It is hard, but manageable. I have always looked at myself as lucky. At least when DH is away I don't have to cook, clean or look after anyone else. It is just me and bub and we do whatever we like. It doesn't matter if we don't wash for a week or clean the house for a month. And hey who needs S** when you can have chocolate!! Your DD is at a hard age, but by the time your DH goes away she will be at a much better age where they can start playing by themselves again, which means more time for you and/or getting stuff done.
    * Play dates are fabulous. Organise to get out of the house as much as you can and meet up with people for coffee or a walk. We meet up with friends from BB in my area four days a week. It makes a huge difference to my sanity.
    * BB is fabulous. We are always here for you to talk to and you'd be surprise the amount of time you can waste on here.
    * Showers versus baths. I take my DS in the shower with me instead of bathing him. It saves so much time and energy sitting there watching them. I have toys in the shower and a bucket of water than he can put his toys in and out of and splash in. He loves it.
    * Try and get into a routine as soon as you can where you put DD to put by a certain time and stick to it. And after they are in bed, it is your time to relax.
    * Ring everyone and anyone for a chat when ever you are lonely. Don't wait for people to ring you to see how you are as they never will. Unless they have been in the same situation, they don't understand what it is like.
    * Spending money on yourself always makes you feel better too
    You'll be fine. The anticipation is the worst. I always hate the lead up to when they go away. Once they are gone it is always easier. If that makes sense.
    I wish you the best of luck darl.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •