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Thread: soon to be single mother, no family/support network

  1. #1

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    Nov 2007
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    Default soon to be single mother, no family/support network

    sorry this is stupidly long!

    So I am going to be facing life as a single mother soon. I don't even know where to start. I am from England and husband is Australian. I have no family or friends here so zero support network. I travelled here while backpacking and met my husband that way, fell in love got married few years later. Had a little girl. I was never homesick before having my little girl, but since then I have been very homesick (she turns 3 in nov). Mainly found it hard that my family don't get to see her alot, and just generally missing home. We talked in the past about moving over to england, but of course that isn't happening now. I've desparately wanted to move back for a while now but of course now I will never move back as my daughter won't get to see her dad. (oh and the homesick thing, isn't why we are breaking up, more complicated than that!)

    so I have a few questions/need advice

    I don't work, I stay at home, we agree that we don't want DD in daycare. He works 7am-5.30pm monday-friday (leaves at 6am, home at 6.30pm) and also saturday 5am-12pm, and is on $40 per hour (before tax). Hes suppose to work every 2nd saturday but has been doing every one. Would love your opinions on what is fair with the amount he sees DD? He thinks I have her in the week and he sees her weekends. What happens when she is at school though? while it seems ok while DD is at home, what happens when DD is in school, I have to find a job that fits in with DD, so I drop off to school and pick up, where he gets to work more hours and make more money, yet sees her on her day off, and after school when he wants. He can't take to school or pick up so once I get a job, it would have to be during school hours and enable me to do drop her off and pick up everyday, we have no family/friends here to help with that. He has his family here but they live 4 hours away.

    also, we haven't had this house very long. Only 6 months. Its our first house. He could afford to carry on living here . Noway I could pay the $500 per week. So I have to move out, but where do I even start? Rent is SO expensive around here $400+, I don't even know what money I would get from centrelink. He said he wants to sell the place, but then we have lost alot of money as only owned it a short time so would make no money only lose, and he needs somewhere to live so will probably stay in our house.

    I'm not looking forward to this. My daughter is all I have, I am sure there will be many christmas's and special occasions that I will have to spend alone when she is with him. He has a lot of family and friends but he doesn't give a crap that I have noone but her and is still demanding that he sees her when it suits him and as much as he wants, which is silly as I will never stop her from seeing him.

    so what do other people do regarding work arrangements? school run etc, how often dad gets to see child. Also does anyone have any idea how much centrelink and payments from him I will get? I don't see how I can even afford rent.

    I just want the best for my little girl. So sad for her, she has cats and ponies which adores, sound silly I am worried about this but they are her best friends, and it will destroy her when we have to sell them, she will be devastated, I know its worse that her parents are splitting up, but we argue and I don't want her seeing us argue, but she really loves her ponies and there is is noway I can afford to keep them. They live on our property so she sees them all day every day and has a huge attachement to them

    sorry if that didn't make sense/or if I repeated myself
    Last edited by Jen27; June 22nd, 2012 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2

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    Mar 2010
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    HI, sorry to read you are having such a full on time. Mys sister married a man overseas and lives there with her babies, the homesickness can be crippling at times so I know this must be hard to be going through this without family around.

    I would call Family relationships (Australian Government :: Family Relationship ) and make an appointment with someone who can walk you through this step by step. I used this service when I broke up with my ex a few years ago and they were fantastic and we also had mediation through them to sort out who has the children when. THis is the best way to do it, you have someone who is a neutral third party looking out for both of you but also looking out for what is best for your daughter. As the children grow how often you have them will change. So you can agree to come up with a parenting plan every year, this means you don't feel stuck to it forever, plus is changes to suit your changing needs. We have both been re-married and I have had another baby and moved towns, so our parenting plans have changed so much in the last few years.

    As far as living, perhaps find out how much you will get from centrelink and childsupport before you worry about how you will live. Look at the total amount and then you have a place to start. You could find an awesome place and share it with someone who may be interested in caring for your little one a few hours a week. I shared with another single mum for about 12 months and it worked really well.

    On top of all of this, take care of yourself and work with the feelings of breaking up, you had a baby with someone and you will be in a relationship with them for the rest of your life, this still takes work and open communication. After many years my ex and our partners have learned to like each other and get along really well. So it can happen but it takes effort and consciousness as well.

    I hope it all goes as smoothly as it can for you all.

  3. #3

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    Sep 2008
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    Please go and find professional advice and sone counseling. Start with relationships australia - they should be able to point you in the direction for legal advice too. You will be entitled to A LOT more than he will have you believe.

  4. #4

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    Don't have a lot of time but just wanted to let you know it is possible to change arrangements so what you decide now doesn't have to continue once your daughter is at school. DD1 goes to her dad's each weekend currently but that will change to fortnightly once she begins school.

  5. #5

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    I have no advice for you sorry, but I'm sure that others will be able to help you out. Just wanted to give you some for what would be a very difficult situation.

  6. #6

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    Hey Jen

    I'm sorry this must be hard I don't have any advice but I saw that you are in Perth.. if you need some friends/someone to have a coffee with/talk to etc, I'm in Perth too. Just PM me.

  7. #7

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    Jen I am so sorry that you are facing this situation with no support. I agree with pp that you should contact some support services and get their help working through the various issues. You want to be careful to assert yourself from the beginning, it sounds like your ex has always had everything pretty much go his way and you've just fitted in to his life. Seeing a personal counsellor (as well as getting practical advice) could be a really valuable way for you to get support with feelings around claiming your power and asserting yourself in healthy ways. You can't live the rest of your life around what he wants, eventually you will need to make some decisions based on your needs and your best life too.

  8. #8

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    PS I meant to add, I have done the hard yards living away from family and friends, it can be really isolating and can wear down your selfl confidence. Maybe think about how you can reconnect to those special people - get a good phone plan and make some regular calls, set up your Skype, or even plan a trip do that you can spend some time together. Also think about how you could start making friends and tapping into your own community where you are. Getting involved in a club, volunteering, joining a community group like a class or choir, or playgroups or library story time can all be ways to reach out and offer friendship to others. It won't happen straight away, but you will find some special people to call your own!

    Last edited by AnyDream; June 22nd, 2012 at 06:32 PM.

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