FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Feeling lost and overwhelmed...what happened?

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Wow, this was meant to be 'my' year. A new year, a fresh start, a year to focus on what i want to do and where i am headed but i have hit a brick wall and can't break through. Single mum 3 kids. My little one has more kinder sessions so i have 3 days with about 4 hours free. With kids at school/kinder, this was my plan and how i wanted to spend my time i was excited/positive up until last weeks:

Do a few odd jobs around the house, fix a few things, big clean up;

Join a gym, do yoga for relaxation, walk every day - take care of me

Do an online course or some short courses so i can think of going back to work next year when she starts school. I could do something i really enjoy, a new career.

Maybe do some casual work or start a little business from a hobby

How i feel now:

Don't know where to start,anxious, guilty for not doing anything with my free time yet

How will i juggle 2 teenagers and a preppie and work all on my own next year?

If i work next year who will look after the little one on school holidays? I don't want to use school holiday programs when she is in grade prep. The thought makes me sick.

Maybe i should sell the house, just get rid of the mortgage and rent and be free ( i have this thought every month around pmt time) but where would i go and would i be renting forever? I feel overwhelmed with mortgage and bills, just like everyone i guess. Am i running away from responsibility, am i lazy?

I feel i have to be doing something all the time, feel guilty if i take time out (i was fine first week of kinder, this started second week I feel guilty not working, Scared I'll get in trouble for not doing anything yet and for having free time. The course i wanted is too expensive but i can look at other options.

I feel like a lazy mum, bad example to set for my children.

I'm anxious and depressed. i look at others with their families and how they are happy and going out and going away because they can afford to.

Am i crazy for being like this? Am i a lazy person? I had it all planned out, what happened, why have i now fallen like this? I saw a positive future, upgrade my skills, get out there and be something now i cant see it anymore.

I've lost my direction. People have said to give myself time to adjust to having some free time and to take a break and then rethink what i want to do but i'm panicking, like i'm wasting my time and i cant get going. I don't deserve anything i have.

Thanks for reading

cmf x

3,978 Replies 3,978

MarkJT
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

CMF, you are a single mother with three kids - please give yourself a break. You have so much on with so little time, i seriously don't know how you do it. A single mother with one child is hard enough let alone three.

Perhaps take some of that four hrs you have and spend it on you. Sit back with a cuppa and watch a TV show, charge the batteries a bit. I can assure you that the vast majority of us would think that you deserve a bit of "me" time. Don't feel bad about doing that.

Ok so yoga, you don't have to go anywhere to do that, you can do it at home. That will save time as you don't have to go anywhere and you can do it in your own confines and your own pace. There is heaps of yoga tutorials on youtube.

You are right that most people think about their mortgages but at the same time, you are not much different to a lot of us, as in not much disposable income.

I think overall after reading your post a couple of times, I think you just need to pause and see what is most important to you and concentrate on that. Now this may take some time to work out but make a list of what you have to do, what you have done and what you want to achieve. List from most to least important and start chipping away at them. Not going full flight into them, chip away and once you complete something, enjoy it. Enjoy the accomplishment.

Have you ever practiced mindfulness? I am a big advocate of it and use it heaps to ground myself. If you have, keep it going and learn it. It does work.

Keep posting and lets see if we can get you through this period.

Mark.

BballJ
Community Member

Hi Can't move forward,

As Mark said, you are a single mother of 3, you deserve a break and "me" time, it is only February so you have so much time left in the year to start working on the things you want to achieve.

I also second Mark's advice in get a list going and start slowly chipping away at it, rather than trying to do everything at once... It's similar to losing weight, instead of saying I want to lose 30 kgs, start with I want to lose 5 kgs, that way the daunting task of trying to lose 30 kgs and not seeing immediate results doesn't come into play and you can work on getting to 5 kgs and being proud of yourself. Heck even if you fix one of those things around the house and thats all you do for the week, then tick it off proudly and slowly move onto the next thing.

You have so much going on and we do not think you are lazy or a bad mum, you are a great mum because you are trying your hardest for your kids and that is all anyone can ever ask of you. You don't have to please anyone so you go at your own speed.

Regarding looking at other families and seeing what they are doing, well mental health has taught me one thing it is not to look at other people because they have things happening behind closed doors that we know nothing about and it isn't always sunshine and rainbows. I am sure your kids appreciate everything you are trying to do for them and that is way more special than a holiday away.

Please, keep your head up and try and stay as positive as you can.

My best for you,

Jay

phil1967
Community Member
cmf I know exactly where your coming from ,I have two kids and a grandson living with me and am also single ,all my time besides housework is my own and I do nothing even know I have heaps I want to do ,I beat myself up every day cause I don't do nothing but spend all day procrastinating over the things I want to do then have great anxiety because I feel as if iam never going to do anything ,but recently I have realised what's my hurry ? is there a time limit ? haven't I worked all my life and done the right thing by my family ? do I deserve to just goof off and relax and have some me time ? hell yeah I do lol and iam going to ,needing time to find yourself again is not a sin ,you have just got to used to looking after every 1 that doing nothing feels wrong ,I know that all so well but your the engine for the family machine and like all engines they need to be serviced every now and again to work the best they can ,so have your service time and watch how much better the machine you are works then 🙂

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thank you all for your responses. I feel so guilty. I do know that i get anxiety due to hormones so am hoping that once again this will pass. Today i felt anxious in the morning and have been edgy all day. heart palpitations, feeling nervy. I do have a list of things to do but i did things not on my list which probably didn't help as i didn't feel a sense of achievement although i did make a few phone calls. When i made my lost i felt anxious as there seemed to be so much on it, even though some jobs are small. I will feel better when i start to cross them off. I did spend my free time starting to clear out the shed and did 2 trips to the op shop but it is still a mess. I just want to get rid of everything that makes my life feel cluttered. i don't jog but it was a day where i really felt i needed to exert energy and let off steam. I still feel like this. i have nervous energy to get rid of. I just can't settle myself.

My head is very fuzzy atm and as i said i know i get this way with hormones.

I am hoping this will pass i can't stand feeling sick and edgy all day.

MarkJT
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

CMF, yes there may still be clutter but there are two car loads from the trips to the op shop that are no longer cluttering so there is a win. Well done.

Ok so you don't job, how about going for a walk? Do you swim? I find swimming very calming as you can just go at your own pace and there is no impact. Great for the body and brain. At the end of a swimming session, I always play around like a kid, so much fun.

You have achieved a few things CMF, recognise that you have and give yourself a pat on the back. See if you can stick to what is on your list the next time you get to it. If you don't, do not bash yourself over it, just acknowledge it and move on.

Why are you feeling guilty?

Mark.

topsy_
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi CMF

I was a single mum with 3 kids too. As I read your list I thought whoa! theres too much there! Those few hours when the kids are at school go by so FAST! I used to think I'd have this huge lump of time & I'd get so much done. But it just never worked out like that.

If I did one out of the ordinary thing eg some special cooking, it would really eat into that time & leave little time to do other things.

Also give yourself some more time. It took me quite a while to get used to having those hours to myself. I'm sure you adjust too.

Wishing you well, Lyn.

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi,

Thank you again everyone who has responded. I truly appreciate it.

MarkJT, no i don't swim, not a water person at all but walking - YES. My plan was to walk everyday but i havn't really done it yet i think because i feel unsettled. I had a look at the shed today and identified some things for the hard waste collection next month. This will free up some space and help me to really organise things in there so i'm looking forward to that. Why do i feel guilty? I think i feel i'm not contributing to anything. I'm not giving anything anywhere, mind you i don't stop for most of the day either. 4 hours free for 3 days by the time you travel up and back i could only work for 3 hours, hardly worth it at this stage as it would just be more running around. My older kids used to ask when i would go back to work so we could have more money and i explained that it would mean childcare for the little one and is not worth it at the moment. the plan is to wait till she goes to school.

Yellownanna, yes the time does fly. I don't know why i feel i have to be doing so much. I don't go away on holidays every year like some do and i don't go out to movies or the theatre or anything so i guess i should enjoy some time to myself, the way i want to spend it.

I go to my local coffee shop every morning and catch up with other regular locals. Everyone comments that i don't have my little one with me and I've expressed with them that I am struggling to adjust and i feel anxious that i'm not doing anything . My little one has been everywhere with me for the last 4 years, this free time i now have is the biggest break i've had in a long time. They each say the same thing, it takes time to adjust, spend some time thinking about what i want to do in the future, take a break and have some time for me. The kinder mums say this too. One pointed out that i wouldn't get casual hours that i can accomodate at the moment and part time is no an option right now.

On a positive note, today i got a few things done from my list. i had to touch up some paint outside which looks so much better and i managed to fix my outdoor blind which was a big achievement as i saw it as one of the more difficult jobs. It took over an hour but i got it done, i'm so happy with that. I also got a call back from a tafe institute that i rang to enquire about on line study. They answered some questions I had which has put me on the right path to looking at on line courses if i chose to do this.

MarkJT
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

CMF, you love walking - ace!! So set some walking challenges. Might even start off just walking to the corner and back and then expand on that. Whilst you are out walking, really take in your surroundings. Walking is really good mindfulness practice - so much to look at and so much to smell. Think of all the things that you can see and smell.

I am here to tell you that you are contributing a heap. You have three kids who are being brought up by you. Think of all the wonderful things they are going to do in their lifetime. All the wonderful sights they will see. All the wonderful events that they will go to. They will be able to do this because of you. That is one present that no one can ever ever take away from you.

Great stuff on the shed - that is awesome. Keep chipping away at it. Before you know it, it will all be sorted out and you can start on your next project.

Just wondering with this one but I think what would be awesome is for you to change your name in here. I am a very positive person as i have learnt to always flip a negative into a positive and I think that your name may well subconsciously hold you back. Every time you come in here you see your name. I think a small change to "Moving Forward" would be awesome. So when you log on anytime you are reminding yourself that you are, in fact, moving forward. I believe that this is what you are doing by cleaning out the garage and starting your walks.

Give it some thought?

Remember that you are a single mother of three kids, you are contributing a heap!

Mark.

BballJ
Community Member

Hi Can't move forward,

Just to echo Mark's great comments, you are contributing so much being a single mother, one of the hardest jobs in the world is being a parent, but being a single parents is twice as hard and it shows your true character and no one can ever take that away from you. You also don't need to de-clutter your house all in one day, things take time and I almost seems like you are doing them at a good pace that suits you. Just keep chipping away and they will all eventually get done, you are not in a race so no need to think that you have to race to get things finished.

Good news about the online course as well, it is never too late to learn new skill or topic so hopefully it is something you decide to pursue as well.

My best,

Jay