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Feeling like I can’t do anything right
Hi, I’m new here. Looking for support.
I found out 3 years ago that my husband was having an affair. We separated, he has moved on and I am raising our 2 girls. We don’t co parent very well. He is a typical narcissist and does what he wants when he wants with little regard for me and the kids.
I do 99% of the actual parenting. He cannot commit to a regular routine of having the girls, and when he does it ends in disaster. He yells and gets angry, smacks and they ring me hysterical to come and get them. My 9 year old has decided she doesn’t want anything to do with him. I am still working hard to see if they can have some sort of relationship.
I am a single mum, I work very hard so that I can provide for my kids. They both do dancing which costs a fortune. I go without everything so I can provide for them. I don’t buy myself anything or go out.
My 9 year old has behaviour issues. She’s always been a challenge. I have her in seeing a psychologist at the moment which hopefully will help. She is always getting in trouble at school and after school care. It seems like every time I pick them up the educators have to talk to me about something. I feel like a total failure. I feel like people must look at my children and think they are from a terrible home. I am strict, I follow through with my punishments and I’m trying to teach them to be kind adults. I feel like I’m up against it though, I have no support. My family live a few hours away. Whilst they do their best to come and visit, it’s really taking a toll on me. I feel like I have been isolated from all my friends as my daughter can be a bit challenging to take out sometimes. I have lost hope of ever meeting anyone, as I don’t have any child free time. I’ve also neglected to look after myself as I just don’t have the energy or the time. My daughter needs to be supervised constantly or she will hurt her sister or do something impulsive.
i feel like I am not living life to the fullest and that I’m failing in every area. I’m not giving 100% to my job as I’m worried about what trouble my daughter will get into at school. She’s had a suspension warning from school and after school care now and I’m not sure what I will do if she’s not allowed to attend these anymore.
she’s hurting as her father has moved a new family into his place, and she’s feeling abandoned. I love them both more than anything but feel like I’m doing a crappy job and I’m fading into an introverted, unhappy person.
Let me start by saying that you are NOT doing a crappy job. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job. It also sounds like your ex is the one doing the crappy job. It's good that your daughter is seeing someone that can hopefully help. What kind of support do YOU have? Have you spoken to a psych, or to your GP? It really sounds like you are pouring so much into raising your kids (and I'm definitely not saying that's a bad thing) that there is not much left to care for you yourself. Does your daughter have a diagnosis? If so, there may be the option to get some respite care, possibly funded through the NDIS?
I wouldn't give up hope of meeting someone. Having said that... my relationship just ended because of my kids. But, the problem was with her, not with my kids. Your post actually helped me a great deal, because it reassured me that by staying in my kids' lives, I was doing the right thing.
Keep fighting! My best wishes.
Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate the reply.
I don’t have a lot of support. My parents are amazing, but they can only do so much being a little way away. I can’t afford to see psych because I am spending that money for my daughter to see one. I honestly don’t know when I would have the time.
I really don’t have anything left to give. I have totally neglected myself and have put on a lot of weight. I don’t have any hobbies or any time to do anything I like.
I don’t have a formal diagnosis for my daughter. It’s been suggested in the past she might have ODD and anxiety. When she is with just me she is wonderful. Whenever anyone else is in change or caring for her that’s when the trouble happens. I know she’s dealing with a lot and is very hurt and I am trying to be very patient and understanding. She also has severe allergies so I have to put a lot of thought into meal prep and making sure she’s not missing out too much which triggers her anxiety.
I’m sorry you have recently been through a breakup. It’s clear you put your kids first and that’s an amazing quality.
I hear you. Do you know about mental health plans? It's something that a GP can do for you that gives you (I think) up to 10 sessions at a discounted rates. I understand that you don't feel like you can afford to do this. I'd suggest that you can't afford NOT to take care of yourself. They say that you can't pour from an empty cup. At the moment, it sounds like all of your energy is going to your kids, which is admirable, but, and I think that you know this, is not sustainable. Would it be possible to get time off work? I'm sure that you would be able to get a medical certificate. If your parents/family are some distance away and can't provide physical support, is it possible that they might be able to find some money so that you can get yourself well?
I feel for you, and your daughter. Maybe the reason that she is not okay with anyone other than you is because following her father leaving, she has some abandonment anxiety? I'm not a psych, but that would make a lot of sense.
Thank you for your kind words, but don't stress about my situation - I'm sad about losing my partner, but I can sleep at night knowing that I did all I could, and that she's the one losing out by not having me or my wonderful sons in her life. At least, that's what I try to tell myself when I'm feeling down... 😕
If it helps, think of it like this. By helping yourself, you are putting yourself in a position to better be able to help your daughters. It's not a luxury to get the help you need. It is absolutely a necessity.
Hi Sarah I am sorry you are struggling at the moment and what your husband did and dosnt seem to commit to the kids.I split from my wife as she had cheated on me with a close friend of mine which gives me trust issues with people.I have in place a parenting agreement in place done through mediation which basically gives us joint custody and the kids 50 percent of the time and i moved 2 hours so i could do that and have my kids and both of mine have apecial needs as well.It worries me about your husbands behaviour towards the kids when he does have them.Are you worried about their wellbeing when they are with him?It makes it very hard for you and i know you do need a break from them and some time for yourself.Dont be to hard on yourself i think your doing an amazing job as a single mother and what you have been through.Your kidd just need your love and support so try and stay strong for them.
I get so angry with the kids for constantly getting in trouble. I know I shouldn’t but I feel like I give them the world and bend over backwards to make them happy, and for what? They just keep acting out.
I definitely think she has some abandonment issues. She desperately wants to spend time with him, but then when she does he is impatient and cranky which makes her act out and behave badly which makes him in turn get angrier. It’s a viscous cycle. He’s never been able to understand her behaviour issues and then certain way of handling her.
I could move to Sydney which is where my parents are, however the cost of living there for a single parent is unachieveable.
Hi Sarah has your children been getting into trouble and acting up since your husband left?I can imagine that has really effected them.Or is this an ongoing problem?There are places that you can take your kids to have supervised visits so they could see their father if you dont think they are safe with him.Are you getting child support?I hope you are getting it.