1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Working [single] mothers - help/advice please?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by How We Laughed, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. I need tips/advice

    Have been back at work a month [after 7 mths adoption leave] and all was
    going well til this week. LO [2 and a half] got ill which meant no sleep Thur - Mon.
    Had Mon and Tues off work to look after her.

    Get back to work and am chasing my tail to catchup. Now I'm ill - left at lunch time yesterday in tears.

    I have no voice, fever, phlegmy cough, v sore and inflamed throat.

    Went
    to Dr's on way home from work - they are shut Thurs afternon. I can't
    ring in the morning as have no voice and I'm not sitting in drop in
    centre for hours with LO and me feeling ****

    Anyway...to the point. I need tips on how you manage everything

    At mo I manage to keep place clean and tidy; washing done etc. LO and I have a routine which I think is working

    Mon - Thurs
    6.30 am I get up and get ready
    7 am Get LO up and ready
    7.20 we're out of the door
    8 - arrive at nursery [LO has breakfast there]
    8.25 - arrive at work
    8.35 - 3.30 - the usual school routine with break duties
    I am a middle manager, my subject is English
    Meetings every Monday, usually for an hour and 20
    Other evenings I either do a bit of prep or leave straight away. 3 nights of the 4 I tend to stay an hour

    4.30 - 4.55 - travel to nursery
    4.55 - 5.30 journey home [LO has a nap in car and invariably wakes grumpy]
    5.30 - 6 bath
    6 - 6.30 dinner
    6.50 - story and bed
    7
    - my evening [will only do school work if essential eg writing reports.
    Ususally I tend to do washing up, tidy round, make pack lunch.
    8-8.30 - sit down!

    Right - can I improve this? [Without geting a new job - I need an immediate fix, if there is one]
    Money is tight, no family live nearby.I am looking into getting a cleaner but not sure I can afford it
    Fri - Sun is much more relaxed
    Thanks
    xx

     
  2. I need tips/advice

    Have been back at work a month [after 7 mths adoption leave] and all was
    going well til this week. LO [2 and a half] got ill which meant no sleep Thur - Mon.
    Had Mon and Tues off work to look after her.

    Get back to work and am chasing my tail to catchup. Now I'm ill - left at lunch time yesterday in tears.

    I have no voice, fever, phlegmy cough, v sore and inflamed throat.

    Went
    to Dr's on way home from work - they are shut Thurs afternon. I can't
    ring in the morning as have no voice and I'm not sitting in drop in
    centre for hours with LO and me feeling ****

    Anyway...to the point. I need tips on how you manage everything

    At mo I manage to keep place clean and tidy; washing done etc. LO and I have a routine which I think is working

    Mon - Thurs
    6.30 am I get up and get ready
    7 am Get LO up and ready
    7.20 we're out of the door
    8 - arrive at nursery [LO has breakfast there]
    8.25 - arrive at work
    8.35 - 3.30 - the usual school routine with break duties
    I am a middle manager, my subject is English
    Meetings every Monday, usually for an hour and 20
    Other evenings I either do a bit of prep or leave straight away. 3 nights of the 4 I tend to stay an hour

    4.30 - 4.55 - travel to nursery
    4.55 - 5.30 journey home [LO has a nap in car and invariably wakes grumpy]
    5.30 - 6 bath
    6 - 6.30 dinner
    6.50 - story and bed
    7
    - my evening [will only do school work if essential eg writing reports.
    Ususally I tend to do washing up, tidy round, make pack lunch.
    8-8.30 - sit down!

    Right - can I improve this? [Without geting a new job - I need an immediate fix, if there is one]
    Money is tight, no family live nearby.I am looking into getting a cleaner but not sure I can afford it
    Fri - Sun is much more relaxed
    Thanks
    xx

     
  3. Hi,
    I don't have any great words of wisdom I'm afraid, I just did not want to read and run.

    Although I am not a single parent, I work full time with a 3 year old and my daily routine can be unbearably exhausting sometimes. My daily routine is pretty similar to yours and I do not stop on waking until about 8.00-8.30 at night.My husband works a lot of evenings (he has worked every evening this week) and often does not get back until 9pm. I often feel as if I spend a lot of time alone and cope with 90 percent of the housework on my own. Most of my life is either work or housework!
    I try very hard to talk to other mums whenever I can and take my daighter to dancing on a saturday morning and a toddler church group once a month on a sunday. Try to make sure you meet up with people and do social things on the weekend-have you heard of Gingerbread? It is a support network for single parents and they do lots of social stuff.
    The only paltry bit of advice I can give about improving the grind of your routine is to clear out the amount of stuff you have in your house to an absolute minumum. I seem to battle with trying to keep a clean and reasonably tidey house so clear out junk on a regular basis. It makes housework a bit more manageable. If money is tight, buying in help such as cleaners is not going to be an option but I am very selective on what I bother to iron etc
    Where do you live?
    Sorry if my post is useless. As I said, I know exactly how you feel although our circumstances are a bit different. Take care xxx
     
  4. Sorry, HWL, I don;t really have any advice, but I just wanted to say you are amazing for doing what you're doing! I would have gone round the twist!
     
  5. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I think you are doing a fantastic job HWL, and you seem to have a good routine going. I was a single mum with 3 young children and was a social worker, I soon left that and re-trained to be a teacher because it was the only job that could possibly fit in with the children. It was hard but I kept thinking about when I worked 8-5 before I could even leave to get the children, that and the school holidays kept me going! I brought them up to appreciate the holidays and not to mind the missed plays, assemblies etc. The holidays more than made up for it.
    Your life has changed unbelievably since your daughter came into your life, you have got ill now but will get better soon! Take care.
     
  6. Hi how we laughed.
    I was a single mum and a head of maths when my son was two.
    First of all - congratulations - you are basically coping which is awesome.[​IMG]. Your current crisis will pass - you may need a few days off to recover that's all and if you need them you need them and it seems terrible now but it won't matter a jot in a couple of weeks.
    I do remember how dark and lonely it is though.
    So you're right - small tips are what you need.
    First - are you getting all you can out of OH? My times when my son was with him were so essential to my sanity and, of course, the money was vital.
    Second - your idea of getting a cleaner is an excellent one. When ever I've been able to pay for one I've had one and the feeling of coming into a clean house is just heaven on earth. It's worth every penny. It lifts my soul. When possible I get someone I like can can have a bit of a gossip with - not so relevant if you're full time but if you get no back-up from OH it might be nice to have someone who comes on a Saturday if you're lacking company.
    Third - when your daugher has a cough, put her in your bed. Children sleep more deeply and wake less coughing if they are in with you in my experience.
    Fourth - at your stage I with the little time I had when LO was with OH, I still saw my Relate counsellor as and when I felt I needed to (on my own of course). She was like a paid friend who was there for me whenever I needed to talk things through so I didn't feel I had to put so much on my friends. Together over time we worked through and understood the problems in my first marriage and so, when I finally felt ready to move on, I was able to deliberately do things better.
    But hugs stillrollingalong. Do PM me if I might be able to help in any way.
    Weebecka xxx
     
  7. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Completely agree.
     
  8. Like I've said before, congrats on the adoption, and also you are doing an amazing job as others have said. I'm guessing there is no OH that can have her for a bit and pay maintenance? Sorry for being nosey but is there anyone else who can help by taking her for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning or something so you can get the house sorted and then relax with her for the rest of the weekend? Also- can the nursery try and put her down for a nap in the afternoon so she's not napping in the car and waking up grumpy? I know that after a day of work a grumpy LO is awful to have to deal with. i think the thing us teacher mums have to have in mind is.... how many weeks til the next holiday?! And the answer now is 3 in my case- maybe plan a day out for you and LO that you can both look forward to. Again, hats off, it's a bloody hard job you're doing.
     
  9. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    It sounds to me like you're doing a fantastic job, and it just seems worse at the moment because you're ill.
    Your routine sounds great, and I would say definitely get a cleaner if you can. As someone else suggested, maybe get the nursery to get her to have a nap so that she doesn't sleep in the car.
    I work part time luckily, and I do have a husband, but he does shift work so one week in two he's on late shift and i'm alone with my 19 months old son every evening until after 10pm, so I can understand the loneliness and how hard it is to be on your own. My husband doesn't drive so i take our son to the childminder the days I work, and my husband gets a lie in when he's on lates, which I never do!
    My 2nd baby is due in April and i'm a bit nervous about how i'm going to cope when i'm on my own in the evening with a newborn and a toddler! I think when I go back to work after this maternity leave I will definitely be hiring a cleaner!
    Do you have any family close by, or friends who can take your little girl and give you a bit of time to yourself?
     
  10. Thanks, everyone
    I'm relieved you think my routine is ok.
    I don't have an OH as LO is recently adopted so no child maintenance or equivalent or odd w/es off
    My 40th birthday today - spent in bed ill while bro and sis entertaied LO! When they left a little while ago I seriously blubbed! I wish we all lived closer!
    I think my being ill means I am looking at everything on the bleak side so am hoping that once my health picks up, so will my mood.
    I honestly thought I was doing really well til this week!
    I think I need to take Foster Carers kind offer of help up - they said to call on them if ever needed them. We have a good relationship and LO regards them as her grandparents.
    I'll look into a cleaner - depends on cost as money is tight at mo [like everyone else!]
    Long term I think I need to plan to be closer to my sis. Anyone know any financial advisers? My house is in massive negative equity! Can I rent it out, move somewhere else and rent a place for myself and LO?
    In the short term I need at least a couple more days off - not been this poorly for a long while. I need to stop trying to 'be on top of everything' constantly and learn to let some things slide
    Thanks for your kind and supportive comments. LO is so worth feeling like this...I just want to make sure we're both as happy as we can be
    xxx


     
  11. Re nursery getting LO to nap - she just refuses! She lies down with the others but never drops off - too frightened of missing something!
     
  12. First thing I would say is relax and give yourself a break. Going back to work after I adopted my first was very hard (I too am single). Don't feel you need to be perfect: it is ok to let routine go a little, not 'do everything' at the weekends etc. It gets easier as they get older (mine are nearly 4 and 1 now) and can do a bit more for themselves, eat same as you etc. Little things do make a difference to the morning rush, like having the clothes ready for the next day etc. I religiously bathed number 1 every night - number 2 I don't since I realised it was really not that necessary which makes the evenings easier too. I would suggest trying dinner and then bath rather than bath then dinner - my way of thinking is that cooking and getting them fed is a bit of a chore, whilst bath time is fun for us both so I am starting to relax already. Also try giving him a snack for the car to stave off the nap and the grumps on the journey. I always found with mine that if they fall asleep about 5-ish then it does put everything off kilter a bit.
    And remember the old adage: you don't have to be perfect, just good enough.
     
  13. I absolutely agree with Scunnered.
    You're doing well that you've even got a routine!
    Your LO won't know or care if she's been bathed, and really won't mind if the house is a mess. It's ok to let some things slide, if it means you'll have more time for other things (like sitting down, maybe).
    I'm sure you're doing a fabulous job, and remember it gets easier as they get older. Sometimes when my 2 year old twins are driving me bonkers I remember that it doesn't take long till they reach an age when you can reason with them, and they're less needy.
    You'll get more sleep soon.
    Hope you're feeling better soon.


     
  14. Thanks, everyone xx
    I'm still off work. Turns out I've got tonsillitis and a chest infection. Got to take at least week off.
    No wonder I've been feeling like I haven't been coping! Am hoping once I'm well again I'll be a little kinder to myself.
    xxx
     
  15. Feel better soon. One last thing - becoming a parent thru adoption can be very tough and it has unique dimensions to it. You wait (often a long, long, stressful time) and you have all the judgements etc. to deal with. You go from no child to instant child very suddenly and often without the emotional and practical support given to expectant mums. Going to full on toddler-parenting without the months/years to build the relationship with a child is very hard. There can be a culture of 'you wanted to adopt, so don't complain when it is tough' from some people. You are also bringing home a child with a history and that can leave challenges for a long time which many people do not understand, so parenting an adopted child has many additional stresses and strains.
    Your child may be 2 1/2 but you are still a very new mum - people will forget that because of the age of your child. All of us find it harder in the beginning - take it easy and be kind to yourself. You are undoubtedly doing far better than you think you are :)
     
  16. Just wanted to say hope you are feeling better, HWL, health wise and also in feeling that you're doing a good job with LO. Take care.
     
  17. Blimey - I'm just in awe. Sounds like you're making sensible plans. You know you need some relief to really enjoy being a mum and you will get there. In the meantime - we're all here to give a boost whenever you want one. Lots of love.
     
  18. Well I've been off work sick for 2 weeks! Tonsilitis and chest infection. Due back on Tues [tho I still have no voice so not sure how that's going to pan out. Hoping it returns tomorrow]
    I have had time to reflect and am going to try to stop stressing about work and just do the best I can. At home things will just have to be messy. LO is going to have a snack on the way home from nursery in a bid to keep her awake! And we'll see how it goes.
    Hopefully I was so down in my first post cos I was ill and that I find things are much better than I thought [!] Also hoping the brighter/longer days will help too.
    Now, just to get over the guilt I feel for being off a fortnight...

     

Share This Page