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No village here. Raising kids alone

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really just want to hear that I'm not alone in my struggles. I don't know anyone else in my situation.
I'm a SAHM with three kids and a fourth on the way. I Homeschool the oldest two. HOWEVER my husband is a chef. He leaves for work around 9am sometimes earlier. And doesn't get home until 10 or 11 at night. SIX days a week. His family is close by but we do not speak to them. They have never liked me or taken the time to be grandparents to our kids or help us in anyway. My family is 1,500 miles away. I don't have any close friends you can read my other post about that. Accepting I don't have friends in the personal growth section. So it's just me, day after day. Doing it ALL. And by ALL I mean everything. My husband earns the money, and I do everything else. No help, no friends, no family. Please someone tell me you are doing it ALL too, and I'm not alone.
post #2 of 22
There's got to be homeschool groups or ways to meet other parents. Library? Homeschool classes offered through some venue? Art classes? Big family friendly parks where you can meet other SAHMs and kids can make friends and have playdates.

Also, carve out a little time for yourself on the weekend to give yourself a mental health break now and then. It will be good for dad to have special time with the kids, too.


No one should parent alone without a net. It's bad for you and bad for the kids, too. They need a role model with healthy friendships in their lives and yours.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
You can read my other post in personal growth. I've tried to make friends with no luck for the past 9 years. We do activities with our homeschool group, and I do talk to other mothers. But I don't have any close friends I could call upon in need. We don't have weekends, my husband works EVERY weekend. We have Monday and we typically run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to do all the things that you need to get done when you only have one day off a week. He also works EVERY holiday. Yes Christmas, Thanksgiving, all of them. I try to make time for myself but it usually takes a back seat to what NEEDS to be done. I also don't want to spend our one day a week that we get to be together off doing something by myself. There really is no solution for more time for us. It is EXTREMLY stressful that is why I want to know I'm not the only mom going through this.
post #4 of 22
I can sort of relate but I am in the process of making new friends. I think it's something you have to do. I haven't read your other post but I would be wary to "accept never making friends" once you accept something like that it would be hard to let anyone in.

You have to find time for yourself. Hire a babysitter once a week for a couple hours on the weekend. Every second week have "you" time and on the opposite weeks try and take care of the errands you end up running around doing on Monday's.

Stop running errands on at leat two Monday's a month. Those are family days and those are sacrad! I would find a way to do those things during the day with the kids. Work it into your homeschool lessons.

I do get where you are coming from though. DH works long hours and anywhere from 5-7 days a week. Sometimes he works 22+ days in a row. Sometimes he goes to camp. We've moved far away from family, I had one friend move here but I can't hang with her all the time or we would drive each other crazy! And we live where it's common to have snow 10+ months out of the year. Which can limit activities or motivation!

I think instead of accepting that you will not make friends I think you should instead accept that you haven't been letting yourself make friends. Put yourself out there. When I moved here I joined all of the FB groups, I asked for business referrals and I started liking local moms with at home crafting business'.

I asked for babysitter referrals and force myself to leave the house. I'm not good at talking to strangers but I am decent at making friends with everyone.

Figure out what's holding you back and work on it rather than accepting that it won't change. Definitely take time for you. A babysitter may cost money however it is worth it for your sanity.
post #5 of 22
If having your family close by would be helpful, can your husband try to get a job near them?

I agree with being open to meeting like minded people. You never know what can happen if you believe it's possible. If you deny the possibility, you may walk by the next best friend and never know it.

If you are daring, try feng shui or positive affirmations. "I recognize like minded people when I meet them" is a good positive affirmation.


Just remember that "even miracles take a little time".
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I love to visit my family, key word visit. My family is very dysfunctional. I would love to be near my brother and sister and their children and families, but I believe my mother is mentally ill. I could not live within two hundred miles of her. I never liked where I grew up. It's cold 9 months out of the year. But most of all it is a painful place for me filled with horrible memories and close to family members who abused me. So there's no going back ever.
post #7 of 22
First, I don't think you are alone in this, I have read lots of similar posts so I know you're not! But that doesn't make it any easier to get through it. I have no family contact and DH works 12-hour days and we are financially backwards/negative/falling behind so there's no spare money for babysitters or fun stuff... but I do have an amazing group of friends. I don't know what I would do without them. I don't know that friends can replace a "family" relationship but in some ways friends can be even better (way better, if you have a dysfunctional family!)

Honestly... "accepting I don't have friends" just sounds so self-defeating to me. You are digging yourself into a hole that will take forever to climb out of. It sounds like there are people who WANT to be your friend, but you don't want to be theirs. And there are people who you do want to be friends with, but they are busy. These are the people you need to reach out to. It takes a ton of time & effort & allowing yourself to be vulnerable to make close friends. It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without setting aside some of your ideals and judgements and making some compromises. The perfect friend isn't just going to show up on your doorstep. You need to seek out the friendships and make the effort to cultivate them... which may mean sending these people texts/emails/cards to stay in contact with them. It means calling them up on those days where you really just want to be lazy at home and trying to get together with them. It means stepping outside yourself and your own struggles to support them with whatever they are dealing with (everyone is dealing with something)... It means letting down your guard and letting people in to the parts of yourself that you try so hard to hide.

You can parent in a vacuum. You can do it all by yourself. You can continue to be stressed out & overwhelmed. That is a valid choice. You can also look for a babysitter or a house cleaner or mother's helper or drop-off classes for your kids so you get a break/help. Another valid choice and not as impossible as it sounds. Or you can try to let someone in, try to be friends, refuse to accept that you will always be friendless. This is the choice I made and as hard as it has been for me because of my past, I would do it again in a heartbeat. My friends & I babysit each others' kids for free. We consult on homeschooling stuff and do activities with the kids. We have a monthly mama's night and some of the spouses offer to watch kids for the mamas whose DH's work late/long hours. We formed a group of some of us and do some really cool things. We cook for each other when someone is really sick or struggling. We drop off DVD's and books and popsicles when a mama is stuck home going crazy with her sick kids. We are there for each other... maybe not every minute of every day, but we are all there. I am not saying all this to make you feel envious or sad that this isn't what you have, but to show you what you COULD have if you let yourself be vulnerable and really put yourself out there. I am shy and anxious. I am opinionated and controlling. I am very fearful of many things. I am just not a person who easily makes friends, but for the first time in my life I am learning what real friendships are, and how to be a real friend. It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.
post #8 of 22
Sorry to hear about your family situation!

It seems that looking for a connection with someone is what you need, then. It is possible to help each other, even with differences. Just keep in mind that it's unlikely you will find one person to meet all of your needs. One friend maybe the do fun things at the park friend, but never go to each other's houses. Someone else may be the one that you rely upon for getting things when you can't get out due to illness, and you do the same for her, but disagree on parenting to the point where you don't get together with the kids along. That kind of thing.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

I hear what you are all saying. I have hear it before.  I don't mean to shot down everyones ideas. I feel like Debbie the downer all the time. I wrote the Accepting I have no friends thing after a weekly homeschool thing. The mom I always talk to was not there. No other moms I usually talk to were there.  There I was sitting alone while all the other moms are chatting.  This always happens to me .  I have a three year old, and I'm very protective of my other children as well. So while all the moms chat at the park I'm making sure my 3 yo doesn't fall down the 15 foot high metal slide. Lots of other moms in my circle don't have children as young as mine and are much more lax in their parenting.  They have no problem letting their kids out of sight, leaving them with whom ever, and dropping them anywhere. Because I was abused as a child I have extreme trust issues. I am not comfortable leaving my kids with anyone.  I also have yet to meet anyone whom I feel would actually look after my children the way I would expect them to. If they don't supervise their own kids the way they should I'm surly not leaving my kids in their care. 

 

I know I have a wall up and that is part of the issue.  I don't trust others and am afraid of getting close to someone. I had two moms I liked that moved away, and the whole issue with my bff left deep scars on me. But I will say I have tried. I've tried with all my heart.  I've put myself out there.  I've gone to activity after activity, parties I didn't know anyone at. I've tried for years. My hope is faded. 

 

A lawn servie and a housekeeper would be awesome if only we could afford it.  I don't know what to do about the other mom that pushes me to be friends. She is nice, she's not perfect no one is. The issue is with her kids, and her house.  My kids leave the play date whining and talking disrespectful to me. The first time I went to her house I went to check on my 4 year old and she was standing on top of a 5 foot dresser ready to jump on the bed. Actually the first time I met them my husband was there and came up to me saying "don't let that little girl near ours she just hit her in the face with a stick. She is bad" They slam doors, they scream, they are mean to each other, they have no rules and openly disrespect their parents. Also they have a large dog that barks and snaps at the kids if they rough house. My son is scared of dogs and clings onto me the entire time we are there, yet she never offers to put the dog away. 

 

I still want to talk to someone in my shoes. I don't think you can truly understand how I feel unless you've walked in my shoes. All these other moms always make suggestions, but they have husbands that come home at 5pm, they have family support, and large groups of supportive friends. You can't begin to understand my daily life. I also feel like I don't have time for friends. I'm drowning daily just trying to get by. It's depressing knowing and seeing all these other moms accomplish soooooo much. I know why they can do it.  They have help. They have husbands, family, and friends. They drop their kids here and there without a care. I want to know I'm not alone. 

post #10 of 22
You are not alone. The reason I shared my recent success with friendships is because just 2 years ago I was in a very similar place. No, I won't know exactly 'til I've walked in your shoes, but you express a lot of issues that I have also experienced.

I don't leave my kids with just anyone, for reasons very similar to yours. Even in my group of friends, I watch all my friends' kids, but there are only 2 friends that I feel comfortable leaving my own kid with, and that has only been within the last 6 months. I have to know someone really well & trust them completely before I'm willing to trust them with my child. I know this is outside the norm and maybe over-the-top paranoid but it's just how I feel and I am comfortable with my choices in that regard.

That being said, you do seem very anxious, and perhaps depressed. If you don't feel like you have the time/energy/ability to boost yourself back up, would you consider trying medication or supplements or herbal remedies to help with that? If you can cut down on the anxiety things might feel a bit more manageable. It's hard to separate out what is 'normal' parenting anxiety & protectiveness, and what is due to the abuse, and what is just a little overboard. I am saying this not in a judging way but in an "I've been there" way... but from the outside perspective, from what you've written here, it sounds like you really need to find ways to relax, learn how to fit in self-care, etc. If you don't make it a priority it's not going to just magically happen.

No one is going to come in & just make your whole life feel easier. You have to do the work to make it happen. You have to make sacrifices to make it happen. Only *you* can decide what you're willing/able to sacrifice. Maybe it's family time, and Mondays become all about you getting a break. Maybe there's somewhere in your budget you can cut back, go without internet for a few months so you can use that money to get a bit of extra help for an hour a week. Maybe you talk with DH about him finding a new job with better hours or more pay. Maybe you give up on finding great friends and settle for "good enough" friends, even if their kids drive you nuts... find something salvageable in the friendship & go with it. Maybe you're not willing to do anything differently and just need to be able to vent here. That's fine too.

I do feel for you... it's hard. It's hard parenting even with a great support system, but without that... it's 100x harder. I have no contact with my family and very minimal, nearly non-existent contact with DH's family. We have no money and no hope of digging ourselves out of a financial mess. DH had a long-term unemployment and had to ultimately take a job for half his former salary. There are no jobs here. I lost my WAH job and then ended up on disability, which I've since exhausted. I've had a chronic illness for many years and taking care of the house is practically impossible for me. I just found out I have cancer and I am worried about burning out those 2 friends I trust with DS, because I will need them soooo much in the coming months, and I don't want to need so much help, but I do. I am learning that I will have to make more sacrifices than I ever thought possible. DH works 12 hour days. DH, DS, and I are all in therapy, me for PTSD, DH for depression & ADHD, and DS for emotional/social delays and anxiety. This is therapy we really can't afford but it is part of the way we've built our support system since we don't have the default support of family etc. We've had to work hard and make a lot of sacrifices just to make therapy possible. Most of the friends I do have are going through major issues themselves and don't often have time to get together and it's hard for me to make the time too between dozens of appointments each week and taking care of DS and trying my best with the house, plus homeschooling and home sessions for DS's therapy and a million other things. I don't mean to rant on your vent but I am trying to say that while I may not be exactly in your shoes, I can try to understand. Do you want more ideas for how to get help? Ideas for making/keeping friends? Something else? Or do you just want to be able to vent? Any of that is OK here I think but I sense frustration in your post that somehow whatever you're hearing in this thread isn't quite what you want to hear.

hug.gif I'm really sorry you are having a tough time. Nothing is permanent... remember that.
post #11 of 22
I grew up with emotional abuse and married an emotional abuser. I felt I had to protect my son from his own father, so I know how alone it can be.

Take it one day at a time. Grieve your losses.

I used to do a visualization with my son. We lived on a sloping street, and there was a creek at the bottom with ducks. When he would be so very disappointed, and cry, I would tell him to visualize his sadness carried by his tears down to the stream, where the ducks push it along to the river, where it flows out into the ocean, where the dolphins and whales push it along to Antarctica, where the penguins turn it into bubbles of joy that come floating back to him.


The family you described is not a good fit. It is sad to lose a friend. The homeschooling moms may be back, though. If they return, try to exchange contact info so you can get together outside the group (the group may not be working for them).

Get fresh air, sunshine, and exercise as frequently as possible. Try not to look at what others have. They may be struggling with their own demons.

As your children get older and can defend themselves and each other, not to mention have better judgment, you will be able to relax a bit when they play with others. In the meantime, you need to keep your sanity.


Know you are not the only person to face these kinds of challenges, but you are unlikely to meet someone who does. Take it one day at a time. Take care of yourself as well as your children. It gets better, in time.
post #12 of 22

I don't have much time to write much, but wanted to let you know you are not alone. I am raising kids without any support system other than DH. He also works alot too. You and I sound quite similar. Our family is very far away. DH has more friends than I do, but we never see them. I have a few neighbors that I chat with randomly when their kids are outside playing with my kids. That's where the it ends though. I have accepted this way of life and try not to think too much about it. It is hard though. It's hard to read or hear about moms out there who have a ton of family and friends at their disposal to help when needed. I never had that and still don't. My family sends care packages and money to help with the kids every once and a while, which is nice. Aside from that, I manage it all myself.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLmomof1/1ontheway View Post

I really just want to hear that I'm not alone in my struggles. I don't know anyone else in my situation.
I'm a SAHM with three kids and a fourth on the way. I Homeschool the oldest two. HOWEVER my husband is a chef. He leaves for work around 9am sometimes earlier. And doesn't get home until 10 or 11 at night. SIX days a week. His family is close by but we do not speak to them. They have never liked me or taken the time to be grandparents to our kids or help us in anyway. My family is 1,500 miles away. I don't have any close friends you can read my other post about that. Accepting I don't have friends in the personal growth section. So it's just me, day after day. Doing it ALL. And by ALL I mean everything. My husband earns the money, and I do everything else. No help, no friends, no family. Please someone tell me you are doing it ALL too, and I'm not alone.

Hi FLmom.

 

I am not as isolated as you are, but it often feels that way. We live 1hr from all family/friends, and I am suffocating with this feeling of being isolated. A lunch or dinner with a family member or friend can help so much, and it's really hard when you can't get that. Today I broke down in tears when DP got home, and told him - I can't do this another winter. We need to move back closer to family before next winter, or I'm going to go crazy!

 

I only have one, but I've often felt sometimes it's harder- less distraction, more intense, and more of me feeling like I just can't "do" enough to make the day great. I had planned to homeschool, but am reconsidering.

 

You're not alone.

post #14 of 22
Hello sister.

I am also parenting without a net...not even audience.

My in laws don't want anything to do with us. My husband still hasn't caught on...so he packs the kids in the car for our nephew's birthday party and they aren't home...they started having birthday parties elsewhere when we showed up at the house two years in a row. Hmmm...

My family is estranged...at best.

My friend situation is...difficult. I am not welcome at the library...when I show up they leave with their kids. Pretty lame.

My husband works and when he comes home he spends time with the kids then disappears into the basement until I go to bed. I mostly email and IM him but that's it...I also see him about 2 or 3 nights a week for scheduled time together...if I'm lucky...he agrees to do chores but only for about a week then not so much. I wait a month then ask again. I just got him to take the kids on Saturdays for 3 hours. And I get that time "off"

I homeschool and joined a local homeschool group. It is a VERY disfunctional group but I have made friends with one woman and am hoping it will work out.

I understand the isolation. I use to keep a log of the people I spoke to, saw in person, and such...it was depressing. I speak to about 2 adults by phone and 5 in person (including the lady at the PO, supermarket, and husband).

I talk to my friend who is about 3 hours away and we are each others support. I find this very helpful. I also email a couple people on a regular basis and that is helpful too...but it is a lot of work. I have joined several online groups...on yahoo and here and this is helpful but it is sometimes like yelling into a cave.

Sometimes I cry...sometimes I am happy. I have my kids...but they are too young to be able to help me. Thankfully, each year it gets easier as they pull more weight.

I keep hoping ill make a friend too. Hope springs eternal but I can't say I put in as much effort.

Finding a good mom friend is...like dating. I was very promiscuous at first but I got my feelings hurt quite a bit. I use to do my hair, try to wear the right outfit, and be happy...(also bringing 2 dozen muffins that are vegan, gluten free, whole grain, fruit sweetened, and half a serving of veg that are very tasty) but now I'm just too busy.

You aren't alone...just solo..^_^.

Keep putting yourself out there...but don't be a tramp ^_^ try joining...something...anything
post #15 of 22
I like your name, mamaprovides.

So, here we are, scattered all over, feeling alone, but now maybe with a sense of togetherness. It gets easier as the children get older. Hang in there, for now.
post #16 of 22

I am right there with you! Except I only have one kid. It is  rough!
 

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you sister. Your post made me smile after a long tough week. :-)
post #18 of 22
I, too, can relate. Long story short, we are 17 hours away from my family, hubby's family is toxic, he works longgg hours, and I don't really have any close friends. Where are you in FL?
post #19 of 22

*


Edited by zenaviva - 6/24/13 at 7:40pm
post #20 of 22

I'm not in the exact same boat but I can sort of relate.  My husband works long hours, though not as long as yours, but its a physically demanding job so on the weekend he's often pretty pooped.  I have family around they have full lives of their own, so while I do have that net, it's not easy for me to drop the kids off to have an evening out, etc.  My daughter will be five in December, and my son will be three.  I plan on homeschooling and I'm leaning towards unschooling, but a lot of the time I don't feel like I'm doing enough with them to nurture their learning.    Hugs.  It can be tough.

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