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Why is EVERYTHING my responsibility? I feel like a crappy mother...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
For those of you who don't know me very well, I'm an RN and I do nights (mostly 7p-7:30a, with 2 11p-7:30a per month). I try to schedule my nights in a row so that I have 3 or 4 days in a row off.

With ds in school now, I've been having to leave work at 7:20-7:40am (depending on when report ends), pick him up at my mothers house (30 min from work), drive back to my place (25min from my mom's) so ds can catch the bus at 9am. Then I do what needs to be done, get to bed between 9:30-10:30am, sleep till around 3:15...pick ds up from bus at 3:45, then drive him back to my parents house and head to work, only to repeat it the next day.

It's hard, but I manage. Usually.

That said, I fell asleep *while driving* with ds in the car driving back to our place in the am. I feel like sh~t. I feel like a crappy mother, and I hate that it happened. I know to pull over if I'm tired, but I honestly wasn't. It hit me like a ton of bricks all of a sudden--seriously. It was for literally 10 seconds, and I was not fully asleep, just the kind of you close your eyes for way longer than you should...but when I opened them, I was headed for the other lane (ie oncoming traffic). I know, i know...please don't flame me...I know it was horrible.

So I called exDP. Convo went like this

Me: J, I know you're busy, but I really need your help when I'm doing 3 or 4 in a row. I can't do it anymore...

J: Why not?

Me: I'm too tired.

J: Sleep more. [sounding impatient--wanted to get back to watching tv I'm sure]

Me: I sleep as much as I can, but it's not enough. Sleeping while the sun is up and kids are playing outside isn't the same... And when I'm awake, it's rush rush rush...there's no down time.

J: Well, I'm pretty busy with XYZ [he plays football...goes out with his friends...and takes work home with him so that he can use his free period--he's a HS teacher--to hang out with his coworkers]

Me: But this is serious. It's not safe for me and ds. I fell asleep for a second this am.

J: Kelly! WTF is wrong with you? Seriously!?? You can't do that! You could have killed him. WTF?

I explained it to him, and he tells me

J: So now it's my fault that you're putting my son in danger? Look, I don't care what you have to do, but you'd better not fall asleep while you're driving my son anymore. WTF is wrong with you? Do you realize that he could be dead right now or in the hospital because of you?? [coming from a man who drives up to 85mph regularly and whines about putting ds in a carseat]

Me: Well, maybe you could pick him up at my place once in a while and just play with him for an hour or two so I can sleep? Or you could drive him to my parent's so I can nap?

J: Maybe I could do that sometimes, but I'm busy with XYZ. Plus who's gonna pay for my gas?? And then I'd have to make him dinner.... Can't your father pick him up? Ugh...I don't know Kelly, maybe once in a while, but that's a lot to ask. Seriously though, this sh~t has to stop...you can't fall asleep while you're driving him Kelly. WTF?

WTF!?! He lives about 10min from me and 10 min from my parents...that's too much to ask!?? Do your f'ing work AT WORK so you don't have to do it at home....skip the nights out with your friends.

When i took this position I was promised up and down his help. "Yeah, I'll sleep over some nights while you're at work. I'll take him so you can sleep. I'll help out. yak yak yak" Now nada.

Why is everything my responsibility?? Why am I the one who has to plan meals, cook, clean, shop, wash clothes, meet with teachers, help with homework ....and he gets ds on weekends to play and watch tv and wrestle and eat crap food.

And when I cook healthy dinners for ds to take to his dad's (so he doesn't get McDonalds or other junk), I get sent home dirty, rotten tupperware (not even rinsed) or he forgets the tupperware and it gets moldy. Clothes come back dirty and wrinkled. Books go missing.

This f'ing SUCKS. Sorry to vent here....I really don't have much support IRL and don't know many single mamas in my situation.
post #2 of 20
I Hear ya! I went through almost the exact same thing this week. X had a fit about yada, yada and then said that he'll no longer watch the kids while I'm in school (He was picking them up and keeping them for 1 hr at a time twice a week.) So I found a friend who could help out but the problem is that she has 2 kids too and only has a car. We both read the state laws online and determined that my DD (almost 5) can legally sit in the front (once she's actually 5). My friend was going to call around the police and fire dept and get some clarification. The main issue seemed to be the front airbag. So I was talking to X and was like, "and now you backed out of your commitment to watch the kids and..." I told him the friend car situation and he was all, "No! You can't do that! She must be in a carseat! I'm going to sue for custody if you can't keep our kids safe!" Yada, yada, he eventually DID agree to watch the kids again.

post #3 of 20
Ohhh sweetie, that sucks! First of all - please don't beat yourself up on the driving thing. Yes, it is horribly scary, but you were both okay and that's all that matters in the end. Honestly, I think almost everyone has had a moment like that, and God (or angels, or whatever you may believe in) gave us that nudge we needed to snap back out of it.

Now for the practical advice - is there anyway that your parents could drive your little guy to school? Even maybe just one morning a week so you could go straight home and get some extra sleep? Or maybe they could pick him up from school one day a week? I know it's a lot to ask, and if you're like me you probably hate having to ask your parents for any more than you already do, but we're talking safety here.

I wish we lived in the same area so I could help you out with this...

post #4 of 20
Hugs! That's scary, but a good wake up call, so at least you know a little better what you're dealing with! I agree with the pp, if maybe your parents could help you one morning or afternoon, so at least you can get one full stretch of sleep in, that would probably make a huge difference. Or maybe try to spread out your nights? (I know it's nice to have days off in a row, but perhaps it'd be worth it to have some peace of mind).

And yeah, your ex is being a total jerk...I can imagine mine saying exactly the same things/acting exactly the same way. I just don't understand these people...how can they NOT take some responsibility? But if he won't, you can't count on him. Would you have taken this job if he wasn't going to help out? Or would you have done something else?

Hope things work out, you get some sleep, and find some peace!!!
post #5 of 20
Can you find someone else to help out?
I agree that it is a good wake up call and thank goodness, no one was hurt. Don't look at it and beat yourself up....look at it as an opportunity to prevent it from happening again. There must be another option....consider everything you can.

Hugs to you.
Single parenting is not always easy.
post #6 of 20
That is a tough one. I'm glad you didn't have an accident, but you're right, something needs to give!

I was thinking along the same lines as the others...maybe your parents could do one pick-up/one drop-off each week? Just to take a little of the pressure off? Maybe you could pay them extra so you won't feel beholden, etc.

Is your visitation schedule with ex set in stone? Because you're right, it isn't fair that he gets playtime with your child, but you do all the work. I don't have a schedule anywhere near yours, but my ex is of the identical mentality. He seems to think I'm just the babysitter who takes care of our son between fun times.
post #7 of 20
That just sucks! I wish I had advice but I am right in the middle of the same feelings. Being the responsible, attached, involved parent is so often overwhelming. I hope venting relieved a little pressure and you find some logistical help soon.
post #8 of 20
That sucks! : I'm feeling frustrated with him for you! It bothers me that he went off on you and then refused to help to make the situation better. Is there anyway : your mother could do some of the driving for you? Maybe meet you at home or something? That sounds like such a crazy schedule. : I'm sorry I don't have any better ideas.
post #9 of 20
mama that sucks so bad!!
My mom is an RN and she has to drive home (hour away) in the mornings. We got her this little thing she clips on her ear. If your head starts to nod it beeps really loud in her ear. It helps alot. We got it at Radioshack and it wasn't expensive at all. Maybe that could help since your ex is being useless.
post #10 of 20
You have to change your schedule, put your son in after-school care at school if it's available, or buy taxi service for your son. Unless you can manufacture more time or someone to do some of the work, you're going to have to bite the bullet and do it. The beep in the ear is not a solution; all you're doing that way is staying marginally awake to endanger both yourselves and everyone else on the road near you.

Don't call X for help. There's no help there, and besides, you know you can't trust his promises. But have a good cry, then take care of the logistics fix this week, because you're endangering yourself, your son, and whatever sweet family you're about to plow into.

Why is everything your responsibility? Sorry, hon. It doesn't last forever. Someday the boy will be grown, and then you can sleep all day if you want....
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jster View Post
Would you have taken this job if he wasn't going to help out? Or would you have done something else?
No, I wouldn't have taken the position.
I would have kept the per diem job I had while I looked for something else.

And I wish my parents could take my son once in a while....I'd swallow my pride (even more than I already do) if it would help, but my father has to be at work at 6am (his genius idea is "I'll drop him off at your apartment at 5:45. He can stay by himself for 2 hours) and my mother is 100% unreliable...she's got "issues" to say the least...she's not allowed to drive my son anywhere-let's just leave it at that for now.

mama04 I completely understand what you are saying, and I thought about what would have happened to the other car if I would have hit someone. I cannot change my schedule. Nights is what they have. The school doesn't offer before or afterschool care. A taxi would cost $30-$50 each way--depending on traffic--and they won't drive a child without the parent. i can't afford that, and if I'm super tired then I'll just have ds go into school late that day so I can sleep for a few hours. If it comes down to it, I will quit my job (after finding another one).

I am currently looking for a babysitter (I just put fliers up and am talking to the local high school guidance counselor to see if I can put fliers up in the highschool...)that way my father could drop ds off at 5:45 and he could be watched by the sitter till I get home and/or watch him for an hour or two when ds gets home so I can sleep longer.

I was able to work mostly Fri/Sat/Sun so that it's only an issue monday morning, but they just hired another single mama who likes to work weekends too, and she has seniority so it looks like I'll be doing more weekdays.

Thanks everyone.
post #12 of 20
How old is your son?

See if you can find a daycare near the school (or near your apartment?) that is open at 5:45 where your dad can drop off your son. (Perhaps not every day though--that's early for your son to be up, depending on his age.)
A lot of daycares will have before school/after school busing to the schools in the area.
post #13 of 20
If your Mom shouldn't be driving...is there any way she (or your father) can stay overnight at your house once a week...or maybe your parents could take turns doing it every other week? Plus that way your son wouldn't have to be dragged around so early in the morning. And after school...isn't there some kind of after-care at a rec center or something? And yeah, I'd definitely start sending my resume around, if you can't see yourself doing this long-term. Best wishes with this...I'm sorry your ex is acting so poorly...it seems as though asking him for help won't do anything but (ironically) give him a superiority complex.
post #14 of 20
It is so nice to have a name for that behavior, huh getting a superiority complex. I hope you figure something out, danger or not you REALLY deserve to sleep well almost every day.
post #15 of 20
Wow, that's rough. I'm sorry.

I don't know what this would do to your custody arrangements, but is moving to an area with more hospitals/clinics an option? It seems like I'm always seeing tons of RN ads, and even though I'm sure many of the jobs suck, if you could do daytime work at least you could get a semi-normal life going, with sleep. And you wouldn't have to rely on a mom-with-issues for care, or look to your dad to take care of both grandson & wife-with-issues.
post #16 of 20
If I'm remembering correctly, your son is ten or so, right? What about working something out with one of his friends moms? I'm sure he has to have a friend who has a SAHM, maybe one day a week or so he could ride the bus home with his friend and hang out over there for a couple of hours while you sleep. Then you could pick him up, have dinner with him, and take him to your parents. You could either offer to pay, or work something out so that the other childs parents could plan a regular date night while their kid hung out with you and your son. I know as a SAHM, I'd totally be up for an arrangement like that.

Or you could pick up everything, move to Pennsylvania and I'll help you!
post #17 of 20
Mama I'm so sorry your tired. Your not a crappy Mother. Your doing the very best
you can, and when your doing it all yourself, something has got to give. So please don't
pressure yourself.

It's not fair that your doing everything. I can totally relate to being so tired that you fall
asleep at the wheel. There are periods that our bodies are just trying to keep going, and the
last thing you need is beating up yourself.

I hope you can figure out a situation that helps. In the mean time no bad talk about yourself.
Your a great Mama. Keep that head up.

+ I second your move to PA. We'll start a single moms team. When somebody gets tired
she'll get to sleep in.
post #18 of 20

I wish he'd help out more too. Since he's being that way, can you enlist friends and/or fam to help? Sounds like you're ragged, and I know I hate to ask, but sometimes you gotta. People actually LOVE helping out.
post #19 of 20
I have been through this so many times in the first few years I was single and actually lost a couple jobs because I was depending on my ex and he is not dependable. To this day, there are times he can't come over because it interferes with the Wednesday volleyball game or the Saturday evening parties or he has to go to the grocery store or whatever (remember this is a guy who doesn't work, contributes minimally to child support, and lives in a shack with both sawdust (cause its his woodshop) and a woodstove) It started working out a lot better when I stopped depending on him and began depending on people I could really trust. Not only was I able to make my work committments but also my daughter got taken care of better, even though many times I had NO money for things like underwear still attached to elastic. Have to relearn this lesson every once in a while but frankly revenge has been sweet, she doesn't want to see him much any more and he has really earned that over the years. Peace hope, and GRIT!! I'm a nurse too. It isn't always good but often enough it is.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by ssandna View Post
...It started working out a lot better when I stopped depending on him and began depending on people I could really trust. Not only was I able to make my work committments but also my daughter got taken care of better, even though many times I had NO money for things like underwear still attached to elastic.

YES! That's it...and that's my story too. Though you will do without and possibly so will your kid/s; you will be happier and less stressed out. Unfortunately, when I stopped chasing my ex to be consistent with with my boy; he decided to take me to court for visitation (like, WTF!? I'm not stopping him from seeing the child!). :

I have my first court date on monday....SIGH. Unbelievable *mutter*
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